10 Tors – it doesn’t always go to plan

National Trust Wild Tribe and Torquay Boys Grammar School were out this weekend training for 10 Tors. This was our first weekend of the year when we were to camp overnight. Well it doesn’t always go to plan – I am back home again now …… Here is the story along with some photos.

Everything started perfectly – the various teams set off from Postbridge around 9.30am on Saturday morning. It was overcast but dry – the north moor was enjoying intermittent sunshine whilst the south moor was enveloped in mist. Along with Pete and Tony I was check pointing the 45 and 55 mile teams. We met up with the teams first at Peat Cot south of Princetown where one of the teams reported (and indeed photographed) an adder – amazing – it was pretty cold and we were still in February!

10 Tors 3Peat Cot is a tiny ‘settlement’ which also boasts a Methodist Chapel which is now closed – how life has changed!

10 Tors 4Here is the Devonport Leat at Peat Cot – with grey skies but still dry

10 Tors 1

 In the car park near to Peat Cot we met up with another team from Colyton Grammar School – I was intrigued (and still am) by their logo on their minibus. Esse Quam Videri means “To be, rather than to seem (to be)” – fair enough – I get that but I can’t see what the crest on the shield is or is meant to be? Three angry people with a sink plunger in front of their faces? Any ideas?

10 Tors 5From Peat Cot around to the Yelverton Road – with Sharpitor on the right and Leather Tor on the left.

10 Tors 6Waiting to ‘checkpoint’ at Black Tor with Tony and Pete.

10 Tors 7From Black Tor down to Burrator and onto Sheep’s Tor

From here we went to set up camp in Evil Coombe – at the top end of the Plym a couple of miles south of Nunn’s Cross. We’ve camped here several times before – its a great spot overlooking  Calverslake Tor which is part of the National Trust’s Upper Plym property. On our walk in it started to rain – not heavy rain but persistent drizzle – we pitched our tents and then waited for our teams to arrive. Everyone was in by 5.30 and all the tents were up – it was now pretty windy and the rain was still falling.

10 Tors 8A boil in a bag meal was cooked in my Jetboil – at around 7 everyone was preparing to sleep….

Ironically the rain was now easing but unfortunately the damage had been done – the ground was sodden, the water table was high and rising and as a result water started to come into everyone’s tents through the ground sheets and within minutes most tents contained standing water, sleeping bags were soaked and people were getting cold.

Roy quickly made the decision to evacuate and cancel the result of the weekend. There is something rather character building about having to quickly put back on wet clothes just after you have taken them off and then take down tents in the dark and walk back to the minibuses.

Many phone calls occurred to tee up parents to be at the pick up points at the allotted times – I finally got home at 1.30am but we successfully got 44 young people off the moor and safely home.

I have never seen water rise up through the bottom of tents like that before and strangely when camped at Evil Coombe last year it rained much harder and  for much longer and we never had any problems.

I guess that is Dartmoor for you.

5 thoughts on “10 Tors – it doesn’t always go to plan

  1. Maybe you shouldn’t camp at the bottom of a valley which the students said they had done! But hey hoy that’s dartmoor! Hope you are all okay

  2. Pingback: An adder on Dartmoor in February – A Dartmoor blog

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