How to report your crossing

April 14th, 2014

We are more than happy to receive reports on Lyke Wake crossings – preferably humorous. These reports are often quoted at Wakes as warnings to others! Crossings should be reported to; – Gerry Orchard,
General Secretary, New Lyke Wake Club,
Angram Grange, Cold Kirby, Thirsk, North Yorkshire   YO7 2HL;

or E-mail Gerry on: –

We may post extracts from these reports on this website unless you tell us that you don’t want us to. We will usually give your name and rough location (eg Southampton, Northumberland or Japan). If you would prefer us just to give your initials, or to remain anonymous, please say so. We will not publish your email address.

Date of passing: Friday 12th May / Saturday 13th May 2017

May 22nd, 2017

The Magnificent 7: Lee Poskett, Chris Walsh, Martin Haycock, John Osoba , Steve Broadbent, Andy Barker and Ted Fawthrop
Not forgetting the two fabulous support crew: David Poskett and Lisa Barker
After a full breakfast and Mel’s café in Bradford we set off at driving to Osmotherley. We reached the car park at around 12.20pm but we had already decided as a group we were setting off on the walk at 12.45pm.
So after a few last minute nervous toilet calls, rucksack checks and the traditional photos at the Lyke Wake Walk stone monument we set off… up the first hill and down into the woods all in good spirits and having lots of laughs taking gorgeous photos… on and on we went and then we came to the hills, up the first one no problem, down the other side no immediate problems just a few twinges on the knees for some of our group. Onwards and upwards to the next hill, some of the group were clearly struggling with injuries.
At this point the fell runner that ran past us was lucky he didn’t get thrown off the hill..
We knew we had another hill to get up and over but two of the party were struggling with injuries so we decided that we needed to get them to the first check point ASAP. At This point Lee was a bit in front with her head phones in singing Bon Jovi at the top of her voice. Looking up at one point there was a man stood in front of her smiling at her singing, little did she know that when he passed the rest of her party he was actually pointing to his temple with his finger turning, clearly expressing she was a bit loopy!
Battling on the magnificent 7 made it to the first check point where the support crew had set up a little picnic area with sandwiches, tea and coffee, boiled eggs and plenty of Volterol gel.
At this first support stop the magnificent 7 unfortunately became the fab four. Just too many injuries for them to carry on. So the second stage started with 5 of them waving the 4 of us off. Lee, Chris, John and Martin.
So the four of us set off still all in good spirits and looking forward to the next stage of the walk. Still laughing and joking with plenty of adrenalin flowing throw our bodies. On and on we went knowing that at some point we were going to hit the “boggy bit” up on the moors.
This is where we invented a new hobby which is called SNOG BORKELING..
Walking through the boggy bit when our legs were a bit tired was not the easiest of tasks as Martin came to find out at his expense and our side splitting laughing. Taking steady steps through boggy marsh Martin took a step and came nearly up to his waste in bog and decided the only way he could get out was to dive back, this is where he face planted the bog with arms splayed outwards. He looked up and was covered head to foot in slime. This is not a time when your mates are supposed to crack up laughing but ashamedly that’s what we all did, still having a giggle now writing this!! This is where snog borkeling got its name! Martin snogged the bog.. Although it’s pretty fair to say we were glad it was Martin and not John. John is only four foot nowt, we’d never have seen him again!!
Demoralizingly for Martin we still had 3 miles to go to the next support stop but he saw the funny side and soldiered on.
Eventually we hit a road again this was around 8.45pm. We were due to meet the support group at the Lion pub at around 10pm. But walking down this road we were getting a bit worried about our navigation skills and was looking in the distance at what we thought was the pub on the hill on the other side of us! Yep we had got our barring’s wrong and gone of kilter a bit. Stopping at a point along the road we were deciding what to do as we had no signals on our phones and it was getting late and dark. Just then we looked up and saw a mini bus driving towards us, never have we been so happy to see that in our lives, waving like lunatics at the oncoming minibus it slowed down and to our relief it was our support team. Had either the support team or us been 5 mins earlier we would have missed each other. Let’s not think of what might have happened..
When we arranged to do this walk we decided to do it in two stages (still within 24 hours) but with a break in between, so while the fab four were walking the second leg the others had set up camp at a local camp site called Low BELL END farm, ( you couldn’t make it up)
Getting back to the camp site, there were a few beers and the biggest pan of pasta and meat balls on the go… a very welcoming site. Then it was into the sleeping bags for a few hours kip, yeah right, that wasn’t happening. So after zilch hours sleep the alarms went off at 2.30am. Bacon butties were made, water sacks refilled. Rucksacks replenished with bananas, jelly babies and flap jacks, the fab four set off on the last 20 miles of the walk..
Getting dropped at the same point we got picked up it was 4.25am dark and the boggy moors loomed once more. We were still full of adrenalin but I can’t say we were still having the laughs anymore. Walking through the boggy moors in the dark is not a pleasant feeling and we were glad when the sun stared to come up. Onwards once more, last 16 miles ahead..
One site that did make us smile was seeing Whitby Abbey looming in the distance, thinking that we were nearly there really cheered us up.. follow that Abbey, we shouted skipping down the road like Dorothy, the lion, the scarecrow and the tin man… only as the Abbey came more into focus we realised we had been hallucinating and the Abbey was in fact Fylingdales!!! We had to see the funny side or we would have cried… once again onwards and upwards. Eventually getting to the last support stop to be greeted for the last time with cups of coffee, sandwiches, and Jaffa cakes. Plus the biggest tree that has now become known to our group as the poop tree, it seems the world and his wife must have used this tree as a squatting spot over the years…
Setting off now on the last leg, the last 10 miles. Hurray, next time we see our friends our challenge will be over!!
After hallucinating a few more times.., we had sheep playing cricket, we had walking marker stones, we had cows sounding like sheep but we knew we were getting there, or so we thought
Following the gaming ( Garmin) navigation system we were pleased to see that the end of the third leg was in sight and was getting closer, it was pinging each kilometre, we counted them up and we had only 10 pings to go and the end was there. We cheered each other on and downed our last energy gels.. … 10… 9…. 8…. 7…. 6…. 5… 4… 3… 2… 1… we made it!!!!!!
NOOOOO the bloody gaming (Garmin) was not set right and we still had 3 miles to go.. we looked over the edge of the ridge and saw the downhill and the uphill, I think we could have all cried at that point… ok let’s keeps going we’ve come this far…
so we get the mast and our final destination in sight which at that point looked very small and a long way off but at least we could see the end… keep going keep pushing we are nearly there.. That mast was never getting bigger and in our mind boggled state it was getting smaller…. We were talking gibberish and we now know more about each other than we ever thought possible.. Warts and all….
Finally the mast started getting bigger we could see our friends waving to us, the emotions were running high… and we finally kissed that stone at 11.45am… 23 hours after first setting off ( with a 7 hour stop off at the camp site)

Beers were waiting, cameras at the ready.. then the tears came… strong friendships and bonds have been made for life…it’s something we will never forget and through the blood sweat and tears we enjoyed every mile and a big £3000 raised for candle lighters children’s cancer charity..

And the Last note is… we have to do it all again now for the three injured ones who want to complete it… are we mad?? YES mad as hatters..haha…

Crossing, 12th May 2017

May 17th, 2017

We would like to report a successful crossing (west to east) on the 12th May by dirgers PTM, MAA and RWJW.
The three of us met at school and have been friends for 28 years. Recently, we have begun to test our friendship by completing long walking challenges together. The LWW seemed like another opportunity to spend a day interrogating one another on their careers, political views and personalities.
PTM – farmer, lefty, remoaner, charming MAA – accountant, middle,
remoaner , whinger RWJW – estate agent, far right, brexiter, confident
We decided to start at 6:30am<x-apple-data-detectors://1> at Sheep Wash as this was key to arriving at the Lion pub in time for lunch, remarkably however, and with MAA and RWJW having had only one hours Brexit argument, we arrived for elevenses. Black Sheeps gulped, sandwiches eaten and with spirits high, particularly in group ‘lightweight’PTM, we set off on the next leg.
Despite the Eastern area OS map of the North York Moors, (the only map we had) not covering the first couple of miles, we did find our way to the first of the bog sections. The lack of rain over the past month, an issue close to farmer PTM’s heart, had created a bouncy sponge like walking surface excellent for upping the walking pace. However, this was negated by the Black Sheep mini hangover (PTM) and fear of adder bites (RWJW & MAA). Having reached the Blue Man with the seemingly never ending Wheeldale Plantation on our left, sprits had dropped (see spirit chart). Continually marching through “Adder Country” with wettish feet and no sign of Fylingdales was taking its toll on the group dynamic. MAA had run out of water and, after sourcing some from a local resident told PTM (also low on water) that “You’re not having any of mine!”
Having regrouped and agreeing to share water we carried on, only for RWJW’s biggest fear to be realised. There really were adders in Adder Country and RWJW just narrowly avoided stepping on one. PTM, the Yorkshire Steve Irwin, soon calmed the jumping screaming RWJW and assured him the adders would soon be going to bed. As a result of this “near death experience”, RWJW was more than happy for PTM to resume his position as point man.
With Fylingdales now in full view and approaching quickly we were confident for the first time that we may actually complete the walk. Disappointingly, but as a result of our new found speed we crossed the railway line 10 minutes ahead of the steam train and missed the opportunity for a steamy selfie. PTM and RWJW could sense this irritated anorak and accountant MAA. He’d once gone for a job at Transport for London because he “loved trains”, sadly for MAA he failed the interview.
By now the strongest group member, PTM,was consistently ten meters ahead of rest of the chasing pack. Although, he had to take some stick from the rest of dirgers, they knew deep down, without his pace setting, the groups MPH reduced rapidly. In order to improve spirits, PTM put his iPod on loudspeaker and we were soon dancing and marching along to classic hits from ABBA<x-apple-data-detectors://2>, Tina Turner<x-apple-data-detectors://3> and Steps.

As Fylingdales became a dot on the horizon us, the phone mast above Ravenscar became our next target. Swelled with enthusiasm and with YMCA blaring out across the Moors, we missed the official end point of the LWW and instead piled into a field of sheep. As the flock approached, RWJW made a bee line for the safety of farmer PTM leaving lone wolf MAA to fend off one particularly inquisitive ewe. Much to the amusement of PTM and RWJW, the City Boy MAA with stiff legs and sore feet awkwardly lurched around the field dodging her advances. Having hurdled the fence, the City Boy was delighted to be back on Tarmac with the hotel and end point in sight.
Having checked in (exactly 14hours after setting off) and without showering, we were able to find plenty of space to eat and drink at the hotel bar until the early hours.
MAA, RWJW and PTM would like to wish anybody attempting the LWW a safe crossing.

Crossing Saturday 27th July 2013 Nick Coombes & Chris Wood

May 14th, 2017

What follows is the Lyke Wake Report of Chris Wood and Nick Coombes, of West Ayton and East Ayton respectively, following their maiden crossing of Saturday 27th July 2013…

Now here’s a tale I’d like to tell,
Like many heard before
It tells of how two youngsters
Set off to conquer the moor.

Two pals they were from Ayton village
One’s East, and one’s from West,
They came not to set records,
But to put themselves to the test.

Handsome and bold, fearless and brave
These young men were – ‘tis true,
And the years they held between ‘em
Only totalled a hundred and two.

They drove off from their village
In the middle of a moonlit night
The stars shone brightly to guide their way
It was a magnificent sight.

They parked by Cod Beck reservoir
And filled up on sarnies and tea
They planned to start at 4 o’clock sharp
But first they both needed a pee.

That done, they started up the slope,
as Brian’s book says you should.
The skies were clear and dawn was breaking
As they journeyed along Scarth Wood.

They passed on through and climbed the steps
With nary a thought of stopping
And as the sun rose on Drake Howe Hill
They spotted Roseberry Topping.

At checkpoint 2 they stopped to put on
Suncream and drink water.
Then undeterred and without a word
They went on like lambs to the slaughter.

They lengthened their stride cross Urra Moor
The pace got slightly faster.
Bloworth Crossing came and went,
Thoughts turned to beer and pasta.

At the Lion Inn they met their team
Just seven hours had passed.
The supporters gave out sandwiches
Which they gobbled down real fast.

Refreshed, they stood and thanked their team,
Clean socks on their smelly feet.
Then on they pressed to the old Ralph Cross –
Ahead lay the path of peat.

The summer heat had helped them;
T’was mostly dry and spongey.
But here and there still lurked some spots
Of bog, which were quite gungey.

And so of course it came to pass,
As the Gods of the moors may please,
That Chris fell into a deepish hole
And sank right up to his knees.

His partner Nick ran to lend a hand
But Chris climbed out unaided.
He seemed to have gained a pair of socks –
Dark brown and fairly jaded.

As they continued across the peat
They suffered the briefest of showers,
But little did they know what lay in store
In the following couple of hours.

Onward now the heroes pressed
Past checkpoint 4 they strode
Their target was now Eller Beck
But their pace had slightly slowed.

And as they passed the Man i’ th’ Moss
Their cheerfulness was banished
As, despite the line of dots on the map,
The path had completely vanished!

From north to south across the moor
By heather they were confronted
Some of it old, some of it tall,
And some of it quite stunted.

No trace of a passage could they espy –
The heather had covered it all.
No choice remained but to stagger on through
Trip, stumble, slip and fall.

They gained a lot of knowledge there
About Yorkshire’s moorland heather:
That it scratches your legs to hell and back
And seems to go on forever.

But with never-ending fortitude
They finally prevailed,
Their courage never faltered;
Their spirit never failed.

And as they neared checkpoint 5
Where more sustenance awaited,
A beautiful adder crossed their path
Which left them both elated.

Now at this point it’s fair to say,
The two were feeling shattered.
A cup of tea and a slice of cake
Were all that really mattered.

And there she was, the maiden fair,
Standing by the beck
Across the moor came Nick and Chris
And they were neck and neck.

Nick’s wife and son were there again
Five hours since the pub.
They fed the walkers and saw them off
Refreshed by tea and grub.

The day of toiling in the sun
Had left our heroes dirty,
The homeward push was on them now,
The clock stood at 5.30.

They trudged on up to Lilla Cross
In view of the “big cheese grater.”
They knew that they would finish now
The question was “sooner – or later?”

They wondered how other travellers
Could do it in rain or snow.
Because, despite the good weather,
The legs were beginning to go.

But finally, despite the pain
The Beacon hove into view,
They crawled along those final miles
And reached it at 8.32.

Still not content with the victory
They pressed on to the Raven Hall bar.
It took thirty minutes for that last mile –
The hardest one by far!

Exhausted, grimy, weary and worn,
They sat and supped their beer,
And said to each other, with a strange sort of grin
“Shall we do it again – next year?”

Crossing Report Saturday the 6th May 2017

May 10th, 2017

I am pleased to report the successful crossing of the Lyke Wake Walk on Saturday the 6th May 2017. Albeit with two men down. Will, Pete, Matty and I set off from the Youth Hostel at 5.50 Am, twenty minutes behind schedule. However, this was good going after two much red wine in the Golden Lion the night before.
> We set off with spirits high and the sun was shining. In all fairness our spirits were a bit too high, as we spent too much time chin wagging instead of pressing on at a good pace. Nevertheless, this guaranteed that our support crew (Nics, Hels Kiera and Olive the dog) were ready and waiting with sausage sandwiches and tea at checkpoint two.
> Heading off from checkpoint two we initially went in the wrong direction. Luckily enough we realised quickly without adding too much more in distance. By the time we reached checkpoint three after the Lion Pub the sun had gone in and the reality had set in how much further we had to go. We then headed over the bog (which was definitely boggy) and arrived at checkpoint four to find out support crew had not yet arrived. A quick phone call confirmed they had got side tracked in an art studio! Subsequently, we pushed on over the next stretch. This is where it began to take its toll. Wills ankle appeared sprained after some spectacular bog jumping and Petes joints seized up. The average pace dropped down from a steady 3 mph to a slow 1 mph. Luckily enough the support crew broke off from the art viewing and found a road to meet us at about 30 miles in. Pete (tin man) was done and could not go on but Will wanted to press on. He did not want to drop out as he had previously taken the micky out of Matty from dropping out of another challenge and was worried he will be in for the same treatment! However, after much persuasion and the realisation that it would take us about 24 hours at his pace he honourable admitted defeat (Matty waited until the next day to give him some stick back).
> Matty and I continued the concluding stages alone. As the night drew in, the blisters and aches became painful and our morale took a blow. It was just a case of that we needed to get through it. Luckily enough Matty was still going strong and managed to pull me along with him. Those latter stages in the dark felt like they were never going to end because we could not see where we were heading.
> At 10.20 Pm we were triumphant and concluded the walk in the thick mist. Our support crew were there with our two fallen comrades flashing their headlamps to welcome us to the finish. We were all too tired to finish with a celebratory pint so just headed off to bed. However, we enjoyed a great breakfast together the following morning.
> Thanks to our great support crew – as we could not have done it without them.
> A word of advice would be, don’t underestimate this challenge. we tried to do some practice walks together but due to other commitments we never got around to it. The big joke was Will said I don’t need to practice walking as I have been doing it since I was one years old! He admitted afterwards that practice walks were needed. We are all thirty something physically able men and apart from one the rest suffered with severe aches and pains.
> I would also highly recommend purchasing the sketch map. It was much easier to use than an OS map.
> Will Bb (Harrogate), Will B (Harrogate), Peter B AKA tin man (Selby) and Matty R (Sheffield).

Lyke Wake Walk April 15th 2017

April 18th, 2017

Dirgers – David Allen, with Matthew Holt and Claire Baker (honourable mention to Billie the Springer Spaniel)
Having recently taken up a spot of running, and being something of a keen Lyke Wake Walker, my sister in law Jill had decided it was high time I complete a running crossing of the LWW. Before I had the opportunity to object, it was on my diary and “have less of yr bellyaching!” She’s like that, Jill.
I’d not felt anxious about a LWW crossing for some time, but by heck I did for this one… No matter – with my brother in law Matt, mate Claire and Billie (Claire’s Springer Spaniel) leading the way, off we popped.
A word about Matt and Claire: last year Matt completed the Hardmoors 110 and Claire is in training for the same event this year. No pressure to keep up then!
We were supported on the day by Claire’s hubby Jono, an experienced facilitator of crazed folk competing in challenge events and a man who on his dying day ought to be canonized as a saint.
We started strongly – I was feeling very fresh and rattled through the first few miles with ease. With great shock I realized we had passed the trig point on Carlton Bank in under an hour. Conditions were beautiful, with clear skies and a most gratefully received tailwind that blew me right across the tops. Not before too long I dropped down to meet Jono at Clay Bank car park. I was running ahead of Matt and Claire at this point but was under no illusions that the balance of power would shift at some point in the not too distant future.
Through Bloworth Crossing and onto the drudgery of the old railway track; with my head down and keeping a decent pace I overshot the left hand path over Flat Howes and rather disappointingly found the Lion Inn within view. No matter, we pushed on, meeting Jono for a refreshment stop on Blakey Ridge, and continued on our way, leaving the tarmac for Rosedale Moor on 3 hours and 55 minutes.
The bogs were as dry as a bone, save for one or two squidgy bits, with Claire finding herself knee-deep on one occasion. By the time we passed Blue Man there was much fatigue in the old legs, and just in time for the section I had been dreading… The rocky path across Wheeldale Moor; horrible when walking, so trying to trot at pace down the path, and utterly cream-crackered, was a very tough stretch. I very nearly went flying on several occasions and the never-ending foot stubbing took its toll. It’s somewhat difficult to avoid these rocks when you’re “running” without lifting your feet from the ground! By this point Matt and Claire were mere spectres in the distance and I was very happy to see Jono’s car on Wheeldale Road. Pancakes were washed down with flat coke and off I popped once again, having got the worst of it out of the way… Or so I thought!
After crossing Wheeldale Beck and yomping back up t’other side, I tried to pick up the pace again on the level terrain on Howl Moor, but it was really very hard work indeed. I found myself thinking I wasn’t going to get through it and all manner of negative thoughts crept into my mind. Luckily, matters improved after Simon Howe with the descent to the railway track and Fen Bog. With gravity as my co-pilot, my mood lightened and such defeatist notions were banished. Jono was nowhere to be seen at Eller Beck Bridge so we pushed straight past Fylingdales. I dropped to a walking pace for a mile or so here, but after passing Lilla Cross I got shifting again for the trot down Burn Howe Rigg. Jugger Howe came and went and before long I happened upon Jono, Matt and Claire just before the main road. I barely stopped for pause and cracked on towards the mast. Keeping something of a jog going for the final mile and a half I was delighted to reach the LWW stone at a canter… 8 hours and 13 minutes after starting.
I found myself often thinking about a gentleman by the name of Louis Kulscar throughout yesterday’s run. Louis is a stalwart of the Lyke Wake Walk, having completed some 180-odd crossings, including some barefoot and as the legend has it, actually running backwards on one occasion! Louis was the star of a TV documentary on the walk from back in the early seventies, racing along the route with great power and determination; he is a warm and wonderful soul who lights up the annual Wakes and though I am barely fit to lace his boots, I took great inspiration from the man and thank him for the support he unknowingly gave to me yesterday!
Moving times:
00:25:56 Scugdale
00:56:54 Carlton Bank
01:39:32 Wainstones
01:51:49 Clay Bank car park
02:27:50 Bloworth Crossing
03:37:53 Blakey Ridge
03:55:56 Rosedale Moor
04:31:51 Hamer Road
04:46:00 Blue Man I’ Th’ Moss
05:15:15 Wheeldale Road
05:54:58 Eller Beck Bridge
07:10:49 Main road
07:31:29 End

Lyke Wake Walk report – 7-8 April 2017

April 14th, 2017

Dear Sir
On behalf of Emma Cope, SallyAnn Hardwick and myself, Carole Pitts, I am pleased to report our successful crossing of the Lyke Wake Walk unaided, starting just before midnight on Friday 7 April, completing the walk just after 8pm on Saturday 8 April.
It was a lovely clear night, with the full moon due on the following Tuesday and a good forecast for the weekend. We left Osmotherley around 23:45 on Friday evening, clutching Brian Smailes’ ‘Lyke Wake Walk’ guide and the OS maps for both the west and eastern areas of the North York Moors. Several years ago, I had walked the ‘Coast to Coast walk’, during which I discovered the existence of the ‘Lyke Wake walk’ and was excited to finally be embarking on this adventure.
Head torches on, we soon came across an LWW marker stone and embarked on a ‘kodak moment’ with the moon as a backdrop. After crossing the lane at Huthwaite Green we began our first ascent up to Live Moor. Brian’s book stated ‘with the wind probably getting stronger as you go through a gate to start the steady climb’. How fortunate where we ? There was no wind at all – just a drop in temperature to below freezing as the ground started to glisten with frost. Fortunately we were well equipped with our down jackets and extra layers – nothing was going to stop us achieving our goal. Up we went on to Carlton Moor, looking at the light pollution from Teeside (or was it Middlesborough ?). There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and the moon and stars were appearing in their masses. It was simply magical as we plodded on, soon reaching the Lord Stones cafe, which seemed to have gone rather up market since the last time I was there 8 years ago. We didn’t stop to verify as it was around 1am in the morning and didn’t think the residents would appreciate our joyous arrival. On we went across the Moors and scrambled across the Wain stones – pretty eerie but very impressive under the clear night sky.
Soon we were descending Hasty Bank – conversations were of Emma’s home-made sausage rolls and hot chocolate – which we devoured when we found the seat just before the road crossing on Clay Bank road. It was 03:55 and having walked for around 4 hours, we were more than ready for our midnight feast ! After a 30 minute stop, we were off again, and soon on the railway track heading towards the Lion Inn. The dawn was starting to break and it was starting to get light. The moon was literally setting behind us and the sun coming up in front. As we reached Bloworth Crossing, it was time for SallyAnn to perform her morning ablutions , with Emma and I following suit not long after. We still hadn’t met another soul on our walk and felt privileged to have had the moors to ourselves. After what seemed an eternity on the railway track, we spotted the Lion Inn on the horizon. I am sure somebody moved it several times as we approached as it didn’t seem to get any closer. Again in Brian’s book he states that ‘it can be very windy as the wind sweeps up the valley and over the embankments,’ but how lucky were we ? Although the frost was glistening, we were becalmed in the middle of the moors and continued to trudge on towards the Lion Inn. We started to sing to pass the time – don’t ask me what we sang, but fortunately there was still nobody else around to hear our dulcet tones. After realising we’d missed the turning off to the Lion Inn and ended up at the road, my bottom lip started to quiver and I was sulking. Can’t believe we did that adding extra time and distance to the walk.
We reached the Lion Inn at 08:10 and plonked ourselves on the grass verge opposite, looking down in to Rosedale. Kettle on again and it was time for breakfast – porridge pots from Aldi and a brew, followed by flapjack SallyAnn had purchased from her local Deli. Scrummy !!
By 08:55 we had departed and were on our way to find ‘Fat Betty’. We had several renditions of trying to sing ‘Whoa, Black Betty, Bam-ba-Lam’, struggling to remember the words and who sang it. (Note; Google has since answered that for me – ‘Ram Jam’ in 1977 !). On finding ‘Fat Betty’ we again had several Kodak moments, with the bright blue sky behind us in the pictures. The down jackets and layers were starting to come off as the temperature was starting to rise !!!
As we had to ‘march’ along the road for a few miles, it was time to do exercises with our walking poles to relieve some of the monotony and prevent ‘bingo wings’ in the future. Bicep curls, lifting the poles above our head etc. as we sang songs from the jungle book and hummed the tune when the elephants were marching (you know the bit I mean ?).
Soon we reached the turn off for the ‘boggy bit’ and were discussing how fortunate we were that it wasn’t really boggy. How wrong were we ? As we were gossiping and singing so much, we managed to wander off course a bit. A couple of wet feet later and one broken pole which was being used as a depth gauge, we were back on course and aiming for Shunner Howe. It was around this time, about the 24 mile mark (?) that we started to see people who were doing the East-West crossing. There was a group from the Met Police and we came across their support team as we reached the road crossing at Hamer. For the next hour or so we must have seen around 30 people – these were the only other people we saw undertaking the walk all day.
About ½ mile after the road crossing it was 12:00 and time for lunch. Wraps, pretzels, nuts as well as Emma’s home-made quiches and rocky road. That girl is an amazing cook !
We made the terrible mistake of stopping too long for lunch – around 40 minutes. Brian’s book commented ‘Many people say this demanding section is more than 8.5 miles long – usually because they are often feeling stiff by this time and walking at a slower pace’. Brian wasn’t wrong !!!! At any opportunity, Emma and Sallyann would not only sit down, they would lie down, and I was afraid they wouldn’t get up again. Wheeldale Plantation seemed to go on forever to our left, and when we finally reached the road for the descent towards Wheeldale Beck, we had to resort to the ‘emergency wine gums’ to keep us going. SallyAnn also later confessed to having comfort breaks as a sneaky way of getting to sit down and rest again.
A final push up to Simon Howe and we bumped in to some mountain bikers who kindly took a ‘group picture’ of the 3 of us. They went on to tell us they had done the Lyke Wake walk a few years ago and had 16 hours of rain and wind. Again we couldn’t believe how lucky we’d been – no wind or rain with the temperature being around 15 degrees in early April. Only downfall was we’d forgotten the sunblock – which I guess we could be excused for – and all had pink faces in the morning, with Emma getting the prize for the most random sunburn on her arms and neck.
The mountain bikers informed us it was now only 7 miles to the finish – just a couple of hours when they did it. How wrong were they ??? As we were getting tired we managed to wander off course to the East, and then had to cut back again when we came across the railway gorge. A quick burst in to song again ‘If you’re happy and you know it clap your hands’ – along with the actions, and soon we were at the railway crossing. Just before crossing the main road to Whitby at Eller Beck, we saw an older couple sitting in the car park. SallyAnn later confessed she was ready to jump in their car and bail out had they made the offer !
It was now already 4:30pm, with about 7 miles still to go. Off we went along the bridleway, which soon turned in to boggy wet ground again and we lost the path. Tiredness was kicking in and after carefully studying the map along with orientating ourselves with the compass, SallyAnn spotted Lillia Howe on the horizon and we set off in that direction. From that point on the path was pretty straight forward and easy to navigate, but we were tired and progress was slow. We could fully understand why lack of sleep is used as a form of torture. Emma had started to hallucinate and was convinced she had seen brown bears on the moor. Later we all started to agree with her.
Soon I spotted the Beacon at Ravenscar on the horizon, to which Emma’s response was ‘You’ve got to be kidding …..’ (Actually, her language was a bit bluer than that but I can’t print that here ? ). We reached the final road crossing at 7:10pm and then walked together across Stony Marl Moor to the finish, arriving just after 8pm at 8:05pm. Our total crossing time was 20hrs 20 mins – not the fastest time recorded but we were elated. Now there was just the additional 2 ½ miles to walk back to Boggle Hole Youth Hostel where we were staying the night …..

Emma Cope ( Cambridge ), SallyAnn Hardwick ( Liverpool ) and Carole Pitts ( Hertfordshire )

Crossing Circa 1970

April 13th, 2017

I used to live in Harrogate I did the walk first in the sixties in winter and without support. It took twenty three and a half hours and several toe nails.

Then moved to the flat south and joined the Bury St Edmunds “Up Down and Along” (climbing, caving and walking) club and the badges we had said “support UDA” (which didn’t always go well with the some of the Irish!)
Once a month we hired a transit van on a Friday evening and drove to the mountains and hills. There were few dual carriageways or motorways so the route went through most town centres and therefore we had to stop at every pub on the way until closing time.

I introduced them to the walk and we made it one of our regular venues with one weekend attempt at a double crossing. Some made it but I only managed one and a half due to yet more toenail issues (nothing wrong with the boots, just the feet that were in them)

As I had done the walk several times I chose on one occasion to be the support vehicle driver meeting up with the walkers at the usual road crossings.
It was a bit different to the normal weekend routine as the Saturday morning was spent paddling at Whitby with an early afternoon start (it was mid summer and there was a full moon).
I bid them fair well at Ravenscar and nipped round to the crossing south of the Flask to check that they hadn’t got lost (yet!)
At the Fylingdales crossing all was not well as one of the young maidens was walking with a limp and swollen ankle. Instead of leaving her at the side of the road I took pity and took her into the safe haven of the van on the condition that she didn’t start moaning.

Back to Whitby to pick up fish and chips and meet the group and after the usual rendezvouses got to the Lion at Blakey for “light refreshments”.
Then on into the night…..

There isn’t really a lot you can do in a transit van full of sleeping bags in the early hours of a Sunday morning at the edge of Chop Gate with a young maiden with a sore foot and negligible map reading skills.

They all staggered into Osmotherley on the Sunday morning so we drove to Scarborough and went paddling and eventually got back to Bury St Edmunds in the early hours of Monday.

Being the gentleman that I am I offered her a lift home to save her father having to pick her up.


The attached photograph ( Sadly, we can’t show on this report section ) was found when going through some old albums of the pair of us having finished the walk in just over thirteen hours probably in 1970 on race day (note the badges). We were yet to be married.

Unlikely to do it again but have fond memories. (her map reading skills are still negligible)

Howard (and Dawn) Laver

Solo West – East Crossing: 4th/5th February

March 4th, 2017

Dear Sir,

I am pleased to report my successful West to East crossing over the 4th/5th February. It was a solo undertaking as part of a fundraising challenge in aid of the charity Challenges Worldwide. My apologies for the tardiness of my report. I have been away for much of the time since I completed the walk and as such have only just got round to sending my report.

I started walking at 12am on the 4th with first five hours or so going with-out a hitch. The lights of Teeside guided me along the Cleveland Way running along the ridgelines towards Carlton Bank. However as I started the assent of Hasty Bank the fog came in followed by a good attempt at snow. This made the section to Blowworth Crossing particularly cold and disorientating, with visibility reduced to a couple of meters at the most thanks to the fog. The light of my headtorch only exacerbated this, creating something close to a ‘white-out’ effect! The winding route along the old railway seemed never ending with every looping turn feeling as if it was going on forever. As soon as it started getting light I ditched the head torch and deciding that I would be better off just peering through the mist rather than walking blindly into endless white fog. It was a surreal and somewhat eerie morning, perfectly still apart from the occasional rustle of disgruntled grouse. At this stage my spirits were pretty low, it had been walking for nearly 9 hours, I was falling asleep whilst walking and the thought that I was only half way was rather disheartening. However my morale began to revive as soon I stumbled, damp and tired through the door of the Lion Inn at Blakey to meet my more than patient support team. A full English breakfast and half an hour indoors got me back on track mentally before embarking on the next leg. (Although neither tiredness nor hunger could not coax the black pudding down me!) With a fresh supply of Jelly Babies in my pocket and an upbeat pep talk from the support team I set off eastward again toward the notorious boggy section. Upon reaching the bogs however I was pleasantly surprised. Having imagined I would be virtually swimming through the oozing black muck it become obvious that it was not nearly as wet under foot as I had feared. By this time the fog had pretty well lifted and I managed to negotiate the bogs with relative ease. That said on more than one occasion I would lurch forward as the apparently stable tuft of grass beneath me disappeared into the black ooze along with my leg.

The end of the boggy section to the finish can most accurately be described as a ‘trudge’. With the bizarre pyramid type radar of RAF Fylingdales now visible on the distant horizon I now had tangible evidence I was making headway. (Only when I reached Fylingdales did I realise how naive I had been for thinking that I would be nearly finished when I reached the radar station!) Over the next 10 – 15 miles it seemed to be a matter of crossing a vast expanse of open moorland to the next cairn or piece of high ground and assess how much closer Fylingdales was. It took a while for the strange pyramid to get much bigger on the horizon.

On reaching Eller Beck I very much felt that I was on the final stretch and had a renewed spring in my step. About 2 miles out from Jugger Howe darkness was setting in again and I soon had to resort to the head torch again. However spurred by the thought of the finishing like I had a new release of energy that helped me power down and up the steep ravine at Jugger Howe and on to the finish.

I arrived at the finishing stone drained of energy and my legs aching and sore but brimming with satisfaction that I had completed the walk. Amazingly I did not come across a single other person along the 40 mile route while walking. It was a fantastic challenge, across some awesome spectacular country. However I’m not sure I would do another crossing in February! Total time for the crossing was 19 hours 36 mins with about 17 and a half hours of actual walking time. A huge thank you goes out to my support team Gill Railton and Rona Kermack without whom I could never have completed the walk on my own.

Kind regards,

Max Railton

This could Hapen to you……………

March 4th, 2017

Lyke Wake Walk Winter Crossing, 18th February 2017

February 21st, 2017

Jim Worley
Matthew Worley
Mark Tindall
Paul Clark

Becca Franssen

Support Crew
Lynne Worley
(Members are from Lincolnshire, Notts and Canada)

Dear Sir,
I have pleasure in reporting to you a successful West to East Winter Crossing, starting from Cod Beck, Osmotherley at 3:20am on 18th February 2017 and finishing at the final stone at 8:58pm, a total time of 17 hours and 38 minutes of which 14 hours and 20 minutes were walking time.
The weather was forecast to be mild for the day of the walk, around 8-9C, with a west to east tailwind of about 10mph. We arrived at the Cote Ghyll Mill Hostel at around 6pm on Friday and went to the Golden Lion for a quick bite to eat and a couple of pints. This is an excellent hostelry and well known to some of the members of the group who had stayed there on the Coast To Coast walk previously. Having refreshed ourselves, we left in good time to get some sleep ready for the proposed breakfast of instant porridge at 2:30am the following morning.
Having tossed and turned for most of this precious time, we met in the kitchen, reluctantly downed the glutinous horrid excuse for porridge and girded our loins for the challenge ahead. We drove up to Cod Beck Reservoir and parked the car, fully expecting to never see it again as we were leaving it there over the whole of the day and the next night in this exposed and lonely spot.
Torches on, we left the reservoir at 03:20 to begin our journey into pain and misery. The walk across Coalmire Plantation and Live Moor went smoothly, conditions were good but it was very misty. The week before had been quite wet and there were still deep puddles and muddy sections which did not bode well for the bogs yet to be traversed. Lord Stones Café was reached without incident and we enjoyed the ups and downs of the Cleveland Hills and the scramble through the Wain Stones until we reached the Clay Bank Road and our first rendezvous with our support crew who luckily is a qualified psychiatric nurse. Suitably counselled and fortified with bacon butties and lashings of hot tea, we continued across Urra Moor, making good time on the old railway section after Bloworth Crossing and reached our second checkpoint, the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge in good spirits.
Here, we stopped rather longer than we first anticipated as I believed we were early (in fact we were around half an hour late) and thus were tempted to drink coffee and relax by the fire. When the support crew (my wife) announced we were significantly off-schedule, thoughts of missing the kitchen at the pub we were going to be staying in that night spurred us on to leave the sanctuary of the Lion and strike out eastwards again into the thickening fog. A visit to Fat Betty ensued after negotiating a small boggy section of path, we left various offerings of food and a tasty Army ration pack for good luck and pressed on.
At the peat bog turn-off, we discovered that all that we had read was in fact true. Boots became wet and muddy, and the effort of hopping from one (possibly) dry hummock to another caused the first injury of the day when one of our group sprained his knee, having thence to adopt a new style of walking which involved putting the good leg forward, then swinging the bad leg around in an arc to make forward progress. This was in fact the way he proceeded for the next twenty miles, top fellow that he is.
After slogging across Rosedale Moor, we reached our next checkpoint at Hamer Bank hoping that Wheeldale Moor would be slightly drier, alas this was not the case and the second injury occurred when the only Witch amongst us found that a significant portion of the skin on her heel had become detached. Fearing the worst should she take her boot off to examine said injury i.e. not being able to put it back on again, she elected to ignore it and soldier on. Top effort.
Fortunately it was not long after this that we discovered the lyke of a weasel, artistically propped up on a small cairn, looking wistfully to the west out of it’s pecked-out eyes. The bedraggled state of this poor animal struck a chord with how we were all beginning to feel, but at the same time reminded us that we still had life left in us….
Our next checkpoint at the Wheeldale Road was reached and refreshments consumed, we headed off once more into the next bog, otherwise known as Goathland Moor. Splashing and grunting our way through this we had to divert around several fires that had seemingly been set specially to fill our lungs with acrid smoke. We ascended Simon Howe and eventually reached Eller Beck Bridge and our next checkpoint in fairly poor condition, with injuries and fatigue beginning to take their toll on most of the group.
By the time we reached Lilla Cross it was becoming dark again, and by the beginning of the MOD land section it was time to get our torches out. Off across Fylingdales Moor, the going did not get any easier and one member of our group christened the walk with a new name that I, for the purposes of decency cannot repeat in writing. We lost the path despite having an accurate GPS and were saved from splashing around in ever decreasing circles by one of our group who is a serving senior NCO serviceman spotting a path marker which was less than ten metres away from said ever decreasing circles. Actually, two out of five of our members are serving servicemen, but one is an officer and apparently you should never give a map to an officer.
Reaching the ravine at Jugger Howe, we discovered the true meaning of torture as we descended on aching legs, injured knees and detached heels. Much mumbling and cursing ensued, and I observed members of the group beginning to counsel themselves with useful advice such as “Never again” and “Go on, you can do it, yes, you CAN do it”. The main road was our final checkpoint and our ever faithful and by this time utterly revered and saint-like support crew gave us some final and much-appreciated encouragement (we were too tired to partake of refreshments) and we started on the final push for the end stone.
Some difficulty was encountered once more, as the ground was still very boggy in places and I found that if I stopped for more than ten seconds that my left leg turned to rubber and refused to support me. This was probably caused by me having to give the officer my walking poles some fifteen miles earlier to support his injured knee but in the spirit of reaching the end as a team it was a gift gladly given. However, at this stage I began to regret my generosity and found myself starting to think that I should have left him with the weasel on Wheeldale Moor.
So, limping and cursing onwards for the last few hundred yards, at last, we came upon the final stone and huddled around it for the customary photographs. It was, the end. And now we are a Witch and four Dirgers (and an honorary Witch for the saintly support crew!). We thank Mr. Cowley for his devilish creativity in dreaming up this instrument of torture, I am sure I heard a ghostly cackle of laughter in the ravine at Jugger Howe, or was it a grouse? It matters not. We did it, and now we are proud!