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Home arrow News arrow Meet Reports arrow Little Langdale meet report 16&17 of October

Little Langdale meet report 16&17 of October

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After the 6 hour journey from London we had arrived at our weekend base...

Meet Report: Little Langdale, 16&17 of October 2004

Little Langdale meet report 16&17 of October 2004

After the 6 hour journey from London we had arrived at our weekend base, the Fylde Mountaineering Club Hut in Little Langdale. All the other members had arrived and some even had retired waiting for the morrow. 16 club members had arrived for the weekend of hill walking in some of the most photographed mountain scenery in the UK.
This pleasant bunkhouse is in a row of 3 original terrace houses situated in the shadow of Lingmoor fell and a stone throw away from Slater Bridge crossing the beck. The houses probably housed miners who would be close to the slate and limestone quarries.

So on Saturday the mad dash to scoff breakfast, make lunch, sort out what walks were on offer, who was going on it, from where and 'can I get a lift' was very much in the offering. Three walks, of which two went from Dungeon Ghyll the other from Wrynose Pass were happening. Tom, Kate and Michael went for a long circular walk across Mosedale into Great Moss up to Esk Hause and back across Bow Fell and Crinkle Crags. In fact everybody in some shape or form crossed the Crinkles during the day. The larger party of Nigel, Ann, Sarah, Milinda, Tania, Kirk and Clare went to Pike o Blisco over Crinkle Crags via the infamous rock step and where met by the other group of Ian, Marianne, Jane, Simon and myself climbing down Bow Fell after the Three Tarns. The weather by now was classic Lakeland; cloud cover at 600 metres with a stiff easterly wind and patchy rain made for interesting navigation over the mountainous terrain. Some type of Gore-tex or as someone had a yellow poncho were required to beat the elements of today. Indeed the weather was so poor that lunch was in a blue group shelter, keeping some of us relatively warm and dry.

Simon, Jane and I split off from Ian and Marianne who had decided to bin the walking and head down 'The Band'. We carried on over the Crinkles which was very much a popular route. Every ten minutes another party of walkers came out of the mist and even a shivering little Yorkshire terrier appeared followed by its owners. More by luck than judgement I was able to navigate around the rock step which looked very ugly and un-inviting. I think it would have been an interesting challenge to negotiate that in the current weather. So we carried on down to Pike o Blisco and on over to Wrynose Fell before descending down following Wrynose Beck. Then the long trudge back on the road to Little Langdale.

We had started walking when I noticed a red car one similar to Tom's behind us. The number plate looked correct and as it passed Tom was driving it!! "Tom ", I shouted. The car stopped. Three very relieved walkers got a lift. Others where not so lucky. The local pub had promised them they would be served food, thirty minutes later, they where told they where not!! This was eight-thirty at night which was rather naughty. So a fish and chip supper in Ambleside together with some choice words was some of the members Saturday night.

Later back at the hut, the days events unfolded, the tales and glasses constantly topped up I explained that the photo on the wall was indeed a local mined cave. So four of us slightly drunk grabbed head torches and made our way to it. Crossing the wooden footbridge, scrambling up a bank and pushing through a wood an opening appeared on our left. This was the entrance and we went in. A mined tunnel opened up into a huge cavernous dome of ordered limestone. It stood fifty or a hundred feet above and around us with a huge window open to the elements of the wind and world. It was quite spectular and was known as Cathedral Quarry. It was used by local Dj's as a rave venue during the early nineties. Now it's an attraction to the tourists of mans' quest for local materials. Indeed training centres use it for abseiling and group work with school children.

On Sunday a mad dash to clean the hut and get a descent walk done before the long drive home. Some headed into Ambleside for gear shopping as they wanted home at reasonable early time. Tom, Melinda and I headed for the Three Shires Stone and headed up over Wet Side Edge, Little Carrs to Swirl How. A quick compass check on the bearing and down the ridge of Great How Crag to the motorway path of the drag up to Coniston Old Man. Today the weather was a lot colder but a drier day. The cloud did move across the mountains but it gave views of Scarfell, the coast, Coniston and the Dunderdales. We lost Tom, so decided to wait for him at the summit. He was waiting five hundred metres away at a cairn at the top of Levers Hawse. At 1pm we all headed back trying to catch the other- we all failed but were back at the car for three. Milinda had bagged the Old Man, he never done it before, while we all soaked up the views one last time before heading back to London.

Derek Stevenson

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