No, this isn’t a sponsored blog for the Abbeydale Brewery or for an illegally distilled hooch, it is the distant sight of the orange moon rising above Derwent Edge as we headed towards Coffin Rock from Jagger’s Clough. It was quite romantic although none of the seven of us was feeling in that sort of a mood after climbing up from the bottom of the Clough. It was more a mood of Halloween particularly as we were in the area of 444 or 442 (depending on map choice), possibly an ancient burial site, Druid’s Stone, Coffin Rock and three clusters of rocks the middle one being Madwoman’s Stones.
Our spooky start, the first of the winter season, was from Rowley Bridge where I arrived having mistakenly thought we were starting from Birchen Clough (a senior moment!). A quick dash back to the bridge meant I was able to see the others just setting off up the hill. Fortunately, Andy and Tim came to meet me (much appreciated) so, during a remarkably heavy shower with the added exhilaration of hail, I played catch up on the track towards Hope Cross. There is only so much rocky track we can tolerate, so we left it to go to Crookestone Hill, note not Knoll, before diving down into Jagger’s Clough.
We’d threatened many times to have a DPFR AGM at the quarry on the way up to 444/442 and so we did. We were called to order, a proposal was made and it was carried, it took two minutes at most and the meeting was then closed. Such efficiency! This brief interlude was the precursor to the climb to 444/442 through a good dose of heather bashing and even then, we weren’t sure whether we’d arrived at the top which is almost flat. We nevertheless agreed it was good enough, but note, the damp and cold did not play any part in this decision. The climb to the edge path continued to be heathery except for just a few mown patches which were very welcome.
Along the edge path, we turned left at Coffin Rock and on to Madwoman’s Stones number three for our descent via Jubilee Cabin to the flooded road to Rowley Bridge. We then deservedly indulged ourselves at the YBI (some Moonshine was consumed) in stories of past indiscretions which had earned some of us the Pertex Award For Total Incompetence On The Mountains. The first award was made for someone who used a lit candle in a jam jar to aid navigation. This led to tales of KIMM adventures involving forgotten tent poles and meths drinking.
A good night was had by all so thanks to all and to Andy for the night navigation.