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Borrowdale Weekend - August 2020

Ten of us attended this extended bank holiday break at Glaramara House. We were: Chris, Dave, Jackie (a new member), Julian, Malcolm, Mary, Phil, Shona, Sonia, and William. This was the first club holiday since February and I think I can safely say we were all very much looking forward to it.

It began with a fine evening meal. All the meals were of the highest quality and of considerable quantity! Afterwards, we found our space in the lounge, discussed the walks for the next day followed by a quiz that Sonia had prepared, a pictorial pub quiz favourite, ‘Whose famous face is that?’

Friday: William led the A walk. Leaving from the hotel the walk began with a steep climb up the Rigghead Quarries then turned right at the top along the ridge of High Spy and Maiden Moor. Lunch was had around Hause Gate. After lunch the party ascended Cat Bells. The descent to Hawes End was difficult due to the terrain. The party then returned along Derwentwater and the Cumbria Way, with afternoon tea being taken in the village of Grange. The walk was 14 miles, with 3,000 ft of ascent/descent.

The B party led by Shona walked around Derwentwater. The start of their walk was waterlogged but improved later on the Cat Bells side. Some road walking followed. They stopped for lunch at Keswick and then caught a bus from Grange back to the hotel. The walk was 12 miles, a respectable distance for a B walk!

In the evening we played a quiz, identifying phrases and sayings from clues contained within dingbats.

Saturday: Julian led the A walk from the house. They went up to Honister Hause, then to Dale Head and along Hindscarth Edge. Here Dave left the party and went over Hindscarth summit down to Little Town while the rest of the ‘A’ party went on to Robinson. This was followed by a lengthy and challenging descent to Little Town, and then it was on to Grange for tea where all the chocolate brownies had been eaten but some freshly baked ones were supplied later. The walk was 14.4 miles with 4,500 ft ascent.

The B walk, led by Phil, was from the house then to Stonethwaite, followed by a stiff climb on a well made path to Dock Tarn, then onto Watendlath, and then Rosthwaite for tea. The walk was 8 miles with 1,500 ft of ascent.

Our evening entertainment was a quiz with questions picked at random by a complicated method but it was very entertaining.

Sunday: The A walk led again by Julian was to Pillar. The route was: car to Honister Hause, along the Moses Trod path, underneath Kirk Fell to the Black Sail pass, then up to Looking Stead, along the climbers Traverse to Pillar Rock over a very rough path with steep drops down into Ennerdale. Finally, a steep climb up to Pillar. There were great views over the Solway Firth to Scotland. Also to be seen, the Isle of Man, Ireland and Snowdonia; So all the parts of the UK in one view. The return route was down the ridge and back underneath Kirk Fell. The party arrived back just in time for dinner, all looking exhausted, like they had been up a mountain! The walk was 13 miles, with 4,000 ft of ascent.

The B walk, led by Dave, started from Honister slate mine. We walked around Buttermere lake, passing some distinctive looking cows sitting on the shore. After this we took the road back up to the car park at Honister. It was a long gradual uphill slog. The walk was 10.7 miles, with 2,000 ft of ascent.

Our evening entertainment was another random question quiz.

Monday: The A walk, led by Julian, was from the house up to Glaramara then on to Allen Crags and on to Esk Hause. They then went up Esk Pike and had great views of Scafell Pike & Scafell!! Then it was down to Ore Gap, up to Bow Fell, back down to Ore Gap and down alongside Grains Gill back to the house. Around 14 miles was walked, with 4,000 ft of ascent.

There were two B walks. B1, led by Phil, was a ‘Glaramara horseshoe’. The route was from the house to the summit of Glaramara which involved scrambling up a rock face. Lunch part 1 was on the summit, in as Phil described it, the ‘dinosaur’s nest’. After a good rest we looked for an easier route down! Lunch part 2 was at Tarn at Leaves, another picturesque tarn. On the way back we detoured to Rosthwaite for tea. The walk was 8.4 miles, 2,640 ft of ascent.

B2 walk: Shona and Mary walked from Keswick to Cat Bells summit via the slightly less touristy path and back to Keswick - 10.5 miles and 1,900ft.

In the evening Sonia gave us a difficult anagram quiz.

Tuesday: There was one A walk, led again by Julian. They drove to Dockray and then walked over Matterdale Common up to Great Dodd and then on to Watson Dodd and Stybarrow Dodd, descending over Watermillock Common and back to a well earned tea & cake in Dockray - a total of 11 miles and 2,300 ft of ascent.

Thank you to Sonia for all her hard work in organising a great holiday at a challenging time. Thanks also to those who led the walks.



Maps of the walks

Seatoller - High Spy - Maiden Moor - Cat Bells Circular

Seatoller - Dale Head - Hindscarth Circular

Honister - Buttermere Circular

Seatoller - Glaramara Circular