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Home arrow News arrow Meet Reports arrow Meet Report: Lake District Meet, Bonscale Farmhouse, 24-5 January

Meet Report: Lake District Meet, Bonscale Farmhouse, 24-5 January

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On the night of 23 January thirteen intrepid souls braved deluges of rain on the route north

Meet Report: Lake District Meet, Bonscale Farmhouse, 24-5 January 2004

On the night of 23 January thirteen intrepid souls braved deluges of rain on the route north to reach a mercifully clear Lake District with a brilliant starlit sky. Bonscale Farmhouse was our base of operations and was up to its usual standards of warmth and comfort, if a little lacking in toilet paper and showers.

The Saturday dawned dry and with high cloud. Later we were to receive a little sun, but a cold wind blew throughout the day to keep the temperatures down. My party consisted of Ian, Marianne, Paul, Noelle, Wayne and Tom and our plan was to do a circular route taking in High Street. Departure was not too long after 9am. We began by walking along the Fusedale Back valley up to the Roman road that leads on to High Raise and High Street (828m). Navigation was provided with the help of Ian's vintage map, held together by two strands of paper fibre and a sense of goodwill towards its owner. The route allowed us to pass by Weathertop Hill where, Tom confidently told us, Frodo had been attacked by the Nazgul (or some other such creature). There was little evidence of this, but then we had just completed a steep climb and perspiration was heavy on Tom's fevered brow.

Lunch was taken on High Street where the stone wall provided protection from the cold wind. We then traversed to Thornscale Crag where a mountain rescue dog made friends with Wayne, or at least the stone that Wayne had hidden beneath his foot and looked like a great play object. After reaching level ground at Hayeswater there was a long walk in the gathering gloom along the shore of Ullswater. We arrived back after dark satisfied that everyone else would have returned long before thus reducing competition for the one shower. Alas, and inevitably, we all arrived within minutes of each other. Hey ho.

A second group with Derek, Jayne, Eric and Julie had departed shortly after ourselves and embarked on a similar circular route that took in Martindale Common and Place Fell. Michael and Kate formed a third group. However, establishing their route was a little more difficult as the question was met with a broad sweep of Michael's arm and the expression, 'something out that way'. Later calculations revealed the route to be 20 miles+ and Kate spoke with more feeling when she described it as 'walking half the Lake District'.

We split again in the evening with some eating in while the non-cooking party headed into Pooley Bridge. Here we could sample the delights of Snecklifter at the Sun Inn with its mangy but friendly cat. Tom and Ian managed to persuade the staff to produce a gargantuan mixed grill even though it wasn't on the menu. Ian wolfed his down, but we were treated to the novel if not unique sight of Tom struggling to complete his (and he only had the one starter….unless of course we include multiple packets of crisps).

The groups split again on the Sunday after clearing away an impressive total of thirty plus empty bottles of various descriptions. Myself, Wayne, Ian, Marianne, Tom and Derek travelled to the east end of the Haweswater Reservoir. We again enjoyed a walk with some sunshine, but this time with a light dusting of snow that had fallen during the night on the tops of High Street and Harter Fell.

Meanwhile Eric and Julie headed off for Patterdale and Michael and Kate, laughing in the face of the much forecast impending blizzards, were last seen heading for Keswick for a few more days walking; presumably to walk that other half of the Lake District.

Steve Kennedy
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