All eight starters on this walk were indebted to Leader Roger giving up time on his big birthday to guide us round an interesting winter tour of these wonderful hills with long views in all directions on offer all day. It was also good to welcome two visitors on the day and to find that one was very much at the sharp end of Marilyn bagging.


It was one of those days when it was often rather warm or very cold as the initial sheltered climb onto Causey Pike was enjoyed in pleasant sunny conditions. The temperature gradually dropped on the ridge walk to Crag Hill via Scar Crags and Sail. Winter was still very much in evidence up here with patches of snow and ice scattered along the frozen turf.


Any problems were easily avoidable until a descent via the steep nose of Eel Crag was suggested. Most chose to avoid this and took the easy way onto lofty Grasmoor where a quick lunch stop was taken by the summit shelter. A frigid breeze put paid to any lingering and after welcoming back the intrepid break away group and leaving them to enjoy a second sitting the rest hastened on to Wandope where all were finally reunited.


The steepness alongside Addacomb Hole was largely snow free and easily negotiated on the way down to Rigg Beck. Valley walking was short lived, however, as Roger lead us back up to Sail col which was crossed at right angles to the previous visit some hours before. Descending northwards was a bit tricky on compacted snow and ice but once all difficulties were past two returned to base via Coledale Beck while the remainder skirted Outerside before the final short climb onto Barrow.


An interlude of warm(ish) afternoon sunshine encouraged a brief tea stop at this magnificent viewpoint overlooking Derwent Water and Keswick before the pleasant descent into Braithwaite via High Coledale. Although only about 13 miles the 5,000 ft of climbing involved convinced most participants that it had been a more than adequate excursion.