Here at Distant Horizons our normal Saturday usually involves travelling across the Lake District via outdoor activities such biking, walking, kayaking, canoeing and sometimes abseiling. This is all great fun, however every now and then we get a group of guys or gals that just want to come and have a laugh, create some memories, not do anything too physical (due to hangover) and have a few drinks to round it all off. Of course, we are talking about the pre-wedding shenanigans of stag and hen parties that are not unfamiliar in our beautiful part of the world, and for the more adventurous parties what better way to enjoy the celebrations than on an outdoor adventure in the Lake District.
This weekend we were playing host to a stag party with a difference; our clients wanted some mountaineering action by ascending Helvellyn via Striding Edge with a few added extras along the way, including a sneaky cheese board and bottle of port, essentials to making this stag party activity day a memorable one.
On the morning of the hike we met the stag group in the Sun Inn in Pooley Bridge and despite a few blurry eyes and sore heads all the lads were on time and ready to go on an outdoor adventrue. We always love a positive start to the day. After driving the stag group down to Glenridding and handing out supplies we were ready to set off towards Greenside youth hostel and upwards to Red Tarn.
From the moment we set off spirits were high and the stag party happily pottered up the track towards Red Tarn. As we approached the Helvellyn basin it was obvious that the weather was picking up and we would have to be careful on the ridges with the increasing winds. After a coffee and some flapjack everyone felt refreshed and ready to hit the ridges. We decided to ascend Swirral Edge to avoid the prevailing winds and then descend via Striding Edge if the winds weren’t too strong. Swirral Edge was straight forward and we managed to avoid the wind by hiding on the southern side, however we were buffeted by the winds on the top plateau so we took a picture at the summit cairn and quickly moved on towards the shelter. The stag party had a few minutes to gather themselves and have a drink (cool box for the beer not required), they then made their way down Striding Edge and back to the shelter at Red Tarn for cheese and port. Striding Edge was more sheltered than expected and a few Helvellyn first timers were happy that they got to experience the ridge, and were even happier when we got back to the shelter at Red Tarn and there was hot soup waiting. With it being a cold day on Helvellyn this was much appreciated by both the stag party and instructors.
Full from a mountain side packed lunch, plus the tasty cheese board, the stag party started to make their way back down, and after constant banter and lots of laughs the stag party made it back to Glenridding. Of course the walk wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the pub and after a well-earned pint the stag party said a huge thank you for their day of adventure before we left them to whatever they had planned for the evening!
"Thank you for Jason's help and please pass my thanks on to Dan and Pete who both did a brilliant job and also managed to carry about 50kg of cheese and port up and back down the hill! We had a great time despite the weather. I have to say I do fancy coming back and doing it when the sun is shining at some point. I think the Sun Inn just about survived unscathed as well so all in all a successful and very enjoyable weekend!"