Not the September Meet – Alpkit’s Big Shakeout

Not planned as a MKMC meet but three members and their families joined up with two families from Big Rock’s Youth Academy at Alpkit’s Big Shakeout Festival in the Peak District.  

Friday 28th September

AlanW met with one of the other adults for breakfast at the Outside café in Hathersage before driving up the Snake Pass to go for a walk on Bleaklow. They were looking for, and found, the wreckage of a B29 that crashed in 1948. It was both interesting and moving wondering around the wreckage that remains. They were the first to arrive at Thornbridge Outdoors and pitch their tents. Peter W was the next to arrive and found them just where we’d all planned to meet & pitch tents. The rest of the Academy family and Alan W’s family turned up and helped finish off setting up camp. When he got back from his food shopping trip Peter W went off to take advantage of the continuously showing adventure films. During the rest of the evening Gill & Adam and the other Academy family arrived. It was a little cold sitting outside talking; some bright spark (can’t remember who) mentioned mulled wine. Ooh, that would have been nice.

Saturday 29th September

It was cold overnight, but Saturday was glorious. Gill & Adam jumped on their bikes and followed the Monsal Trail. The academy families had signed up for some School of Adventure activities and between them took part in yoga, building ‘bomber’ belays, high ropes, introduction to outdoor bouldering and, arguably the most important, campsite gourmet cooking! Peter Wand Alan W went off climbing at Froggat on Saturday morning and happened to bump into Nick and Zoe who had come up for a day’s climbing. In the afternoon Peter W had signed up for the escaping the system, a really good couple of hours Alan W did this at last year’s Shakeout. Alan returned to Froggat with one of the Academy to introduce her to seconding on rock. She enjoyed it so much more than top roping! Note for all climbers learn the Munter Hitch – it comes in so handy when someone says, “I’ve not got my belay plate with me!”

As a large group we’d decided to have a communal barbecue so Alan W stopped off to buy burgers, sausages etc, as well as some red wine and orange juice. It was a true team effort three camp tables and food appeared from tents, Peter W’s Akto was like the TARDIS, things kept appearing table, chair etc. The mulled wine was a great hit and appreciated by all the adults. Gill produced countless cakes – very tasty. After the barbecue we all went off to see various bands, watch some adventure films or listen to the talks.

Sunday 30th September

Alan W started the day off with Yoga, very healthy, and then a School of Adventure workshop on trailside bike repairs; gleaning some useful tips. Others started the day at the coffee trailer get some much-needed caffeine. Both the Academy families spent the morning wondering around the site taking part in the various activities, fire lighting with the Bushcraft Scouts. Others went off axe throwing – excellent for relieving stress and tension! Peter W cycled to Bakewell and back on the Monsal trail. Gill went Stand-up Paddle Boarding, and stayed dry! All too soon it was time to pack up and take the tents down. An excellent weekend and both the Academy families and MKMC members got on well together. I wonder if there will be another MKMC contingent going to The Big Shakeout 27/28/29 September 2019?

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