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Lakes Adventure 2019

Lakes Adventure 2019

This is a long report, but then again, we had lots of adventures! Probably best to grab yourself a cuppa first…

Well what an absolute scorcher of a glorious bank holiday weekend that was!

Over Easter weekend, 30 Scouts, Explorers, Network and Scout Active Support members from Hampshire Scouts made the annual pilgrimage to Great Tower in the Lake District for a luscious weekend of walking, climbing, camping and ghyll scrambling.

Last year, the weather was considerably snowy and had the addition of sideways hail hitting your eyeballs. This year however, with highs of 24*, welcome breezes and well-deserved ice cream breaks, what’s not to love?

As always, we set off on Thursday evening, vans were packed with excitement, kit, food, and quite a lot of naan bread, we arrived at Great tower at a respectable midnight, with all the busses close behind- We think this is one of the earliest times we have arrived, and our beds were calling us for a good night’s sleep.


After a late-night arrival, we were up early on Friday to make the most of the sun and started with a good hearty breakfast to give us lots of energy for the day ahead. We split into groups for the day with Chris and Rich leading four new members who hadn’t spent much time in the hills before on their first mountain day up a classic Lake District peak, The Old Man of Coniston. It was a hot day so they had a welcome stop at a tarn on the route up to cool down (though not all the group was convinced that the stream water was safe to drink!). They made the summit in time for lunch and enjoyed the great views over Coniston Water before taking a longer route back down (ice creams on the way home well deserved).

Jamie and Besty took other new members up to walk the Old Man of Conistion too via the Walna Scar Road summoning on Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag to a very busy top at 803m.  On the way down they swam in a tarn to the bemusement of the other walkers and explored the ruins of the old quarry.

Tom, Rosemary and Tilly had a navigation day up to Bow Fell, the heat was a scorcher with no shade. With crystal clear water pools on the way down, they too were thinking about going for a dip…. Until the discovery of a dead sheep near the pool was enough to deter them. Tom wanted to take the sheep skull home, but Rosemary didn’t think it would go with their living room decor… Such a spoil sport.

Dave, Chardae, Kirsten, Kieran and Josh went on a scramble up to Stake Ghyll before climbing up to Angle Tarn, they then scrambled up to Esk Pike onto Bow Fell, before walking back down to Dungeon Ghyll. Adamant they would stay dry all day, they did all manage to…except for Josh.

Russ started his day with a trip to the shops to replace the 80+ sausages that the Robinsons had left in the freezer….

After a long day in the sun, we descended back on GT for some dinner and debriefs. Due to late evenings and early starts, after dinner we went round the room to introduce everyone. It was great to have 10 new members as well as hear all about the old HSX expeditions to Malawi, Cambodia, Patagonia, Corsica, Nepal……….


Saturday was another great day and after tackling The Old Man with no difficulties Chris, Rich and the boys decided to head up Helvellyn, one of the highest peaks in the Lake District. They spent the climb up working on navigation skills and met up with another HSX group at the top. Even though it was another scorcher only Chris and Rich fancied a dip in Grisedale Tarn to cool down! They were back at the bus a bit earlier than Friday so had some time to look round Ambleside before dinner (and fill up on ice creams!)

Jamie’s group also tackled Helvellyn via striding edge and descended via Sierra edge. It was blisteringly hot and they tried to swim in red tarn but it proved too slippery under foot! 

After a bit too much sun the day before, Tilly, Rosemary Kirsty and Finn decided on a smaller, less high, easier walk as Finn had informed us he didn’t like mountains. Whilst we were ploying Finn out of bed with fresh coco pops, Kirsty decided on a ‘small’ walk up to Eesdale Tarn in Grasmere. Spying a pharmacy, the last bottle of sun cream, seemingly in the whole of the Lake District was bought and off they went. Again, with no shade the walk proved quite difficult in the sun, but a lot of nav practice was had. On reaching the tarn, picnic lunch ensued. Back down via the ice cream man, a good day was had. Tilly’s top tips for tarn swimming include not stripping off while DofE groups are on the horizon and not choosing to ‘swim’ in part of the tarn where there is a floor bog.

Chardae’s group also hiked up Helveynn via Striding Edge and down swirrel edge. They went for a swim in Red Tarn while Dave ran to Catstye Cam- bets on the closest time it took and the winners got ice creams! After dinner back at base, they then hiked out to Rydal Water and found a new location to camp up by Buckstones Jum. A mild night meant we could sleep under the stars, though it didn’t make the natural plunge pool any warmer in the morning!

Back at Great Tower, we were joined by some Old Skool HSX for dinner. Ian had spent the day doing an 18km fell race and the Roses had all been climbing with Dan. (I can’t remember where, sorry!) Russ and Adam had also gone bird watching, after finding no Ospreys, they had found some grey seals…


With our last full day in the lakes we were up even earlier! Breakfast at 6 was beginning to be a struggle for some, but again we headed out for some great adventures.

Jamie and Rosemary took the 10 Explorers Ghyll scrambling alongside an instructor from GT. They ventured up stickle ghyll, climbing, scrambling and swimming their way up to Stickle tarn at 403m!  It was amazing fun, however the instructor Miles couldn’t keep up and they had to keep stopping for him!! (they think broke him) Great feedback from Miles on how adventurous, safe, and trustworthy the group had been!

When one half of the team think they are posing for a photo… and the other half thought differently.

Tilly Tom and Kieran headed out an a nav ex learning about ticking feathers, thumbing the map and just honing in on map skills. Top tips from tom here included that if you’re meant to go up… don’t go down! Reaching the top they then went down via Pavey Arch and ran into the ghyll scrambling group having a splash about cooling off after their day. Chris and Rich shortly followed and as a group they all made their way down together… I think Miles was relieved that the end of the day was in sight!

Debriefs and dinner again followed for our 5:30 am start home.

I would like to say thank you to all those who helped plan this weekend in anyway. Rosemary and Tom for food and logistics, Russ, Jamie and Josh for sorting the kit out and those who offered and help take groups out on the k=hills. Your time and skill is all greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Another successful weekend in the Lake District. We are already looking forward to out next adventure in North Wales in June. Keep an eye on your emails as the invite has already gone out!



Calling all Explorers and Network Scouts!

Have you got anything planned for Easter weekend? If not don’t worry!

Are you interested in a long weekend of climbingghyll scrambling (Abseiling waterfalls and jumping and sliding into pools of water) and hiking in the Lake District?

Between Thursday 18 April – Monday 22nd April in the Easter Holidays Hampshire Scout Expeditions are running our yearly trip to the Lake District, staying at Great Tower Scout Activity Centre.

Cost: £155 all-inclusive of food, accommodation, kit hire and transport to/from and around The Lakes.

Deadline for signup is SUNDAY 24th MARCH!

Current members please keep an eye on your emails for one wizzing its way to your inbox!

For more information and to apply, contact Fi Durrant on

If you would like to know more about HSX: Please have a look round our website and follow the links below:

Don’t forget to take a look at our website!

Follow us on Twitter! @HSXOfficial

Find us on Instagram! @official_hsx AND

Find us on Facebook!

Easter Lakes 2010

Many thanks to Clare Symonds for her trip report:

Day 0
The Journey
On Thursday evening, a small army of Tourneos (9-seater Ford Transits) left Hampshire for the long journey to the Lake District. My Tourneo departed around 18:00 and got there at 01:30! In total we had 55 people at the weekend, including the Peru team, usual HSX members and load of Explorers from across Hampshire and Weymouth. I was part of the extra Explorers, coming a long for the weekend to see what HSX was all about.

Day 1
Rock Climbing Introduction
Despite the rather unsociable arrival time last night, breakfast was served 08:00 HSX time (HSX time is an hour ahead of GMT) and got ready. We headed out for a day of climbing, and to get things started we began with a spot of bouldering (low level climbing without ropes). Meanwhile, the leaders set up some top ropes, so we could climbing up higher. After a brief refresher on how to belay, we took it in turns to climb up the crag. 12:00ish we ate lunch. We did some more climbing and finally headed back to base at Great Tower.

Back in the warmth of the hut, we finally had a chance to get everyone at the weekend in one place at the same time and we had a briefing for the weekend and reported back on the days activities, accompanied with hot crossed buns and tea. This was followed by a lovely dinner and a chat about the next day’s planned walking routes.

Day 2
Navigation Training
On the second day we woke up for breakfast even earlier (07:00HSX). Then we got in the Tourneos and several groups headed for Dungeon Ghyll car park, at the base of the Langdales. Our group, lead by Alan, started on a walk with the aim of improving our navigation. Anthony took the first leg, around 2km. As we walked we got to know each other, most of us never having met before this weekend. Each day was an opportunity to meet new people and make new friends. After 2km Karl took over leading the navigation, then we gradually started going up to the pile of rocks, finally arriving at Pike of Stickle. We climbed the last bit one by one, as the path became narrow. When all of us got to the top we looked at the view as we started to walk to Dungeon Ghyll Force. Then we saw another group on the way down and made the final descent together. The conditions underfoot were a little snowy in places, so I had to learn how to use different techniques to stay on my feet. I never thought walking could be so hard!

Waterfall Abseil
So then things got interesting…
We stopped for lunch within sight of the car park, next to some of the leaders. We were instructed to get changed and put on a climbing harness and helmet. One by one we were lead down into a deep, cold, wet gorge. Between the top and bottom of the gorge was a 15 meter abseil, complete with waterfall! Now I can say “I’ve done that”. I changed into some nice warm clothes and we headed back to meet the Peru team. David H-E ate all the bakewell tarts. We had dinner in two settings because their where so may of us. Then followed a de-brief and tomorrow choice was to go climbing or walking up Scafell Pike, which I had done when I was seven. So, I decided to climb improve my climbing skills. Then we had a chat and I went to bed early because I was so tired.

Day 3
Climbing part 2
We woke up, had breakfast and grabbed lunch. We jumped into the Tourneos and got on our way. At the crag, we did some warm ups exercises, including the plank. I did some belaying, and just before lunch I did a climb which included standing on someone’s shoulder (thanks Tom Rose!). Then in the afternoon I too a more relaxed role, viewing from the ground. 15:00ish we went back had a lazy afternoon. I played with a little German boy (Ed – Dave Frid’s 2 year old son) who spoke little English which was a bit difficult. Then we had dinner, a full de-brief of the weekend and prepared for departure the next day.

Day 4
Home time
We got up, tidied up and then we spent the day travelling home.

Final Thoughts
I was asked to highlight the best bit of the weekend, but on reflection I found it hard to narrow it down to just one. With all the new adventures, I can honestly say that it was all so much fun.