What says fun like camping in the bitter cold?

The Courier's Lucy Brogden spoke to Fellwalking secretary, Max Spalding-Gardner, to get an insight into one of the oldest societies at Newcastle.

Lucy Brogden
21st November 2016
Picturesque: Patterdale in the Lake District. Image: Harry Cornish

Sports Editor Lucy Brogden spoke to the Secretary of the fellwalking society, Max Spalding-Gardner

The fellwalking society is one of the oldest and most well-established societies at Newcastle, with this year marking their fortieth year of independence from their sworn rivals: Newcastle’s mountaineering society.

The fellwalking society allows students the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful parts of Britain at an affordable cost. It welcomes walkers of all abilities, provided they have a pair of walking boots and a set of waterproofs.

With well over 100 members the society consistently proves popular with students, with trips every other weekend, and weekly socials for all members to enjoy. Already this year, they have had day trips to Ambleside and Patterdale in the Lake District, and the Yorkshire Dales, as well as weekend trips to Glencoe and Crianlarich in Scotland.

Upcoming trips before Christmas include a day trip to Keswick with more details found on their website. Day walks cost only £15, and attract up 50 members, so there is plenty of opportunity to get to know some new faces, whilst weekend trips are for more hardy members, and cost £40 as they head further afield and stay two nights.

“Leading into winter months, society members are given winter training by competent instructors in using hand axes and crampons”

Overnight accommodation for weekend trips ranges from staying in bunkhouses, where the group enjoy a communal meal cooked by committee members, to camping, where all equipment is provided by the society and they get the chance to cook with trangias.

Each trip has three routes, all of which are of different difficulties, so walkers are able to pick which one is most suited to their abilities. Committee members plan routes in advance, and two trained committee guides lead each route.

Leading into the winter months, society members are given winter training by competent instructors in using hand axes and crampons (both of which are provided by the society).

Highlights of the fellwalking calendar include a three-day trip to Skye over the May bank holiday weekend, a week- long trip at the end of the year, and their ball, which is held in the glorious Featherstone Castle in Cumbria every February.

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