Coniston Hut Meet 26-28 Jan 2024 – Report

10 humans and 3 dogs embarked on a weekend in Coniston staying at the Barrow mountaineering & Ski Club hut. Arriving at varying times on Friday night the group soon got the stove roaring and everyone exploring the quirky but very comfortable hut. Plans were made for a circular walk for the following day.

Two groups formed, the affectionately named dog group and a smaller but mighty team – both had similar walks planned albeit the mighty team were also the early birds!

The dog team had a fantastic walk taking in 7 of the local Wainwright peaks- Wetherlam, Swirl How, Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man and back to Dow Crag (an excellent route making the best use of the elevation gain). The group, led of course by our four legged friends, then headed back to the saddle between Swirl How and Brim Fell to lead us down past Levers Water to the hut. Conditions were challenging with wind, rain and our fair share of poor visibility, but an enjoyable day in the hills nonetheless. The mighty group had planned the same route albeit assenting via the ridge to Wetherlam. Unfortunately the strong winds battered the group and they opted to retreat from the edge. After a pit stop of coffee and table tennis (an added bonus that should be a must in all huts) the group ventured out again and to tackle Coniston Old Man and its neighbours for an excellent days walking in challenging conditions.

The team reconvened at the hut at remarkably almost exactly the same time and enjoyed refreshments and hot showers. More table tennis was played before play was stopped (owing to the net being attached to the dining table!) by the arrival of Paul’s famous vegan paella! Not only were we treated to this savoury masterpiece but Lorna and Simon also provided two delicious home made (and home grown for the most part!) crumbles with custard. With full tummy’s and warm bodies the groups plans turned to Sunday.

The group split with a couple of the team deciding to partake in shorter endeavours due to family commitments but the majority ventured to a National Trust car park close to Blea Tarn which provided the starting point for tackling Pike of Blisco and Cold Pike. The day again saw challenging conditions but two more excellent peaks (and its fair share of discussions as to exactly which high points were summits as more emerged from the mist). By the end of the walk the weather had lifted and we got some hints of the Lakeland views we had been missing.

Some chose to head straight off, others to meet at a cafe to charge and recharge before the journey home. An excellent weekend was had by all and one very tired pooch in our van on the way home!

Thanks to the food makers, the wood bringers and the whiskey providers.

Special thanks to those who arranged the hut and the meet despite not being able to attend themselves due to family and work commitments, we really appreciate your efforts!

Until next time! Rosie

Lorna’s pics

Chris Lunn’s pics:

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