29th to 31st July 2016 - Little Langdale Hut, The Lake District
This meet saw a return to the Fylde Mountaineering Club Little Langdale Hut which is a loverly wee hut in the heart of the Lake District and seems to be popular with the climbers in the EMC as they by far outnumbered the walkers on this meet.
On Saturday, two parties headed off rock climbing. Martin and Keith headed for the classic Bowfell Buttress on Bow Fell but were thwarted by the clag and drizzle and general coldness so opted instead for a wander up Bow Fell via Great Slab, then over to Crinkle crags and Pike of Blisco. Steve and Ginny seemed to get better weather and managed Golden Slipper at Pavey Ark. Mike and Fiona having been a bit suspiscious of the forecast opted to postpone climbing until Sunday and went for a long walk instead.
They joined Tony, Antti and Claire on a circuit from Cockley Beck over Scafell, Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Esk Pike, Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags thus enabling Mike and Fiona to complete the English + Welsh Firths. The weather was lovely to start with but some showers arrived and all too soon waterproof jackets were required. Thankfully the rain came and went but the clag meant we had to take our time on slippery rocks and also meant some car was required with the navigation etc. We remained in the clag until after Scafell Pike but it then cleared into a pretty decent day with rather good views. Tony and Claire had opted for boots meaning they had nice dry feet, Antti, Mike and Fiona opted for felling running shoes and all had soggy feet within minutes of leaving the car as it seems our slightly esoteric route was more bog than path in many places!
We lost count of the number times that we were asked directions in the mist - lots and lots of people on Scafell Pike without any means of navigating. One party that asked us directions but couldn't remember where they'd started walking from other than it was "something Dale". Given that there are one or two "Dales" in the Lakes we can only hope they found their way back to the correct one.
By the time we got to Crinkle Crags thoughts were starting to turn to dinner. Earlier in the day we'd tried contacting Keith to see if he could book us in for dinner at the Three Shires Inn, a great pub a short distance from the hut. Lack of mobile reception meant this message didn't get through but then on the top of Crinkle Crags Fiona's mobile binged with a text "Welcome to The Isle of Man, calls cost 24p per minute to make...". Being in line of sight to the Isle of Man we'd picked up the mobile masts there. The pub was duly contacted and a table booked so now we needed to get back down the hill in time for food. This was where we learned that Rights of Way on English maps don't always equate to good paths. A few bad words may have been uttered as it had been a fairly long day and a nice easy walk back to the car had been expected rather than boulders, bracken and cow poop.
On Sunday it was absolutely glorious first thing so some keen/mad (delete as applicable) folks also went for a swim in river beind the hut. Most folks also visited the amazing Catherdral Cave and Quarry which is a short distance from the hut over the ford, some folks managed this before breakfast, others opted to visit it after climbing.
After breakfast and tidying the hut etc 9 folks headed off to Raven Crag in Langdale. Steve and Ginny climbed Middlefell Buttress, Prometheus and Carrion Climbing, Martin and Keith climbed Middlefell Buttress, Chris and Katrina climbed Revelation, Mendes and the top pitch of Middlefell Buttress with Mike, Fiona and Daniel climbing Centipede and Oak Tree Wall. Claire and Antti went for a run and Tony headed for Blencathra.
All in all a pretty decent weekend in an awesome location and really great hut.