Perhaps a night of semi-chaos but also one of some achievement for which we’re thankful to all for reaching our planned check point and to Simon, for his vehicle rescue service at the Strines car park. The initial group of seven including some veterans of last Wednesday’s very wet and windy hyperthermic weather set off in cold dry conditions with the aim of reaching the waterfall at the top of Abbey Brook which we think we had missed two weeks previously. Without our Cap’n (enjoying himself in the Trough of Bowland), Tom took over navigational leadership starting on a fast track. More correctly, it was a track, yes, with fast Warts on it Tom, Tim, Simon, Dave H (a welcome return) and Pete. Moz and I followed on, hoping they would burn themselves out so we could redeem ourselves later but sadly we didn’t.

Fortunately, we struck Harmeriana at the end of the track and things slowed down a bit for our crossing of the Cartledge Flats area. Fell runners’ experiences would hardly describe the ground as flat, there may be no significant uphill or downhill but the individual tussocks, very many of them, do add up to quite a number of ups and downs which count as significant particularly for those with short legs, so long legged tussock hoppers win the day, a valid excuse for the very slow valiant short legged tussock crawlers!

The ”Flat” ends abruptly at the precipitous edge of Abbey Brook. Unlike a couple of weeks earlier, we were all together so we descended, en masse, the very steep slope with intense care, remembering Ruth’s alarming slide down almost to the Brook below. True it was some time ago but it does tend to stick in the memory. We survived the descent but there was a bit of scrambling over person-sized boulders, all with the background noise of rushing water.

My poor photo of the waterfall, Pete is in the foreground and the waterfall is in the background
Pete’s photo of the waterfall with Tim and Simon

We paused at the waterfall to recover our stability and three of us came to our senses and decided to leave the trip to Berristers Tor to the fast Warts whilst Pete, Moz and I went on our way to the Blockhouse. We failed to find it mainly because our minds were scrambled by a stint of slab running which, as it turned out, was not enough because our direct line took us to the gamekeeper’s house and then on to Strines Dike before a road finish to the car park.

A whirling like Derviish figure waving planks of wood met us there, Jim had managed to get his car stuck in the mud so there was much spinning of wheels and the aroma of burning rubber. Even we heavyweights failed to make any significant progress pushing the car and avoiding the high-speed plank missiles being fired at us. But after quite a while continuing to fail, Simon (on his “white charger” pick-up truck) and Tim arrived to extricate the car. There was news from the other remaining two still out there. There had been an incident with Dave discovering he had lost his phone somewhere between Berresters and Low Tor. So, Dave heroically decided to go back to search for it with volunteer Tom’s help. Sadly, it was all in vain despite efforts at locating it being thwarted by a lack of signal. What’s more, could there be anything more? Snow forecast for the following day, did arrive covering it up. The story does appear to have a happyish ending, the following day a new phone was cloned and the old one disabled.

Who knows what will happen on the next Slow Warts outing from Fairholmes? Whatever, we agreed we’d had an adventurous outing.

Thanks to all.


The track of the slower threesome thanks to Moz
Categories: Warts