Caroline after bagging Dow Crag (Photo: Dave Wylie)  

Err.... Mich. We said CAVE ..... not RAVE..... (Andy Stratford)
Spiders web glimpsed, Caw Slate mine. (Andy Stratford)
Slate cavern deep under the fell at Stainton Ground (Andy Stratford)
Stuart concocts a low cal breakfast lasagne of toast, butter, last nights cold bolognese, cheese and coleslaw! (Andy Stratford)
Stu exploring upwards (Dave Wylie)
In Broughton Mills Slate Quarry (Dave Wylie)
Steve heading deeper down (Dave Wylie)
The jigsaw, completed at last! (Dave Wylie)
Caroline after bagging Dow Crag (Dave Wylie)
Swimming in Seathwaite Tarn (Dave Wylie)
Dinner At High Moss (Gareth Williams)
C Ordinary Route, Dow Crag (Colin Maddison)
C Ordinary Route, Dow Crag (Colin Maddison)

Joint Rucksack / Karabiner meet at High Moss

Attendance: Caroline Gay (KMC), Steve Graham (KMC), Mike Gregg (RC), Michelle Harrison (KMC), Stuart Hurworth (KMC), Chris Kastavunis (KMC), Colin Maddison (KMC), Andy Stratford (KMC), Jo Stratford (KMC), Gareth Williams (RC/KMC), Lucie Williams (KMC), Dave Wylie (KMC).


The forecast wasn’t great, but those who attended the meet managed to make the most of a very so-so weekend in terms of weather. Squally showers were the theme. Full marks to Caroline who had travelled up on her motorbike without letting the rain dampen her spirits. The wind in the evening was so strong that a gust blew her (parked) bike over, thankfully without damage. Full marks also to Michelle and Stuart who stopped off at Brantrake Crag to tick The Crack VS 4b on their way to High Moss.


On Saturday morning, I was keen to climb something despite the conditions, and Colin is always reliable for climbing irrespective of the conditions. We walked up to Dow Crag (a pleasure to be able to walk there from the hut without driving) to find the rock in various states of dampness. Wind was also quite high, but C Ordinary Route (Diff) seemed sheltered and dry enough. In fact there was a team already on the route, we had to queue for it! On reaching Easy Terrace we opted to continue to the top of the crag, the guidebook writes of Intermediate Gully “the gully can be continued to the summit of the mountain, however this is of little interest to the climber”. In fact, the slimy rock in the gully proved to be quite interesting after all, with this continuation having a couple of sections that were harder than anything on C Ordinary Route.


Mike, having been handed down local Rucksack Club knowledge, took a group (Andy, Stuart, Michelle, Steve, Chris and Dave) out for an exploration of some of the old slate workings in the area. They started off up the Walna Scar road, then headed off to the right into Walna Scar Quarries. They explored inside the mine from two separate entrance caverns, hypothesising about whether the deep shaft at the end of one tunnel connected to another tunnel (that would only be accessible via a climb, where there was a bolt without a hanger and a higher one with a Maillon) from the other entrance. They continued over the summits of Pikes and Caw, then descended to Caw Quarry for further subterranean explorations. Their final mine was Broughton Mills Slate Quarry, where Mike led them on an underground loop through the workings. Satisfied with their speleological achievements, they walked back North to Seathwaite for a pint in the Newfield Inn before heading back to the hut.


Lucie, Jo and Caroline enjoyed the delights of the hut for the morning, venturing out a bit later to the pub (Lucie and Jo) and for a run (Caroline). An excellent and filling communal supper was masterminded by Lucie in the evening, thanks to everyone who helped out with the meal. The remainder of the evening was consumed by jigsaws, socialising and having a generally good time.


Sunday started even wetter than Saturday, thankfully a little less windy. A few people packed up early and headed straight home; others took their time a bit more with packing up and stopped off in Ambleside on the journey. The more adventurous types managed to get things done despite the weather, which did clear up in the afternoon.


Caroline and Dave headed out for a walk up the Walna Scar Road as far as the col, then turned up over Brown Pike and onto Dow Crag. Dave had been there half a dozen times before, but it was a first ascent for Caroline. They then continued down to Goat's Hawse, turned left and walked down to Seathwaite Tarn. Caroline had a swim, then there was some scrambling over some of the little outcrops to get up onto the path out to the South end of the tarn. The track was a very quick route down, so they were back at the hut in good time to clean up and head for home. Stuart and Michelle headed to Wallabarrow Crag, where they climbed Wall and Corner (VDiff) and Parallel (VS 4b). Mike, Steve and Chris headed for a fell day, setting off from Seathwaite and walking alongside the river Duddon to the stepping stones near fickle crag. They then walked via grass guards to the open fell where a lot of rewilding is occurring to reintroduce native trees to the peat bogs on Ulpha fell. Steep climb up onto Harter fell for great views as the weather was now clear and sunny. They descended steeply to Birks before crossing the river, this time via the stepping stones and a wobbly wire for security.

Thank you to everyone who came along and made a great meet out of a mediocre weekend!

Gareth Williams
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