This Easter 47 Explorers, Network and Scout Active Support members returned to Great Tower for an amazing weekend walking, climbing and ghyll scrambling in the Lake District.
Arriving on Thursday, some at a respectable time, others at 1:30 am after getting lost near (not in) a ford, everyone’s beds were calling for a good night’s sleep.
Friday started with a fabulous hearty breakfast and everyone getting split into groups for the day.The Patagonia team lead by Chris, Rich and Ellis went for a day’s scrambling at Jakes Rake on Pavey Arch providing some quality team bonding as they prepare to head off on their expedition this Christmas.
Dave, Matt, Dan and The FC All Stars took to Multi pitching at Guillecombe Butress and walking group one started from Dungeon Ghyll car park and headed over Angle Tarn.
After dropping groups off, Nick and Tilly headed to Shepards Crag. With a first attempt at Kransic Crack Direct (HVS 5a) which didn’t go to plan, they then moved to Brown Slabs area for an attempt at something ‘a little less scary’. This took longer than expected so after a 8 hour day at the crag Tilly only managed to get one climb completed, and an abseil in a rescue attempt to collect Nick’s gear from the rock. However, she did get to play with a husky puppy for about 4 hours so all was not lost.
The walking group lead by Alan spent the day conquering Stickle Tarn ending up in Ambleside where Ed bought a lovely red coat and Ross was forgotten.
On Saturday the Patagonia Team plus some new HSX members, I think they were from Andover? Climbed at the Bowder Stone Maximum effort was had all around with newcomer Emma completing a climb she was convinced that she couldn’t do. Well Done!
Everest Dave and everyone else headed back to Shepard’s crag to learn about gear placement, and have a go at lead climbing. Florence and Bradley successfully completed their first Trad lead climbs and Dave found out what ‘being a snake’ meant from the youngun’s. Every day is a learning day after all.
Matt and Lucy trekked further down the crag over everyone’s favourite scree field of doom to Brown Slabs to make easy work of the one climb Nick and Tilly completed the day before. Dan and Tilly also headed out to Brown slabs completing Brown Slabs Crack (VS 4c) and also smashing their way up Kransic Crack Direct, much to Dan’s delight.
The walking team, getting in much needed quality mountain days for ML assessments went to Keswick, completing the Dollywagon and Neathermost Pike routes. Not only did they find an epic bothy full of cakes, they also stopped momentarily to pose like a 90’s boyband, overall the team had a pretty chill day out.
Easter Sunday came around too soon, and the Easter bunny was nowhere to be seen. Probably held up in some traffic in Ambleside. After a wild night camping on Helvellyn on the Saturday and no sightings of the Easter Bunny either, the Patagonia team’s Sunday started with a walk out with the day ending up in Keswick for some shopping and a mooch round the market.
Dave, Lucy and Dan multi pitched Troutdale Pinnacle, a respectable 6 pitch Severe 4a, however due to the rain turned into an E 50 equivalent.
On Sunday, the last two surviving members of the Cambodia Leader Team and ten other brave souls confronted the cold minus temperatures of the water to go Ghyll Scrambling at Church Beck. Ghyll Scrambling if you don’t know it, is working your way up a scramble, that scramble however has a river running through it, which sounds lovely if it was 30 degrees and not -3. After 2 hours in the water jumping into plunge pools only resulting in instant brain freeze, some rather spectacular dance moves and slowly loosing sensation in every part of our bodies we completed the scramble and returned back to base for warm showers and copious amounts of tea.
With the weekend drawing to an end, there was time for one last bit of fun. One of our resident chef’s Karina had spent the day making some lovely vegan friendly Easter nests for us to nibble on while Ian briefed us on the rules of quizzmania. After a purchase of a quiz book during the day Ian decided it was time to unleash some facts. Many have said that this could be a new tradition for the Lake District… We shall now wait in anticipation for quiz night next year… with prizes…
An early start on Monday leaving before 7 meant for early nights all around. The Easter Bunny came over night, meaning treats for the bus journeys back.
Thank you to everyone who helped organise this trip in any way, especially Steve and Karina on doing a marvellous job with the food and keeping us from going hungry.
Our next trip is to the Peak District in June for a weekend of climbing. Keep your eyes peeled on our website for details soon.
We hope to see you there!
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