Four men and a dog take on the Tors

Steve Hindley, Martin Procter, Mischa, John Holl, and Alan Deacon

Four ‘elderly’ men and a dog have been walking on Dartmoor together for over many years. When John, aka ASM, the Ancient Submariner, entered his 80th year last August, it was decided that during that year, together, they would climb all of the tors on Dartmoor. Deciding which list of tors was a challenge in itself but finally they decided upon William Crossing’s 181 listed tors, he being the quintessential old man of the moor.

Martin’s dog, Mischa, a Hungarian Vizsla, is in her doggy 80th year and would continue to walk with them and also complete all of the tors.

This was definitely not to be an attempt at a record of any kind, but just a challenge in itself, ‘because they are there’. The lockdowns made it even more challenging. They started with Aish Tor on August 12th, 2020, and aim to finish with Yes Tor by the beginning of August this year.

Some of Crossing’s Tors are quite obscure and small, leading to walkers speculating upon his choice. Strane Tor or Bouzen Tor cause little excitement, others are just difficult due to terrain. For instance, try to find Hockinston Tor on the steep hillside of boulders and trees or LowtonTor in a dense fir plantation. Some are just plain difficult. Making it to Fur Tor in winter, from the West, involved wading small streams and deep bogs.

Now spring is here, and with it hopefully better conditions for the remaining 60 or so. And when it is done, to then finish Martin’s 80th year in January 2022, the four are aiming to have climbed all of William Crossing’s listed hills. John is seeking sponsorship for his charity, Bob the Bus, that provides bus transport from outlying areas into Totnes. Please see total giving: www.totalgiving.co.uk/mypage/ancient-mariner

Mischa is also seeking sponsorship for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Please see just giving: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mischa-180at80

Author: Laura White

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