May Day Trip to the Lake District

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Five club members ventured down to the Lake District to climb Grisedale Pike.  I was away sharp from Cathcart at 8am and picked Allan Boyd up at his house.  We then drove down to Southwaite Services on the M6 where we met up with Elena, Cornel and Willie.  After a short break we drove on to Braithwaite, just outside Keswick, where we parked the cars.  We were off by 11am, climbing quickly up onto Sleet Howe.  A well worn track then took us up to the summit of Grisedale Pike.  It was fairly windy, but at least dry.

Ascending Grisedale Pike  On Whiteside  On Whiteside

After a short stop for food we moved on to Hopegill Head.  After another rest, Willie decided to head back and assured us we would catch him up.  The rest of us took a short diversion out to Whiteside to see what we could see .. more hills and lakes, but worth the effort!  At this point the rain came on and we headed back to Hopegill Head.  A quick decent was then made to Coldale Hause, where we joined the main track back to the valley floor.  We kept moving, passing the old mine workings en-route, but we never caught up with Willie .. we suspect he ran down to Braithwaite and managed a swift pint before we arrived.

After changing we dropped in to the Coledale Inn for some light refreshment before heading up the road .. another enjoyable day down in the Lakes.

Mark Setford

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May Weekend to Poolewe

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Due to it being my last Corbett, Miriam and I took the Friday off, rather than head up after work.  After a stop at the House of Bruar we got to the Kinlochewe Hotel for lunch and met Chris and Kate.  After lunch it was a short drive to Poolewe where we settled in to our B&B.  Once the other B&B'ers had gathered, we headed down to to the Poolewe Hotel for something to eat.  It was a relief to see the hotel open, as shortly after I had decided on Beinn Airigh Charr as my last Corbett the hotel closed and went into receivership.  Over the following months various options were considered, such as basing ourselves in Gairloch, camping and bring our own booze, B&B in Poolewe and hiring a taxi to take us all to Gairloch for food and drink, etc.  Finally however, the hotel reopened to serve food and drink.  Over the evening everyone gathered in the hotel, as we were spread out all over Poolewe and plans were made to set off the following morning at 9 o'clock.

Due to there being a good track into the base of the hill, some opted for cycling in and were going to set off a little later.  Once my brother had arrived from Inverness the rest of us started walking.  The weather had poured down overnight and the wind had been very strong .. the wind was my main worry for not getting to the top.  However, during the first couple of hours the wind abated a little and the rain wasn't quite so hard.  Once at the base of the hill, we were waved off by the support team who were going to get back and start preparing for the nights celebrations, ably led by Chris.  There was a fairly good track heading up the hill and good progress was made.  About two thirds of the way up Sarah and Martin decided to head back.  After about an hour we were on the summit .. the end of another long, enjoyable road.  The weather even treated us to a very short gap to see some of the surrounding area.  There wasn't time to dwell, so we got tucked into the champagne, cheese, biscuits and grapes.  After some photos it was time to pack up and head back to Poolewe.  Once back at the track the cyclists sped back, but it didn't seem too long before we were all back in the Poolewe Hotel for some light refreshment.

Mark Setford arrives at his final Corbett summit  Corbetts complete on Beinn Airigh Charr  Celebrations continue  Celebrations continue  Celebrations continue  The cake is about to be cut at the celebration dinner  The picture on the cake

The evening got started with the remaining bottles of champagne.  Miriam had asked the Landlord if this was OK and that we would use our own glasses.  However, once the cork fired out of the first bottle almost all of the contents exploded all over the tables and floor.  Fortunately, the Landlord didn't seem to bother and cleared up the mess.  I took the second bottle outside and it opened with a whimper.  Miriam is convinced the bottle was given a good shake behind her back.  If anyone has any information it will be treated in the strictest confidence!!  The hotel laid out one big table for us in the restaurant and a good night was had by all.  Many thanks for all my presents and the cake.  Also a "thank you" for the Quaich presented to me by the Club.

The following day it was back to raining hard and the majority headed down the road.  From memory Allan Boyd and Willie were going to walk into Gruinard Bay to the Fisherfield Corbetts, Beinn Dearg Bheag and Beinn Dearg Mor, but after being lashed by the wind and rain they turned back.  After saying our goodbyes at the B&B we went to check the campers had survived the night, but after a few short words we were quickly chased off by the campsite owner.

Finally, thanks to everyone attending this trip and making my last Corbett a memorable one.  I just hope Miriam gets some nice weather for her last Munro ......

Mark Setford

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