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Duddon Valley, 24—26 February 2017

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The weather forecast wasn't great for this weekend (even by hillwalker standards), the wing mirror of one of the hire vehicles got smashed off on Friday, quite a few people forgot essential bits of kit, and the trip leader was ultimately driven to drink. Despite this, we managed to get 36 hillwalkers to and back from the University of Leeds' Dalehead bunkhouse in Dunnerdale in one piece. Among these people was our new fresher co-president who has probably aged 10 years from the experience.

Saturday morning brought rain and wind as expected, so some people (ex-presidents included) went on either a strenuous walk or run to the pub. The wind kept the rest of us on lower slopes so more or less everyone paid a visit to the pub at some point in the day, even if only to keep us warmer than being in the bunkhouse. Quite a few people also walked over the Hardknott pass to see a Roman fort (which wasn't particularly impressive by all accounts, but made a nice walk anyway).

The Saturday evening group cooking typical of trips was livened up by the lack of enough seats and setting off the fire alarm. There was sadly no singing after food, which was very disappointing.

The weather on Sunday morning seemed to be dry (!!), but once everyone had actually got ready, it started raining again. There was a bit more optimism with walk lengths but most groups ended up doing similar routes so as to avoid walking for long periods in the low cloud. A couple of ex-presidents decided a pub visit was still in order, but most people got back to the bunkhouse in good time so the minibus and cars were able to make fairly early departures (hopefully never to return to this location).

While some referred to the trip as being "shambolic", a more accurate description might be calling it a a bit odd, not least because of how flat the walks ended up being. That said, it was worth leaving Cambridge for: it's less depressing being soaked by rain surrounded by mountains than being soaked by rain surrounded by bricks and optimistic tourists after all.

Author: 
Sarah M