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The Tenth Circle of Hell - 24th June 

22 bold souls took up the challenge to pass through Hell, to face wild beasts, to enter areas of geographic uncertainty, to cross a raging torrent and then face the hills.  They followed a combination of permissive paths on the Symondsbury Estate, vaguely marked and seldom used rights of way (at least some of them were rights of way) to transit Hell Lane, a cleft in the sandstone scored with carvings ancient and modern, before heading past the ponds above North Chideock. Here the Beasts of the Field showed great interest and the anxiety cuased may even made up for the advertised torrent being a dribble.  But the hills did not disappoint with either the effort required to climb them or the views provided – 846 feet of ascent for those who climbed both Quarry and Colmers Hills (Note to self - look for a thousand next time). As the Ilchester Arms did not want our filthy lucre or Eastern diseases we opted for a picnic back at the car park, where cool boxes allowed chilled foods to be opened, strawberries with cream to be shared, and even the odd beer to be enjoyed in glorious sunshine.

However, the tenth circle was still to be endured.  Careful analysis of the route by the Chairman confirmed that it was too short to count as Mileaters Walk, so I must ask everyone to expunge it from their memories. 

Mark Pemberton

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