Newsletter Autumn 20

So here we are in a second lockdown…just as we were planning to revert to our weekend walking programme!   I do hope you’re all keeping your spirits up as we try to process ever-changing restrictions and guidelines.  Once again the Committee had a Zoom meeting to discuss the current situation and the way forward for the club.

 Revised Walk Programme

 Sadly, the return of the walk programme to Sunday walks has had to be curtailed after just two walks, as a result of the new lockdown.  As we are now only allowed to meet one other person outside who is not in our household, the walk programme has now been suspended until this restriction is lifted.

There is potentially only one walk that might take place this year – the Blue on the 6th December – fingers crossed!  Regretfully, we have decided to cancel the Christmas walk as it traditionally attracts far too many people to be practical in today’s Covid world.

We’d like to give a big thank you to the walk leaders who devised and led so many walks over the summer to get us going in what has been very difficult and, at times, restrictive circumstances.

The September Wainrights weekend went ahead in Borrowdale after the May and July weekends were cancelled.  It was a weekend of mixed weather with some very wet and windy conditions on the hills but also some fabulous views as the photos on the club website show.

A reminder that to those of you who have attended walks since the restart in the summer will be asked to pay for your walk fees retrospectively and electronically.  Pauline will email you over the next week or so with the amount owing and it will be appreciated if you could pay promptly so that the accounts can be finalised in time for the virtual (yes, virtual!) AGM in January.


Charity Walk

Many thanks to everyone who took part in the ‘walk your own walk’ for charity, your photos and for your generous donations – a total of £300!  As usual, we will divide this between Cancer Research and Stroke Association.



2020 UK weekends

9 – 11 October:  Autumn Weekend at Malham HF

And then there were 11…

Although not as eventful a holiday as the Badia ski trip in March, the dreaded Covid took its toll on participation in this year’s Autumn weekend, with only 11 of the original 21 making it to North Yorkshire. Those attending enjoyed three days of lovely walking in generally splendid autumnal weather. It is regrettable that so many members were not able to join us on this occasion. As ever, the famous limestone pavement proved to be the main attraction; the climb via the waterfall could not be tackled because of the volume of water, although this did not detract from the enjoyment of our walks on Saturday, and we enjoyed viewing the falls then taking another route to the tarn.

Pauline is to be thanked profusely for rejigging the programme numerous times right up to and over the weekend itself, as members and walk leaders were forced to withdraw for Covid-related reasons.  An enormous amount of work by the walk leaders went into the preparation of the walk programme in advance of the weekend (providing a ‘bank’ of walks which can always be used on subsequent visits). Sadly, as a result of the withdrawals, it was not possible to provide as many ‘green’ walks; however some members were able to take advantage of the excellent range of self-guided walks made available by the HF house itself.

It was unfortunate that our normal riotous socialising had to be curtailed in order to comply with social distancing; nevertheless, it was an extremely convivial weekend under the straightened circumstances. Everyone present enjoyed the opportunity of a weekend break, in a year when so many holidays have had to be cancelled.

James has placed a number of photos on the website for your perusal.

We’re optimistic that the holidays for 2021 will all go ahead as planned. However, as we’ve learnt over the last year, everything can change. Obviously, changes will be notified as early as possible.


2021 UK weekends

16 – 19 April:  Spring Weekend at Thorns Hall in Sedbergh, Cumbria

Close to the Howgills and the Lake District, there are lots of lovely places to visit if you don’t wish to walk. This area has plenty of lovely self-guided options. 26 members have booked this holiday but there may still be some availability. The price is approximately £309 full board –  the cost depends on so many factors it’s not possible to be exact. Please contact Sarah if you are interested in joining this weekend. Explanations will take too long by email!

24 – 27 September:  Autumn Weekend at the newly refurbished Nythfa House near Brecon

Obviously the Brecon Beacons are right there, the location of a legendary OHWC walk some years ago.  Sarah says ‘I think we’ve learned from that mistake!!!’  (No idea what she means – I wasn’t there).  Nythfa House has an indoor swimming pool, plenty of self-guided options and lots of interesting places to visit nearby. Sarah encourages everyone to visit one of the finest sculptures in the world, the 15th century Jesse Tree in St Mary’s Church Abergavenny.

22 have already booked for Brecon and space still available. The cost of the weekend is £309 full board. If you would still like to come contact Sarah by email.

2021 Overseas Holidays

4 – 10 July:   Hotel Sonnhof HF (with spa), Neustift in the Stubai Alps, Austria

All grades of walks are available in this area and there’s a guarantee of cafes on the top of the hills!  19 people have booked this holiday,  but if one more person joins us we will have sole occupancy at the hotel. We fly with Lufthansa from Manchester to Munich, the cost is approximately £1,429 for half board (plus single room supplement). Without flights the cost is £1,099.

If you are thinking of coming please contact Sarah as soon as possible.

All the holidays can be viewed on the HF Holidays website.

A huge thank you to Sarah for all her hard work this year, as she has continued to deal with all the complications of holiday cancellations, refunds, transfers, re-bookings etc etc due to the pandemic.  She will finally get to step down (again!) next January when we welcome Carine back to the Committee as Holidays Secretary.

5 – September: Pyrenees

For information on this weeks walking in the Pyrenees with the opportunity to walk ‘hut to hut’ see Pyrenees September 21

Please note, these are the only dates available and all walks are Red+, Red, Blue + or Blue.  There are no easy Green Walks.

If you are interested in coming on this holiday please contact Steve reasonably quickly as hotel rooms will need to be reserved.


Virtual AGM – Date for your diary

This year’s AGM, which will have to be virtual, will take place via ‘Zoom’ on Friday 22nd January 2021 at 7.00 pm.

Members wishing to participate will be sent two ‘Zoom’ invitations, one for the formal AGM (7.00-7.45), the second for a ‘social’ meeting (8.00-8.45).  In order to comply with the most basic requirements of the constitution, the Committee feel that this will allow the club to expedite business in an efficient and timely way (given the necessity to remain within the 45 minute limit). An agenda will be sent out two weeks in advance of the AGM, and members who wish to participate will be sent the Zoom invitations and AGM Powerpoint a few days before the meeting.

Details to follow in due course. We hope that as many of you as possible will be able to ‘attend’.


On behalf of the Committee,

Keep strong, safe and well…there’s a vaccine on its way!