Ski Club Hike, Sunday May 5th
by Nigel Koenen
Twenty members and two dogs met at the Coledale Inn at 10.00am on a fine morning, some were even in shorts!!! Quite a few of the participants were staying locally in Braithwaite, Thornthwaite and even Cockermouth.
After a short photo call we set off under Ian's guidance up a steep track eventually rising above the tree line. A few of the short wearing brigade wondered if they had made the correct clothing decisions when a cold north wind whipped up. Anyway after a lot of hard climbing the party arrived in a long snaking line at the top of GRISEDALE PIKE to a great view of the rest of the days route and back over the way we had come (Braithwaite and Derwent Water).
Then we carried on to HOPEGILL HEAD with a steep drop off to the right as we ascended. We contemplated lunch but that wind was still whipping up those afore stated shorts so we dropped down to COLEDALE HAUSE where we took lunch by a stream. Dave Miller dished out some raisins and Steve Wardle did the same with some Eccles cakes, a nice after to my dry ham sandwich. A pleasant respite and uneventful until Derek Draper's rucksack rolled down the slope into the fast flowing stream!!!!
We then headed for CRAG HILL, the party split for the ascent with the more athletic taking a mad scramble up a steep scree slope meeting the remainder at the beacon at the top which is actually EEL CRAG where we found patches of snow and had a snowball fight. We then continued around the horseshoe where again the party split.
The more adventurous carried on to climb CAUSEY PIKE with a hair raising descent down to the minor road with great views of Derwent Water while the remainder took an escape route to the other side of the ridge. Both parties eventually met up at the Coledale Inn and enjoyed several pints of Jennings and Yates bitter relaxing on the lawn outside in bright sunshine.
The members who were staying over met later at the Royal Oak Hotel where we had more beer and a pleasant meal.
A Thoroughly enjoyable day as I hope you will see from the photos.
Many thanks to Ian for arranging the day and giving us time to treasure!!!