This is an entry that will bring back a few memories. For that reason I've included most of the weekend's pictures, though many are of inferior quality. Click on any of them for a better version/slideshow.
It's 17 years ago. How time flies! I was coming to the end of my days as an employee of Grant Thornton and was only working part time, but I was still too busy to write up this trip until I found myself on my own in a restaurant in Cambridge over a week later. Here's my contemporaneous report. I do remember taking my notebook into the restaurant.
"It's now 16 December
and we are again behind with diary entries. I am unexpectedly alone in the Varsity
Restaurant in Cambridge.
I'm here to carry out a review of the procedures and compliance in our Cambridge office. My two
colleagues have found excuses to avoid joining me. Barbara has left early for a
children's play, and Malcolm (Malcolm Shierson - colleague/boss for many years, died of cancer in 2019) didn't arrive due to a new big job in London. (What's new?) So
at last I have time to commit pen to paper.
Back to 5
December. Sue and I got a sensibly early 3:15 start from Tesco's in Wythenshawe, and
had a very easy run compared with Sue's recent effort to get to the Kendal
Mountain Film Festival. Reached Helvellyn Youth Hostel at 5:15 to find Andrew
already installed. After a very leisurely brew, we got installed in our twin
room (not en-suite, but only £10.50 a night each).
Then - getting
on for 7 pm and still no other arrivals - we strolled down to the pub. Here, an
excellent meal was served in very cosy surroundings. Promise of a good weekend.
After a while Don and Liz turned up, then Maryvic, then Dave
Oliver and others. A pleasant evening, then a nice stroll in
the moonlight back up the road.
leisurely, Sue and I were ahead of most people. We joined Andrew as the only
people to eat a hostel breakfast. We were ready well before 10 am, and Mary and
others set off.
Top picture - getting ready to leave the hostel; above - the hostel team
Reluctant to be
waiting too long on the top of Helvellyn on a cool, breezy day in December, Sue and I held back and sauntered along with the slow brigade on a rather strange route
up to Striding Edge - we contoured above the hostel before joining a major path
and going to 'Hole in the Wall', before puristically sticking to the
high point of the ridge to reach the summit.
The view back to Glenridding
Hole in the Wall
The next few pictures were taken during the ascent of Striding Edge
Don and Dave
Heavily laden Don and Liz approach the summit windbreak
A view from the summit of Helvellyn
The summit was reached spot on as planned,
at 1 pm. There were over 20 of us including Dave and Linda
Kitto (the first time they have left their children, 17 and
15, for a night - they arrived this morning) and we had soon completely taken
over the summit shelter windbreak.
Luckily, Mary and
co were still there; they spent an hour on the top and it wasn't warm.
On the ascent I
had noticed Liz being very laden and a little pensive. She blamed the champagne
in her rucksack. I had champagne also but I was not pensive. Liz was lying!
beakers) in hand, we all supped merrily. Then Liz ('The Boss') called everyone
to attention. About 50 people turned to face her. The 20 or so in our party
then received her address:
you were here to celebrate Don and my Century Birthday" (they were both 50
in November - she rambled on about the dates) "but we are also here for
another purpose - to celebrate our marriage last Monday." She then
explained that they had got married on 1st of December, about 16 days after Don's
divorce came through.
And with that weight
off her mind, Liz produced the extra weight (that had been masquerading as
champagne) out of her rucksack - a wedding cake.
Mouths gaped as
we ate our lunches and drank our champagne and ate cake. The party continued unabated.
people started to drift off. It was cold. Most went down Swirral Edge, but Sue,
Dave, Linda and Andrew joined me to descend via Raise and Sticks Pass.
The path to Raise
On the summit of Raise
Back down before
dark, we encountered the search and rescue dogs that had apparently fully
booked Patterdale YH. And so to an enjoyable and leisurely evening in good
company with a nice meal - produced by the hostel for £8.50.
Dave and Linda
Here's our approximate route - 12 km with 850 metres ascent.
A lovely day for
a walk from the east of Scales up Mousthwaite Comb, with a break on the edge
of Scales Fell and another below Brunt Knott, in bright sunshine, before
scrambling up Sharp Edge and onto the summit of Blencathra. Descent by Knowe
Crags and a late afternoon stroll along the foot of the fell past Threlkeld.
Ascending Scales Fell to Brunt Knott
Lunch below Brunt Knott
On the walk were
me, Sue, Dave, Linda, Andrew, Dave, Barry (71), Don and Liz.
in the sun below Brunt Knott;
was after a very, very leisurely start - 11 am before we started walking, with
superb views from the road over the top, partly behind a very fast vintage
Bentley sports car;
ascent of Sharp Edge. Unfortunately she followed Sue up the last section, which
brought her to tears as she had promised her paranoid daughter to 'take care'. She
was very quick!
on the summit in the warm sunshine.
Don and Liz on Sharp Edge
Andrew on Sharp Edge
It's a steep scramble
On the summit of Blencathra
Descending in the afternoon sunlight
Andrew, Don and Liz had taken the short direct route down, the rest of us ambled
gently, with a full moon rising from around the edge of Blencathra as the sun
set behind us. We finished as it was getting dark, then Sue and I went into
Keswick to meet Don and Liz at the Lemon and Lime cafe, which would also be
good for an evening meal. They eschewed fish and chips, so we at them in the
car before returning home after the traffic had cleared."
Here's our approximate route - 12 km with 850 metres ascent. (The same as the previous day.)