The last couple of summers we have missed it but this year we were back from sunnier climes just in time for both heavy rain and Coope’s Dozen – my 2009 account has some of the history and Pauline’s 2012 account has photos of the group she was with. After the heavy showers finished we gathered for a prolonged and not entirely successful (in every case) photo shoot.
Most of the main characters appear in here – the exception being Elaine Latham who would meet us after 9 miles with cake and coffee and other sustenance. John Swift (in yellow with his back to camera) helped Elaine and then met us again just before the 12th of the 12 summits. This a very sociable group run and as has been the case in recent years, two groups set off and the membership of the second group varied from summit to summit as runners joined and left.
By and large the route is pretty well established although in the winter I had a look at alternative way on to Counting Hill and having found it in the dark with Tony, Tom and Albert who were less than completely convinced it was an improvement I was fairly happy about being able to find it again. Only Albert knew where we were going when we avoided the usual, desperately overgrown, bee-line for the wall over Counting Hill so there were the usual groans about “we usually go up there” but this line avoids the bracken entirely, following a small, barely discernable trod to the main path over Counting Hill and is a complete delight, a huge improvement.
All this good will and kudos was thrown away when Albert and I took an awful line to Old Adam but Albert’s route off Sugar Loaf was better than anyone else expected so I think if we take the normal route to Old Adam then, between us, we will have improved a well established route – next year will tell, if we remember.