Most people arrived on Friday evening in time for a few beers in either the Buck Inn or the Lister Arms both of which served extremely good local ales, and yes we had two really good pubs within a stones throw from the YHA so it was a great start to the weekend.
As the YHA served a hearty breakfast most people took advantage of this and on Saturday morning tucked into a good old MMC style guide books and map faff over cereal, bacon and eggs and croissants and coffee, whilst discussing their plans for either climbing, cycling, walking or fell running for the day. So after a leisurely breakfast with plans made everyone went on their way.
Dave organised an epic cycle tour of North Yorks and although the faff began on email the week before he somehow managed to persuade Bea, Simon, Kedron, Lisa and Mana to join him, and there was only one casualty being Lisa who fell off in spectacular style but was luckily unwounded and lived to tell her tale of great adventure and fun.
Nick, Gosia, Jackie and Jason were enticed by the benign climate to go climbing on the North Yorks Moors and went off to Robin Proctor’s scar near Settle. There they racked up 6 or 7 sport routes graded 5 – 6b until gradually the encroaching cold and gloom drove them back into Settle for a bit of shopping for supplies and thence back to the YHA.
Andy had a wonderfully planned (graphed no less!) circuit taking in Pen-y-Gent to include striding out towards the upper end of Littondale and returning on a circular route via Foxup. AG, Caroline, Chloe, Chuck, Wendy, Mike, Petra, Sophie, Marie Leurie and Julien joined him and they had a great time, conversations were busy, bogs were crossed, mud slopes slipped on and thirsts developed.
David and Alix hiked up Ingleborough (the highest peak in the area) narrowly missing Simon and Janet who bumped into Robin and the dogs at the top. Robin had just run up having ticked off the other two main peaks earlier – poor Meggie and Cofa! And David also added a fell run over Pen-y-Ghent for good measure.
Ian, Sarah, Margaret, Cath, Maija and Jules walked to Malham Tarn via the waterfall scramble at Gordale Scar and back to Malham Cove which was very scenic and beautiful on such a sunny day, they briefly helped some lost Japanese tourists near the Tarn and Maija helpfully donated one of her beautifully printed maps to them, which obviously helped as on returning they were later seen having a few drinks outside the Buck Inn.
The Saturday evening dinner was held in the YHA dining room with starters of soup, pate and spring rolls, followed by generous helpings of beef stew, fish& chips and cannelloni and various puddings all swiftly served up by the friendly staff. Afterwards, Nick our exiting 2010 F****wit (despite leaving his notes and the coat hanger at home), gave an extremely well delivered speech outlining various stories of non qualifying f****wittery such as cars breaking down etc and other deeds not directly being their own fault, which lead up to AG who being a very active member of the club over the past year and by popular vote qualified for leaving all his clothes behind in the washing machine in the hut in Scotland, and only remembering them when he was half way back to London and thus having to buy a whole new set was awarded the 2011 F****wit Award. The coat hanger will be with you shortly AG!
On Sunday with quite a few sore heads especially those who’d stayed until closing in the Lister Arms the evening before, there was a mass bumble of Gordale Scar, Malham Tarn and Malham Cove and the largest ever MMC picnic was held beside Malham Tarn with surreal views of the shifting mists over a small boat in the middle of the water.
Simon, Jason, Mike, Jackie, Kedron, Sophie, Marie Leurie and Julien hiked for an hour up a steep muddy hill to go bouldering. And at around lunchtime the 2 Belgians and 1 French decided to head back early to London in time to relax before going to work on Monday morning. Fatal mistake! Not wanting to slide their way back down the muddy hill to their car they decided to rely on their sense of direction and took another route, so they set off through the mist without a anyone’s phone number, water, map, compass or food, and on their way they met some locals who supposedly indicated to them a better way to reach the car and they trusted them as they were locals! So they walked and walked and walked a bit more until around 4pm they suddenly found themselves surrounded in a thick fog, so they kept on walking and luckily found a road where they flagged down a car with a mother and two babies to ask for a lift, and it was then that they realised that they had no idea of the name of the place where they’d parked! However, the very kind lady drove them through several villages around Skipton and there was still no sign of their car and they started to worry that they were going to have to spend another night in Yorkshire! Meanwhile the others on returning from bouldering saw that the Belgium/French car was still there and thought it strange as they’d left to return home hours previously, so presuming they were lost they called out the search parties and luckily Jason managed to get hold of their number and was able to call them and they were saved! So all’s well that ended well, and it could be that they may now be good contenders to qualify for next year’s award!!