Derbyshire Dales Ramblers Swimming Team

Take on New Challenges

Sue Weatherley

The Derbyshire Dales Ramblers Swimming Team (DDRST) continue to go from strength to strength. This summer they have taken to the waters to develop their skills in the emerging sport of adventure swimming. This involves an element of exploration that will resonate with any experienced rambler. As one would expect as well as training there are a lot of logistical issues to be resolved and for months before their August expedition to the Lake District the Team were involved in detailed planning. The result was a very successful Lake District Expedition where two members of the Team, Judy Allsop and Sue Weatherley, completed an ambitious ‘Three Swim’ challenge. They were joined for the first of these by promising newcomer, Ruth Jowett, who does most of her swimming in Yorkshire.

The first of the three swims involved swimming out to an island in Derwent Water, this required the most planning, but the time spent on thisproved well worthwhile as the event itself went very well. There are no rules laid down so the Team had to work out the best place to start and where to break through the overhanging vegetation in order to get ashore and reach the summit of the island. The Team were careful to plan the whole route so that after the elation of reaching the summit they were able to return safely. Next day brought the second challenge in the shape of Black Moss Pot, a notorious stretch of water leading up to the base of a hidden waterfall in Langstrath. Just getting to the start involved an arduous walk in and having allowed plenty of time for the swim they found that this precaution was fully justified. The recent heavy rain made the waterfall look impressive but, of course, this meant that the swim approach was more strenuous.

Entry into the water downstream gave some ‘water scrambling’ to reach the deep water channel and the swim upstream was slow but steady and Judy and Sue both successfully reached the waterfall base. The final challenge was Blea Tarn, an isolated stretch of water again with a serious approach walk and river crossing before the Team had access to the water; again, careful planning was the key and another successful swim enabled them to complete the three day challenge.

After such a notable success the Team feel justified in taking a well deserved break from intensive training before deciding on what to tackle next. However they are anxious to assure any ramblers who feel they would like to join the Team that activity can take place at any level and beginners are very welcome.

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Derbyshire Dales Group