Dartmoor Plodders

No Retreat-No Surrender

February 10/11, 2018

Firstly, praise the return of the History/stats page, and pray for it to live long and prosper! Here we over some comments on the weekends Moor bound endeavors, and sometimes the odd stats are available too! For the older patrons of this page, there also serves some true nostalgia(roll on next walk!). I remember all too much detail from the words penned 8 years ago. Enjoy.

 

On the theme of stats, we shall start with one of interest. Already this season alone, Plodder feet, large small, young and old(wrinkly too this weekend) have walked 1161 Miles! Thats like John'o Groats to Lands End and nearly half way back! Keep on Plodding folks!

  

This Walk started with a Lie in for all(well most, sorry Pat!). Not only was start time a whole hour more early than normal, it was also like really close to home, and not even much like the moor! Plymstock School offered an ideal multi classroom setup for us Leaders to Undertake a full and comprehensive kitcheck whilst all sections undertook a First Aid course covering general and outdoor specific first aid.  A rather relaxing day I think, but that all changed as our Plodder convoy crossed the Moor threshold. Even though we had left the classrooms behind, our bright and ready eyes could see but a mere few yards(or meters).

Princetown offered naught extra on the visibility front, but undeterred Alpha and Bravo sections, walking as one for Mutual Moral Support,  made a racing start off up our very own Street without Joy to SHT. However, as the route turned rural, the mist and murke suddenly offered a challenge, and not an iota of merth, to even the 16 cumulative years of Dartmoor experience in the Posse. Cramber remained illusive for a little time as the unrelenting 9 Plodders forged their way into driving rain and wind. Micro Navigation techniques ensued, and another Tor was struck of this weekends list. Back to the Street and spirits were booming right on past Nuns Cross En-route to an EVC camp. The last mile showed little but the value of knowing the hallowed ground upon which our feet so often patter. Camp was reached eventually, and spirits were still in fine fettle. A smart example of camp procedure had everyone bedded down in doublequick time, much to the leaders relief! 

During this time, our budding Dartmoor Pioneers (AKA FNGs) were becoming happily aquainted with the bliss of the street in such visually challenging conditions, no time at all had them down to camp, having checked the viability of Plym Steps as a campsite in reserve en-route, true dedication right there people!

 Everyone was glad of the peace through the night as the rain eased right off, though some may say at the cost of several degrees. 

As usual Plodders preceded the dawn, and Alpha were way out of site by our planned 0600 departure. Ditts was soon a distant memory to them, and Kings Tor growing in their sights.

 Bravo followed Alpha out of camp, just a little later, and took the plunge at the Big Dipper to BCK. For a team so fond of paths(in their 35 days), a commendable pace was achieved, and soon both LDN and Kings tor were scratched away leaving but a couple points to pick off. 

 By this point Charlie, having fought off the early morning blues(and some shivers), and used their strength of mind to press on with success, arriving at BCK as Alpha struck Kings, and Bravo turned at Hillside ready for their return to SHT.

Charlie section then powered up NHT, and then a nice drop down to PTN, where some questioned the logic of Dartmoor Plodders Routes. A fatal error, and the section proceeded to SHT and back showing us all how competent they have so quickly become. Alpha, having also considered the valley views of Hillside, arrived at SHT as Charlie chose to depart. Alpha charged at a stornchingly superb rate of knots back into the FTC for two steam bowls of Dartmoors finest nectar. Charlie followed mere moments behind, quite a show good fellows, and your chips are thoroughly deserved. Smartly sweeping the rear, having also checked on NHT transmission status after their own visit to SHT, again to a splendid bowl of cheery chips.

Alpha Day 2 Average Speed   -     A respectable 2.3MPH

 Bravo Day Two average Speed -  A sunday 1.5mph

Charlie Day 2 average Speed -  A solid 1.3MpH

 

Sunday offered yet another example of Dartmoor's four seasons, not the hotel, the sun, rail wind and snow! All in one day, except on this occasion, Dartmoor decided to further challenge what any of us thought we knew, or didnt, and provided all four seasons. In an hour. and also repeated for us. How kind.

 

So finally for this post, we had a broad eye opening today on the realisation of just 3 walks remaining before the all important mocks!  So, following is a list of random names that have overall this season already completed the number of miles they intend to walk in May. Congratulations Isaac,Ben, Amy,Jacob,Jacob,Charlie,Tom,Finn,James,Kofi and Drew.

 

Well done all Dartmoor Plodders for a super weekend. 

  

 

Training Residential 2018 Season

Date, 17-19 November 2o17

The first outing for many of the FNGs, and a tired weekend for all! A new member for ALPHA section came along and slotted straight into the section!  Bravo section enjoyed some new responsibility and were great passing knowledge onto the huge Charlie section!

Lots and lots of eating and learning and tents ensued for all, oh and even some running! A few persons found the air chair more comfy than I would expect as they kept returning to it?! Turns out us leaders aren't so stupid after all?!

Due to the sad demise of the (Not so) Permanent orienteering course at Cookworthy Forest, we had to draw the weekend a little short, but we shall press on relentless and will undertake some other Orienteering soon!

It was great to see so many new and emerging Plodders out and about for the 2018 Season, roll on next walk, 10th December. 

Welcome to you all, and hopefully you will remember at least one thing that you were learned!

 

 

 

 

 

RIVERS 2010

 

THE SUN 1 - DARTMOOR PLODDERS 4

(Picksie)                               (Ben,Tin Tin,M8y,Connor)

full time score

Another great event,this time in the hottest weather since records began(I just made that bit up,but you hear it so much I couldn't resist).With the sun beating down at a high of 28C,and the rivers but mere trickles of their former selves,our four teams put together a phenominal display of grit and determination.

Day one saw 3 victims of the heat removed for their own safety,a little retail therapy soon had them back on their feet though,and day two saw them come home victorious with the rest of their teams.More than one Plodder chased away their personal demons this weekend,and will survive to fight many more days.The management will be right there to watch and protect so that you survive.

As per our game-plan,we achieved a top and tail,with a first place,recording a noteworthy 1300Hrs finish-a full 30 mins ahead of the next team,and our rear guard element closing the door and turning out the lights a mere two hours later.

MASSIVE WELL DONE TO ALL!

Of particular note and much comment,all of our teams really looked the part in the new Polo shirts,so much so that pride overcame common sense and it was decided to gift each person their shirt for free.All we ask is that for all future events you wear the shirt with pride.

 

 

 

 

 

THE EVENT

It's all over now!

Congratulations to all who took part,another fantastic year,no fall outs and great times recorded for all teams.

Alpha managed to break the route record for the second year in a row,coming in with a creditable 0937,3 hours 12 minutes ahead of the next team on the same route! A surprise for Tin Tin on the podium as he was awarded a volunteer medal for 11 years service to the Plodders.

Bravo,not to be outdone,and on the same route finished 5th on route at 1436,ahead of ten other teams,all complete and in good form,a tribute to their determination.

Charlie on K,their very first outing,came in 4th on route at 1224,following some hairy moments both on the event and during training.

Congrats should also go to the lads who joined another team to help them get around 55 miles.First home on route Y at 1401!

 

 

 

 

FIRST MOCK

A poor start for this training weekend.With so many people who had better things to do,we were only able to start one team complete.I'm thinking that that is a contradiction in terms really,I mean,IS there anything better to do than Ten Tors training?Certainly the 14 people who did make the effort didn't think so,nor too did the training team-out there for free,all weathers,all weekends...Oh well.

Anyway,the weather was kind looking at first,bright sunshine and a gentle soughing breeze stirring the bastard grass in lazy circles,but all too soon those new to the treachery of Dartmoors weather were to find such conditions a little less than ideal.So it was that hot foot took its toll before CP 1 even,with a further three personnel being offed as the day toiled on.

This led to the depleted Charlie section being unable to continue, making a complete mockery of the Mock,to coin a sad little phrase,with the same fate befalling Bravo,who managed to hang on until day two,when management pressed X for game over.

Un deterred and unknowing,Alpha stormed onward through the day,not even Bens assertion that "they will never do it" was able to hold them back.Reaching the vital Tor 8 with 27 minutes to spare gave them renewed vigour,the spur needed to get them to 9 for a well earned,if quite short,nights rest.(For short,read 2 and a half hours)

Now with that kind of determination,something not at all rare within the ranks of Plodders past and present,there was no way that Bens false assumption could ever become reality.

And so it didn't!

Clocking in at 0756,Alpha once more took the world record to a new high,shaving 3 minutes off last seasons training record of 0759.

That has to feel good.

Well done to all of those who chose pride over personal,and made the effort this weekend!

p.s. I make no apologies.Ten Tors means just too much.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH 13/14

Well one more time it seems we had a pretty good outing Ladies Gentlemen and Weed.

With a few things in our favour,like the weather,and a whole bunch of damn fine team members,Dartmoor was never going to deter us this weekend.

Alpha scorched a trail across the poor old south,tapping with vigour upon the triangle door at 1208,forging on regardless into that mystical(but tough) land made of iron.With a mere 6 or 7 miles of unforgiving terrain ahead of them and the sun high in a winter sky,there wasnt much change out of 3 minutes when they reached Pup,not a bad target met given the aforementioned unforgiving then.Having made up two minutes of the three lost at Pup,five happy souls made an RV at CS just one minute down,and that after the gruel of 23 miles or so,interspersed with a detour around BCK and the then extra furlong or two.Collecting Sam and his damaged ribs along with smiley shrek,a quiet evenings stroll brought them to yet another daylight pitch at HW,where no doubt Mikey ordered his stalwarts to not only make camp,but also roll and level Stupots favoured piece of Dartmoor real estate in readiness for the bumble bee tent with little hand holes.Day two was none the less remarkable for it being actual daylight upon leaving after M8ys' extended warm up lasting until 0600 more or less on the dot of the O clock.Some might say that the promise of a chip plate apiece had something to do with the stunning capture times made on each of this days checkpoints,yet in fact,I think it was more to do with the Plodder spirit and five magnificent people.Making 3.67mph after almost 30 miles AND on the big dipper between HHT and BCK is something quite special and deserves far more reward than a personal pile of potatoes(fried) 

Bravo too made some fine movement, making management work light by staying within minutes of Alpha and again this all the way to TRT and that infamous door to oblivion by 1229,having swept through NHT,BCK and HHT as if they were but feet apart.Now a Plodders outing would not be complete without its' share of drama,and so Rosie dutifully obliged,or rather,did her feet the honours,requiring some tactical decisions from management including the belaboured Adam,Sam and their charge.With not really any thanks to the "Strange man" on TRT who felt his input was valid(summarilly dismissed by Weed and endorsed by Stupot) Rosie effected her own offing to be met by Great White where Trowles dips her feet to Plym.Following a delay for the necessary arrangements to be made,the remaining Bravo element linked intelligence with Charlie who were within minutes of RV,and the conjoined section made steady firm progress thenceward into the steely grip of the Iron Triangle.

The story now taken up by Charlie section,it would not be right to let their achievement thus far go noticed not.Enthusiasm reigned rich for Charlie from the off leaving them vacant only by scant minutes at CP1,time which they subsequent and sure,made up by creeping stealth and sterling upon the heels of Bravo,the diminishing minutes getting closer with each CP TRT bound.It is even rumoured on good authority that when feel goods were dispensed vicinity Peat Cott,they bare slacked apace,soon giving of dust by their heels in the hot pursuit of Bravo(and Glory too).So,when the meeting of minds and section occurred off the flank of TRT,these men and women of valour were well met for the challenge ahead,and took at it headlong with murmers aplenty of NO REPEAT-NO SURRENDER,a referring remark to the last footfall 'pon these dreary miles of a fortnight gone.And so it came to pass that not only were they marked by success,but also on time to an exactness at PUP where no minutes were given Old Father time that he would have took without remorse.Clearly he bargained poor against these weaner Plodders and their Bravo escort.All then abed by 2020,a good days walk in the 'park. Day two dawned and bright revealed the lonesome tree of Plodder lore,the sun witness to the backs of nine berucked travellers on their way to parts well known,and a deserved plate of FTC chips,all within a minute or three of Alpha.

A weekend then,of remark and repute.

Whilst each Plodder is deserving of great applause,it cannot go unmentioned the achievement of brave FNG fishcatarian Beth,out for her intro to Plodders and Ten Tors alike,having spent a little less than no time preparing herself for the rigours of what the Vets know lies ahead.She started,she finished,and not a mutter nor whimper betwixt.Welcome to The Dartmoor Plodders Beth.

STATS

PTN -> CP1   A. 4.18  B 4.18   C. 3.15

CP1 -> NHT  A.2.33  B. 2.10  C.2.91

NHT -> BCK  A. 3.91  B. 3.12 C. 3.28

BCK -> HHT  A.2.50  B. 2.07  C. 2.14

HHT -> TRT  A. 2.72  B. 2.72  C. 1.89

TRT -> PUP   A.2.21  BC. 1.54

PUP -> CS      A.2.37  BC. 1.77

 

HW -> HHT   A.2.81  BC 1.81

HHT -> BCK A. 3.67  BC(HHT->SHT) 2.99

BCK -> SHT  A.2.43

 

So.Some AFB walk speeds there people.If to auger well was 2.5mph,you all have out augered!

 

Additional information.

Due to operational detours,the final all up mileage for each team is listed below;

ALPHA  Total miles 35.1(overall av speed = 2.71mph)

 

BRAVO/CHARLIE  Total miles 33.14 (overall average speed = 2.25mph)

At 45 mile level,2.71mph can give you a projected finish time of 0750

At 45 mile level,2.25mph can give you a projected finish time of 1100

At 35 mile level,2.25mph can give you a projected finish time of 0830

 

Jan 30/31

After an insnowpicious(!) start,where great white took on the County Council job of gritting the road to Antony Stile,there was some consternation that the days routes would therefore have to be shortened.Or maybe I got that bit wrong and really no-one cared at all....

Well whatever never mind,the new route from Prewley did manage to includify Killer Valley for both 45 elements,although this seemed to have the effect of throwing out Bravos' navigation skills somewhat,or maybe just they decided to chuck in an extra Tor or two...?

The day however,proved to be one of the best for walking conditions for all concerned indeed resulting in a daylight arrival at Foxes Bottom for Alpha-a true event of uniquity-arriving when you can actually see where you are putting your tent.Boredom soon followed,witnessed by their asking endlessly where everyone else was and throwing things that should not by law be thrown,but then maybe the lawmakers never yet spent a day with the Plodders.

We had a few upsets,exacerbated by the terrain restrictions,meaning that the only route for offing was to continue until the end.I call that inspired logistical planning,but maybe Rosie would argue otherwise,'though she nevertheless strode valiantly onward thus earning the respect of the management team whilst showing her Plodders determination at the same time.No Retreat-No Surrender-No Coughing.

Once all sections were bedded down for one of Dartmoors less warm nights,a full moon rose over Yellowmead and cast her silver glow over tents sparkling with winking drops of ice to the sonorous snores of the 35(male)tent group.(Identities protected.Huck,George,Mowgli)

Well heres a note for those who failed to listen the first time,SOP for cold nights,put your boots in a bag and sleep with them.This can save the inconvenience of having to hobble the first few miles of day two in stilletto heels.No names,no pack drill Mooloo.

All in all,a fantastic weekend completed by heros,a good start to the year,lets build on that troops!

No Retreat-No Surrender

 

First Camp 12/13 Dec 2009

Congratulations to all who took part this weekend.Whilst the weather looked good to go as far up that old west coast as Sourton,we all know what came the minute we saw Okehampton.So.We were socked in solid,and it was a cold wind driving at us,but hey,did that deter the spirit? He** no!

Following a 20 minute delayed start,both 45 sections made good headway to begin with,despite Thumper losing a glove not 300 m in.Comms were pretty good too with the low cloud cover,and Bravo made Shil within 20minutes of Alpha leaving.Adding a little mileage by detouring around Gallaven knocked both sections back a little,but helped maintain almost dry shod feets-always a bonus.Alpha overhauled the weaners en route to Sitt,not really surprising given Alphas total of route knowledge and experience,which goes back 4 seasons,whilst Good Alan knocked out an ankle on the way to wat,delaying Bravo by some minutes.(Maybe Bad Alan came out a little here too,but not for long...)

Having to off  Soph from Sitt must have dunked Alphas spirit a little,like losing someone precious always does,but striding out,under Mikeys manly orders,they pulled through,and were happy to carry on to FB despite rapidly dropping temperatures and the loss of light  vicinity West Dart crossing.The call for cessation upon reaching Bdn coincided with a wind chill in excess of minus 10,and a neat little exfiltration brought Alpha safe and sound to Two Bridges and the safety of the van.

Meanwhile Bravo,delayed en route to Sitt,were to find upon reaching that fine summit,that they too were to be lifted,but from PB,giving them a 3.75 downhill trek in the dark to the DNP facilities where a good time was had,apparently,by all,while awaiting extraction and subsequent transport to 4W camp.

The 35 section,depleted with holiday non runners,walked as one section in territory totally unfamiliar to them,and harsh at that.With a 150m spread from fore to aft,this must have made internal comms a chore,the gap only closing for blue features and checkpoints.Nonetheless,every one of those brave young souls,opted to stay the course come Sitt,where an offing was offered.Respect.

Crossing E Dart vicinity Sandy Hole,darkness fast approached and cloaked them,drawing that 150m gap to about 3!Word for extraction given from LWT must have raised some sagging spirits,and the dark trek through gorse to Powder Mills must have been an irony in eye openers as the temperature fell away from anyones comfort zone.Getting hunkered down between a wall and a fence gave brief respite from elements unfamiliar,until the great white van arrived with blankets awarm and a welcome from the resting Alpha,whilst Bravo waited in patience in the ladies fancy DDO at PB.

All members now accounted for and safe returned,great white delivered safe the entire company to 4W where camp was made without delay nor fuss.A pleasant evening in the good company of happy Plodders ensued,meals prepared and eaten with a gusto redolent of shipwrecked survivors,and the friendly after dinner chatter an easy equal to the drawing rooms of any fine old country house.Three worthy members of the FNG weaners were shipped to PTN for further exfil to homes with baths and fires,management concerned for shivering spirits,but guess what,THEY WILL BE BACK!

 

Day twos' dawning was preceded by Plodders a play,eating lush and lavish rat pack gourmet dishes to the fine yet audible shivers of shaken frames as the morning got underway-and on time-testament to the dedication of all you Plodders,Vet's and FNG's alike.Following the evacuation of a hasty breakfast by poor Moo loo,a mercy offing was carried out at BCK,where Tin Tin and Key Grip Ben were mid epic(soon to be snapped up by Metro Goldwyn Mayer  no doubt).All three sections through BCK within mere minutes of each other,the dawn finaly appeared,complete with an actual sun(Sic La La [actual fish]),which brought a little warmth back to wanting bones.

First to the trough at FTC were the 35 remnant who made good work of the chips(and damn fine chips too)whilst M8y debriefed to the tune of chewing teeths,followed in quick time by Alpha,who had seen off a distant HHT to earn their own dish of delights at table.Still back in the boonies Bravo battled brave,hampered now with the aggravated ankle of Good Alan,who fought valiant to keep Bad Alan under wraps.Rosie and her MTFW(Its sooo hard) caused some chuckled chortles,and a great white van was despatched to collect cold casualties at Peat Cott.Expecting a full load,Bravo were happy to minus just one,and opted to carry on to FTC on foot,this being Poshs' final outing.

 

All in all(is all we all are)A fantastic weekend people.Odd yes,unusual,yes.Cold,yes.BUT FANTASTIC. 

Stats 09/10 season

18.10.09

Stats only available for 45 mile elements.

Firts time shown is Alpha,second is Bravo.Where no timing is available,space will be blank.

ROUTE

Ptn -> Stpl     3/2.49

Stpl ->Ly       2.95/2.37

Ly -> Bdn      3.19/3.00

Bdn -> Lwt    2.30/

Lwt -> Sitt     1.07/

Sitt -> FTC    4.72/

Overall average Alpha = 2.78 mph

Overall average Bravo = 2.25 mph

 

Dartmoor Plodders began life in 1998 and was the team name for Clifton College Bristol.

Adam Nevisky is the longest serving member having completed Ten Tors with the Plodders under Clifton College in 1999.

In 2001 the team was handed to Stuart,though no team was entered that year due to Foot and Mouth.

In the first year of entry,2002,The Plodders came first in the event with a finish time of 0935.

In 2003 we again came first finishing at 0840.

In 2004 another win was chalked up,the time of finish,0819.

These three years proved to be an all time record of three consecutive wins,and the 0819 finish time is the fastest ever,and still stands as the record.

In 2005 the Plodders team was decimated with injuries on the event,a twisted ankle,stretched back,suspected broken leg and severe blisters taking out four members of the team,including the section leader by 0600 on day two.At the time of the first fall out,the team were well out in the lead,with an estimated finish time of 0830 on the cards.Two members carried on to finish as part of another team and still gained their medals.

2006 saw a late replacement in the team,and a creditable finish time was achieved.

In all,since 2002,one hundred and sixteen Plodders have finished the event at 35,45 and 55 mile levels.

We have won the Rivers walk four times out of five since 2002,three of those wins consecutive.We currently hold the record for this event.

We have chalked up victories in Abbots way and 12 across events,holding the record in each case.

Our teams have completed the Commando Challenge,perambulation and midnight madness events on every entry.

Between 1993 and 2002,the current team manager trained 94 people and 9 successful teams in Ten Tors,along with Martin Bevan,1996 being the most memorable year.This was due to the event being abandoned at 1000Hrs on day two due to severe weather conditions.Only 16 teams finished the event complete.Ours was one of them.Some 2200 people did not complete the event and were evacuated from the moor in blizzard conditions.

 

As of 10.3.09 Dartmoor Plodders have been in-Country(On Dartmoor) 213 days and have walked 30,661 miles.(Since 2002)

Haunted
Sinéad O'Connor/Shane MacGowan (Haunted)
-4:14