The route for the run was carefully planned, Pike Low summit, the Sterling wreck and the big cairn on the Dukes Road. The map references were also given so there was no reason to go astray, except……..the start venue on the web site was at Midhopestones but the intention was to start near the Ewden (Broomfield) so we could enjoy the benefits of the rhododendrons. As the group of six arrived at the intended start, the flashing hazard warning lights of a broken down car felt a bit foreboding particularly when the driver asked where he was. Maps were duly brought out and he was given detailed advice and a few answers, Mortimer Road, Ewden, Broomhead but not Midhopestones where a group of three DPFR cars had gathered. A few phone calls and ten minutes later, the now nine DPFR alternative warts were as one, ready for the rhodos. These had partially been cleared at the start but, further on, were still, as ever, nicely overgrown, slippy and rocky. Only the Cap’n, king of the rhodos, can navigate through them to lead us to the girders where the crawling ritual gave us a downward, head torch lit view of a rushing and turbulent Ewden which set us up for the night. In a master class of strict navigation given by Ian W using map, compass bearing and features, we followed the Cap’n to reach Pike Low. There was no signing in there, nor had there been at the start. The next compass shout was about 210° so on we went, though it felt as if we were drifting rightwards but after some correction by the Cap’n, Candlerush was reached and crossed. Tom’s (W) tree was next and was apparently seen so it could only be a short way to the wreck. Distracted by some white posts, the wreck was not to be found except for a small piece in a tiny gully. It was deemed sufficiently close to be counted as a find! 130° was the next shout and, after a fairly uneventful stretch apart from the lone lady of the group disappearing down a mini sink hole, we were soon sprinting on the quad track towards the Dukes Road. Only three of us made it to the road and then on to the cairn. The others went on the cross country route. Feeling smug about the route choice the three of us had just made, it was only a matter of a short run over the rocky heather to join another track and then on to the car. However………, the master navigation class giver set off at high speed, veered left and disappeared. We also went leftish and, yes, we did find the track but only by the time we were at the car park. Meanwhile, the master navigator had corrected himself, found the track early and was changed when we arrived!
We got round without getting rained upon or blown off our feet and some, though not all, of us enjoyed the tropical conditions. The Cap’n did confess that his navigation was based mainly on very detailed local knowledge of, I imagine, groughs, bogs both green and brown, stream crossings, white posts, one tree and the feel of the terrain. So the night’s outing was a master class in both NS and LK.
Thanks to both the master navigators!