The Langdale trip at the end of the autumn season for 2022 was organised by Nathan and 9 club members made it to the Loft, Lancashire Mountaineering Club's hut near Blea Tarn at the west end of Great Langdale. The weather forecast for the weekend had been unsettled, even autumnal, however, the conditions turned out to be far better than expected.
On the morning of Friday the 18th, Derek W, Steve J, Imogen and Dave M met at Elterwater and walked a low-level route south to Hodge Quarries to take a look at the Works dry tooling venue before heading back north to Cathedral Quarry for lunch. The weather was better than forecast and time allowed for a look up to Lingmoor Fell, returning to Elterwater by the old quarrying levels. At the end of the walk the group made a brief visit to the hut and then walked down to the Old Dungeon Ghyll where, over the course of a meal and a drink or two, met up with the rest of the party.
Plans for the next morning were consolidated in the pub. The weather forecast for Saturday was inconclusive even at this hour so an element of flexibility was included. Nathan with Dan S and Imogen would go for an ambitious fell walk taking in Pike of Blisco, Crinkle Crags, Bow Fell, Esk Pike and possibly Skafell Pike before returning via Angle Tarn and Mickleden.
Derek, Tristan and Carwyn would head for Jacks Rake on Pavey Ark, returning via any appropriate route and the Langdale Pikes.
Dave M, Steve J and Emma elected to go rock climbing at Scout Crag, a low altitude, south facing crag with easier graded single and multi-pitch routes. The walk-in to the crag is about ten minutes from the New Dungeon Ghyll car park. Steve would only stay for the morning and then disappear off to the Kendal Mountain Festival and home.
The weather remained warm and calm for the whole day so a full day of mountain activity was achieved by everyone. Derek, Tristan and Carwyn had a very successful day encountering an enjoyable variety of terrain. Jacks Rake was quite wet with the recent rain and there were significant areas of boggy ground to cross behind Pavey Ark.
Dave and Emma managed to climb three single pitch routes and one multi pitch. Steve went to Kendal after one single pitch route and after spending a short time being creative with Dave's camera. The routes climbed were Cubs Groove (VD), Cubs Wall (VD), Cubs Arete (S) and Route 2 (VD). The crag was fairly quiet all day but in the warm, still air the midges managed to come out for a last bite before winter. The light was fading after 3pm and the temperature dropping so Dave and Emma beat a hasty retreat to the New Dungeon Ghyll and then onto the Old Dungeon Ghyll to meet up with Derek, Tristan and Carwyn.
Nathan and his group made a prompt start in the morning and succeeded in their assault of the upper fells although it was dark before they made it back to the hut. An extraordinary feat taking in almost 20 miles which was somewhat tiring for all three.
Safely back in the hut everyone enjoyed a meal of vegetarian goulash followed by apple crumble with custard which had been pre-made and heated up on the gas cooker. Despite the forecast for Sunday predicting a total wash-out the evening revelries were rather muted with the effort of the day taking its toll on everyone. The dinnertime conversation, however, was very lively and spontaneous and as sometimes happens managed to take us down to previously unchartered depths where discussion during meal times is hardly recommended. The plan for the next morning was to have a slow start then breakfast and shopping in Ambleside.
The rain came down in torrents overnight, the hammering rain thankfully softening the effects of Dave's snoring (OK, artistic license). In the morning the skies had largely cleared and although there was a risk of showers Dave and Derek decided to walk a 5 mile circular route and head up the Pike of Blisco. The rest of the group kindly cleared the hut and, still feeling the aftermath of the day before, headed to Ambleside. The walk was unhindered by showers, the wind had eased too and the sun came out. Another brilliant day to be up on the fell.
Once again we were very fortunate with the weather and conditions for this weekend trip. The hut was in a prime location for a whole array of walking, climbing or just for heading to the pub. Everyone who was there was fully engaged from the start and contributed to making the weekend a success. Thanks to all for coming along and especially to Nathan for organising the event. Roll on 2023!