TSC Team Building Exped to Shady Crest

The Typhoon Support Centre (TSC) is an extremely busy Ministry of Defence/BAE Systems partnered unit within the Defence Equipment & Support organisation located on base at RAF Coningsby.

The organisation has a large contingent of RAF personnel within it, dispersed across the large open office floor plan, subdivided as part of discrete investigation teams.  Despite the unrelenting flow of work, the value of getting some Force Development activity on the odd occasion cannot be underestimated.  This article gives some information about a recent outing to the Peak District National Park which gave some TSC members a rare opportunity to get out of the office, recharge their batteries and carry out some ‘team building’ activity on SHADY CREST.

And so it was, that on Tuesday  22nd February, part of the desk bound fraternity of the TSC got out of the “call centre” and ventured north to the Peak District, well Edale to be precise.

The day started as most expeds do, up at “oh my god is that the alarm clock”; and travelling to a meeting point on Station to pick up the obligatory white van for an uneventful (near miss!) trip to the valley overlooked by Mam Tor. (Note to self – Must wrestle those transit keys off Russell).

Post arrival at the Peak District and with all members assembled outside the tyre worn minibus we had the initial photos taken whilst everyone was reasonably fresh. We then meandered east through the vale looking for our footpath to take us south into the saddle at Hollins Cross.  We continued to climb on the snow bound ‘motorway’ west, up another climb to our initial summit, Mam Tor. This part of the walk was in cloud however there was a brief glimpse of sun as we approached the summit, so out came the cameras for an action shot. It must be said, no one was expecting the amount of snow on the ridge during this segment of the walk.

Our next objective was Brown Knoll, but this proved to be somewhat more enduring than we first thought.  The Lords seat safely traversed, we trekked on looking for the next ‘motorway’ north to take us to our objective, but the path we found petered out before long, meaning to keep going in the correct direction we had to take a vague wide path across the boggy moor toward the Knoll. The increasing mist became more evident the higher we rose. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a hiker up to his waist in a peat bog but I was not to be disappointed!  Russ, one of our two mountain leadership trainers (MLT), decided the best route between two points was a straight line, regardless of tell tale tufts of grass signifying a certain amount of support and half way along the so called path to Brown Knoll he turned into an instant midget!  We didn’t know whether to laugh, get the camera out or rescue him before the bog consumed him completely!

Tom quickly threw his walking sticks to Carlos and he and Jamie dragged the half sodden “WD40” from his potential peaty tomb….We trudged on with our boots slowly filling up with black goo, (note to self again – must get some gaiters) and in the heavy mist we arrived within 30 metres of the trig point at Brown Knoll, well done MLTs!

We now turned east to pick up a fence line which would lead us nicely on to the famous Jacobs Ladder for our descent to take on some vital sustenance half way down at a scenic position beside a babbling brook. The cloud had cleared and all eagerly tucked in whilst Russ cleaned the black goo from his walking trousers in the stream, I think it was on the outside of his “strides” after his moving experience?!

All suitably revitalised after the refuelling stop, we carried on the descent to Nether Booth prior to finally climbing over the hump into Edale. Hurrah!! Trek complete, time for some liquid refreshment, yes to the Nags Head, yip yah…..CLOSED! What! Nooo! It can’t be – ‘knock knock’, (even louder) – eventually an upstairs window opened with the occupant echoing the timings displayed on the sign.  All that way at break neck speed of 3mph, with the scent of hops in our nostrils only to find the pub closed. Well that’s the end of that piece of ‘team building’ …Oh well!

What else was there to do? I suppose it was a close second, the café with tea and bacon butties beckoned so we ambled over the road for our final sustenance intake.

Many thanks to the MLTs, Russ WD and Carlos, without whose navigation we may still have been up there, but also special thanks to Tom for all his arrangements to make this event come to a satisfying conclusion.  Additional members were Craig Mc, Noisy Garrett, Jamie the priest.


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