Halloween Meet Meet – 2017

Pumpkins

19 of us turned up for the final meet of the year. Most of us arrived on Friday, armed with pumpkins and Halloween tat, and spent the evening fixing cobwebs, spiders and assorted rubber vermin about the hut. Graham even scampered up the ladder to dangle a pumpkin balloon from the rafters.

That night it was proper Halloween weather. Those of us in vans listened to the wind howling and speculated on the structural soundness of the trees we were parked beneath. We woke to a very Borrowdaleish morning and after a leisurely start headed out walking. Ken and Anne Daykin went round Derwentwater with Andy and Christopher Brown, while Graham, Mary and Hannah Totterton, Paul Scott and Deborah Marsh walked to Gable before a fireside pint in a warm pub ambushed them. Me, Mike Pike, Clare McCarthy and Nigel Coe headed to Keswick after finding no fungi on our foray, then me and Nigel went in search of the Victorian eccentric Millican Dalton’s cave on Castle Crag, which we eventually found after much clambering and exploring and encountering a stick man in a chair and a beautifully made stone spiral along the way.

Finger Food

We arrived back to find more folk – Alison and Ian Athrol, Keith Sanders, Ali Wood, Pete and Laetitia Sterling, and between them they had done us proud with pumpkins, halloween themed food and even a costume or two. Sadly, Pete was not wearing his lederhosen. The pot luck supper was followed by Hallowen games, with various people suggesting their own favourites – apple bobbing, dangling donuts, cereal killer, climbing through a coat hanger; and the carved pumpkins were judged by the youngest members of the meet, Hannah and Chris. (great costume effort from Hannah, too)

Was this his or her idea of a honeymoon?

We woke on Sunday to a glorious autumn day, blue sky and golden sunshine. Most of us headed out to either walk on the high fells or go cragging. Alison and Ian went for a lovely 20km walk up to Dale Head and then down via Hindscarth, the Tittertons went kayaking on Derwentwater. Ken, Anne, Andy and Chris went first to Quayfoot, which was a bit greasy, then on to Wodens face where they found warm dry rock. Our team of four (me, Nigel, Mike and Clare) headed to Shepherds where we encountered a wedding shoot on Little Chamonix. That’s, right, on the route, in full penguin suit and swirly white wedding dress! Possibly one of the more unusual things I’ve seen on a crag. The bride lowered off and then top roped the final pitch in her wedding dress.

Thanks to all who came and contributed food, halloween kitsch and their company. Special mention to Nigel who should really get a Hut Polishing prize for his efforts – while we were sitting round in the morning necking mugs of tea, Nigel got the ladder out and cleared the gutters of leaves.

Peri Stracchino

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