Network Gathering

12 years, 9 months ago Andrew Shirley wrote:
Andrew Shirley

Easter weekend saw Firestorm finally make it to the national network gathering in the lakes.

We travelled up Thursday night / Friday morning, arriving just in time to pitch a tent before going scrambling on Jack’s rake. After a fairly hard but scenic climb up stickle ghyll, we came to stickle tarn and then set off up the grade 1 scramble. We all enjoyed the scramble itself but it was followed by a slow descent. Feeling suitably proud of ourselves and knackered from an afternoon of hard work, we only poked our head in to the beer tent that night, savoring the delights of a queen-heavy karaoke (well it was by scouts!)

Saturday was split into a quick trip into Windermere town followed by sailing on the lake. We went out 2 to-a-boat and were doing fine until Lindsay and I were scuppered. Someone had left the bung out of our boat and the internal structures filled with water and we sank :-( After waiting for ages for the boat to empty back on dry land, we rejoined the rest and slowly got the hang of sailing. Despite not really warming up after our dip, we headed to the beer tent (perhaps a little later than most) and enjoyed the band/DJ until kicking out time.

We decided we would do our own thing on Sunday and so we went for a walk around one of the smaller lakes north of Windermere. After some minor drama finding a parking space in the small rural car parks on easter Sunday, we stopped at a pub and after exchanging cash for beer (and almost as importantly, parking) we set off. The weather forecast wasn’t great but as we got further around the shore of the lake, we realised that it was going to be a scorcher and we finished the day in glorious sunshine. We returned to the tent with just enough time to cook, eat and smurf-up for the children’s TV themed party that night. Copious blue face paint and some home made hats (cheers lindsay) topped off our mostly primark outfits as we again stayed in the beer tent until closing.

While it was a long way to travel, I thoroughly enjoyed the gathering and would definitely recommend going again next year. I have also been inspired to try to attend another closer-to-home event such as MAD or intense either this year or next.

Firestorm are going to attend 3 national events this year (pencilled in as gathering, sun run and sedan chair) as well as our own camps in spring (we went to cheddar this year), summer and autumn. We try to do as much adventurous activities on these camps as possible and while it is easy to find instructors to try whatever you want at a national event, If anyone has any ideas for things they would like to try at our own camps, let me know.
After missing out on horse riding at the gathering, we are going to look into the cost of doing this for either a whole day or even a weekend, probably in the new forest. Watch this space!