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Sunday, 28 November 2010

Helvellyn Weekend with the Fight Club Hikers

helvellyn appears from a coud
Friday afternoon saw me slide over the Pennines to Glenridding to join the Fight Club Hikers Second Anniversary do in a frozen camping barn a mile out of Glenridding.
setting off rest stop
Those attending (apart from me) were, in no special order, Wibble, Titaniumdude, Walkingirl, Darksky, UKMase (alias Masey), Peter Crawford and, a bit later, Der Allte. Plus Mille, Pepper and Woodstock.
It was, of course, perishing cold both inside the barn and outside and it seemed to have snowed quite a bit during Friday night, Saturday morning.
a hole in the clouds
We arranged a walk suitable for dogs, hangovers and icy conditions thus: Sticks Pass, Raise, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Dollywagon Pike, Grisedale, Travellers’ Rest. 12 Miles and 3500 feet of upness. Masey along with various random colleagues also bagged Stybarrow Dodd and, whilst most bypassed Dollywaggon Pike, he and Gill did that one too.
helvellyn summit ridge
It was slippery and snowy and windy and even colder than the Barn. Millie got herself an icy beard, whilst Woodstock was frustrated in any attempt to curl up somewhere warm for a nap. Pepper, meanwhile, is a collie and is designed for this kind of stuff.
waiting for darksky
The tops were covered in a wispy kind of clag, but , suddenly, Helvellyn appeared out of the clouds and the day became sunny. Helvellyn was busy.
At some point, we lost Darksky. He became detached from the back of the group and failed to turn up after a shivery half an hour’s wait on Helvellyn Lower Man, and a shorter wait on the summit. The dogs in particular began to suffer badly from the cold and a search of the ridge leading up to Helvellyn produced no evidence of Mr Darksky, we pressed on regardless. This was his eighth trip up Helvellyn, so he knew the place fairly well. Turns out he descended by Swirral Edge.
masey overlooking grisedale heading for nethermost pike
We slithered and slipped down to Grisedale Tarn and then down the length of Grisedale, where it went dark. Most people spent sometime crashing to the ground doing comedy pratfalls on hidden ice. Minor injuries were received.
fch towards dollywaggon pike
Eventually, we made it to the bar of the Travellers Rest, where we rested, warm and toasty and increasingly intoxicated, till around midnight (I think) Der Allte turned up and bought cheesy chips. Darksky was reported to be tucked up in his sleeping bag back at the refrigerator camping barn.
All was well with the world, having enjoyed a very fine hillwalking day.
spindrift
Ultimately, we walked the mile back up the the barn and spent a second shivery night.
The car thermometer was reading minus 5.5 C in the morning. There’s been a bit more snow. The drive down the valley was interesting, without the benefit of brakes (I had brakes, but using them was less than useful – there was no stopping.)
descending to grisedale tarn
Cracking weekend, though. Thanks for the invite, and to Masey for taking the matter in hand and booking the barn, and to Gill for the chips. I’m still drinkihttp://ukmase.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/fc-hikers-2nd-birthday/ng the Spanish wine.
I’ll put a link to Masey’s blog as soon as he produces an account.

Edit: Here it is http://ukmase.wordpress.com/2010/12/03/fc-hikers-2nd-birthday/

This is complete with a potted history of the Fight Club Hikers.
helvellyn

19 comments:

Martin Rye said...

Was there any fighting and the like? nice walk by the way.

Mike Knipe said...

No serious fighting took place, Martin. The helicopter rescue was absolutely nothing to do with us.

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

What a great walk and cracking scenery. 12 miles is quite a tall order in snow, but a wise choice of route given the circumstances ! Hope your backsides have recovered from the Grizedale slide.

Mike Knipe said...

We discovered that wearing a full rucksack saves many nasty head and back injuries, J. I think I slipped three times after taking the crampons off... dhuhhh.....

Trevor Woodford said...

Hi Mike
Super walk-great pictures. Some time since I was up there myself.

ukmase said...

Mike - remember the first rule of fight club !!!

Sreiously though Martin the name is a wind up that was too good to drop.

It certainly stickz in peoples minds though !!

Cheers for leading me onto the A66 Piemen, top job. Excellent weekend and what a days work on the hills !!

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks for the comment, Trevor -classic hillwalking....
Masey - The van in front kept slowing down - I thought I was going to give him a nudge once or twice. I didn;t know it was you behind me till you cleaned your windows at the Penrith roundabout. The I noticed the hat. The famous hat.

Trekking Britain said...

Love the atmospheric shots! :-)

markswalkingblog said...

Mike, great photos and trip report. Some walkers kit their dogs out for walks like this. Did SuperDawg have his own set of crampons on ?
Mark

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks TB and Mark.
Superdawg didn't attend this one, Mark, for reasons loosley connected with his digestive system, if you catch my drift....
He's enjoying today's blizzard, though.

The Odyssee said...

I’m sure that you would have been warmer in a tent.
Lovely pics Mike.
Good pub the travellers and close to a campsite.

Oldmortality said...

I've never been known for hyperbole, but I have only thrre words to say to that -- out feckin standing.
I had to go and turn up the central heating after reading it the first time !As my vascular system now resembles a post- Beeching map of the railway network,such stuff is now beyond me, but I would urge the younger, fitter people to get their noses out of the gear catalogues and their butts into the hills - real hillwalking indeed.
Thanks.

Mike Knipe said...

We eschew tents for cold stone, Alan. Its good for the soul. (But I take the point)
Ah, yes, Oldmortality - buying gear, talking about gear, reviewing gear and getting even more gear isn't the same pastime as wot we do....
Which is why I didn't mention me new gloves....

petercrawford said...

It was every bit as good as Mike descibed. And no The FightClubHikers don't really fight. Except over food and drink obviously.

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks Peter, most of the cuts have started to heal, and the bruises are hardly noticeable at all. Can't get the handcuffs off, though...

darksky said...

I had a great time Mike and was good to meet you aswell.

Mike Knipe said...

Cheers, D/S it was good to meet you too - always nice to put a face to a name. next time, eh?

terrybnd said...

Cracking pics. Good weekend by all

Mike Knipe said...

They're a bit quiet for me, Terry, if truth be told. Most of 'em had sobered up by nine o'clock....