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!
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?
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.
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.