Here comes Summer.....

Down from Winter Hill Ready to repel the enemy Reg thumbs a lift (from the enemy??) Smiles at snap time The Mission Begins The Trespass Story Stone
Wednesday June 3rd. Start 10.00am, finish 4.00pm, 15 miles.

The Dirty Dozen

Other commitments on the day restricted volunteers for this mission to a select ‘Dirty Dozen’. The mission itself was to be loosely based on a reversal of the ‘Christmas Cracker’ hence its name ‘Uncracked’ but with some modifications.

Led by the intrepid Bernard we left the hastily re-arranged rendezvous at the Blundell Arms at ten hundred hours prompt and passed the original landing point at The Bob’s Smithy to collect the last member of the team before dropping down to Barrow Bridge.

As we proceeded on to the ascent of Winter Hill a potential diversion to storm Bolton Beach was abandoned due to the cloud cover, but a stop was taken at the stone commemorating our 10,000 brave comrades who in 1896 took part in the mass trespass of Winter Hill thus securing our right of way.

On seeing enemy activity at the TV mast we diverted around the site, leaving it intact so as not to attract attention to our mission and proceeded to descend from the hill. As we did so we were aware of the helicopter support which fortunately we did not need, and also admired the aerobatics skills of the biplane pilot as he protected the sky above our mission.

At the base of Great Hill after a team discussion we used some of our rations for elevenses. A left turn then took us down to Lead Mine Clough where Peter recounted the history of the aircraft monument that apparently is in the wrong place!

Leaving the mines and monument also intact we passed between the Yarrow and Anglezarke reservoirs to approach Rivington Village with the intention of releasing all prisoners held in the stocks. As there were none, we lunched on more of our rations. Taking the path by the banks of Lower Rivington reservoir we then proceeded to storm Liverpool Castle which proved to be a folly.

The return to our rendezvous point was still not easy as we climbed back up Winter Hill, sneaking quietly past by the guard dogs that protected the access road to Rivington Pike, before completing a recce of the last mile for the next planned mission. Return to base was achieved at precisely sixteen hundred hours with all team members counted safely back in.

Congratulations to all the team for the completion of another successfully mission.

The next mission, for those that wish to accept it, will be lead by Hilary, commencing at nineteen hundred hours on Tuesday 9th June 2009 at the same Blundell Arms rendezvous point.

Saturday June 6th. Start 9.00pm Troutbeck.Finish 7.00am 19 miles

Moonlight Meander

This was my third year leading this 19 mile mountain night walk, still in search of that one perfect night, full moon, clear sky, no wind and dry. Third time lucky? Not quite.

Six of us set off over the Garburn Road to Kentmere with the sun setting over Wansfell, with just one slight navigational error we had lunch at Nan Bield (can you have lunch at 00.30?) The moon was just a slight haze through the unbroken cloud and the wind chill was bad enough for more layers. Another stop for refreshment at the Rigg, at the foot of a three mile climb to the summit of High Street. Wainwright calls this route” One for connoisseurs” I have another word for it.

Whether it was the size of the group, the increase in my fitness(?) or because we were following Jake for a good part of the night, but we were making much faster time than expected.

My instructions were to ring Christine 45 minutes before reaching the caravan, to give her chance to get the bacon butties on the go, and put the kettle on. It was only 06.10 and no one else was brave enough to ring her. So once again the burden of leadership fell upon me.

The bacon butties were most welcome, and very tasty.

Daylight at last Homeward Bound Mmm, looks delicious Night has fallen Start at Troutbeck Sunset over the Hills