AGM WALK - 27.10.13


The usual tradition of bad weather, both forecast and real time, held good again for this annual fixture. Back in Braithwaite at the Coledale Inn after a gap of some years gave ample scope for a day of exhilarating high level walking over the North Western fells. Sadly only one Group member accompanied leader Tony but the day was rescued by the welcome addition of four visitors.


A tenuous plan saw the group start hopefully at the foot of Grisedale Pike which could at least be seen through the curtains of horizontal rain sweeping across the car park. The walk started to the ominous rumble of thunder but thankfully the deluge abated albeit temporarily. Wind speed in the mountain’s lee was also initially acceptable but became less so as height was gained until some 30 yards from the summit conditions forced a regrouping and tactical talk to discuss the best way to deal with airflow that largely precluded an upright stance never mind active movement.


As the banshee howling of the wind made communication demanding Tony lead a dash to the summit where Louise managed to get her Wainwright tick on hands and knees. Tumbling off the far side lead to slightly easier going until it became possible to stop briefly for a quick drink in a relatively sheltered valley. Further high level progress was clearly impossible so a dash was made for Coledale Hause and a welcome drop below two thousand feet.


With the wind now behind it was possible to progress fairly easily to the fine little summit of Outerside and lunch in the heather on its sheltered east flank. Jon, our new friend from the Isle of Wight, seemed a bit bemused by all this but was comforted to be missing the major storm about to affect southern England! He seemed to be impressed by his experience and could be heard muttering incoherently – lunatics and mountain men was all that could be deciphered easily.


Progress was now more normal on the way to Barrow via Stile End though the final descent was enlivened by a further freshening of the gale. Only nine map miles had been covered as most of the group staggered into the pub for a welcome cuppa but there were no complaints or requests for an extension or second go around. A period of R & R was then enjoyed enabling recovery before the challenges posed by the AGM.


Photos courtesy of Jon Giffin