Weekend Away: Lake District
5th - 7th March 2004

This weekend was in Grasmere - here are a few photos, as well as a write-up of Jonathon's and Roger's walks.

Great Dodds Above

After the mad scramble to leave our rather luxurious hostel just outside Grasmere we strode off, making great time in time for our bus at 9.45 with Jonathon at the lead. The exorbitant price was haggled down a few pence and we got off a few miles north of Thirlmere. Great pantings and great efforts were made to reach the top of Great Dodd. We had been having lovely views on ascent with even a glimpse of the coast of Scotland, all now obscured as we reached cloud level.

Along Watson's Dodd and onto Raise afforded some breathtaking views of the fells when the clouds cleared. Patches of sunlight vied with trailing snow clouds and rainbows. Areas of snow meant some members could pelt each other with hard, icy balls. I felt I was far too new to the group to join in such shenanigans and steered clear! We stopped at various points to refuel but the searing wind soon moved us on.

There followed a few ups and downs around Helvellyn. Some of us were still in shock at the steepness of the first climb and had to grit teeth and set to auto-plod to get up any remaining hills. Much envy of the wee border collie in the party who by this point was pooped and being carried all wrapped up in fleeces, complete with hat.

Finally we made the long descent down to Grisedale tarn and back to the hostel. The group seemed to be flagging a bit. Occasional bouts of conversation were of achy knees and the more inspiring choice of evening meal and local brew be savoured from our local hostellerie. And as it was my first weekend away with the group I was promised the fine spectacle of piggyback pool. A most auspicious start for a weekend away virgin!

Nicci G

The Roger Epic

Eight foolhardy souls stumbled out of the hostel at 8.30 on Saturday morning to brave yet another Roger epic. During the warm up, which skirted around Helm Crag, some of us began to wonder whether the previous night's drinking had influenced the judgement of our abilities, although hangovers always provide a good excuse for being knackered. The tone for the rest of the walk was soon set as we began to climb up to Easedale Tarn past the waterfalls. Yes, plenty of gorgeous scenery and mountains, but we seemed to be climbing rather a lot of them.

After admiring the Daliesque ice formations in the tarn we climbed Sergeant Man, Harrison Stickle and Pike o Stickle before descending (hurray!) to the coll at the crossing of the Cumbria Way. The respite was short-lived, however, as we then ascended Angle Tarn, swiftly followed by Bow Fell. A dusting of snow made the latter even more aesthetically pleasing than usual and rewarded us with the highest point of our walk (902 m). A rapid descent down to the Langdale Valley via the Band sadly failed to provide sufficient time for a pint in either the Old or the New Dungeon Ghyll pubs as the final challenge awaited us.

As dusk and blisters kicked in we struggled up the final 300m of ascent to the top of Swinescar Pike. From there a relatively gentle moonlit saunter delivered us to the hostel and an evening of relaxation and refuelling (not to mention piggy back pool for some).

Thanks Roger - we enjoyed each of the 19 miles and every one of the 1,600m we climbed (honest, guv!).


Grasmere Water




Piggyback Pool

Return to Base

SW View of Striding Edge


West Approach to Hellvelyn

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