After an enforced three year absence from the Warts' blog during which the "Under-Scribes", Messrs Berry and Kitchen valiantly held the fort, I feel that it's time for me to return to my duties as Chief Scribe for the Warts. My thanks goes to them for their efforts and of course, they are very welcome to exercise their creative urges on this blog at any time! Anyway......the pre Champs alternative: six started, five finished, a fair attrition rate for these dark nights. The first snow of the season adorned the fells, the hard going reflected in the snail-like pace of the majority of the outing. I should say at the outset that this was advertised by Capt. Harmer as a gentle excursion, not the arduous 2 and a bit hours slog that ensued. From the pub, the usual route up through the field and to Back Tor, notable only for the sad demise of Clive, who was not at his best and who will be missed! A good snow covering on the tops as young Hawley soon found out by disappearing up to his groin whilst at full speed and attempting to break a leg, Duckie. Fortunately we had a nurse with us, who was able to confirm no more than injured pride but this didn't stop him from moping at the back for some time (youngsters eh?) From here, Poynton Bog beckoned. Disregarding that fact that there was a perfectly good path, Mr Harmer led us over this wasteland towards Cogmans' Cabin with its moderately death defying plummet (how I've missed these). Here the whisky flowed! I must admit that the quality of beverages has improved dramatically in my absence, gone are the days when watered down paint stripper was good enough, now it's Single Malts all round with various comestibles available for consumption too. As was pointed out, there aren't many clubs where runners come back heavier than they went out! The slog up the path to the bottom of Abbey Brook involved a modicum of running but then the worse slog up to Low Tor soon put a stop to that. From Low Tor to the pub seems to be getting much longer and took a bleedin' age when really we should have been tucked up warmly by the fire but there you go, old age creeping up on some of us! A good outing which it's fair to say, Dave Holmes would have hated.