Academic year 2011-12.

Ennerdale, 8-10 June 2012

For our post-exam trip, CUHWC ventured back to Ennerdale, having had such a successful trip there this time last year. This trip fell after most people’s exams, so was the most popular post-exam trip for some time, comprising 42 people. A minibus and not fewer than seven cars sped away from Cambridge for the weekend. Saturday’s weather was decidedly average, but we managed to explore most of the fells surrounding Ennerdale between us, with one group even fighting their way to the top of Pillar Rock despite the cloudy and damp conditions. We were pleased to awake to much more pleasant weather on Sunday, which only improved as the day went on, leaving most of us wishing we’d chosen to extend the trip – which was even more true when we drove into pouring rain on the east coast. One of the trip’s highlights was a bonfire courtesy of the Low Gillerthwaite Field Centre owners Walter and Ellen on Saturday evening. I think it would be safe to say that we left them and a couple of their friends somewhat bemused as we toiled our way through the Song Book’s wonders. At least one Song Book also saw its life taken before it as it wound up in the bonfire. A memorable trip with which to finish the 2011-12 academic year!


Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Tom Ashton, Jo Smith, Greg Chadwick, Paul Cook, Helen Phillips, Jane Patrick, Michael Fordham, Andrena Ball, Dave Farrow, Doug Hull, Vicky Ward, Bethan Gudgeon, Mark Jackson, Chris Wade, Valentina Assenova, Raphael Dehmel, Larissa Moore, Satinder Gill, Kirsty Brown, Matt Hickford, Alex Pericleous, James Ritchie, Simon Williams, David Mackenzie, Joe Hobbs, Matthew Graham, Becky Howard, Eleri Cousins, Constanze Hammerle, Gareth Ainsworth, Valerie Brandt-Ashton, Philip Withnall, Kate Humphris, Lucy Stone, Stuart Bell, Tom Dobra, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Jacob Abolafia, DJ Strouse & Daniel Bauchhuber.


Some Highlights from Andrew’s Weekend (AW)

(or 'An Attempt to Avoid Going Back to Revision')

While this trip was indeed after most people’s exams, this was unfortunately not the case for me, falling as it did slap bang in the middle of mine. With only Hazards and Biogeography (no, not the Geography of Biohazards…) remaining, I opted for a weekend away with CUHWC over staying in Cambridge and certainly did not regret my decision, this undoubtedly being one of the best trips I have yet enjoyed with the club, for all of the following reasons:

  • Being in Helen’s car for the journey there and therefore having really quite epic tunes for most of the way – except, perhaps, for that time when tune control was out of my hands and we ended up with classics such as ‘Oops I did it again’. Apparently I had a musical ‘education’ en route.
  • Playing Mr. Brightside full blast as we drove along the quiet forestry track into Ennerdale
  • Reminding Helen that the speed limit was probably 15mph for a reason
  • Reading out a sign on the side of the road that said 'No No' and Helen basically doing an emergency stop as a result
  • Helen’s car passing the 100,000-mile milestone as we sped across the A66 – and documenting evidence of this fact
  • Bethan wanting to stop the car when it reached 100,000 miles
  • Seeing Doug – this doesn’t sound quite so strange if you were in Helen’s car for the journey there
  • Having a productive day working on Saturday, with a distinct feeling that Paul and Larissa were my parents keeping watch over my revision and providing me with much needed tea – though sadly not teeea; the 'ee' I’d save for later
  • Constanze’s epic meal group – complete with meat, fish AND olives
  • Forgetting all about exams on Saturday evening and hitting the brandy straight from the bottle instead – classy
  • Sitting around the bonfire (which was, not in, but close to, the car park) singing songs
  • Mark being aptly referred to as a LAD by the bunkhouse owners and their friends and being forced from the ‘stage’ because he couldn’t play any Ed Sheeran songs, such as the A Team
  • The bunkhouse owners attempting to persuade us all to become members – and telling us of the plusses and minuses of living in such a remote location (and of Twitter)
  • Storming out of the bunkhouse for a 3-hour jaunt to repeat Little Gowder Crag and to have a (questionably well-earned) revision break
  • Vicky’s sweet potato and sweetcorn soup
  • Being in northern company
  • Kate referring to a book as being ‘dove grey’ in colour and telling us lots of stories about her driving instructor Geoff – and probably laughing the most I’ve laughed in weeks as a result
  • Exchanging (Twitter) banter with the bunkhouse owners as we ate our fish and chips in Wetherby
  • Helen’s windscreen becoming really rather messed up

I could probably go on, but I’ll stop now. There were some lowlights too:

  • This being Bethan’s, Doug’s, Matthew’s, Dave M’s, Mark’s (and possibly others’) last trip for sometime – probably. Times change. The club will (probably) survive without them.
  • Those blasted midges
  • The fact I still had two exams left…
  • Mark not being able to play Mr. Brightside or anything of Ed Sheeran’s on the guitar
  • Mark leaving the bonfire at first mention of his book and Facebook fan page

Eleri's Report (EC)

Even though Club members gasped at my midge bites at socials for a week afterwards, Ennerdale was a wonderful weekend. My walk on Saturday was notable mostly for extreme fog, but this was more than made up for by the excellent company - Bethan, Doug, Dave M, Kirsty, Becky and Tom. The next day was a lovely lazy walk around the lake, complete with a very cold dip in the stream. But let's face it — the best part of the weekend (apart from the home-made lemon meringue pie and carrot cake) was the bunkhouse's menagerie. Smoky the cat (possibly not its name, but one Helen gave it), Lisa the dog, Lollypop the sheep, the goose, and the other lambs. For this graduate student doomed to no-pet accommodation for the foreseeable future, it was absolutely heaven...

A Safe Day Out (MJ)

Time Event
00.05 Arrive at bunkhouse, 12 hours after finishing last exam and 7 and a half hours after leaving Cambridge - and 1 hour after the bus begins to go gabongclangjudderthudcrunk
03.00 Bed (apparently drivers are best at staying up late)
07.30 'Wake up'
09.30 Woken by Michael standing over my bed yelling 'JACKSON?! Are you coming or not?'
09.40 Leave bunkhouse. Breakfast in pocket. Drizzle with rocks slippery, so perfect weather for Pillar Rock. Peter left 'my' harness behind having assumed I was still in bed and not coming. Michael talks about education.
11.00 Interlude as we look for Pillar Rock. (It's misty.) Michael talks about education.
11.30 Found Pillar Rock. Rope tied around my waist. Michael climbs the first pitch and squats there like a gnome while we shout at each other. Not sure we can get back down. As the only 'safe' member, I encourage pressing on.
12.30 Joe and Andrena decide they are scared of death after all and head down. (I now respect them a lot more.) Michael swears a lot about belays. Peter and Alex get cold.
13.30 Top out. Michael uses the rope as reins to stop me falling off. (Celebrate final Lakeland 2000er.)
14.00 Everyone is suitably cautious in descent. Roles: downclimber, belayer, foot placement advisor, dead weight. Michael abseils admirably, landing right onto his target (me).
15.00 Joe and Andrena delighted to see us alive. (Also cold.) They decide to go for a walk and enjoy the solitude (of being stuck with lost tourists) and views.
17.00 Remember what the Lakes look like after seven hours in the cloud. Descend over Steeple to the bunkhouse. Michael talks about education.
19.00 Absolute chaos in the kitchen leads to absolute heaven in the cookpot courtesy of Vicky 'Sweet Potato' Ward, Doug 'Fajitas' Hull and Bethan 'Lemon Meringue' Gudgeon. Somehow midges enter the bunkhouse.
23.00 Heat, light and smell of the bonfire attract every midge in Ennerdale. Attempt to sing 'Wild Rover' while slapping my neck in between every line, then retreat inside, when midge density reaches 1000 m-3. Simon burns a song book.
00.00 After embarking on a midge killing spree with a can of 'Mr. Genocide', everyone inside goes to bed. Venture out. Strum a few folk songs with Chris 'Pavarotti' Wade. Things get ugly when the locals request some Ed Sheeran.
01.30 In a move best described by 'Oh Mate', Andrew tells the locals about the HuMPs. 'Are you for real?' says the woman. Time for bed.

Notable Quotes

  • Jane: Bethan, the first thing I heard when I woke up this morning was Doug saying to you: "Don't you have any of your own underwear?"
    • I might suggest that this is the quote of the year; absolutely hilarious [AW]
  • Dave F: Is there a Mrs Muscle? Mr Muscle would be stronger, but Mrs Muscle would be better at cleaning



From 21. CUHWC Ennerdale TripFrom 21. CUHWC Ennerdale TripFrom 21. CUHWC Ennerdale Trip

Deiniolen, 18-20 May 2012

Gloucestershire Mountaineering Club’s Cefn Goch Hut on the outskirts of Deiniolen was the location for CUHWC’s first Easter Term weekend trip. We had mixed weather, with most summits being shrouded in cloud for most of Saturday, but with clearer weather on Sunday. Indeed, when we awoke at the sensible hour of 8am on Sunday morning, most people remarked that we should have been up several hours earlier to make the most of the sunshine! On Saturday, most people walked or scrambled on the Carneddau. Though one ambitious group completed a long walk to take in summits on the both the Glyders ridge and the Snowdon range. On Sunday, most people walked on the Glyders, but one group chose the grade-3 Atlantic Slabs scramble, which received much praise. We enjoyed a decidedly spicy Saturday evening – and not just because of the food… The singing was fantastically enthusiastic and some of the GMC members enjoyed singing along with us.

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Jo Smith, Tom Ashton, Paul Cook, Helen Phillips, Jane Patrick, Bethan Gudgeon, Mark Jackson, Gareth Ainsworth, Artur Fernandes, Andrena Ball, Joe Hobbs, Constanze Hammerle, Simon Williams, Tom Dobra, David Ponting & Feyruz Yalcin.

Walk Reports

A ramble (trying very hard to be a poem) (CH)

Constanze, Jo, Jane, Bethan, Simon, David & Feyruz

We started from Cefn Goch - a bit delayed,
but as you'll see - the walk was well worth the wait.
Jo, our walk leader and minibus driver, showed us true grit,
"We need a parking spot? 2 metres high? I'm sure we'll fit!"
Soon we set off across a field of protesting sheep,
And first the path was not at all steep,
After much further pfaff with food, jacket and map,
The path wound up, and up, and UP!
Along a 'slippery' slope with a vertical waterfall,
We faced an 'epic' scramble - yearned for by all!
Some people (me) needed a hand and looked for the easy way,
Others straddled huge boulders - but no-one went astray.

On top we stopped for a much-craved-for lunch,
Or was it second breakfast, or maybe even third lunch?
Whilst down in the valley we had stepped into bog,
Our constant companion up there was the super-moist fog.
Fog, we agree, is convenient when pfaffing to wee,
But makes it really hard to see.
No record of all the sweets we devoured exists,
Gummy bears, jelly babies, and midget gems all perished in the mists.

On the descent we met some ponies on the run,
And were even touched gently by some stray rays of sun.
In Bethesda our compass led us straight to a pub,
Where we enjoyed OJ, real ale, and found a bathroom to scrub [out of soap!]
We met everyone back at the minibus,
And went back to the hut without too much fuss.

So what can be learnt from having joined this great walk?
Even if it says on the sheet "grade-1 scramble" - DON'T BALK!
You might end up missing out on a good hike,
And that is not something we of CUHWC like!


From 19 & 20. CUHWC Deiniolen TripFrom 19 & 20. CUHWC Deiniolen Trip

Stiperstones, 6 May 2012

A popular day trip returning to Stiperstones in Shropshire, one of the club's favourite locations. The 20 people in attendance went on three different walks. The summit of Stiperstones was visited by all groups. Two of the groups also included Corndon Hill and Heath Mynd as part of their walks, one of which was a linear affair. We enjoyed good weather, despite all of the recent rain we've been experiencing!

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Tom Wright, Greg Chadwick, Michael Fordham, Helen Phillips, Mark Jackson, Chris Arran, Gareth Ainsworth, Andrés Villar, Denise Laroze, Andy Crosby, Aileen Cameron, Laura Burrows, Feyruz Yalcin, Julian Peat, Alex Jones, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Constanze Hammerle & Tom Hall

MJ's Trip Summary

Some of us managed to jump out of this trip before it even began - persuading
Tom W (late car driver) to drop us of and save us three miles of our (not very)
Intricately planned loop over Corndon Hill, Heath Mynd and Stiperstones (all Marilyns).
Peter, Kerrie and I endured snow (in May), climbing several barbed-wire fences and
Even getting lost and having to scramble up a bank and through a thorny hedge! The
Rocky tors of broken quartzite on the Stiperstones ridge provided possibly the best
Scrambling in England south of the Lakes. Not feeling betrayed at all, Andrew managed
To complete the same route but backwards - all in the name of ticking [and to prove a point]. All the
Other trip participants (eleven of them) also set forth from the encouragingly
Named 'The Bog' onto Stiperstones on a leisurely paced route that included an
Excellent pub lunch, a music festival, a dungeon & a jousting tournament (unless
Something got lost in translation!). And then it was home and back to revision...


From 18. CUHWC Stiperstones Day TripFrom 18. CUHWC Stiperstones Day Trip

Easter Snowdonia Trip, 23-25 March 2012

A lack of interest in the Easter Vacation Trip to the Emily Kelly Hut, one of CUHWC’s favourites, in Cwm Dyli, Snowdonia led to the trip only being run for the weekend. However most of us were left wishing we had chosen to stay beyond the weekend due to the superb weather conditions we experienced – temperatures of 20C and bright blue skies were more akin to what we’d expect in May than March. We thoroughly explored the Snowdon group between us, with one group even leaving the bunkhouse at 4.20am on Sunday morning to reach Snowdon’s summit (almost) in time for sunrise. Walks also ventured to the Glyders and northern end of the Rhinogs. A thoroughly well enjoyed and memorable trip!

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Mark Jackson, Greg Chadwick, Becky Howard, David Pettit, Bethan Gudgeon, Jane Patrick, Simon Williams, Tom Hall, Madeleine Yates, Chris Wade, Larissa Moore, DJ Strouse, Carolina Cantu, Constanze Hammerle, Paul Cook, Andrena Ball, Chris Arran & Julie Hlavacek-Larrondo.

Walk Reports

Glyders' Ridge Walk

Becky (RH), Andrena, Greg, Chris, Carolina (CC), Madeleine & Tom H

Drive to Llanberis. Slog up Elidir Fawr via Afon Dudodyn in lots of bog (Mark!) - Y Garn - Glyder Fawr - Glyder Fach - walk down on boggy heather-covered hillside. Lots of beautiful sunshine. [RH]

Incredible views, amazing hillwalk (hike), lovely company. Couldn't have been better! Loved it! [CC]

Snowdon Sunrise Ascent (RH)

Becky (RH), Andrena, Greg, Madeleine & Chris

  • 4.20am departure
  • Sunrise on Snowdon
  • Breakfast at Pete's café
  • Sleep by the lake
  • Walk back in the sunshine
  • Skinny dip in the river
  • Ice-cream
  • We saw some sheep walk down the road, through a kissing gate and into a children's playground

Notable Quote(s)

  • Bethan (to Mark): You're like my Grandmother


From 15 & 16. CUHWC Cwm Dyli Easter Vacation TripFrom 15 & 16. CUHWC Cwm Dyli Easter Vacation TripFrom 15 & 16. CUHWC Cwm Dyli Easter Vacation Trip

Crowden, 11 March 2012

We were treated to glorious weather for our final trip of Lent 2012, which was a day trip to Crowden, an area of the Dark Peak that the club hasn’t visited since Easter Term 2004. This was a popular trip, with 32 CUHWC members descending on Crowden. One group followed the Pennine Way north to Black Hill; a second (comprising no fewer than 17 people!) did a circuit to the south, taking in Bleaklow Head and Higher Shelf Stones. The remaining 8 people chose a linear walk from Crowden, over Bleaklow Head, Higher Shelf Stones and other 'peaks', to finish at the Dog and Partridge Inn. Groughs (and the associated jumps, falls and squelches) featured prominently in the day's walks. Due to a high demand for food, our chosen pub was unable to cater for everyone, so a couple of people went hungry! But, we still enjoyed the warmth and comfort at the end of a wonderful day.

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Michael Fordham, Tom Ashton, Rowena Smith, Mohammad Dmour, Paul Cook, David Pettit, Elena Yudovina, Andy Crosby, Stuart Bell, Valentina Assenova, Christie Nel, Hendrik Strauss, Lizzy Brickley, Mark Jackson, Tom Hall, Boris Bukh, Matt Hickford, Gareth Ainsworth, Julian Peat, Nathalie Saurat, Becky Shercliff, Valerie Ashton, Rachel Pomeroy, David Pomeroy, Leen Saif, Goody Gibbins, Jessica Walsh, Andrés Villar, Denise Laroze & Laura Imperatori.

Notable Quotes

  • Mark: Being stupid is not unique to people from the north
  • Andrew: It was nice to walk with normal people on Patterdale - it meant I could talk about marriage and babies
  • Becky S: I'm really tempted to fall flat on my face in a peat grough... this stuff feels like compost!
  • Mark: Andrew and I are atypical in almost every possible way


From 14. CUHWC Crowden Day TripFrom 14. CUHWC Crowden Day TripFrom 14. CUHWC Crowden Day Trip

Dartmoor Day Trip, 29 February 2025

Fantastic trip to Dartmoor. Spent half an hour on the moor itself, spent the rest of the day in transit. Best way to avoid that bloody hound.

Chris Tor

Patterdale, 2-4 March 2012

We enjoyed quite a mixture of weather for our Patterdale weekend trip – from sunshine to snow, and most things in between! The George Starkey Hut, undoubtedly one of the best huts the club visits, was the superb location. On Saturday, most groups explored the Helvellyn range, and included at least some degree of scrambling – from the grade-3 Pinnacle Ridge to the lower-grade Striding and Swirral Edges. One group opted for a pleasant linear walk beside Ullswater from Pooley Bridge back to the bunkhouse. We also ran a scrambling course, thanks to BMC and AGTF funding. During the evening, and several glasses of beer, wine, cider and (the rather special single-malt Talisker) whisky later, we enjoyed the most enthusiastic rendition of the Cow Song (along with lots of other favourites) for some time. We awoke to a dusting of snow above around 300m on Sunday and most groups explored the Far Eastern fells, whether because they were (anti-)bagging or because they wanted to play in the snow!

Trip Participants

Andrew Williamson, Peter Kirkwood, Jo Smith (sort of), Larissa Moore, Tom Wright, Paul Cook, Michael Fordham, Mark Jackson, Lucy Stone, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Bethan Gudgeon, Jane Patrick, Eleri Cousins, Laura Burrows, Greg Chadwick, Becky Howard, Agnieszka Wabik, Pablo Hernandez, Vicky Ward, Joe Hobbs, Chris Arran, Carme Culduch, Komathi Sundaram, Dave Farrow (sort of), Andrés Villar, Denise Laroze, Katherine Grattage & Matt Heaton.

Walk Reports

Helvellyn via Swirral Edge (BG)

Andrew, Jane, Becky and Bethan

I can't remember the start of it! RAIN. Becky dropped her boiled egg. We nearly got lost. We nearly ended up in Thirlmere. HAILSTONES. Frog. FOG. Jane's jacket worked; Becky's didn't; my double jacket really didn't. SUN. That's about as much as I can remember... Andrew's HUGE pork pie. ROUNDABOUT. Bethan had no boots too. SNOW. Fruit pastilles. Major coat faff. Andrew's green-gunge gloves. Rat/snail poison on Lower Man. Wedding discussion [to be repeated in much more detail on Sunday - Ed]. Cold, fat fingers. Extension and then short cut. That will do.

Scrambling Course (MJ)

Peter, Mark, Kerrie and Lucy

This year's BMC- and AGTF-funded scrambling course was a roaring success, enabling those members stranded in limbo between 'experienced climbers' and 'just hillwalkers' - me, Peter & Kerrie, and Lucy - to learn a little bit about ropework, clove hitches, direct belays, moving together, protection, rope coiling, hand jams, the importance of wearing lots of layers while climbing, just how cold one's hands get while clinging to a rock face in shadow and gusty winds in early March, the life and times of a mountain guide, finding the bottom of a scramble, helmets, loose rock, unexpectedly moving boulders, dropping nuts, and convincing the Cautious Mountain Leaders (TM) that the party going up above us (Joe and Tom) were in fact carrying a rope!

None of us died, despite some close encounters with the intricate and greasy clutches of the crux corner, and the guides were everything we hoped for and more. Here's to more in the future! Thanks to More than Mountains' guides Nick and Ewen for running the course.

Notable Quotes

  • Michael: Is it something to do with cards? Andrew: Or maybe poker?
  • Vicky: If you get me drunk enough, I'll go anywhere
  • Michael: If Stalin were in CUHWC, he'd be a bagger
  • Mark (to Michael): You've slept with more than one German, haven't you?


From 12 & 13. CUHWC Patterdale TripFrom 12 & 13. CUHWC Patterdale Trip

Dartmoor, 10-12 February 2012

This was CUHWC’s first Dartmoor trip since 2009, and the smallest weekend trip for eight years due to the unavailability of part of the expected accommodation! We chose to stay in a new bunkhouse (housing only 12 people) at Runnage Farm, near Postbridge; this permitted exploration of both the North and South Moors. On Saturday, both walking groups chose to explore the North Moor. One group completed an epic 47km walk to the summits of High Willhays & Yes Tor (along with lots of other ‘peaks’ and tors en route); the other chose a slightly more sensible route to take in some of the tors towards the southern end of North Moor. We were pleased that all (well, most - see below) of the bog was frozen solid and we enjoyed some fabulous weather towards the end of the day. The 47km group were even able to do some stargazing during their return along the road in the dark. On Sunday, again all three groups chose to explore the same area – this time, the slightly more pastoral landscapes north-east of South Moor. Despite lots of (generally negative) preconceptions of Dartmoor, most of the trip participants concluded that it’s well worth a visit every once in a while!

Trip Participants

Bethan Gudgeon, Andrew Williamson, Mark Jackson, Peter Kirkwood, Doug Hull, Tom Ashton, Michael Fordham, Dave Mackenzie, Lucy Stone, James Ritchie, Chris Dawson & Phil Brown.

Walk Reports

The Wonders of Dartmoor (AW)

When Matthew asked the (now ex-)committee what their views were on a trip to Dartmoor, needless to say that my reply (and Mark’s) was one of immense encouragement. Three months later and we set off on what quite frankly promised to be an interesting epic of a day – a walk all the way out to Yes Tor and High Willhays from our bunkhouse near Postbridge. When I said in the committee-wide email that I simply HAD to bag these two peaks, it goes without saying that I was NOT joking. I was surprised to find such enthusiasm amongst the 12 people on the trip – but then maybe, on reflection, that was expected… Mark and Peter, my seemingly permanent walking companions, had been included in numerous pre-trip bagging emails to discuss the best route to actually get there. Phil and Doug are the old-timers (when it comes to Dartmoor), so they were keen – besides Doug always likes to ‘bag’ the longest walk on a trip. Bethan – well, explain that yourself… or at least try… [It was at this point during trip report write-up that I was disrupted by Doug balancing a can of Carlsberg on the wonderful MDF bunkhouse table. It was this same can with which he later tried to ply Bethan – cue a long and fascinating conversation about Bethan’s alcoholism (which had surfaced rather a lot on this trip).] I’m bored of writing now, but I’ll conclude by saying that we did indeed bag the Nuttalls (and Deweys, sub-Deweys and tors) successfully. A truly awesome day, thanks to good weather and company. See the Trip Book for walk statistics, quotes and other assorted wonders.

Noteworthy information (AW et al.)

  • Dartmoor is a bit like Brimham Rocks, but more spread out
  • The bunkhouse would be unsuitable for people of Dave Farrow height
  • Everyone who went on the long (47km) walk was last to go to bed on Saturday evening
  • Everyone who went on the 47km epic subsequently walked the furthest the following day, taking their weekend total to 75km
  • Everyone who was in Michael F's cooking group (except Bethan) agreed once again that Michael should be elected Cookery Officer
  • Everyone on the trip agreed that the club should visit Dartmoor more often (but then maybe that's why they were on the trip)
  • Everyone present concurred that the length of Doug's facial stubble can be reliably compared to the length of Bethan's leg stubble
  • 10 people on the trip were male; two were female
  • A quarter of the trip had already walked extensively in Dartmoor; the other three quarters had never walked there before

Phil's Guide to Crossing the Rough Tor Bog (PB)

Peter: Take a 2km detour. Avoid bog entirely. Lounge languidly in the last rosy rays of the setting sun.

Mark: Take a 2km detour. Avoid bog entirely. Instead have to wade a river that was 'at least 20ft wide' (according to best (i.e. Mark's) estimate)

Doug & Bethan: Attempt edge of bog. Doug becomes entrapped and enraged and storms messily through. Bethan gets left behind, but struggles on regardless.

Andrew & Phil: Cross excitingly bouncy centre. Andrew falls off tussock up to ankles in bog. Phil falls off tussock onto face. Both people's trousers subsequently freeze.

Notable Quotes

Or at least the ones the President found notable; note the emphasis on one participant in particular - MJ

  • Phil (sweeping hand over entire map): Yeah, that's basically all bog
  • Bethan: I went single at one point over the summer
  • Bethan talking about the size of her thighs...
    • Andrew: Bethan, are you pregnant?
    • Doug: Bethan, are your hips expanding?
  • Bethan: Oh, so THAT's why you banged everybody awake, Mark
  • Phil: This entire weekend's walks have been about your bottom, Bethan - this quote definitely got mangled somewhere between mouth and website


From 9 & 10. CUHWC Dartmoor TripFrom 9 & 10. CUHWC Dartmoor TripFrom 9 & 10. CUHWC Dartmoor Trip

Bryn Golau, 27-29 January 2012

Despite it being a little over 8 months since CUHWC's last voyage to the Aran Mountains, the first weekend trip of Lent Term returned there to permit further discovery of these steep-sided, flat-topped wonders. Bryn Golau – the ‘Light on the Hill’ – was the selected residence, lying halfway up one of these sheer slopes, which, when combined with a munificent helping of winter precipitation [translation from Andrewese - lots of snow] and a night-time influx of Cambridge hillwalkers laden with all manner of hillwalking gear, made access rather difficult. In short: the field to the bunkhouse was damned muddy! Precious few survived the adventure unscathed (which is to say remained in possession of mud-free clothing).

Despite Friday evening’s slips and slides, Saturday dawned bright (for once!) and early, and it didn’t take us long to realise that the day’s weather was set to be nothing short of spectacular: clear skies, superb visibility and a generous dusting of snow above 600m. As often happens during trips to this area, most participants climbed Cadair Idris on Saturday; though one group (of mainly baggers) did make a thorough exploration of the Arans on an ambitious linear walk. The ‘Light on the Hill’ was sadly extinguished on Saturday evening, as a remarkable lack of the wind needed to power the bunkhouse's lighting system meant that we were reduced to cooking, eating and singing by the light of headtorches and the flickering fire.

The forecast for Sunday was less optimistic, but we awoke to cloud-free summits and a notable lack of any of the forecasted rain or snow – which was saved for later in the day. Two groups walked the western Arans from Foel Benddin to Glasgwm, one headed to the higher reaches of Aran Fawddwy, and a fourth chose a valley walk.

Trip Participants

Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Helen Phillips, Jo Smith, Tom Ashton, Becky Howard, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Denise Laroze, Mark Jackson, Peter Kirkwood, Dave Mackenzie, Vicky Ward, James Ritchie, Lucy Stone, Andrés Villar, Carme Culduch, Katherine Grattage, Pablo Hernandez, David Pettit & Ruth Pettit.

Walk Reports

Again, a notable lack of walk reports for this trip. To be rectified on a trip soon hopefully!

Notable Quotes

  • Andrew: Nice to meet you Pablo – looks like I'll be sleeping with you ... Vicky: Oh no, you were supposed to be sleeping with me!
  • David P: I was going at a sensible pace – as fast as I could!
  • Peter (on the Old Duffers): They've finished all their bagging, so they actually talk to each other


From 7 & 8. CUHWC Bryn Golau TripFrom 7 & 8. CUHWC Bryn Golau TripFrom 7 & 8. CUHWC Bryn Golau Trip

Seathwaite, New Year 2012

This was the eleventh consecutive Seathwaite New Year trip, running from 6-11 January. Despite the mist, prolonged rain, gale-force winds and distinct lack of any snow for most of the trip, most people still enjoyed themselves by making up for the weather with lots of socialising during the extended (often 12-hour) evenings. These involved lots of Bananagrams, puzzles, crosswords, reading, games, cooking and beer. And what better location to pass the time than the magnificent High House bunkhouse? We also lined the pockets of the Scafell Hotel’s owners on Saturday evening, when most participants chose to eat (and drink) there. Over the course of the trip, we visited most of the fells surrounding the ideally situated bunkhouse between us. This was almost managed individually in one person’s case, who (intentionally) spent half of his Saturday walking in the dark in order to do so! Those who stayed past the weekend enjoyed a single day of much-appreciated good weather on Monday. Several groups chose to walk to Keswick (often being subsequently transported back by bus or car) during the trip, each taking a different route.

Trip Participants

Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Bethan Gudgeon, Laura Burrows, Kirsty Brown, Jane Patrick, Simon Williams, Ruth Pettit, Tom Wright, Tom Ashton, Rob Halbert, Mark Jackson, Michael Fordham, Austen Sanders, Kate Humphris, Greg Chadwick, Stuart Bell, David Pettit, Tom Cole, John Hobbs, Paul Cook, Goody Gibbins, Joe Hobbs & Andrena Ball.

Walk Reports

Unfortunately, nobody wrote any walk reports. Perhaps better though is Mark's complete trip report, which does a rather superb job of summing up the experience:

Things that happened (MJ)

  • Peter's epic - getting up 4 hours before daylight
  • Bananagrams can be used as:
    • Pictionary tiles
    • Scrabble tiles
    • Guitar picks
    • Sexual-innuendo tiles
  • The education of Kirsty in the use of the word 'head'
  • An erudite discussion about the efficacy of the privatisation of education in the tertiary sphere
  • Joe & Andrena spending like 10 hours on a number puzzle (to the exclusion of all else)
  • An obsession with walking into Keswick
  • Kate turning up in a taxi (what next - a limo?)
  • Everyone being really lazy and getting up at like 9.30am (amended to 11am later in the trip)
  • Interesting combinations of musical instruments - blowy keyboards & accordions (particularly when played by Kirsty) & guitars & harmonicas & Mark smacking the table to try to provide some rhythm
  • A feeling of overwhelmingly gloom & pessimism when confronted with the increasingly despondent weather forecasts - and the one good day taking us all by surprise
  • The Trip Book going AWOL - and no-one writing anything in the replacement (apart from this entry) [It should be noted the Trip Book was subsequently found.]
  • That bloody puzzle about the hats that occupied half the bunkhouse for half a day
  • An appalling lack of snow or ice or anything below about 5C
  • A pleasing gamut of freshers, who liked puzzles and were organised with their walks
  • Kirsty's impressive ale collection - but blink and you might miss it!
  • Refugees fleeing south from Scotland with tales of snow, storms, puzzles, and a failed distillery tour
  • Andrew being too hungover [that is to say too frustrated with the weather...] to go bagging
  • Jane thinking Kim Jong-il was a panda, which ended up becoming a giant cat with sticks admiring the stars. What else?

Notable Quotes

  • Mark: It isn't my fault - I blow aggressively!
  • Mark: Kirsty has the tolerance of a mountain ... To be continued ...
  • Greg: Let's give her a real good prodding, ja?


From 2-5. CUHWC Seathwaite New Year TripFrom 2-5. CUHWC Seathwaite New Year TripFrom 2-5. CUHWC Seathwaite New Year Trip

Brecon Beacons, 25-27 November 2011

Croydon Caving Club's Godre Pentre Cottage in Ystradfellte was the site of CUHWC's final Michaelmas 2011 trip. Despite this being only a 17-person trip, we managed to climb all of the 2000-foot hills within 10 miles of the bunkhouse between us... Friday night involved handbrake turns, Dyas diversions, giant bees (& small seas) of Brecon, ginger-nut target practice, and some memorable artwork (perhaps not for the right reason!). The weather was decidedly foul all day Saturday. Nevertheless, two groups headed to the Neuadd Reservoirs: one completed the 'classic' Pen y Fan horseshoe; the other walked back from Pen y Fan over an impressive collection of Nuttalls to the bunkhouse on a linear walk. A couple of people investigated the possibility of climbing at a nearby limestone crag, before abandoning that plan and heading for the local Gunpowder Works. We had generous helpings of spaghetti, banoffee pie, mulled wine and singing on Saturday evening! With the weather dramatically improving on Sunday, one group completed a satisfying horseshoe (involving some Nuttall and Dewey bagging), others visited the Black Mountain, and a third group explored the spectacular waterfalls close to the bunkhouse.

Trip Participants

Ark Man's Jock, Banged One Thug, Cruel Man Poser, Dull Hag Soul, Has Smooth Tan, John's Hobo Bleeps, Is Loony Tearjerker, Just So Red, Know Ribs Try, La Cook-Up, Laid Lawmen In Rows, Led Barn Anal, Red Snarling Traveler, Reject His Aim, Uncle's Toy, War Favored & Worker Poked It.

Notable Quotes

  • Dave: Kirsty's not talking, so it's all OK
  • Mark: I've not got very good mouth-to-biscuit coordination
  • James (to Geographers): You're almost science students... Just ones with no job prospects.
  • Mark: Paul doesn't mind what he does - he's wonderfully amenable


From 72 & 73. CUHWC Brecon Beacons TripFrom 72 & 73. CUHWC Brecon Beacons TripFrom 72 & 73. CUHWC Brecon Beacons Trip

Caseg Fraith, 11-13 November 2011

This was a popular and vibrant trip, returning to the ULMC’s Caseg Fraith Hut, ideally located at the foot of Tryfan, the Glyderau and the Carneddau; Snowdon and a whole host of other hills are only a short drive away. Most people scrambled (at various grades – whether intentionally or not!) during at least one of the days, which the decidedly-less-inclement weather than of late superbly permitted, and no fewer than three groups walked the southern Carneddau horseshoe. Others made the most of the bunkhouse’s outstanding location and chose to explore areas further afield: one group completed the Snowdon Horseshoe on Saturday; one did a bagging expedition (comprising two walks) on the northern Carneddau; and a couple of people headed to Blaenau Ffestiniog to walk the entire mining-dominated skyline on Sunday. This trip also played host to a valuable navigation-based course for eight trip participants, run (by Mike Laing from Snowdonia Climbing) thanks to generous BMC funding to develop CUHWC’s members’ hillwalking skills. There was also CUHWC’s normal singing fix, complemented by a generous supply of mulled wine throughout the evening. Do peruse the photos listed below – some of them are fabulous, brilliantly highlighting how a weekend of good weather can make trips even more memorable.


Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Tom Ashton, Elena Yudovina, Paul Cook, Tom Wright, Michael Fordham, Lewis Herbert, Niina Hooper, Jon Peatman, Andrena Ball, Aileen Cameron, Bethan Gudgeon, Christie Nel, Laura Burrows, Jessica Walsh, Becky Howard, David Young, Ian Cooper, Dave Mackenzie, Peter Kirkwood, Christopher Arran, Eleri Cousins, James Ritchie, Lucy Stone, Emma Bulmer, Charlotte Cardus, Vicky Ward, Mark Jackson, Madeleine Yates, Kirsty Brown, Joe Hobbs, Peter Sims, Greg Chadwick, Andres Villar, Breanndan O Conchuir, Thomas Hall, Joshua Bough, Phil Brown & David Pettit.

Walk Reports

Not the most successful weekend on Tryfan (MF)

It's been an interesting weekend on Tryfan. On Saturday, I joined Elena’s group which aimed to do the classic round up Tryfan’s North Ridge, over Bristly Ridge and the Glyders, down the Devil’s Kitchen. All went well to begin with and we made good, fast progress up to the Cannon. Shortly after this, Elena slipped and fell, cutting her head in several places. Several snacks and a crepe bandage later and Elena, to quote one group member, looked like a cross between an Egyptian Mummy and P. Diddy (whoever that is!). Joe and I walked down with Elena to drive her to Bangor A&E. Unfortunately, there was no key available for the bunkhouse, so I had to break in through the bedroom window. I then couldn’t find the minibus key, which had been “safely” placed in a cutlery drawer. Anyway, a thankfully short trip to the hospital later and we were back enjoying food and singing in the bunkhouse. The next day I joined Peter to ascend Tryfan again, this time by Little and North Gullies. The blue skies sadly clouded as we ascended Heather Terrace and we unfortunately missed the start of Little Gully. We pressed on as the climb became gradually harder, requiring some tricky moves on some steps and a couple of airy traverses. We eventually met Joe, Kirsty and Bethan who were more successfully following the route of their Grade-2/3 scramble. Still, we reached the summit uninjured (except for a few scrapes and bruises), the only near miss being Mark’s rucksack, which started sliding down the mountain until it was fortunately stopped. After Tryfan, we continued over Bristly Ridge to a glorious summit of Glyder Fach, ultimately ending a pleasant day back at the bunkhouse.

Snapshots (MJ)

... David Pettit deftly driving up steep lanes at the back of the Carneddau, while certain members of the club were still in bed...
... Slipping on a rock somewhere near Foel-fras and smashing my lunchbox to smithereens...
... Still seas and sunset skies from the last summit in Snowdonia...
... Hearing from a cold Joe outside the dark bunkhouse that Elena was in hospital...
... Becky saving us all a long, cold wait by vaulting in through the bunkhouse window...
... Turbo Mulling Agent - and Turbo Fire-starting Agent (not the same thing)...
... Not realising for several minutes that talking to Bethan & Kirsty was a bit weird with them being in the shower...
... Joe taking things a bit too far by leaping onto the table and reading out Sunday's weather forecast, before launching into the Lumberjack Song...
... Dreaming of falling off Glyder Fach and deciding this was a sensible reason to go scrambling instead of bagging in the morning...
... Joe and Bethan's group(s) turning up and informing us that we were on completely the wrong scramble (see MF's report above), only for it to transpire that they were off route too...
... Joe and Andrena trying to outdo each other by jumping back and forth between Adam and Eve...
... Amazing scrambling on Bristly Ridge - and Kirsty getting her foot stuck in a crack in full view of the rest of the group...
... Sunbathing on a slab...
... Jumping on the Cantilever...
... Everyone with the know-how basically running for the minibus that wasn't freezing cold...
... Attempting to educate the entire minibus on the meaning of the word 'clodpoll'...
... Watching Ice Age 3 at the takeaway - and Paul having a frank exchange of views with the owner about their pizza-production timescale...

Notable quotes

  • Andrena: Maybe Paul will just do it to Greg quietly in the front [of the minibus]
  • Michael: I didn't know your legs could do that Kirsty
  • Mark: Duet - Paul with his mouth, me with my right hand


From 70 & 71. CUHWC Caseg Fraith TripFrom 70 & 71. CUHWC Caseg Fraith TripFrom 70 & 71. CUHWC Caseg Fraith Trip

Rydal, 28-30 October 2011

The first weekend trip of Michaelmas 2011 went to the generously sized Rydal Hall Youth Centre in the Lake District, an ideal location to explore the Eastern and Southern Fells’ wonders. Saturday’s weather was poor: cloud at about 600m all day, (heavy) rain and cold temperatures. Nevertheless, nobody was deterred: two groups walked the entire southern Langdale skyline from Pike of Blisco to Bowfell (though the groups’ definitions of ‘entire’ differed somewhat…). Others walked the Fairfield Horseshoe. With this being the Halloween trip, there were the usual Halloween-themed activities, along with plenty of punch and singing (complete with the new song book!) too. Sunday’s weather was only marginally better for those that remained in the Eastern Fells. But, for those that returned to Langdale (indeed, of the five that went there on Sunday, four had been there the previous day too), the weather was better and they walked and scrambled with only the odd passing cloud all day. We can but hope for better weather in time for the Caseg Fraith trip.

Trip Participants

Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, Tom Ashton, Jo Smith, Mohammad Dmour, Paul Cook, Tom Wright, Helen Phillips, Sara Reardon, Jane Patrick, Bethan Gudgeon, Peter Kirkwood, Valerie Ashton, Julian Peat, Gareth Ainsworth, Doug Hull, Kirsty Brown, Simon Williams, David Mackenzie, Dave Farrow, James Ritchie, Lucy Stone, Nathalie Saurat, Kerrie Taylor-Jones, Andres Villar, Madeline Yates, Mark Jackson, Gaspard Pelurson, Joe Hobbs, Andrena Ball, Anne Moindrot, Rebecca Howard, Leen Saif, Jessica Walsh & Chloe France.

Walk Reports

Hillwalkers' Rain-induced Sentiments (AB)

Enter a trip during which the Lake District experiences some adverse weather conditions.
The hillwalkers awoke early on Saturday morning. It was observed that a heavy grey cloud was covering the entire area, promising a liberal dousing of heavy grey rain.
‘Never mind,’ thought the baggers, making no changes to their long and meandering route card, and they proceeded to tramp grimly up each and every significant [really?!] elevation.
‘How splendid,’ exclaimed the misanthropes (to themselves in a corner), ‘this will keep the half-term hoards off the mountains,’ and they went off up an obscure valley to enjoy the fog-induced solitude.
‘Typical,’ sighed the old hands as they contemplated yet another circuit of the Fairfield Horseshoe, trailing freshers without even the consolation of a view.
‘Umm… Shame about the rain, but it’s still going to be such FUN!’ enthused the freshers as they set off from the bunkhouse…

Notable Quotes

  • Gaspard: I saw Andrena going into the bathroom, so I followed her


From 68 & 69. CUHWC Rydal TripFrom 68 & 69. CUHWC Rydal TripFrom 68 & 69. CUHWC Rydal Trip

Edale, 16 October 2011

As is normal for the club, the first trip of the academic year went to Edale in the Dark Peak. A coach of (mostly) new members arrived at Edale to be greeted with drizzle and low clouds. With the promise of improved weather later during the day, nobody was deterred and joined whichever walk took their fancy. The club (or the bagging-obsessed Safety Officer...) decided to run a new walk this year that paid a visit to the actual (seldom-visited) summit of Kinder Scout. This was a popular choice amongst trip participants. Other groups walked along the edges of the plateau, south along the Lose Hill-Brown Knoll ridge or directly across to Hayfield via Edale Cross. Thankfully, the rain stopped, the clouds parted and we finished in warm sunshine. All groups arrived at Hayfield in plenty of time to sample the Royal Hotel's ales (and food) before our return to Cambridge.


Matthew Graham, Andrew Williamson, David Mackenzie, Joe Hobbs, Kate Humphris, Doug Hull, Mark Jackson, Bethan Gudgeon, Kirsty Brown, Becky Howard, Andrena Ball, Irina Stefan, Laura Bellamy, Josh Bough, Andrés Villar, Matthew Heaton, Kenzie Bok, Tom Hall, Peter Sims, Sheh Nazri, Alexandra Kotwica, Steven Lovelock, Amy White, Margaret Cunniff, Laura Imperatori, Toby Crisford, Celia Laur, Allison Truhlar, Aileen Cameron, Claire Huxley, Greg Doran, Phil Brown, Laura Burrows, Aga Wabik, Charlie Allso, Tahini Mehta, Alex Jones, Vicky Ward, Peter Kirkwood, Ruth Ezra, Simeon Koole, Phillip Ronecker, Lizzy Brickley, Clara Seah, Li Ling Quek & Harriet Burdett.

Jo Smith, Dave Farrow, Jane Patrick, Simon Williams and Tom Wright weren't there, but were about 10 miles away...

Notable Quotes

  • Mark: I was tring to keep my humps out of the trip book


From 67. CUHWC Edale Day TripFrom 67. CUHWC Edale Day TripFrom 67. CUHWC Edale Day Trip