Seeing as it’s been a year since I have updated my blog there have been many hiking trips, almost too many to talk about, so I’ll just summarise a few of them.
Dunmail Raise Trip
The first weekend trip of this academic year was to old club haunt Dunmail Raise in the Lakes. We had plenty planned for this first trip and it turned out to be as memorable as we had hoped … but possibly for the wrong reasons. The weather was its usual cheerful self in the Lakes in that it was cloudy and rained on us most of the trip. What was memorable about the trip was the party that we had in the evening, Mark brought out his party games including a pass the parcel with a bit of a twist … I probably shouldn’t say any more as it will bring back memories some people … Sophia (cough) will not want to remember.
The next trip was a complete contrast to the weather that we had in the Lakes, it was sunny! It turned out we were not the only ones making the most of the sun as we had a lot of company out on the hills including some horses that came and said hello and some paragliders; thanks to these guys we got some good photos!
Brecon Beacons Trip
The one where we experienced all types of weather (yes I have been watching friends again). The weekend trip that we had in the spring term was to the Brecon Beacons which I was excited about because it was one of the national parks I had not hiked in.
The first day we went to the Black Mountains and did a ridge walk, just as we made it onto the ridge it started to rain on us and then hail and then wind … a lot of wind! We got some great views down the valley to the river and tarn. Due to time constraints we had to cut the walk short so we cut down the valley to the river and luckily found a place to cross and head back down the other side of the valley.
After an evening of serenading and card games we decided to take on Pen y Fan and Fan y Big. I decided I wanted to try and navigate this walk … and very quickly went the wrong way so handed back the map to Mike. As we started to get higher the weather turned on us again but this time it snowed! By the time we got towards the top of Pen y Fan the ridge was covered in snow and for me snow inevitably mean falling. On the way down off of Pen y Fan I managed to fall over three times in the space of 20 minutes! Despite this I my first weekend in the Brecon Beacons was excellent.
Again for this trip I headed to a location that I had yet to hike in, the Cairngorms in Scotland. There were only five of us on this trip which may explain why we decided to do a 25k walk on the first day with a 5.30am wake up call. We decide to climb Braeriach which is the UK’s 3rd Highest Peak, it is traditional for Cairngorm walks to involve a very long walk in and this one was no exception, we had to walk about 6km through a forest and the bottom a valley before we even started climbing; once we had it was quite steep. Once up on the ridge the clouds circled in and stole the view away from us and we didn’t get them back until on the way down, after we had extended our walk by another 5k. Making it 30k which took us 10 hours in total … needless to say we were all in bed by 9.30pm.
The next day me and Mike had a bit more of a lie in and got up at 8. We decided (for some unknown reason!) to go for a run in the afternoon and have a bimble in the morning around Aviemore and up to the ski centre on Cairn Gorm. We had some great views from Cairn Gorm ski centre down to Loch Morlich where we were planning on doing our run. It turns out the run was not such a good idea for me as my legs did not want to move!
Tuesday we decided to take on Cairn Gorm and Ben Macdui (the second highest mountain in the UK). This time when we got up to the ski centre we were surrounded by clouds and that was the way it stayed for the whole walk. As we got higher and higher snow began to get deeper and deeper until we got to the top of Cairn Gorm and we were sinking up to our waists in some cases. This made the going very slow so we were unable to reach Ben Macdui and had to turn our walk back early.
The last day we treated as a rest day and did a low level walk taking in Carn Ann Ailean which was out the back of the bunkhouse. In the afternoon me, Mike and Ridley headed to Inverness to have a look around and in mine and Mike’s case get a well-deserved Starbucks coffee.
This may be my last Loughborough Hiking Club trip and it is definitely a high to finish on.