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Ennerdale, 9-11 June 2017

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For the last trip of term, we headed to the wildest part of the Lakes: Ennerdale. Unfortunately, in this case, that also meant the wettest and windiest. On the one hand, that necessitated the cancellation of a scrambling course, led to the abandonment of any ridge walk plans, and resulted in an MPV balancing on the edge of a precipice. On the other, there was no shortage of water for wild swimming.

The start of the trip wasn't very promising, with the trip leader arriving from Langdale by foot, just in time for the cloud to come in and a lone, laden scree slope scramble up Wind Gap to seem less like a good idea. The long wait for vehicles to arrive ('wild' meaning 'hard to get to', and my on-the-way pick-up plan being 'ambitious') was filled with reading and fire-tending, two recurrent themes of the weekend.

However, things rapidly got more exciting the next day; scramblers were packed into an MPV to meet up with Kendal Mountaineering Services and sent off into the rain, only to discover that wet mud banks subside easily when steered onto in the face of oncoming traffic. Fortunately, the beached MPV brightened the days of passing, rain-soaked walkers, and the scrambling course was cancelled in any case, due to the dangerous conditions. While the trip leader, safety officer and driver waited for a hastily-called tow truck, walks headed off around Ennerdale Water, over to Buttermere, up the surrounding hills, and to the pub. With the hill walks' exit routes being taken, the pub trip seemed most successful, though the Buttermere group were back sufficiently later than planned to see the weather brighten a little, and the early returns of others permitted a few dips in Ennerdale water.

With excellent food (multiple shakshukaat, butternut squash, and turkey escalopes), beer from the local brewery (brought over by the warden), and a fantastically tuneless acapella rendition of Wonderwall, the evening made up for the day's problems. Table football was played, the fire tended, club calendars planned and beers drank, to the enjoyment of all, and in the hope of a better day to follow.

Walks on the Sunday mostly remained low, and were rewarded with mostly dry weather. Even better, staying close to Ennerdale Water permitted easy wild swimming, with peer pressure ensuring that over the course of the weekend, over a third of the trip had taken a dip. Sufficiently refreshed, the return to Cambridge was smooth.

Participants: Matt A, Callum R, Paul C, Callan H, Gilad A, Sarah M, Sonja G, Johanna F, Ping L, Yaron B, Miriam G, Eric W, Ilinca A, Immy C, Camilla P, Bronwen F, Alex M, Helen G, Vera K, Louise T, Marci G, Kara F, Brigitta S, Barbara M, Laurent M, Anthony K, Yuqing W, Chong C, Yong Y, Jinggao S, Bruno V

Author: 
Matt A