25 – 26th July
Location: Cass lagoon
By Isambard (Izzy) McMinn
20 Students of all backgrounds trickled into the UCSA carpark Saturday morning. Most – after very little sleep and sporting a ripping headache. The mood may be sour waking up, but it quickly turns to sweet when the everyone’s smiles greet you. We were all happy to escape the city to the Cass-Lagoon Saddle track. I certainly enjoyed seeing people I hadn’t seen since freshers. No one even got hypothermia this time!
Sheffield Pies received a surge of twenty hungry shells of humans early Saturday morning. The pies were steaming hot, the outside was icy cold. Anticipation hung in the air like a blanket. After dropping off the cars, we were away walking.
The views were absolutely fantastic. Mt Horrible and Mt Misery stood enshrined in the morning glow. Snow was spotted very early on. A wide riverbed and cold sodden socks ensured we kept a decent clip, reaching Hamilton hut with daylight to spare.
We established a campfire almost straight away. Everyone helped out gathering rocks for the fire pit and logs to sit on. Izzy won the rock lifting competition with a rock that must have weighed at least 200kg.
Moon’s out Goons out, as they say. It wasn’t long before we were on! James, the madman, felt that one in the morning. Marshmallows were toasted galore. Harry brought cream and chocolate and cooked up a whole pot of fondue. Cold hit us and we were all tucked up in bed before it got too early.
Snore snore snore. Unlucky – the light sleepers among us. Nobody knew who the culprit(s) were in the end. Doesn’t matter, sleeping in a hut you’re never guaranteed a good night! Some people woke up to frozen socks and boots. Mine were hard enough to beat an unenthusiastic city dweller with. I learned that the quickest way to fix them is just to dump hot water in them (Thanks Hovey!).
The trip out was equally as stunning as on the way in. Zoë and Max summited Mt Bruce on the way out. The rest of us weren’t so intense. Harry cooked up the rest of his fondue for lunch. The beautiful human shared his dessert soup with the rest of us. Chocolate dipped carrots, bread, whipped cream, salami, cheese and snow were all fantastic, although not as good as the marshmallows.
The lagoon itself was frozen over completely with a thick sheet of partially formed ice. It was interesting that it was so thick yet so fragile. No one went swimming that day, though Harry and I were disappointed not to. The walk out was much quicker than the recommended 8h, though there was rejoicing by some at the end.
Darfield Fish n Chips got some serious attention on the way back. I’ve never seen so many people in a fish and chip shop before. So much for social distancing, it was like a 20 person standing spoon-chain in there.
All in all, a weekend well spent. We were all ready to suffer a lack of energy, food and clean clothes on Monday.