Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Jubilee Beacon Bivi

Can we light a jubilee beacon on Lords Seat? Well yes, but it's not the easiest place to get to. I think it’s Derbyshire’s highest hill (Kinder, Bleaklow etc are higher but are plateaus)

A few phone calls to local farmers to make sure they are ok with things, find the burner basket / brazier – last seen about 6 years ago! Load everything onto a trailer behind the Landrover the afternoon before the event, then go and help rescue a cow out of a 10ft deep hole. Not part of the plan, just something to make the clock tick faster and make us worry more about having everything ready for lighting the beacon at 10.15pm.
Anyway, an enthusiastic group of helpers, 2 Quad bike trips, a couple of bottles of wine and Jaffa cakes, and its all ready to go ( magic ingredient: some kindling sticks soaked in Diesel).

It was a fantastic night for lighting Beacons, clear and a bit of a breeze to keep the fire flaring, then a full moon appearing from behind the clouds about 11pm.  About 40 “ Beacon Seekers” appeared out of the darkness to enjoy the atmosphere.

A few of us had decided to stay up there all night and camp or bivi, then tidy things away first thing in the morning. It was a little bit cold and having to remove a slug from the side of your face is not the best way to greet the morning, better than having a dream about eating a liquorice allsort though.

The Skylarks were up and singing at 4am, so drift in and out of sleep for a bit and then up at 6am for a brisk walk around to get warm. Half an hour later Mark was appearing out of his tent – saying how comfy it was! Kettle on for a brew and then Jenny appeared out of her tent leaving her friend to slumber on. Jenny wearing her Teddy Bear furry jacket and walking about barefoot through the bilberry, definitely a Fairy Child!

Cups of tea, chat, and watch the early morning mist rolling over the ridge between Mam Tor and Losehill.

Definitely need another excuse to Bivi out again!

Chris Millner
Area Ranger
Longshaw & Hope Valley

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