A group of prospective hillwalkers slowly assembled in front of the UL. There were about fifty of us - a good number, allowing many of us second year freshers, who had previously missed out on a chance to try out the club because of the pandemic, a chance to go hillwalking at last.
We were divided into smaller groups, then got on the coach and set out. It rained throughout the drive, but as luck would have it, the rain had completely stopped by the time we arrived at our destination. We gathered in the parking lot, joined our respective groups, and set off for our respective walks. The trails were muddy, and we had to navigate around a few puddles throughout the day, but, mercifully, not a drop fell from the sky for the remainder of the trip.
The group I was in, led by Alexis and Camilla, had a 13km walk ahead, the first bit of which turned out to be the hardest, with a couple of very slippery slopes to traverse and a rocky, uneven stretch right afterwards. We got into a rhythm quite soon, and only stopped to either take pictures of sheep, cows, or the lovely view, or to check the route before moving forward, or to remove our waterproofs and other outer layers as we warmed up from the exercise. At times, we shared our trail with mountain cyclists, runners, or other hillwalkers, but mostly it felt like we had the mountains all to ourselves.
Eventually, we reached the highest point of our walk, indicated only by a large white stone marker next to the path, and after taking some pictures and expressing some amusement at the flatness of the surrounding area, we pressed on.
Later the wind picked up, and we had to stop briefly to put on our fleeces, hats, and gloves for the remainder of the walk. The idea of stopping for lunch was discussed, but while our route was magnificent as far as the view was concerned, there was no refuge from the wind to be seen, nor any natural place to stop as far as we could make out. We resolved that we had enough energy to keep going, and just in case munched on some snacks as we approached the last leg of the route and the descent. The vale of Edale finally came into view, and some timid rays of sunlight shone through the clouds as we admired the scene.
We arrived at the end of our walk and went into a nearby café, where we enjoyed a warm cuppa and ate our hard-earned lunches. The coach later took us to the starting point of the walk (we had ended at a different place), and we joined the rest of the walkers for the trip back to Cambridge, not failing to stop on the way at a service station for some dinner and hot beverages
We arrived in Cambridge tired but happy, ready for the week ahead, and already looking forward to the next trip.
Trip List: Alexis M, Camilla P, Oliver N, Sarah Mi, Miriam G, Andrew W, Lucy J, Bronwen F, Chris H, John-Jo B, Jeff F, Susannah P, Elliot B, Bill C, Macarena A, Xingjian L, Rhoda P, Nick N, James W, Dylan H, Clara G, Jacob F, Zach E, Georgia S, Willard N, Jakob S, Ethan M, Zac G, Samra P, Byron H, Negar R, Megan M, Tor T, Yuqing X, Rebecca B, Maud T, Adam D, Lucas M, Yijie Y, Rainer Y, Victor L, Linying S, Matthew J, Weilu Y, Teja P, Hazel G, Kieran R, Ana S, Andrew F, Joshua R, Yu W, Lucy W, Tiago P, Honour P, James F, Rebecca P, Grace S, Macarena A, Yunsung N, Olivia B, Ioan H, Lily M, Samantha K