Peak Bogtrot Meet Report– 4th Dec
A group of 14 eventually mustered for this annual event with a couple of late appearances supplanting a couple of late declines – so all even there. There was no Dogtrot this year – dogs more conspicuous by their absence (Lexie elsewhere, Rusty (& Tan we learned subsequently) RIP, Otis now down to 3 legs – however the outing was resembling more of a foxtrot the speed with which Paul set the pace upfront. Mutterings were occasionally heard at the rear but didn’t carry to the front to sufficiently slow the progress. We all managed to get round ok without mishap though, nobody died and there was even time for a pint before setting off to see a World Cup football match (in the days when hope still existed…).
From the Robin Hood car park below Birchens Edge we set off north to follow the natural line of the gritstone outcrops that are the primary feature of the landscape here. Paul set off that quick we wondered if he’d only paid for 3 ½ hours car parking but his plan to get the party around in record time was soon momentarily disrupted as – as soon as there was sufficient cover of foliage – the opportunity for a call of nature was taken by most of the pursuing horde. The graceful interpretation of such behaviour is that it is a long drive from Chester to the Peak and it had nothing to do with the average age of the (all-male) party.
Before long we were at the first of the attractions of this – the sightseeing Bogtrot – Nelson’s Monument – not to be confused with his column in Trafalgar Square which – by comparison is actually more monumental. This monument is actually higher though as it’s 1,000 feet above sea level and was erected in 1810.
From there we left Birchens Edge and skirted Baslow Edge to cross the moorland and A621 to eventually arrive at the second attraction – Wellington’s Monument. This, an altogether bigger construction, was erected in 1866 to commemorate an earlier visit by the Duke to fellow Duke of Rutland. This being the Derbyshire Peak District one can only assume geography is not an essential qualification for the aristocracy.
On the party pressed with one edge supplanting another and as we arrived at Curbar the valley mist below gave an extra allure to the gritstone outcrops. Froggatt was next and at this point we started our descent towards the valley, pausing to inspect the crag and the classic lines including Valkyrie and Three Pebble Slab with the key polished holds glinting in the sunshine that had just appeared. And thus was the meet leader’s earlier promise of the ‘son’ coming out ultimately fulfilled, Harry (being the son in question having been otherwise detained on the day). Froggatt allowed the climbers amongst the party to reflect what the Sun Rock meet attendees in Leonidio were missing – well at least momentarily. Perhaps it was this distraction which caused us to lose the trail in the woods below the edge but with a bit of GPS and common sense follow your nose the route was re-established and the river Derwent eventually reached.
Here we tracked back southwards following the river bank pausing at the weir for a spot of lunch. The meet leader’s challenge – to cross the river by the weir line was at least partially attempted by said meet leader – without mishap.
Further on we passed on the far bank Calver Mill – its repurposing attracting the professional planning approbation of Jon Clarke before we diverted through the outer suburbs of the Curbar metropolis to pick up the line of a right of way across the hillside towards Baslow. It was here in open countryside that we met – who else? – Santa Claus. The Christmas wish of a win against Senegal was later granted. Sadly no one thought to ask about the subsequent quarter final match.
Through Baslow we trotted onwards into Chatsworth Park, the overall impression of which was deer – whether wildlife or car park / house admission charges, although we were able to avoid both as we approached the house before turning uphill past the stable block and Christmas market therein to reach the Hunting Tower above. From here it was a straightforward tramp back along Dobb / Chatsworth Edge to our point of departure and the welcoming prospect of the Robin Hood pub.
And so concluded the Bogtrot for 2023, a meet with more edges than U2.