Christmas Trip 2021

Christmas Trip 2021

Welcome all to the adventure that will be my first, and last, ever trip report. I have big boots to fill.. the likes of Sir Robert Haseler have set an unattainable level of trip report character. Nevertheless, I will try my best to account for all the manic happenings of such an interesting trip.


We begin with how any good trip does, a fallen soldier due to a positive covid test (although I suspect they just didn’t want to listen to hours of Jungle in my car) and a 7 hour drive up to the lakes (whose idea was this?). One by one our convoy of early 2000’s death traps and mummy and daddy’s cars made their way up to the far North, only stopping for a tactical maccies or to admire the great views of Birmingham. Sam, Hugh and Mann were the first to arrive, having overtaken myself and Jon on our mission to spend as much club budget on maps as possible (laminated only). Quickly bored, the three musketeers decided to have a night mission up Striding Edge to look at the stars, or something. Jon and I remained to receive the great ASDA delivery from the man who had been waiting down the track for the past four hours. Mincepie by mincepie we unpacked Vicky’s shopping only to be interrupted by Claire informing us she had become stuck on a large cliff sized boulder. After a quick rally stage down the track, Jon and I came to the rescue. We all assessed the situation, and decided the best course of action was of course to just pick up the car. Rob’s deadlifting had paid off and we heroically moved Claire’s fiesta off the cliff’s edge. Crisis averted. Order restored.


The remainder of the evening was spent discussing the next day’s activities. THE PLAN: Jon, Alex and I would do an ‘Alpine start’ to go and climb Pinnacle Ridge because Jon wanted ‘an epic’; Jonny would lead a slightly bigger scrambling day; and Josh would take up the slack with a walk up striding edge. The ‘chefs’ Vicky, Hugh and Robin were to do something in the morning and then do ‘cooking’. That evening, after some grumpy shouting by Jon and Robin rambling on about his sixth-sense for inversions, we all dozed off, ready for the next day’s adventures.


Four hours later, having spent the night in the hut’s presidential suite and armed with Santa hats, us three ‘wise’ men snuck out on our adventure, a quest to bring gifts of grumpiness, impatience and tiredness to the baby Jesus, Carmine. Within two minutes Jon had almost fallen down a gorge but after a brisk walk, made even brisker by the sound of being hunted by the hounds, we made it to the base of Pinnacle ridge for sunrise. By 9am we were at the top of St Sunday Crag, and I could finally admit the early start may have been worth it (mega sunrise). The rest of the day was spent plodding over to Helvellyn, basking in the December sun, and taking photos of the inversions. It was midday when we arrived, the three wise men were too early.. perfect time for a nap, so we thought. 5 minutes later the Ghost of Christmas present arrived merrily singing jingle bells on his accordian, a bit too merrily for Jon’s liking. Soon after Josh, the Shepherd, had successfully led his sheep up Striding edge. Jane, Jonny and the rest of the angels had made their detour to ‘a hole in a wall’ and also appeared over Striding edge, I am told that this required Jonny to fall into a river. It was carolling time. Carmine handed us carolling sheets and we (nearly all) joined in for the highest carolling in England. If you ask me, 16 carols is too many carols, but we skipped a few and shortly disbanded, heading back in different ways. Jon, Alex and I went down Striding edge straight back to the hut, while the other groups extended their adventure eventually coming down Swirral edge to join us later. Success, no one had died. But the day was only just beginning, there’s a whole bible afterall.



While our adventures on the hills were coming to an end the adventures in the kitchen were only just beginning. Vicky and Hugh had spent the morning visiting the Aira Force waterfalls, and got lost whilst local man Robin went on a fell run, but was locked out on his return so instead went to the local for a pint. They had begun the food prep when we arrived back, it had started well. Oblivious to kitchen ongoings, we all sat down to some mulled wine, puzzle-solving and card games. Some people even fell asleep wrapped in two sleeping bags with mulled wine in hand, but I wouldn’t have known, I was napping. It was a good time but little did we know the kitchen nightmares. In the space of an evening the cooks had: set fire to the oil for the parsnips filling the room with smoke thus blinding Robin, ran out of gas (admittedly not their fault), tried grilling pigs in blankets on a microwave grill leading to a second fire, had several breakdowns in fits of laughter leaving Vicky to put out said fire, got a man to fix the gas, and then Robin dropped the parsnips. Vicky seemed remarkably calm throughout, however Robin and Hugh did not, vowing never to do it again (thanks for volunteering for next year Robin). But Alas! By 9pm we had our food, and in our hungry bellies, that’s all that mattered. We all drifted off to bed.


In the morning, we arose to the smell of Jon, Jane and Emma cooking us breakfast. Jon, haunted by his veganism flashbacks, poisoned the mushrooms for one poor soul who did not feel well later that day. With a big drive back ahead of us we all opted to hand over a small fortune to the national trust and go on a short walk around Gowbarrow Park and the Aira Force waterfalls - Some of the lazier/crippled members decided to just sit in the cafe, great use of those new approach shoes. Suitably sleep-deprived we finished up and headed back to Bath, trying not to crash in the fog on the way back, and admiring each other’s photos on the trip album.


 A good, slightly chaotic trip. 8 puzzle books / 11 kitchen fires.