Thirteen of us spent the weekend at Birkness FRCC hut in Buttermere…a fab setting for another of our summer hut meets. On route to the meet on Friday, John, Chris Paul, Amanda and I stopped off at Upper Shepherds crag for some easy leading and prusik practice…it’s all about the technique and clearly needs more practice!
Damp weather on Saturday limited activities but didn’t deter Chris from heading off to a remote Wainwright summit near Egremont. Another party went over Haystacks returning via Scarth Gap. Chris Vernon and Martyn had a dry day at Shepherds crag on Little Chamonix and Brown Slabs Crack. And those of us left in the hut took advantage of quiet rest day, reserving our energy in anticipation of a warm Sunday…and we weren’t disappointed!
Preparations for the communal meal began early evening. Embraced by all, the kitchen was buzzing with activity; chopping, grinding, mixing and blending the ingredients. Nineteen joined the ‘gourmet’ curry menu which thanks to Sylvia’s planning and coordination (and great teamwork), was another huge success…a choice of bhaji, samosa, pakora, popadoms and dips, 5 curry dishes, 3 awesome homemade desserts (thanks David) and cheese and biscuits.
Sunday’s weather cleared earlier than expected so to burn off excess calories, Fiona, John and Sylvia did a circuit from the hut taking in Robinson’s crag and Buttermere village while five of us plodded up to Grey crag. Chris, Martyn and Dick climbed Mitre Buttress direct, continuing up to meet John and I on Oxford and Cambridge Direct …an awesome route, well worth it’s 3***. The rock was dry, the sun shone and the crag was sheltered from the chilly wind. They carried on up O&C direct and over Red Pike, while I chose some more leading practice on Central Route. Maybe not the best choice as stumped by the ‘overhanging corner’, it became a 3 pitch route! Good top pitch though to end the day.
Thanks to everyone for making this another really enjoyable hut meet.