The 2022 Night Hike, the first major Ingleborough District event since the start of the pandemic, was hailed a great success with young and old entering into the spirit of the theme which was based around Tolkien’s story, The Lord of the Rings.

Scout and Explorer teams, representing Frodo and his friends, started their journey in Eldroth Village Hall with a kit check, map reading session and safety briefing, before setting off on four and half mile clockwise and anticlockwise circular routes, navigating with map and compass in the dark. Their aim was to return Bilbo’s gold ring, earned by solving a riddle at the start, which according to the story had been made by the Dark Lord of Mordor, to ‘Fire-Mountain’ where it could be destroyed.

Along the route, evil Black Riders set the teams challenges related to the ring which needed team work, ingenuity and good time management skills. These tasks included diving through a team tunnel to retrieve the ring, writing a message to Bilbo in Runes, fishing for the lost ring in an improvised pond, treating an injured team member and feeling in ‘rabbit holes’ containing sand, a furry animal, spaghetti, corks and scrunched up paper for the ring. Liz Holman, mother of one of the Explorers, said “Can I pretend I’m an explorer and do the activities next time? They sounded great fun.”

All the escorted Scout teams and independent Explorer teams successfully completed the journey through the fields and lanes to ‘Fire Mountain’ (Eldroth Village Hall) and, having thrown their ring into a ‘cauldron’ of de struction, they were rewarded with certificates, home-made soup and rolls, cakes and biscuits provided by the welcoming Hobbits.

Without the forty-five enthusiastic leaders, Mums and Dads, as well as the Cave Rescue Organisation Team members, who volunteered to help us deliver a safe, fun and challenging event for our youth members, the event could not have gone ahead so we are really grateful for all their support.