LMG Feb 2008 Report

For its first weekend trip of 2008, the Club returned to a previous base at Nab Cottage, beside Rydal Water in the eastern Lake District. Comfortable quarters, and the management put on a superb dinner on Saturday night. Eight members made the trip from Scotland, with your correspondent as the token English resident and ninth member of the party.

 As I was about to leave London on Friday, an email arrived from a friend with a new Blackberry who was in Switzerland, wishing me a pleasant weekend and assuming (with that air of amused tolerance which women reserve for LMG trips) that I shall be kitted out in “tweed plus fours with knee length socks and a blackthorn walking stick”. I hastily respond that she has the wrong idea; blackthorn is so-o last year. I do not have the bottle to tell her about my new hi-tec jacket in fashionable mango and black which Bergfuehrer Tolson, looking for revenge for my remarks about the Lycra biker in the Yorkshire Dales, feels has given me the appearance of a bumblebee on steroids. All this talk of  fashion and tolerance is only relevant in the context of an idea, mooted on the hill on Sunday, that the Club should actively foster the recruitment of women into full membership of the Club. I say that the WAGS of existing members should be consulted on this suggestion. If they are unamused and intolerant, the idea is not to be thought of.

 Friday evening was spent in the Badger Bar in Rydal village, sampling with our meals several local beers including one called Badgers Bum which tasted rather more of urinary tract until you became used to it. And so to bed. 

Saturday was marked by fresh winds at low levels and strong winds at medium and high levels which caused a freight train to shed its load across the tracks of the West Coast mainline at Shap Summit. We accordingly stayed at low level, driving to High Wray and walking over Claife Heights to the Tower Bank Arms in the Beatrix Potter village of Near Sawrey for lunch. The pub was one of the delights of the weekend, and the Hawkshead bitter was another. So farewell to the nether regions of badgers. After lunch it was back over the crest and a walk along the shore of Lake Windermere to the cars. In the evening the three course dinner, including a selection of proper puddings, at Nab Cottage. There was also a presentation to Ron Ireland to mark his forthcoming 60th birthday, when he joins the more distinguished but grumpy section of the Club. Congratulations Ron! We think you will be a natural.

 On Sunday the winds at lower levels seemed if anything stronger, but we decided to attempt part of the route which Mr Tolson had originally planned for the previous day.

Leaving the cars parked at Grasmere, we set off along Easedale before climbing steeply up to Helm Crag and traversing the broad ridge on the north side of Easedale Gill up to the watershed at the head of the valley. From there we dropped back to Brimmer Head Farm and Grasmere following the established footpath beside the gill.

 Then the trek homewards began. For the Scots contingent the motorway bash northwards; for me a coach back to Lancaster (thanks to the aforesaid freight train) and train onwards after Ron had kindly driven me to Penrith rail station.

 Thanks as always to Steve and Harry for making all the arrangements for the trip.