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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
All was well with the world, having enjoyed a very fine hillwalking day.
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.)
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.