Doctor’s Gate at 18.50, an extra 5 minutes being given to reach almost the summit of the Snake. As is routine at this start, it was cold and dark, all the more reason for signing in to the book. Sometimes the book, sometimes the sheet……. one day I will understand which is to be used. An unknown number of us set off directly for Shelf Stones trig taking in a bit of Doctor’s Gate, the Pennine Way, thankfully only a short bit, and Crooked Clough for the climb up to the Stones. By this time we were well enveloped in the mist which seemed to have continued from Saturday’s Club Champs. Does this part of the world ever see the sun?
Once gathered at the trig, the shout from Bob and Tom was Wain Stones on a bearing of 20⁰. Through various groughs some grassy and some not, we skirted near Wain Stones and then made a dash for Beaklow Head. On the way, there were two lights to our right and they declared themselves to be at Hern Stones. The two lights did not reach Bleaklow Head so a lights-out was ordered (it really was pitch black) and a few halloos were called but no reply came nor were there any light sightings. A retrace of our steps (with torches on) back to Wain Stones was made with the same result. Who were the two and were there only two? After some discussion, it was decided that Fi and Jinx were missing but all agreed that they could look after themselves though we continued with some degree of concern for them. Though we didn’t know at the time, they were very much in control because, as Fi declared in the car on the way back, she had “established Jinx’s credentials” (we don’t know quite how Jinx felt about this). He had completed various events including the OMM and the LAMM. Not knowing this, we continued to worry and we also descended from Bleaklow Head to the Swamp which truly lived up to its name as we enjoyed watching a couple of semi-immersions.
The next point of interest was the Upper North Grain hut which gave us the chance of doing a limited (very) recce of the birthday race on the 6th of December. Back to the cars where there was some shameful behaviour with the road apparently being used by some. Another quarter of an hour later, Fi and Jinx arrived in good form from Doctor’s Gate so everyone was accounted for after much ticking of the book. The outing was completed with a visit to the welcoming Snake Inn where a detailed analysis of Fi and Jinx’s route was made. Also, as other discussions progressed, Moz declared he was fortunately able to solve the world’s energy problems with a piece of rubber tubing (ask him, he’d be keen to tell you the details).
How many other clubs could combine mud, mist, meanderings and global energy management all in one evening?