Tan Hill 2011

Pictures below Brian & Sarah’s Report!

Raid Tan Hill 2011

Raid Tan Hill 2011 was certainly different!

On the Friday before the event we set off in snowy conditions to drive the whole of the classic route in a Citroen Picasso, mainly to make sure the roads were open and also to put up way markers.
When we arrived at Buckden in the Wharfedale valley, we found the road over Fleet Moss (1932 ft above sea level) was closed by snow and ice. This meant taking a different route via Aysgarth, over Grinton Moor to Reeth and then up Arkengarthdale to Tan Hill. The road over the moor was fairly exciting and the two female police officers travelling in the opposite direction in a Range Rover were very surprised we had made it over the top. Good old Picasso!

Reeth was a disaster with cars and lorries stuck everywhere but somehow we managed to get round them and set off on the long climb up Arkengarthdale to the pub. Fortunately the road conditions improved as the high wind blew the snow off the road and we eventually arrived at Tan Hill four hours after setting off. It normally takes us about one hour forty-five minutes. After welcome free hot drinks from the landlady, who told us that just before Christmas they had been cut off for nine days, we set off back.

The forecast for the weekend was for a slight thaw but with the possibility of more snow on Saturday night.
Sunday morning 9th January 2011 saw 60 plus 2CV’s and derivatives (including one 3-wheeler) arriving at the Lawnswood Arms where the new management made us feel welcome as usual and we set off at 10am on our normal route with little snow to be seen – looking good!

After a damp start on Sunday morning the weather turned clear and sunny and by the time we got to Buckden it was beautiful. The scenery was magical with blue skies and snow. The road through Hubberholme over Fleet Moss was still closed due to snow and ice so we had to put Plan B into action and change the rest of the route. After an attempt to use the local car park was thwarted by inch thick sheet ice we stopped in a lay-by a few miles further on for a welcome cup of mulled wine and a piece of Stollen cake.
The roads from Leyburn, over Grinton and up from Reeth were still well covered with snow but everybody eventually made it up to the Tan Hill Inn (about an hour later then planned), some with more difficulty than others! This was the only road still open and several cars trying to get in from Kirkby Stephen finished up stuck in snowdrifts. Nobody even attempted to come over from Keld.

After lunch in the barn the certificates and raffle prizes were given out and at about 3.30pm everybody not staying overnight set off on the long journey home.
Considering the conditions it was amazing that over sixty vehicles made the trip.

The prize for oldest vehicle went to Scott Vaughan with his 1969 AK350 Van and farthest travelled was Wendy Griffiths and Andy Moore at 399 miles. Unfortunately they were involved in an accident on Monday morning at Reeth and although not hurt they had to be taken back to Portsmouth on the back of a pickup truck! (NOTE. The driver who flew in from Jersey and borrowed a car for the Raid didn’t count!). Most participants went back to civilisation before the snow started again but about 15 cars and 30 people stayed over night at the Inn.

After dinner we enjoyed an evening of folk music, singing, recitations and traditional amusements provided by the various Raid participants and went to bed tired and happy.

Needless to say those of us who stayed over on Sunday night woke up on Monday morning to fierce winds and more snow and iced up cars! With help from booster cables and extra batteries in a couple of cases we all got going and set off with some trepidation to reverse our journey to Reeth (the only route open) where we stopped for coffee before heading for Ripon and home.

Many thanks go to everybody who helped to run the event and especially Tony Shields of 2CV City whose continuing financial support enables us to keep Raid Tan Hill a free event. Thanks also go to Tony for fulfilling his support role by pulling several vehicles out of snowdrifts and providing batteries and jump leads for the 2CVs that had starting problems after been parked out in the wind and snow all night.

And finally our thanks to Tracy and all the staff at the Tan Hill Inn for once again making us so welcome. Thank you for coming and we will see you all again at Raid Tan Hill 2012.

Brian, Sarah and all the Tan Hill team at "Les Hiboux" with some small edits from Colin.



Mulled wine and stollen stop





CIMG3093 Panorama#2a








Bleak weather on the way home



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