Gordon Carder’s last trip – Dow Crag

by Steve Capes

Members from the Cambridge Climbing and Caving Club met at the Barrow Mountaineering and Ski Club hut in the Coniston Coppermines valley on Saturday 19th January 2008 to carry out Gordon Carder’s wishes that his cremated remains be scattered on the top of Dow Crag.

A team of the following set off to complete a traverse of Wetherlam, Swirl How, The Old Man of Coniston and finally Dow Crag: Gordon Scott (Club President), Pete Atkinson (Club Secretary), Steve Capes (carrying Gordon Carder), Rob Smithies, Dan Muldoon, Jane Savill, James Gill, Gareth Phillips, Donald Allwright, Peter Dawson. Former members Dave Bowen, Neville Boneham and Phil Clayton met the team either en route or on the summit.

The following members climbed routes on Little How Crag before meeting the others on Dow Crag: Graham Dolman, Andy Buckley, Paul Bolton, Gerard Thornley, Charles Moreton, Michael Hosemann

At a few minutes past 3pm a short ceremony was held for Gordon, Steve Capes made a short reading from ‘The Playground of Europe’ by Leslie Stephen:

…your mind is far better adapted to receive impressions of sublimity when you are alone, in a silent region, with a black sky above and giant cliffs all around; with a sense still in your mind, if not of actual danger, still of danger that would become real with the slightest relaxation of caution, and with the world divided from you by hours of snow and rock.

Club President Gordon Scott then scattered Gordon’s ashes off Dow Crag in a sheltered area above the climbing cliffs overlooking Goat’s Water and the Old Man of Coniston. After thanking all for attending he proposed a toast to Gordon, after which the team descended to the Sun Inn in Coniston and then to a very successful wake evening at the climbing hut. One of Gordon’s favourite pieces of music, ‘Highlands’ by Bob Dylan was played in remembrance of a very popular club member.

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