Lakes. Dec 11-13, 2015

Attending: Andy D, Sarah, Dorian, Maria, Dan U, Beckie, Maisie, David PJ, Dave W, Barry, Dan S

After a horrendous week for the residents of Cumbria in the wake of tropical storm Desmond, when we met on the Tuesday before I expected us not to go; especially with more ‘weather’ forecast and the clean-up operation in full flow.

I’m so glad we heeded the words of the good folk of Cumbria that they were “open for business”, for when the rain finally stopped on Saturday afternoon we found ourselves in fresh snow.
From our base at YHA Grasmere we all set off early on Saturday morning, heading up to High Raise via Easedale Tarn. The morning was miserable and we expected rain all day, with snow when we hit 700m. Well, at 300m the rain turned to sleet and hale and by 400m we were in 6 inches of snow. I’d earlier, tongue in cheek, asked “why do we do this”, but by late afternoon the scenery was stunning and we felt very blessed.
It was a strenuous hike, with some navigation challenges, but many amusing moments, mostly involving people being swept off their feet or disappearing into a bog. It was a tired group who ate well at The Lamb Inn – a good hearty meal, followed by our just desserts.

On Sunday, we split into 3 groups: 6 of us did another circular route from the YHA heading up Helm Crag; Dan, Beckie and Maisie did a family trip, taking in Heron Pikes, Great Rigg (in a white out) and Stone Arthur… getting Maisie well on the way to completing the list of Wainwrights; meanwhile Dorian & Maria tackled the route up to Grisedale Tarn; a longer route as they were staying a further night in Grasmere.
No rain, just chilly winds and fabulous views.

I’d been unable to attend the last 2 winter Lakes trips, reading with green-eyed envy about the exploits of those who’d ventured out. I hope our photos and smiles inspire others to hit the hills.


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