Excuses had been sent. In foreign parts (alpine skiing, Portuguese sunbathing…….), illness, unfit, injury, even not bothered, etc. so only four Slow Warts arrived at Westend in the half light of sunset and moon rise. Even the four of us had been temporarily thwarted by road closure signs at Fairholmes but we were determined to uphold our Warting, and continued along the valley. Andy Tim, Jim and I set off carrying all our ailments (bravely and gracefully, I must add) up the main track towards the edge of Alport castles.

In retrospect, my new Hokas (sole ripped off the old ones in the frost last week) would have been more suitable up the rocky track but nevertheless persevered with the Inov8’s. It’s good for the soul! By the time we reached the edge, Jim had taken his own line and explained this in a What’sApp message which was somewhat scrambled (for secrecy?) and only read by me the next day! More easy running along the edge took us to the descent into the canyon and rock fall below the Castles. Having not really been Warting up the track, it was time to restore our Wartiness, not in the deep heather or the bogginess of the moors, but in the intimidating darkness of the broken boulder field. Tim skipped ahead dodging through and dancing on the rocks with ease, ah, the joys of youth. We did pause a couple of times to stare into dark voids but devised ways through despite, at one stage, heading for a cliff face. A sharp left turn brought us to a grassy path by the fence. But don’t be fooled, our return to Warting was not finished. A hands and knees climb over tussocky ground was our grand finale to the edge path. We brought ourselves down from the Warting high by crossing the moor to the shooting butts, including numbers 10 and 8, and back to the track for a gentle return to the cars.

Our post run analysis at the Anglers, somehow drifted to tales of surviving bogs we had known and escaped from. Was this because of a subconscious need for a dose of swamps after our dry night on the rocks? Maybe to compensate, our next outing was to be starting from a potentially boggier Midhopestones elbow.

We had been challenged, refreshed, and enervated by our little adventure into the world of rockiness and cliffs. Thanks to all.


Categories: Warts