After a pre-meet scare over, let’s say, a “missing” hut key Andrew, Sarah G, Jules, Jason and Sarah W spent the day leisurely driving up to Low Hall Garth from London. Robin had arrived a day earlier and had just collected Caroline from the train station. All in all, day one was rather uneventful with no stories of navigation f***wittery as suffered on the previous visit. Oh, Caroline did forget her sleeping bag but managed to beg, borrow and steal enough to survive the night; in fact she may have ended up with the best sleep out of all of us!

On Friday the group headed out towards Crinkle Crags, but in true Lakes fashion the promising start soon transitioned into light showers then rain. However as the group climbed higher this quickly turned into snow, transforming the peak into a winter wonderland. Sarah W and Jules had opted for a shorter variation and appropriately chose to meet up at the Old Dungeon Gill Inn, unfortunately the remainder of the group could not afford to stay for a tipple as there was a considerable distance still to cover and daylight was fading fast ? good thing we packed those head torches!

Back at the hut, Miriam had joined the party and greeted everyone as they returned sopping wet.


Saturday brought further forecast of rain, but undeterred Andrew, Jason, Caroline and Miriam (full of energy) set off to tackle the Old Man of Coniston. However, once on the ridge the gale force winds which had been battering much of the UK over the past week, demonstrated the true definition of horizontal rain. Keen to escape the weather the group dropped into the valley at the first opportunity only to find the path was streaming with water flowing off the bloated fells.

Sarah G and Jules, not wanting a repeat soaking decide to tackle the local Tilberthwaite area. Whilst Sarah W, who appeared to have contracted the Black Death, decided to stay in and prepare for the evening’s festivities.

Robin was planning a circular run past the Old Man of Coniston but retreated due to the poor conditions (yes that’s right, Robin bailed!), only to get caught red handed with both Meg and Cofa in the hut by the visiting warden and Mrs Warden (as she addressed herself) ? let?s just say he was displeased by the blatant breach of rules and even more so when Cofa went to greet him in his usual playful manner.

In the evening the celebrations started with an extra large pot of mulled wine prepared by Jules, the self appointed chief taster. Chuck, Wendy, Lucy and Jim who were taking refuge in nearby accommodation joined them for the 4 course banquet, which included pumpkin soup, haggis, sausages, roast vegetables, lemon meringue pie and cheese selection ? all prepared in the hut. This was followed by fireworks and a masculine display of strength by Jim, Chuck and Robin ? using the women amongst the group as dumbbells. Coincidentally, this was around the time when the pot of mulled wine ran dry.


The start to 2012 was a slow one in the hut, Sarah W, Robin and Miriam (still full of energy) popped out for an early walk whilst the others slept in. But once awake, the remainder embarked on a brisk stroll which happened to pass three pubs and ended at the Three Shires pub in Little Langdale. This pretty much sums up the nature of activities over the final hours before the long drive home the following day.

Thank you to all who attended and contributed towards making the Lakes a successful and much enjoyed New Year meet.