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Borrowdale Weekend - September 2017

A smaller-than-usual group of 15 members arrived at the Glaramara Outdoor Centre in Borrowdale for the club’s 15th consecutive visit. I believe that Alison and Paul have both scored a full 15/15 while Alan is not far behind with 14! However, we also had 3 other members coming along for the first time. Even more people were able to enjoy en-suite facilities this time, and by next year all rooms will have been converted. Unfortunately the weather was not great, but could have been far worse (the staff told us that it was the worst summer they’d ever had), and did not stop us enjoying a full weekend of walking. As ever, the food and hospitality was excellent, and a good time was had by all.

On Saturday, the 'A' party tackled Esk Pike: Road to Seathwaite, then up Grains Gill (into cloud), Esk Hause followed by lunch, then up to Esk Pike and descent to Ore Gap. Not time for Bowfell so descended to Angle Tarn, out of cloud. Then followed Stake Pass path down to Langstrath Valley, and along valley to Stonethwaite and Glaramara House. A total of 13 miles and 3200ft of ascent.

The 'B' team did a 'flat' walk along the west side of the valley along the Cumbrian Way (Allerdale Ramble) taking in the beautiful lakeside becks and woods. Initially through Johnny Wood although we didn’t spot any of the renowned red squirrels, and then along the upper route of the Cumbrian Way, lunching at Grange and returning by the lower lakeside route. The route was about 9 miles plus a couple of adventure ascent excursions, one to the top of Castle Crag and the other to view the caves in the hillside. As a special treat we had two tea shop stops, Grange and Rosthwaite) with cake at the latter. At Grange we had the amusement of the waitress' mental arithmetic - £12.20 for five teas @ £1.80 – quite a compulsory tip!

On Sunday, a number of members decided to do their own thing, while a reduced 'A' party tackled the High Stile ridge: Bus to Buttermere, Scale Force waterfall, ascent to Red Pike (windy), High Stile, lunch on High Crag, followed by a steep descent to Scarth Gap and a scramble up Haystacks. This was followed by a visit to the Honister quarry tearooms, then along the old road back to Seatoller and the house. A total of 10miles and 4000ft of ascent.

The 'B' walkers took transport to Ashness Bridge and ascended 600m to High Seat and then along the very boggy ridge to Bleaberry Fell, seeing black grouse, exceptional mosses and lots of furry red-black caterpillars en route. We lunched at Bleaberry sheltering from the winds in the stone wind break. After lunch we took the slow descent to Castlerigg finding a very nice and well-earned cup of tea in a very pleasant bistro/restaurant – no cake but lovely ice cream and a delightful souvenir shop on the campsite. No mischarging here but the entire restaurant listened in silence and great amusement while Rod related a very long and very rude joke! All this hilarity delayed us and we then raced for the bus at Keswick. In all, 600m and about 8 miles.

9 members stayed over on the Sunday night for a relaxed evening before heading off after breakfast, with a number of people stopping off in Keswick on the way home.

Many thanks to Paul and Sara for leading the 'A' and 'B' walks respectively, and for providing the walk details/write-ups above.

And yes – we’re going back again next year!!!