This has been a great month for keen photographers. The snow has played with light and shade, and the Northern Lights and the striking red jackets of the Salomon Team runners have swirled around the fells in fleeting displays. It was a bit cloudy for the solar eclipse, but one of our guests still made a very neat pinhole camera for the event.
Thank you to our guests and volunteers for sharing their photos. We love to see things with our own eyes, but we really appreciate the creativity, effort, and artistry behind these photos.
P.S Welcome back to Eve Miller, who will be working with us for another summer season. She has spent the winter climbing and volunteering in Spain.
Caroline (Carrie) and Alexandra have been fantastic volunteers. Here is a little interview with Carrie:
What were you doing before coming here? I finished my Abitus (German A Levels) last summer, and I am currently spending a gap year abroad, trying to learn about other cultures, see new countries, and meet new people. Thus, I have been to Iceland for two months, where I worked on a cattle farm, and afterwards to Spain, where I helped in a rescue horse stables.
Why did you come to Derwentwater? Having always been a fan of Great Britain, I started looking for places where I could stay for a couple of months. As I had worked with animals in the other countries, I thought I would try something different, so I looked for hostels in England that took volunteers. Even though I had never heard about Keswick/Cumbria before, I immediately liked the description of Derwentwater Hostel (on the Workaway website), the work and the surroundings. All in all, I was totally happy when I received Kathy’s confirmation that allowed me to come here!
Can you share some observations from your stay here? I have to admit that I was completely surprised by the area’s beauty. As Cumbria is more or less unknown in Germany, I had never heard about the Lake District before. Once I knew that I was coming here I looked it up on the internet and thought ‘Oh it looks quite nice’ but that was not even close to the amazing reality! The landscape is simply stunning and I am lucky to be here in winter/spring when it is relatively quiet and I can observe the awakening.
Carrie is now in the process of applying to Scottish universities and so hopefully we will see her again next year, while Alexandra is due to start a Masters in Germany. It has been really fantastic to have them at the hostel: thank you both!
Most of us were in bed when the Northern Lights appeared over Derwent Water on 17th March at about 11pm, but this man was in the right place at the right time!
There was a great buzz about the hostel on Friday 13th March, not least from above, where a whirring, hovering camera-drone captured images from the very start of the Salomon Trail Running Team (UK) Summit.
The Summit brought together world-class mountain runners, expert coaches, adventure sports photographers, and lots of snazzy kit, creating a colourful weekend of inspirational training and team-building.
The weekend of summits (both indoors and out!) included a night run on Walla Crag, talks about sponsorship and team races, sessions about social media and publicity, core stability classes, long runs on the Borrowdale fells, and a little bit of eating, sleeping and photo-posing in between!
The photographer, Mick Kenyon, said 'I was lucky enough to be invited along to the Salomon Summit. What a great bunch of talented athletes, and fascinating to sit in on their workshops from Salomon experts and the team sponsors. I was working alongside Matt and Ellie from Summit Fever Media who have got some amazing footage for a film they will be releasing in the near future.'
One of the athletes, Emma Clayton, said: 'The atmosphere at this year's camp is the best ever...I am inspired for the season ahead!'
Here is what Ellie and Matt of Summit Fever Media had to say: 'We had an incredible weekend working with Racing Snakes while we filmed the Salomon Trail Team on their team camp in the Lake District. Great conditions, fantastic people and a stunning location.'
The Spring season has started at the theatre! This year there is a poignant play in the studio, Two by Jim Cartwright, set in an English pub, with two actors playing all 14 characters, including the husband-and-wife landlord and landlady.
Two is billed as a 'vibrant celebration of the British pub and its drinkers', but it is really quite sad, with the personal story of the landlord and landlady developing in the second half. The wry humour is tinged with undercurrents of tragedy, but there is an optimistic ending: it is not all doom and gloom.
The multiple roles work brilliantly, with immaculate timing and costume changes, and the simple set allows the actors to show off their miming skills. Our German volunteer, Alexandra, thought the staging of the play was really clever, but she wondered how closely the characters reflected British society, with the female characters in particular appearing quite stupid. Although some of the characters seemed a bit exaggerated or similar, the landlord and landlady were very realistic, and the serious ending befitted their characters. Overall we think it is well worth seeing.
If you would like to book tickets, please tell the theatre that you have an ambassador voucher. This is a u00a33 discount off the best available seats. We will give you the voucher and you can present it at the theatre when you pick up your ticket.
This year nearly 70 people attended the Expedition Medicine course at the hostel, learning important skills for a variety of expedition scenarios. The last day included a search and rescue exercise, and the workshops covered a wide range of topics, from diving and helicopter rescues to improvised splinting and expedition dentistry. The annual Rupert Bennett Lecture was delivered by Roger Alcock, on the subject of the 'Humanitarian response to Ebola in West Africa'.
It was really exciting to host the Expedition Medicine course, and we wish everyone the best in their forthcoming expeditions and outdoor adventures.