19th August – CH3 – Frozen Dick

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Frozen had been begging me to go for days, confidently claiming virgin terrain and a memorable ridge, so I got out of work to go along and see what he had in store. He launched into the hare brief with a pun about golly gullys and something about a ridge. We set off and within yards of the A bucket we hit the first circle check. With a steep hill up to the right, I headed straight for the higher ground – Skiddy went straight, while Horny set off in between towards a quarry. I was nearing the top of the hill when Horny called from somewhere below to my left – the trail was bending to the left, so I decided not to give up the higher ground, and keep going – luckily I ran into a circle check and some paper, and moments later spotted Horny below me calling the next Circle – On On!

Having checked one way, I set off the other way, and found paper down the other side of the rise – rounding a corner there was a tempting trail off to the left, and I could have put money on imminently hitting a false trail – sure enough, I picked up the stick and met the rest of the FRBs as they got to the true trail. Shortly later a V check left Skiddy the wrong side of a gully, and I got the first pick at a circle check in the next gully. Climbing the ridge beyond, there was a nice little trail heading up the hill. Skiddy called OnOn from right beneath me and I could see his bald head scrambling along a gorge about 15m straight down beneath me. I decided (again) not to give up the higher ground, and kept going, running into the trail a short while later.

We headed up, up, up and I hit a few checks right, before Alice caught me at a circle on a ridge that went several ways. I followed him along a good running trail that went along the top of the hill – made for hashers! At the next check Alice bore right and down, while I bore left and down – perhaps my better sense of direction? Either way I was on, and swung from tree to tree on a fast descent. I got to the bottom and recognised the little clearing with a circle check – we had been here before, but from a different direction – perhaps an Anything run? A good check there had me a long way in the wrong direction, and eventually trapped in the wrong gully. I couldn’t hear anyone, but had a good guess which side to climb out, and as I reached the top of a ridge, the rest of the hashers were crossing a saddle just below me. I quickly cut across and found Soapy in the lead, only for the trail to cut sharply left and Skiddy to take over.

Not that it’s a race, but the lead was rotating nicely. It was down to timing, and ‘only being as good as your last check’. I got to the last check with Skiddy, and turned tail straight back in the direction my gut told me the cars were. I was right, and Horny joined me for the OnIn. Hopefully it won’t go to his head, but it was an excellent run by Frozen Dick!