Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018

Sue and Martin above Zermatt - 2018
Showing posts with label Geocaches. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Geocaches. Show all posts

Friday, 8 November 2013

Ramsoc Weekend at Eyam – 26/27 October 2013


This is the sixth Ramsoc weekend to be mentioned in these pages – Sue’s University Rambling Club reunion has come round again. This year she inherited the organiser’s mantle from Sue W, who retired after a twelve year stint but remained in a crucial position as she bankrolled the whole event. Thanks Sue.

Click here to view all the Ramsoc postings.


We assembled outside the impressive if rather crumbly facade of Eyam Youth Hostel.


24 out of the 43 attendees set off in one group, past a large ball of wool. Was it a sheep, a llama, or an alpaca? (See slideshow for images)

Once in Eyam village, the group stood outside a closed café – showing a bizarre reluctance to follow their leader across the road!

The day’s first geocache - 'A Stoney stroll part 7 through the plague village', was easily located by resident expert Tom (aka HoratioP), ably assisted by David (aka david1.7).

Here Kate and Andrew rather fail to suppress their bafflement that folk leave tupperware boxes with log books scattered around the countryside.


The second cache was found further on along the path to Stoney Middleton, near here - the boundary stone where in 1666 the quarantined villagers placed their money to pay for the food that was left for them in the time of the plague.


'HoratioP', ‘Callum Hord’ and 'david1.7' recorded their visits, and down in the village ‘The Grove’ soon revealed our third cache of the day.

Meanwhile, Sue busied herself with autumnal pictures like this one.


Cache number 4 (‘Rocket’) just outside Stoney Middleton provided an excuse for another pause, before we headed over the top to Coombs Dale, passing a cache – ‘A Quarry Caper Pt 1’ - that had been ‘Muggled’ (evidenced by a bare strip of velcro) and another well hidden cache, ‘A Quarry Caper Pt 2’, our fifth find of the day. Others enjoyed some tea and cake whilst the geocachers sought this one out.

After finding ‘A Quarry Caper Pt 3 – Big Log’, we continued along the track up Rough Side that was almost inundated by a stream emanating from a forceful gurgle beside the path, guarded by a small but perfectly formed frog.

After a short pull onto Longstone Moor, cache number 7 – ‘A Quarry Caper Pt 9 - Pond the Replay’ – was soon located under some rocks. [What happened to Pts 4 to 8? I have no idea!] Moving on towards Wardlow we passed a brightly coloured pond where many seagulls were braving the chemicals and there were dire warnings of ‘Thin Ice’. There is much evidence here of the area’s past history of mining of various minerals.

Lunch was taken on Longstone Moor, in the shelter of a well grassed spoil heap.


Returning to face the fresh breeze, we paused by old mine shafts to take in the view by our next cache – ‘Take in the View’, before descending through Wardlow and down to Tansley Dale.

We came across some familiar figures, identified from afar by way of a rather overdressed, but admittedly less scruffy than usual, gent in a stalking hat. It was Sue W’s group, on a similar route, but aiming for pub stops rather than geocache pauses.

We waved them off towards Litton and headed past Peter’s Stone towards the delights of the Three Stags Heads inn at Wardlow Mires. 

In bright sunshine, we found our next two caches – ‘Beyond Peter’s Stone’ and C.O.D. Petrus (Derbyshire) – the latter being almost at the top of Peter’s Stone, from where the image at the head of this posting was taken.

Peter’s Stone is seen here as the distinctive feature on the left of the valley, looking back from the path to Wardlow Mires in the shade of the valley.


Tom then found geocache number 11 - only revealed to 'Premium' members like HoratioP, so Callum Hord and david1.7 were unable to record this one, though we did sign the log and note the superb hiding place.

Whilst some bravely sought beer in the cramped surroundings of the Three Stags Heads, and in the company of various other dead animals secreted as good luck charms within the inn’s walls, others continued to Foolow, and many more enjoyed a caffeine fix at the Yondermann Café.

Then it fell to Tom to find 'A Silly Cache'...


... from where there's a view down Silly Dale.

Luckily, Tom had found the cache before David, a member of Sue W’s now well-oiled group, selected its position for his 'call of nature'.

Soon our rather diminished little band reached the duck heaven that graces the pretty village of Foolow.


Cache number 13 – ‘Foolow’ – was soon discovered by resident expert Tom, but its clever concealment – “a small camo style cache with a micro inside it … stealth may be required” – may well have fooled the rest of us for some time.

The path continued across fields towards Eyam, with late afternoon views to Eyam Edge and a failure to find the ‘Foolow Bound’ cache, which it later transpired had gone and has subsequently been replaced.


As we returned through Eyam, Hall Hill Troughs became the site of our 14th and final cache of the day - another Premium cache available only to HoratioP (aka Tom) to record his visit on the geocaching website.

The Youth Hostel is a little out of town. It was a pleasant walk up the sunlit road. I was alone, having now managed to ‘lose’ all 23 of my charges!


Everyone turned up eventually, and the hostel meal was fine. After the previous night’s poorly attended ‘Pyrenean Adventure’ slideshow, tonight’s offering of ‘An Hour in Knoydart’ filled the room to bursting point, mainly with people who had been on that trip and had the stamina to view the 900 or so pictures.

Today's route is shown below - 20 km, 450 metres ascent, 7 hours, 14 geocaches.



We assembled in the car park for a circular walk/bike ride.

“Any chance of a lift on your crossbar?” the finely honed athlete asked the portly gent in the cycle helmet. 


Today’s route, led by local guide Sue W, took us back past the puzzled sheep with a long neck and down to Eyam, where the Miners Arms was proposed as a possibly suitable venue for a future Christmas lunch.

The road past the Wesleyan Reform Chapel, built in 1787 when John Wesley was still alive, led to the Riley Graves, where Mrs Elizabeth Hancock buried her husband and six children, victims of the plague, between the 3rd and the 10th of August 1666. The Hancocks farmed the field, known as Riley’s field – ‘Riley’ comes from ‘Rois Ley’s’ which means ‘Kings Field’. It was part of William the Conqueror’s Royal Hunting Ground.


Then we marched off through pleasant woodland towards Froggatt and the River Derwent.


The Derwent Valley is very well signposted hereabouts, though the drainage is a bit suspect.


We lunched outside the very posh Hazelford Hall, where a resident arrived in a chauffeur driven carriage whilst we admired the views towards Hathersage and Stanage Edge from the perimeter of her garden.


Heading on towards Abney Clough, Sue found this curious item.


Sir William Hill - 429 metres, fell to a splinter group comprising just one person, whilst everyone else hastened back to Eyam in a race with the predicted storm, involving winds up to 100 mph and other dire warnings. 

It did look a bit threatening…


Our route today is shown below - 16 km, 450 metres ascent, in 5 hours.


All in all a most enjoyable weekend in surprisingly fair weather. Thanks go to the Sues for making it happen, and I must thank Tom for his expert assistance in tracking down Saturday’s geocaches.

A 95 image slideshow, probably only of interest to those who were there, is here.

Thursday, 27 October 2011

Ramsoc Weekend at Eyam – 22/23 October 2011

Eyam Youth Hostel

Again, it seems no time at all since the last Ramsoc weekend, on which I reported here.  This is the fourth of these events recorded on these pages (Sue and I missed 2008) – for reminiscences click here.

The new epoch of Sue W’s organisational talents (it was our reluctant MC’s 11th year in the job - “come back Mark and Janet” she was heard to mutter) yielded a significant change.  No rain!  This really is momentous news, as it Always Rains on Sue W’s weekends.

Anyway there was plenty of room in the Youth Hostel for our group of around 40, with numerous people in very relaxed moods due to short journeys.  The Peak District really is a good venue for this ‘meet’, albeit well within day walking range for many of those attending.


18 of us set off on a 14 mile circuit from the Youth Hostel.

Health Warning:
The following tale/list may offend.  Persons with a gentle disposition may prefer to go straight to the slideshow, click here.

Our leader shall remain nameless…. No, let’s call him ‘Worzel’. 

There were many complaints:

  • the starting time was 9.15.  Hanging around for ages after that was simply not acceptable to those who had complied with the request
  • latecomers complained bitterly when the group set off before they had time to put their boots on

You may already be able to see where this was leading; poor old Worzel had no chance, really.

Here’s the route we took – 22 km, 670 metres ascent, taking a leisurely, albeit a bit brisk for Worzel, who finished an hour later than the main bunch, taking most of us 7.4 hours.

Our route - 22km, 670m ascent, 7.4 hours

The children in this group are growing up.  Just a few years ago they were in push chairs (some still are), but today three of them, James, Josh and Beth, joined the big people for our walk in the sunshine.

We strolled through Eyam, famous for the way its residents handled the bubonic plague in 1665, then through Stoney Middleton and Wardlow to Cressbrook Dale.

There was a small hill on our route from Cressbrook Dale, a veritable pimple, but only one person managed to find a way through its defensive ramparts to the summit.

Peter's Stone

Later, dire warnings indicated that this huge beast was likely to gore every member of the party.

A bull near Silly Dale

Beth got tired soon after the bull, and refused to venture down Silly Lane on account of its name.  She was ushered back to Eyam by a couple who selflessly sacrificed the rest of Worzel’s thrilling adventure.

Unfortunately, a little further on, Worsel, by now becoming weary of the constant barrage of complaints, not to mention his inability to keep up with the cracking pace, also became separated, along with two henchmen, from the rest of his disparate group, whom he abandoned, seemingly without any care or compassion.

You could say he ‘Barreled In’.

The Barrel Inn

Meanwhile, the remaining dozen enjoyed a lovely afternoon wandering in various directions, depending on whose Satmap they believed in, around Bretton Clough then up a long ascent to the summit of Sir William Hill, where some are pictured, Tom is in a state of some surprise after having been told that he had won the sweepstake.

Walkers on the summit of Sir William Hill

As mentioned, there were complaints today:

  • too many hills
  • slippery paths
  • no toilets
  • stiles too narrow
  • flowers not in flower
  • leader unable to control his group
  • grumpy landlord
  • too many pubs
  • grumpy bull
  • not enough pubs
  • unacceptable splinter groups
  • one boy had very rustly trousers
  • cool wind
  • blinding sunshine
  • pace too fast
  • too many rest stops
  • too many competing Satmap GPS devices
  • unnecessary gaiters
  • pace too slow
  • failure of leader to organise zipwire descents
  • low branches (or was the ground too high?) caused head damage
  • silly place names
  • a disturbing encounter with a desiccated cat
  • the failure of Sir William Hill to provide a café
  • not enough rest stops
  • leader unable to keep up

That’s just the top 25 complaints.  I’ll leave you to imagine the rest of them.

We were back at Eyam in time to enjoy Sue W’s cakes and adjourn for a snooze before dinner.  It had been a lovely day, despite the whinging.


Unbelievably, Sue W’s grip on the weather continued, and whilst a few people sidled off, exhausted after yesterday’s exertions, some 26 victims assembled under her stern eye in the car park at Chatsworth House.  She would surely be more effective than Worzel, who was seen hastening through Chatsworth Park to a life of obscurity along with Rob’em and Tom.  They were later found rummaging amongst some old stones in Andrew Montgomerie’s ‘garden’ in Baslow.  “Just looking for geocaches” they murmured, scurrying away before said vicar could apprehend them.  [Note there is slight conjecture on the author’s part as to what actually took place, as he wasn’t there and is relying purely on ‘form’ and reputation in arriving at this probable scenario.]

Here’s the day’s route – 13km, 300 metres ascent, 4.5 hours.  Led entirely from the front by the inimitable Mrs W.


We didn’t have time to explore Queen Mary’s Bower, instead heading for a quaint bridge over the River Derwent, where we spent a while watching leaves and mallards in the dark water.

“We can’t stay here all day!” asserted our leader.

So we moved on (literally) to a tree.  Many of the group enjoyed climbing this for a while.

Tree people

“Help!” “I’m stuck” “Please rescue me”  “I want my mum” whimpered one poor darling.


So she managed to escape the clutches of the tree, thankfully without resort to any greater emergency service than Phil’s Phluster, and she departed in favour of some retail therapy with mumsy.

I breathed a sigh of relief.  I only had 24 brownies, and those two would surely have demanded second helpings.  Anyway, suitably re-fuelled and after several “we can’t stay here all day!” broadcasts from our leader wherever we paused, we found our way eventually to Calton Lees, where we frightened a jittery politician into thinking he was about to be trampled again.  “Let your dog off its lead” some wit muttered in response.

Anyway, we soon arrived in Beeley, where the family that was too lazy to make any butties went to a luxurious café whilst the rest of us squashed stale butties down our necks under a drippy tree, watched attentively by ‘The Hound of Beeley’.

Lunch at Beeley

Others found better things to do than sit on damp grass.  This is Garden Cache - SK 26597 67671 – a geocache.  My second geocache but Horatio Puddleduck’s 65th find.

Garden Cache - SK 26597 67671

Then, after being rejoined by the various splinter groups and blasted by another “we can’t stay here all day!” call to arms, we set off through a field of tired cows to gain the heights above Chatsworth House.

A lazy, hazy Sunday afternoon

The Boss had great trouble keeping the 24 strong group together, as they were prone to charging off looking for more geocaches, their enthusiasm whetted by the easy find in that garden in Beeley.

Eventually, a library was found.  Yes, a proper library.  In a tree.  Apart from the library, the cache had a Travel Bug, Guernsey Ormer, which Tom (aka Horatio P) undertook to place in another cache on the Ormer’s journey around the world.

We continued through ghostly trees on a not quite knife edge ridge, eventually reaching a waterfall, above which the braver members of the party would have enjoyed a perimeter stroll.  If their mums hadn’t been there.

Pride before a fall?

By now the ‘I don’t do outdoor weewees’ contingent was beginning to nag, so without further ado, there was a “we can’t stay here all day!” chorus, and we ran down to the comfort of Chatsworth House’s convenient ‘publics’. 

Then we all went home, momentarily puzzled by someone coming on the radio: “This morning Alec Ferguson’s wife woke him from a deep sleep… ‘It’s six’ she informed him.  ‘I know’ he cried, from the middle of his nightmare”.

[You’ll notice an absence of complaints today.  That’s not because there weren’t any.  I’m just scared of the repercussions.]

And here’s the slideshow – quite a few images in total.