Sat 11th Sep - Sun 12th Sep, 1999

Dunmail Raise, Achille Ratti Hut

Members. Joe Flynn, Pete Walker, Lester Payne, Sean Kelly, Dave Dillon, Andy Croughton, Jim and Sandy Gregson, Rick Kruze, Ruth Ashton,Chris Williamson,John Dwyer, John Dobson, Tony Gask,Christine Beeston,

Guest. Mike Howlett


Frank Evans once told me that there are three factors that determine the value of a property ; location , location and location. The Achilli Ratti Hut standing alone on the top of Dunmail Raise ( by the lay-by on the main Ambleside to Keswick trunk Road ), at the foot of Helvellyn has plenty of location so no one minded the £6 per night fee!!! It is also good to use other huts so we can feel smug/proud of our own hut.

Using the techniques of the modern lobbyists - telephone canvassing, face to face encounters, focus groups in the pub, very optimistic weather forecasts, understated costings and misleading grid references, ensured a very respectable turn out on this north Lakeland meet.

The euphoria, excitement and anxious anticipation of Friday night were dampened with the arrival of John Dobson on Saturday morning or to be fair with the weather forecast he brought. The optimistic high pressure was updated to rain spreading south from Scotland by afternoon.

Chris and Mike tempted the forecasters and went to Castle Rock . Good decision. They climbed Zig-Zag Vs.and North Crag Eliminate E1. Rick and Ruth left early for Dow Crag but the cloud was down and it was out, so they took the long walk to Hodge Close. Jim and Sandy headed off in the same direction and did a stroll around Walna Scar,Levens Water, Gt.. Howe Crag, the Puddingstone, the Bell (these must be Pubs!) and Walna Scar.The rest of the team hijacked Pete's idea- so much for his quiet walk. We surmounted Helvellyn , Nethermost Pike , Dollywagon Pike, via Brown Cove Crag.Plenty of wind and cloud. Sean with the benefit of mountain instructor training got his compass out and took control of the expedition. Most of the team were tempted by a delicious sounding grade 3 scramble on the Central Buttress of Brown Cove, particularly by the "unique and intriguing hole". There was lively debate whether we scaled the said route or whether it was in fact a right load of ....... It was the first time I had purposely set out to scramble on greasy rocks and slippy grass. It has always happened inadvertently when I was off route. Do people really do this for sport?

Quite night in the shops and pubs of Keswick. Mark Williams, former member and noted fell runner was encountered in Fishers. Rain finally arrived about 7pm.

Sunday. Up early again. Jim must have turned the !!!!!!! generator on. He set off for a tour of Grisedale Tarn,Ruthwaite Lodge, Nethermost Pike, down Striding Edge, up Swirrel Edge, Helvellyn and back to the hut.

Ruth and Rick got on their bikes and visited (the cafés?) Rydal, Elterwater, Hawkshead and Ambleside.

Pete got his quiet walk with Andy. They were dropped off at Thirlmere and made their way back to the hut via all four maps of the Lake District.

The rest of us set out to Castle Rock. We concentrated ourselves in the sun on the southern face and various parties climbed Gangway, Yew Tree, Slab route, Via Media. I was pleased to see the new gear bought by our new full member particularly the new rope. Thanks to Sheena and Neville for the helpful advice as to the life span of modern ropes and convincing him to spend some cash. Thanks to all for attending.

Joe Flynn

Meet Promo:

The hut is at the top of Dunmail Raise near Grasmere beside the old AA phone box. (GR 625 659) Full facilities.

Superb location for climbing on Castle Rock, Raven Thirlmere for the toughies and Borrowdale for the softies. There is also some walking in that part of the world. Make a note in your diaries, 14 places booked, £4 deposit per night to meet leader to secure a place.

Joe Flynn

Please note:
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