The spirit level was low reported Paul S to the whiskey monitor, John G, so a last minute arrangement was made for a Wednesday night replenishment by the whiskey appreciation team services (another of Maurice's mnemonics). Whether this counts as a Warts' outing is up for debate, particularly now that we were in British Summer Time, torches were only used in the last quarter of an hour or so and the weather was not wet and windy but sunny (yes, sunny!). Not only were we graced with the presence of Paul and John but also Richard H (photographer and whiskey Sherpa for the evening) and Clive making a return from the southern hemisphere. Setting off from Strines, also with Moz, John D, Tim H and Mark H, into the blinding sun made us appreciate the benefits of the dark winter Warting weather. As is routine, a faster group emerged (Tim and Mark) so we let them speed off to Gravy cabin whilst we continued to Back Tor and Lost Lad where there was much posing for photos.
In the continuing spirit of the evening, a variety of routes to Sheepfold Cough emerged with the Club Championship Handicap winner (JG) showing his mettle to arrive there first via the main path. However, the rest of us felt we had the moral high ground by going the direct route across the moor from Lost Lad and arriving just behind. At least we had the benefit of glimpsing a pretty little waterfall on the way down. More routes were taken up to the top of the opposite hill where more photo posing was enjoyed together with some whiskey reorganisation and, of course, tasting. A message was left in the book there, before a spectacular sunset lit descent into the upper reaches of Abbey Brook. As we spread out to reach the Low and Howshaw Tors, what seemed like the whole local population of white and semi-white mountain hares (we estimated about 20) came out to watch our impressive athleticism across the moor or was it just to see the glow of Moz's high visibility outfit. Hares were seen all the way back to Strines and some head torches were resorted to. In the pub, the spirit of the evening encouraged much reminiscing which covered a wide spectrum of experiences from the use of a condom protected sausage for a baton during a Pennine Way relay, the distress of sheep being vomited over by one member of the relay team and the Man v Horse race recently in a celebrity TV show. So, quite a classic, spirited sort of Warts' evening.
© Dark Peak Fell Runners 2018
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