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SCoM Lake District Walk - 2nd May 2004

By Nigel Koenen

24 members and guests met on a beautiful Sunday morning at the Fish Hotel car park, promptly at 9.45am, loaded up with sun cream, water and packed lunches - waterproofs were not going to be needed on a day like this one! There was also in evidence a multitude of peculiarly designed shorts, revealing a selection of knobbly knees and white legs that had not seen the light of day for some considerable time!

The first climb up to Red Pike strung club members out into a long line of scrambling bodies, a truly steep ascent culminating in a craggy scramble over rocks at the side of a stream; the party finally re grouping in a panting heap next to a cairn.

Although the weather was sunny, it was about then that we noticed the cold northerly wind cooling us down and, as the last people arrived, it was obvious that the first arrivals wanted to be on their way. From this point there was a long steady ascent up the ridge to Red Pike. We arrived at about midday, when we took an early lunch and enjoyed the views over Buttermere. Whilst eating my sandwich I spotted a familiar face staggering up the alternative path - a golfing friend from Bramhall. He was attempting to do the whole ridge without map or compass, possessing merely a piece of paper with a line joining up the well known peaks - it was fortunate visibility was superb or his expedition could have been an accident waiting to happen!

Our party carried on towards High Crag with Downhill Dave Shepherd leading out in front. To our right we had magnificent views of Pillar Rock with all its erosion and our eye was carried along the ridge all the way to Great Gable. We then started a very steep descent down a series of steps where dislodged stones tumbling down proved to be a real problem for everyone.

When we reached the col our party split up. One small party of members carried on up Haystacks, returning wearily along a rocky path following a stream, whilst the majority returned via the shorter route. However, on the way down a tumbling rock nearly caused serious injury to Lindsay Harford. Luckily we all returned safely to the Fish Hotel for a much deserved drink.

Several members stayed the night at Middle Ruddings or Coledale Inn and at the latter a pleasant meal and several pints of Jennings and Yates bitter was consumed.

We must thank Ian Harford for a well organised day out in the hills with plenty variety for everyone! I am sure we are all looking forward to next years outing!

Pictures courtesy of Derek Draper, click on an image below for a larger picture.