Dave has an incredibly diverse groups of mates; weirdo cavers, nutter motorcyclists, a few loony climbers, some computer geeks, and one or two semi-professional beer drinkers. Then realise that that makes Dave all of the above!
It fell to me, as Dave’s best man, to organise this bunch of “Stags” to all arrive at the same time and at the same place in the Peak District for a weekend of adventure and drinking. Not an easy task – but one I think we pulled off!
The main event of the weekend was to get all of Dave’s mates caving in Giant’s Hole. A classic trip with a little of everything (climbs, squeezes, water, etc.), and it’s very suitable for novice cavers (in fact it was one of my first caving trips nearly 10 years ago)… Anyway, back to Saturday, we split into two teams, each team with three experienced cavers to help get the novices through. It wasn’t really supposed to be a hard trip, but Mark (one of our ‘larger’ team members) found it very hard going through the squeezes. So much so that we had to turn around and come back the way we’d come at the infamous “vice”. Lots of caves have an obstacle called the vice – I guess that’s just a lack of creative naming by cavers – but in this case it was shut and Mark wasn’t passing. The other team battled their way round successfully. All-in-all, a great day “in”!
As I found out, it can be tricky booking dinner at a restaurant or pub for a large bunch of blokes out on a Stag night. Luckily, I found a great venue; the Outside café in Hathersage did us proud with a great evening menu and lots of beer! Thanks go to Lydia, the café manager. Before we drank Outside dry, we moved on to the Little John Inn and dutifully did the Stag night thing – drank a lot of alcohol and spiked Dave’s beer with shots of vodka before settling in for a series of tequila shots.
Sunday was predictable. Yes it was raining. But the most predicted event was the drop out rate from the planned mountain biking. All sorts of excuses were used from, having to travel home, to not having a bike (even though our chosen biking venue hired bikes for just £12 a day). Of course the real reason was a combination of severe hangovers combined with some nasty bruises and stiffness from the caving… Never-the-less, a band of hardened adventurers set off to ride at Ladybower reservoir.
I hope Dave agrees with my biased opinion (I did organise it) – a great Stag Weekend!