Archive for the ‘Crossing report’ Category

Crossing Report. Saturday 23rd January 2018. Time taken 13 hours and 38 minutes.

Sunday, June 24th, 2018

Crossing Report. Saturday 23rd January 2018. Time taken 13 hours and 38 minutes.

Walkers: Bevis Cox, Julie Moorby, Mary Waterfall
Support Crew: Ben Guy, Alex Newall


The Start                                                                      Only another 39.9 miles to go

We set off from home at 4.00, our support crew picking us up with a car laden with supplies. Alex had prepared a Yorkshire quiz for the journey in an attempt to awaken our fuddled sleep weary brains, (Bevis had been out partying all night, oh to be young enough to party then walk 40 miles.) The quiz highlight was Bevis’s answer to Ilkley moor bar t’at, being on the moor without your bath mat. He’s a Yorkshire man he should have known the answer.
We pulled into the carpark in Osmotherley touched the start stone and were off by 5.30 am just as the sun was rising over the hills, ready to meander up the first few climbs of the day. As we tromped up Carlton Bank, we came across a large group of charity walkers spreading out down the narrow path, moving slightly slower than we were. To pass them we almost had to jog up the hill and we were very amused when they shouted to each other to move out of the way, as some “Speedy Speedsters” were passing. We certainly wouldn’t have viewed ourselves as that and we never jog up hills on long walks, but the jog kicked in some adrenaline and we carried on at a good pace.
We ignored check point one and made good time to the second checkpoint, arriving at 8.25 to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and Alex grinning and asking, “What took you so long”? We laughed as our legs were still going strong at this point. After a brief stop, talc on hot toes and change of socks, we changed boots here. We had walked the first half of the walk a few weeks before and Bloworth crossing had been hard on the feet, so we wanted something a bit more padded between our toes and the cinders. Little did we know that much of the second half of the walk would be hard on the feet, there are some very sharp rocks on this route.
We set off towards Round hill and the highest climb of the day, still feeling strong and our feet in good order. We hated Bloworth so much that we were pleased to have read on the updates to the route that we could knock a chunk off the crossing, because the old path across the moor had reopened. We trudged along the crossing keeping out a sharp eye for the turn up towards Rosedale Head. There is a LWW stone in the ditch, painted yellow marking the way, which we found after we had turned onto the path. Now, you would think having mapped this new path on our phones we would have managed to walk what is in effect a straight line upwards without much trouble, unfortunately two paths start from the same point and we took the wrong one. We went right instead of left along, a rarely walked path, so lots of scratchy heather and walking with knees as high as possible, through squishy bogs, (we would probably have looked like drunk Charleston dancers to anyone watching.) We saw the standing stones leading up to the road in the distance through a heat haze and cursing loudly set off towards them. I think we still felt that this turn off, had been worth it though.
We arrived scratched and covered in black streaks at Rosedale head at 11.30 to more freshly brewed coffee, and sandwiches. We changed back into our walking boots, more talc and fresh socks then set off with a spring in our step towards Fat Betty. Oh, the temptation to jump into the car and cut out the tarmac section as the support crew gaily peeped their horn on the way past. Fat Betty is amazing, we didn’t realise that people left offerings here for other weary walkers, plasters, fruit, moleskin, so dug into our pack to look for something suitable then set off down the road towards the next turn off by the looming standing stone.
We approached the bog section with trepidation, but as there had been very little rain they were mostly dry, (the odd squelchy section still caught us out through.) As we walked along the channels, we were in awe of anyone tackling this when the bogs were full. The bogs baking in sunshine were a pleasure on the feet as we bounced along the springing turf. We had a quick check in at Shunner Howe with the support crew but as we hadn’t needed to do any wading, we still had dry feet and set off towards the Blue Man in’t Moss. A quick touch of the stone and we were off again towards Howl Moor and Simon Howe.
Ow, ow, ow, is all we can say about this section, those rocks are sharp, and so close together that your ankles get a good work out. We had been looking out for Adders, desperate to see some, but I think Bevis must have been sleepwalking at this point, (partying catching up on him.) He let out a piercing howl and jumped several feet in the air when he disturbed a sheep in some bushes, thinking it was an Adder. Lots of rib pulling about Adders not being the size of pythons followed and the laughter set us up for the steep descent of Simon Howe. I slipped on the way down and popped my shoulder out, Bevis and Julie were both nearly sick, as unfazed I popped it back in, but I have been doing this since childhood.
We set off upwards to the next checkpoint, (the ascent much easier than the way down,) which we reached at 4.30. That section had been hard going and Julie and I now had blisters under our toes, strange how you can ignore them after the first few steps though. Last change of socks, more talc, (bliss on sore toes) and words of encouragement from the support team, who by now were fetching and carrying anything, we needed from the car. The next section seems far longer than five miles, we still felt ok but Lilla Cross, seemed a long way off. The path from the cross to Jugger Howe seemed to stretch on forever. Oh my, when you see the path up the other side of Jugger Howe it really takes some motivation to descend into the bottom. I had been walking about 500 yards behind Bevis and Julie on the last section and however fast I tried to walk, they never got any nearer or further away. I am sure they had hatched a plan to coral me up the steps as one set off in front and one behind, (probably worried I would slip again.)
We reached the last checkpoint and dropped our bags in the car, then set off towards the Radio Tower and the finishing stone. I think we had a new burst of energy here, as it did seem easier walking than the last few miles. As we approached the end of the path Alex and Ben were whooping and waving and had covered their car in congratulatory bunting, and were holding up Witches and Dirger placards, which really cheered us on to the end. We touched the finishing stone at Ravenscar at 7.08pm, sunburnt but with smiles on our faces, 13.38 hours after we began.

The Finish

Would we do it again? Who knows, we are seasoned walkers and this was a hard slog. Quite frankly, only laughter gets you through the tricky bits.
Bevis Cox
Julie Moorby
Mary Waterfall

Lyke Wake Walk (June 16th /17th 2018)

Wednesday, June 20th, 2018

West to East Cutting Slightly North of the Lion Inn. Distance 38.72 miles, time 16h:44m.
Alex Alderthay
Andrew Laird
Malcolm Lummas

Malcolm Lummas:
This was my 4th attempt and 3rd successful completion of Lyke Wake Walk the last ones been in the early 90s. I found this one much harder, perhaps as its over 20yrs since my last crossing… What can I say other than knees not what they used to be..
Alex Alderthay:
This was my first attempt at the Lyke Wake Walk. Over the last few years I have done several trail running events on the North York Moors, starting with the Osmotherley Phoenix and then 6 or 7 Hardmoors events. The LWW seemed like the obvious next step and allowed me to see parts of the moors away from the Cleveland Way for the first time.
Andrew Laird:
I remember when I was little my Dad talking about his crossing and despite ending up waist deep in a bog, how much he had enjoyed it… Later in life our small group started talking about planning our crossing together, though talk was pretty much where it ended for some time… It wasn’t until my Dad’s wake in February and the fact we we’re all together for his funeral we decided to finally fix a date. Closest weekend to the 21st June that we were all free, to give us the longest day. This worked out to be 16th-17th June, Father’s Day which seemed strangely fitting. My Dad’s condolence card pictured below (he was 24 at the time).

As time marched on towards the date, while taking on the challenge predominantly for ourselves, it seemed like a potential missed opportunity if we didn’t at least try to do it for a good cause. One close to my heart and with a father son link being JDRF. Having nearly lost our youngest when he was just 1yr old to Type 1 Diabetes this seemed and obvious choice and to date the total raised has been £905 plus £166.55 Gift Aid.
After a few practice walks the day finally arrived and having discussed the need for a break at about the half way point we met up @ 7pm just north of the Lion Inn to drop off one of the cars, equipped with camping stove, bacon, buns and other items such as spare shoes, socks, water and anything else we may now need. Then back to Osmotherley ready for our start @ 8:20pm.

Having been fairly overcast with thunderstorms earlier in the day as we approached Carlton Bank the sky cleared just in time for the sun to set and what a view..!!!

By the time we reached Lordstones the sun had pretty much set and it was time to choose high path or low path. Given we’d only covered a few short miles and were all still fired up it had to be the high path, though I suspect if we had crossed East to West the opposite would have been the case and in hind sight the steps down at clay bank were not knee friendly.

Crossing the B1257 at around midnight it was at least now to our pit stop just north of the Lion for some 4am Bacon Butties and the sunrise…


After refuelling it was back on track though the pace started to slow as we hit the rocky terrain and the bogs. After a few slips and misplaced feet, it was clear no one was finishing with dry feet, and after passing the early warning station at Fylingdales the pace slowed further. With only three fully operational knees between us by this point it was slow going. Still we pushed on eventually touching the Ravenscar stone little after 1pm. Dry clothes, shoes and fish and chips awaited us with our ever supportive other halves…!!

Crossing Report: 8/9 June 2018

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

‘How old are you again?’ he asked.

‘I’m doing it a week before my 72nd birthday’ I replied a bit truculently.

‘Don’t do it, Susan. Don’t do it.  I tell it like it is, you know. It will kill you, it’ll kill you!’


Since the advice I tend to listen to is my own, I paid no attention and consequently, with our three wonderful guides, Tom and Claire Chapman and David Allen, I was part of the 13 LWW virgins, including my daughter, that set off in high spirits at 9pm, pleased to be on our way and out of the range of persistent midges.


Unlike other Crossing Reports, I can’t detail just where we were, at what time, what conditions were like in X wood or Y hill.  All I know accurately, is that we started at Osmotherley and all but 3 ended at Ravenscar.  I apologise to experienced Club members for any inaccuracies, but like one lady whom I had met on a training walk who had completed a crossing ‘Oh, many years ago’, I can with clarity remember starting and ending – but the bit in between is a bit of a blur!  In fact she said ‘horrid blur’ – but, apart from a handful of occasions when I wished my heart and lungs were 40 or even 20 years younger – I generally loved the whole experience.


I can though, describe some of my personal thoughts and impressions.


We all admired, still as a single group, the sunset to the north, as we walked through Coalmire woods, though I was pleased to stop for photographs as I reckoned we were walking at a fair fast pace.  On reaching the first hill, we spread out and, to my surprise, I still found myself towards the front.


Someone then asked me if I’d practiced walking at night. My vast experience of my head torch extended from me walking from kitchen to sitting room and back and deciding I didn’t like that torch, so I carried a hand one instead.  In retrospect, I think I should have persisted – though with the light of others’ head torches, we managed to get to our first checkpoint and waved and flashed our lights to guide the second group home.


I wasn’t looking forward to climbing up Cringle Moor, but in fact we skirted it, picking our way carefully trying not to fall in the drains and just grateful that at least the stones were dry. We collectively shuddered at the thought of rain or ice and then reached our second checkpoint where hot drinks and sweet things were served. With the temperature having noticeably dropped, I successfully managed to blag my way into the warm of the support van on account of my age!


Then, having managed the ascent reasonably well up to Round Hill, I knew the dreadfully boring stretch to Bloworth and the Old Railway lay ahead, but I was looking forward to seeing dawn break.  No chance though, as by then we were engulfed with bitingly cold early morning mist! Since I live below the railway, I’d seen what the previous few mornings had been like and decided, thankfully, to wear my thermal trousers and then change into light summer ones when the temperature rose. (However, as the temperature rose later in the day, I forgot to change, and I got so hot that salty sweat dripped constantly into my eyes!)


We eventually cut off the railway, and after some considerable guide pondering on the right unmarked route, we eventually trudged rather wearily along the road to Rosedale Head until seeing the support van loom out of the mist and I again had no compunction in playing my second Joker to get a seat in the warm. The rest of the group were visibly shivering.


After setting off, I made sure that I gave due obeisance to Fat Betty, though thankfully she turned down the remains of my ‘Trekking Bar’ in my pocket.  We were excited and nervous about the ‘boggy section’ to come, which afterwards, our guides said was the driest they had known it. It didn’t seem dry to us, as most of us ended up with having to change out of our soggy socks at checkpoint four!  I attended to what I thought might turn into blisters – my only physical problem during the walk.


It was at this checkpoint, I think, that the leading group decided to stock up on the pile of just cooked bacon into the rolls provided.  I pounced, overfilled my butty, grabbed a seat and called out my order for a cup of tea. And I gobbled it down.


I’ve never been very good at exercising after eating!


Dave, the guide at the front, pointed out the Blue Man-i-th’-Moss to me and we then speeded up to catch up with one ‘mountain hare’ in front.  I wasn’t feeling too good, and then just behind the leading pair, I threw up.  ‘That delicious bacon butty’ I thought, but immediately felt better and caught them up, saying proudly, like a six year old, ‘I’ve just been sick!’ They were duly solicitous, but I felt much better and we motored on.


Before Simon Howe I was sick again, and again felt a lot better. Then, excitingly, there was a chance of seeing the Moors Railway train pass in front of us so of course we ran, just to see a wisp of smoke in the deep embankment below as the phantom train trundled towards the coast.


And so to checkpoint five and another long wait for the others in our group to catch up in order that we could leave together.


There was a pull up towards Lilla Cross and it was soggy and energy sapping as I remember and just before that landmark from where the finish of the walk can be seen, I did something I’ve heard about, but never experienced either as a participant or as an observer… I projectile vomited almost the whole of the bacon butty that remained in my gut.  I was no longer in the front group at this point, but just with my lovely daughter and Charlie, the son of my local MP, Kevin Hollinrake (a great supporter of the cause we were walking for). At least I was useful in adding to his life-learning experiences and because of that thought, and with a blissfully empty stomach, I now felt good again, and as traumatised Charlie waited for his parents, the pair of us powered on.  However, it felt, for my daughter and me, a long way to the next checkpoint, wherever it was!


We had again, quite a long wait before setting off on the home run towards the mast that appeared to never come any closer.  But, after the slog up Jugger Howe, of course it did, simply by putting one foot in front of the other. (If David Allen  is your guide in the future, do not ask him how far it is to the end, because his 1/8 mile turned out to be 1.5 miles – though I put that down to his inspiring motivational skills!)


At the end, my daughter reminded me to touch the final LWW coffin stone – otherwise I wouldn’t have completed the crossing and presumably, would have had to turn round and go back to Osmotherley!


It was great.  We were elated.  We had done it (17 hours and 43 minutes) and we cheered in the rest of our group that followed.


I know we all felt emotional at the end because we had pushed ourselves both physically and mentally.  We had hit our personal walls at various stages but had climbed over with difficulty and dogged determination. We had passed!


Oh, and there’s still life in this old dog. The walk didn’t put me in a coffin – though that would have been pleasingly symbolic!


PS:  When can we do it again?



Sue Mumford




Crossing of one Stephen Scorer on May 30th 2018.

Monday, June 4th, 2018

Just before sunrise on the morning of May 30th, 2018, a figure was seen to skulk out of The Golden Lion public house and stagger across to the churchyard. A black and white cat is believed to have been the only witness to the doleful deeds that transpired prior to the departure of this soul.


As the church clock tolled at 4.30, I left the church yard, walking up North End and was quickly consumed by a motionless and mournful mist. The dam at Cod Beck stood like a gothic pile as I pushed on towards the stone marking the beginning of my journey to the other side.


Soon enough, the tombstone like marker emerged from the mist, the letters, LYKE WAKE WALK, scored into one side. The trial was about to begin.

Soon I entered Clain Wood, paying respects to Mr Cowley as I passed through. In the depths of the wood I felt a tingling trickle down my spine. I was sure that someone, something was watching me. I kept on walking deeper into the wood and saw a tall, dark apparition appear in the fog. I walked closer in silence, was it a bush, an animal another being? Suddenly, cloven hooves propelled a deer into the trees.

Progress to the Carlton Bank trig point was good, I kept my head down, focussing on the few feet of path I could see. As I dropped down to Lord Stones, the mist lifted a little and I could see some of the new buildings by the path.

On Kirby Bank, I sat in Mr Falconer’s seat, looking out into thick fog. The plaque said optimistically that Penshaw Monument, a landmark near my childhood home, was directly in front of me. Sadly, I would have to enjoy this view another day.

Dropping down to the Broughton plantation, pine trees were covered in a phantasmagoria of mist bejeweled webs until suddenly, I found myself in a wasteland, smashed branches and tyre ploughed earth showed a recent harvest churning the earth in a mass of destruction.

Heading up to the old train track, the wind stiffened, blowing thick mist like wet smoke across the track. As the wind gusted from the north and from the east, the cold wet seeped in to me, penetrating waterproofs and chilling. I pressed on along the interminable track, unable to see much around me. The track seemed to go on for ever until, eventually, I hit the junction and car park at Little Blakeley. I’d totally missed the turning to The Lion Inn and had to walk along the road. Annoyed at myself for missing the turning, soaking wet, cold and hungry, I almost walked past the inn. I happened to look up and noticed a light in the mist, I then saw the sign and found my way into the warm heart of the Lion at 1130.

After two hours in front of a fire, drying out, warming up, drinking hot chocolate and eating chips I was ready to set off for what I knew would be the more difficult part of the journey.

By this point, my phone was on its last legs, a heavy power pack I had been carrying to try to feed the device had failed and the charger lead had also died. I wanted to keep the little power my phone had left for emergencies so I knew that for the rest of the journey I was to be totally alone.regardless at 1330 I set out once more into the mist, refreshed but concerned about the infamous bogs and worried about my ability to navigate safely in such conditions.

I carefully picked my way across Glaisdale and White Moors. The roman road on Wheeldale was particularly spooky in the mist. At Goathland Moor, I had to work hard to keep out of Little Eller Beck. At Lilla Cross, I was amazed to see a clear cycleway leading me clearly into the mist but sadly, this didn’t last long. The tyre tracks in the ground got my wondering ‘who on earth would cycle across these moors?’

As I approached Jugger Howe, the mist seemed to miraculously clear. I saw a fence ahead with a sign saying Jenny Fell…..poor Jenny – I hope she didn’t do herself an injury. I crossed the beck and had a fantastic view of the steps up onto the moor. Gee thanks!

Once up the steps, down came the mist and the final slog to the mast and the Ravenscar stone. Throughout the walk I had seen very little apart from the track in front of me. As I approached Ravenscar, I was sure I saw the mast several times to find that I was actually looking at trees. I’m sure I was attended by phantom visitations several times in my mist bound crossing but was sadly unaware as I pressed on, desperate to get to the warmth of Raven Hall.

Finally, I saw the mast appear out of the mist. As I passed, I touched the Ravenscar LWW stone and a few seconds later, my watch that had been tracking my walk gave up the ghost. Exhausted after 17 hours 24 minutes and 38 seconds of tracking my movements. It said I had walked 44.68 miles and was later to give me a route map of my crossing to the other side. It was 9 50 pm and still light……just about.

I walked down to Raven Hall where I had booked a bed for the night and checked in, wet through and tired but incredibly exhilarated to have completed a journey I had wanted to make for years. Please do graciously consider my request to be accepted as a Dirger after walking alone and unsupported from The Golden Lion, past the Osmotherley Lyke Wake Stone to the Ravenscar stone in 17 hours 25 minutes. A journey accompanied by dense mist at all times apart from the descent to the stream at the foot of Jugger Howe.


Lyke Wake Walk Report 5-6th May 2018

Friday, May 25th, 2018

Cometh the hour, cometh the man or in our case men …cometh the 20th hour of walking and said men were nearly a goneth!
Whilst physically ranging from late 30’s to mid 60’s, upon getting together beforehand it was apparent the mental age averaged out a lot younger, in a good way.
The 7 men arrived, pensive but excited, up to their ears in gear, some old and trusty, some new and barely used, the gear that is, not the men.
At 20:00 hours the obligatory “before” photo was taken, and the outwardly calm smiles could barely hide the enormity of the task ahead. 40 miles of which some of us knew the first half but no-one really knew the second bar the more “experienced” member of the group, who did the walk back in ’76. Given this was predominantly a walk through natural landscapes it should look pretty much the same as ’76 we thought.

Lesson 1: Use up to date maps; during the practice walk slight disorientation occurred when we were expecting fields and markers and instead were met with woodlands that weren’t meant to be there!
Upon climbing the umpteenth hill the second lesson was learned, SLOW DOWN we had set off at quite a yomp and whilst this felt like real progress was being made, we became acutely aware that once the jam sandwiches and pre-walk liquid calories had worn off we would be somewhat lacking in the required oomph to continue at such an athletic pace and given that between us we represented every shape of athlete from sprinter to power lifter we would pay the ultimate humiliation of a phone call to the “support” team (Wives) and the indignity of hearing the immortal phrase “I told you, you’re all mad! I don’t know why you do these things in the first place! …I’ll be there in an hour”.

In order to maintain temporary hero status in our children and grandchildren’s eyes we were determined to complete the jaunt on our terms and at a somewhat more sedentary pace.
As we made our way across the moors, conversation flowed and miles went by. The darkness closed in and the tranquillity of the evening took hold. Until the 3rd lesson was learned.

As we marched along the old rail track we heard a loud thud and weary groan. A new problem that would not have existed in ’76 occurred, mobile phones. The mindfulness state of walking had lured one of the team into following the sound of marching feet whilst fully engaged in electronic communications with base camp. The thud we heard was a body slam of human versus metal gate!
The wildlife varied as the hours passed, the evening chorus slowed down and small millipedes made their presence known, looking like a low budget 70’s horror invasion flick as they strewn the paths. Dawn gave way to the grouse with their varied calls and responses. We were no avian experts, but the messages between the respective grouse were clear:
“There are people coming, stay low”
“The people are a bit close, get away people!”
“They’ve buggered off, as you were”
Later on, as the sun hung high in the sky we saw, what for some of us was the first time, Adders and Grass snakes!

Past dawn and a way past the Lion Inn pub and our feet were burning and the confines of the boots were taking their toll.
A well earned “dip for the feet ” at the stepping stones near Wheeldale Lodge turned back the miles and reinvigorated our feet and ankles.

35 miles in, after 15 miles of slow muddy progress through the boggy Moore, I was convinced I had an expert eye for spotting the “solid” ground and decided my sticks could resume their primary purpose of holding my back side above my knees…how wrong I was! With only a few more arduous miles to go I nonchalantly marched through the marshlands and ditches with my eye on the prize.
Visions of throwing offspring in the air and joyous, relieved and hopefully carnal looks from our spouses as their heroes returned after defeating the North Yorkshire Moors.
The end came 40 miles later as the silhouettes of friends and loved ones appeared on the horizon and children ran down to great tired parental legs. A couple of cold beers were drunk (For rehydration purposes) in quick succession and the drives home ensued.

What an experience, what great company and never again!

The walkers were:
Sean Newby
William Maughan
Graham Tweddle
Geoff Simpson
Andrew Simpson
Gary Willoughby
Stephen Heafield

Unsupported Crossing 5-6th May 2018

Friday, May 11th, 2018

I’d like to report our crossing. I attempted this walk a few years ago with people from work, but only managed to get as far as the Blue Man i’th’ Moss, had to retire due to some serious blisters. I roped my older brother Craig Meek into it this time and at 20.25hrs on a warm Saturday evening 5th May 2018 we began the walk to the starting stone at Osmotherley. I knew what we were letting ourselves in for, and we had the necessary food, clothes, spare socks etc. This was an unsupported walk, we carried everything we needed on our backs.

Catching the last of the evening sun, we made our way, making reasonable time, through to the first foot check and sock change, at the Lord Stones area…hmmmm, are those warm spots going to be trouble later I wondered, as I talced my feet, putting fresh “blister free” socks on? I thought my boots were broken in and comfortable, having been ‘walked in’ on previous walks lasting up to four hours.

The temperature never dropped below mild, so it was onwards and upwards, admiring the glow of Teesside at night as we tackled the first few hills. We almost stumbled on a few cows as we navigated Broughton bank and the Wainstones, with another foot check / sock change confirming my worst fears….blisters, both feet. Passing another group on the same challenge, we managed to climb Botton Head and pass Round Hill, by torchlight, with the red lights of the Bilsdale transmitter a constant feature for the next part of our journey. Travelling on the old railway line, this part seemed to go, and on, and on..eventually finding the Lion Inn at Blakey, around 4am.

As we fed and watered ourselves near the pub, the warm weather meant some of the bedroom windows were open, and it was so quiet we could hear snoring…so jealous!

Realising my blistered feet were going to be a real problem, with only two painkillers, (one for each foot I suppose..) we set off with some trepidation. I couldn’t see how I could possibly continue, but equally, I couldn’t see how I could possibly give up ..again. Weighing up the options, phoning my wife Donna at 5am for a lift home, tail between my legs, or seeing how far I could go, the latter option meant we got to see the sun come up over the area near Fat Betty.

The sunrise at that time was glorious and spurred us on, I knew it would be a scorcher, and wasn’t wrong. Gritting my teeth and plodding on, we covered some ground, but slowly and surely made progress. Making it to the second OS map seemed to make it within our grasp, until I unfolded the map to see how much further we still had to cover..then unfolded it again..and again, and again…

Almost stepping on the first of our three adders we saw along the way, catching the sun, we stumbled on and on, seeing countless lizards, a mouse, birds galore and two barking deer that greeted us near Wheeldale plantation.

By now the going was tough, with rough stony terrain, sore painful feet, aching legs, the heat at least 20C, water was down to our reserves as we crossed Wheeldale Beck stepping stones, resting for a while as we soaked our feet in the cold water. Bliss..

It couldn’t last, though, so on we stumbled, literally stumbled on to see the end in sight….in the distance…sheer torture. The transmitter never seemed to get closer as we ploughed on, too close now to think about quitting. With water now down to a last few mouthfulls it was with a heavy heart that we discovered there was no ice cream van at the car park at the A171. With grim determination, and the thought of cold fresh water in the waiting car where my wife Donna was at the finish, we managed to lift each aching, agonized foot up, then putting it down, again and again until at last we finished.

The time was now exactly 14.25hrs,Sunday 6th May,2018, 18 hours of walking across the North York Moors, a real slog on this occasion. We’d finished though, we’d done the Lyke Wake Walk, an immense feeling of satisfaction known only to those Lyke Wake Walkers.

Guy Meek and Craig Meek

Katherine Knight, Crossing on 13th March 2018

Friday, March 23rd, 2018

I would like to report my crossing – completing my passing after 13 hours on the 13th March.
It seemed that I was the only person on the trail that day, I certainly didn’t see anyone else which was the inspiration for my ‘report’. I made a little video too

I hope they are sufficient for membership to your fine club!
Best wishes,

The passing of Katherine Knight in 13 hours on the 13th

Darkness cloaked the world as I left Osmotherley,
Not a living soul did I see

Grouse and pheasant flocked a plenty,
Not a living soul did I see

I took a selfie with White Betty,
Not a living soul did I see

I fell in a bog up to my knee,
Not a living soul did I see

I took a break for a much needed wee,
Not a living soul did I see

I counted curlews one, two, three,
Not a living soul did I see

Frog spawn on the, right in front of me,
Not a living soul did I see

I passed the plantation, thick with tree,
Not a living soul did I see

I crossed the flooded river with anxiety,
Not a living soul did I see

Finally the end stone greeted me,
Not a living soul had I seen

Katherine Knight

Winter Crossing Report 23rd/24th February 2018

Sunday, March 18th, 2018
Myself and Gary Dumbrell arrived at Osmotherley at 2315 on Friday 23rd February 2018. I had decided to attempt the walk again after bad weather put a stop to my first attempt a few years previous.
For extra incentive I roped Gary in and we both decided to do it in aid of Rags2Riches-Romanian Dog Rescue charity, just an extra push to complete it if we needed it.
Between us we managed to raise £600 ish ?

Once we sorted ourselves out and got that all important photo of the Lyke Wake stone we set off into the night at 2340 hours.

The Start

The weather was good for the whole trip but the wind was freezing and not very pleasant, but we cracked on regardless.

Now, walking at night throws up it’s own challenges such as what were we walking on and just who owns those pair of eyes staring at us from the trees!
The first 20 miles of the walk were fairly straightforward as i myself have walked it numerous times.
Familiar landmarks such as Stokesley and Middlesborough as well as the radio mast at Bilsdale were recognisable so visibility was good but, there was no moon. The stars were out but the moon was no where to be seen but it did make an appearance during the day.

After some 5 hours of walking that the sun started to come up. Beautiful pink, oranges and purples gave light to the beauty of the moors. Still very cold, our spirits were lifted by this welcome sight. As we continued on, we caught site of our halfway point which was the Lion Inn pub at Blakey ridge.

Lion Inn “Oasis”

We were met here with hot coffee and a welcome sit down to allow us to change our socks and get some food. We’d been walking some 9 hours by this point as it was now 0830.

Next we headed east towards Fylingdales and this involved some road walking initially where we saw some ancient stones such as Fat Betty and old Marjorie.
We then came into a section which was unpleasant and really slowed up down. This was the first of the boggy sections and it was wet. Cursing we were when we went up to our ankles in mud and water but we got across eventually. This went on for some time over a couple of valleys to a rocky outcrop called Shunner Howe. By this point, we could just make out the upturned Ice cream cone that is RAF Fylingdales. Fires were burning in various locations to burn off the heather which brought nice smells. An air sea rescue helicopter flew past which reassured us that if we needed it, we knew it was working!
Onwards we went, up and down, boggy section, sandy section, rocky section, and on and on until we reached the railway line. We passed 3 walkers out for a stroll and they said we were mad doing the walk in winter!! nice of them.

“Lovely Mud”

And so we reached Ellerbeck bridge on the main Pickering to Whitby road. At this point, the sun was going down and we were about to be plunged into darkness once more. So, head torces on and away on the final leg. At this point Gary learnt not to ask about how many miles remain. Because when your fatigued and hurting, you don’t want to hear me say 13 miles!!
Fylingdales next, the boggiest section of all with no obvious path in the dark! It was at this point my OS map app decided it wasn’t playing up ball, so it took some time but, we got through. So, along a slippery path heading further east.
Soon we arrived at Janet’s Fell, heading down hill the old knees started to ache.
Upon reaching the bottom it suddenly dawned on Gary that we had to go up again, progress was slow but eventually we reached the top and plodded on to the A171.
Crossing the road we were now running on reserves, but eventually we made it.

22hrs and 22 minutes.

The Finish at last……………………………..

I hope this report will be ok, I for one will attempt this challenge again, I won’t tell you where Gary said I could stick it!! ?
Kind Regards
Richard Leggott

Crossing Summer 2017

Friday, January 5th, 2018

I seem to have missed the requirement for this to be submitted within 28 days of completing the crossing…or did I misread and it’s 280 days…?
Anyway, here’s my tail of a summer crossing, towards the middle of last year.

At the beginning of the year (2017), my buddy Adrian had suggested doing the Lyke Wake Walk (and another event, the Yorkshire 6 Peaks) as charity events and I foolishly said yes!
The Lyke Wake Walk was aimed at raising much needed funds for Adrian’s friend Andrew, who was in the advanced stages of motor neuron disease. Joining us on this trek were other friends of Adrian and Andrew – Tim, Louise and Simon and also another buddy from the 6 Peaks walk, Stuart.
I drove over to Adrian’s in York from home in mid-Wales on the Friday evening and woke to my alarm at 04.00. Stuart arrived from Wetherby shortly after and our support driver Julian (Adrian’s brother) pitched up at around the same time. Adrian disappeared off to collect the others and Julian drove us to Cod Beck Reservoir, near Osmotherley, where we all met up and prepared to go.
I was prepared to cripple myself in a relatively new pair of boots (although they had already crippled me once over the Yorkshire 6 Peaks (Pen-y-Ghent, Ingleborough, Whernside, Great Knoutberry Hill, Swarth Fell and Wild Boar Fell in 2 days)), but had a handy battered pair of trainers waiting in the support car, just in case! We bade farewell to the Pagliaro brothers (Adrian had a bad knee which kept him from the first hilly section) and set off down the road to the Cleveland Way signs which pointed us to a no access sign….I wouldn’t say we ignored this, but in our confused early morning brains, we thought it must be some form of mistake and went that way anyway….a few hundred yards later on, we met the official path and carried on, officially. Climbing through the woods, we exited onto moorland hillside with tremendous views towards Teesside. This first 9 mile section proved to consist of lots of ups and downs, made easier with the wonderful views to the north. The sun was blazing, despite it being early morning, and we knew we would have our work cut out on this beautiful summer’s day. We stopped for a first breakfast by the curious seat and topograph dedicated to Alan Falconer on Cringle Moor and I made a solo detour to the summit cairn, a few hundred metres away, catching up with Stuart who was chatting to a couple of lads on e-mountain bikes (cheating in my book – they should be peddling!). Stuart and I then caught up with the rest of the group in the col beneath the Wainstones and chatted with an American Coast-to-Coaster. At the Wainstones, we met another group who were proudly proclaiming that they were doing the 35 miles of the White Rose Way – we didn’t tell them that we were doing more! Up and over Hasty Bank, we met Adrian and Julian and stocked up on supplies. My boots weren’t too bad after 10 miles, but I decided to switch to trainers as I felt the beginnings of some rubbing.
Adrian joined us here and we climbed as a complete group over Urra Moor to Round Hill, where Adrian, Stuart and I took the detour to the summit. From here, we chatted with more American Coast-to-Coasters and followed the old railway line around the head of Farndale to the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge. Julian came up trumps here and had chips and beer waiting for us to enjoy for lunch in the sunshine outside the pub!
Nothing lasts forever however, and we had to replenish stocks and set out along the road to Rosedale Head, spotting a baby adder aiming to play with the traffic as we passed (no, I wasn’t going to pick it up!). We cut the corner of the road across the head of Rosedale, across various moors with various quality of path (we had been treated to flagstones on the Cleveland Way section and a good hard surface on the former railway lines). The group was starting to spread out by this time, but we regrouped when I spotted a fully grown adder, a long way from the road this time! More moorland crossings lead us to the next checkpoint, where Louise unfortunately had to retire and we saw a solo LWWer who looked set to retire too (I wonder if he carried on?). A sharp drop took us down to Wheeldale Beck and then an equally sharp climb took us over Howl Moor to the next check point, where Julian claimed to have been flashed at by a passing female motorist!
The evening was now closing in as we climbed past RAF Fylingdales (a distant target for some time now) and full darkness came on over Fylingdales Moor. Headtorches were necessary on the uneven track and a few minor navigational challenges were overcome by reference to the GPS.
At the Jugger Hows checkpoint, Tim and Simon reluctantly dropped out, leaving Adrian, Stuart and myself to climb at some pace to the end, a further mile and ¾ on.
Finishing was blessed relief! My feet hurt and I’d gone through 8 litres of water in the 29 degree heat of the day. Of the 6 walkers only Stuart and myself managed the full Lyke Wake Walk.
Julian drove Stuart and myself back to York, flushing a badger en route and then Adrian and I shared a beer back at his place to celebrate a successful, but very long day!
We finished the 41 miles at 00.30, some 18 ½ hours after setting off.

Despite the tardy effort of mailing this report to you, does this entitle Stuart and me to become Dirgers?

Thanks and best regards,
Chris Thornton

Crossing Report – Chateau d’Osmotherley, July 2017. Ian Evans

Thursday, September 28th, 2017

(subtitle – ‘When I wurr a lad’) Otherwise being a report of a dirge over the ‘Full Classic’, July 2017 (with apologies to Monty Python, Rowan Atkinson, et al., vis: )

INTRODUCTION – The scene is set: on a Balmy Night at a local hostelry in far flung Blakamore, four old time Dirgers meet and exchange greetings -….. Nah then, nah then? …. Aar’s tha binn? …Hey up! … Good ter si’ thi’! … etc., etc. – then they sit down to relax and reminisce:
Obediah : Theh dun’t knaw they’re born these days, do theh? Well, jus’ becozz them fond yoothz sees uzz awdtimers sitting here at this ‘ere Wake in ower Sunday best, supping a fine vintage o’ Chateau d’Osmotherley, dun’t meeann wi dun’t knaw t‘ troo meanin’ o’ dirgin’.
Isiah: Aye, t’troo meanin’ o’ dirgin. Ah tell thi, when we wurr lads it were nowt but t’ Full Classic foruzz.
Jeremiah: Aye, nowt but t’Full Classic.
Obediah: Nah’days nunn of ‘em sets off abaht a seppoort party to cater to theer ivvery whim. Aye, it’s all, bacon sarnies at Looards Stooans, ….
Gessiah: ….. an’ foot massages at Old Margery….
Obediah: ….. an’ a la carte dining at Hamer ….
Gessiah: …’ aromatherapy at Ellerbeck …
Obediah: …’ nooah doubt, paramedics, BUPA an’ bottled oxygen at Beacon Howes.
Isiah: Aye. An’ Ah expect the’ll hev escalators at t’Jugger Howe Ravine affooer long!
Gessiah: Aye, booeth daan an’ up an’all, Ah expect.
Isiah: Aye, happen!
Jeremiah: Aye, happen as not!
Obediah: Aye, happenn as not an’ like as maybe!
Isiah: Aye, happenn as not an’ like as maybe tha’s reyt!
Jeremiah: Seppoort party?!! Seppoort party?!! In mah day, thurr wurr non o’ that namby, pamby nonsense. Ivvery thing wi ‘edd worr carried on arr owen backs. Arr owen backs I tell thi’! Wi trekked ower top on oil them theer Clivvland Hills, throo all t’mirk & miyer wi’ no’butt a smyell on arr faces an’ t’usual four hun’erd weight haversack on arr backs.
Gessiah: An’ nooah short cuts eether. Nunn o’ that Lyke Wake Stooan rigmarole. Wi’ hedd ter slog all t’way up tu’ t’Trig Point ter start. Two miles up hill, vertical mind, affooer wi’d even started. That theer Bill Cowley, he wurr nivver arraand but hi’d knaw if tha’ cheeated.
Obediah: Aye, hi’d knaw.
Jeremiah: An’ wi set off wi’ no’butt a smyell on arr faces an’ clogs on arr feeat.
Gessiah: An’ we did all on it wi’ nowt but a canteen o’ beck watter an’ two cheese sarnies.
Obediah: An thurr wurr nunn o’ them gentle, guidin’ Clivvland Way paavin’ stooans. No, it wurr mudd, murk an’ miyer all t’way fra start ter t’end. It wurr t’Full Classic an’all – gooin’ ower top of ivvery hill, nunn o’ that eezi peezi Miners Track, nooah Lion Inn, nooah strewellin’ along t’tarmac at Roezdayle Heead – nunn o’ that. Wi’d leeave t’railway track at t’ pieyell o’ lime, strayt daan ter bowels o’ Hell, also knu’ern as t’Esklets, and then straat back up ter t’Owd Margery. Frum theer it wurr baandry stooans all t’way ter Ellerbeck. Then wi hedd ter skip ower t’unexpoded bombs and dodge t’military police to get ter Lilla afooer thrashing on to t’Ravenhall Hotel.
Jeremiah: An’ that there Bill Cowley what’d he think? All he ivver sedd wurr ‘Gi’ thissen a week an’ thay’ll be reyt to do it aggeeann’.
Isiah: A’ve bin listening to all that an’ Ah think yaw lot must ‘a hedd it easy. When wi went off ter dirge, wi’d wait fo’ wust weather. Wind an’ rain? – nowt. Wi’d wait till it wurr rainin’ n‘ sleetin sidewards, fra’ all four directions, mixed in wi’ bizzards ‘n hail-stooans. Wi dirgin’ weather just reyt, wi’d get up two hours afoower we went ter bed, set off barefoot an’ backards, stridin’ throo thickest & tallest heather in t’ oil uh Yorksheer, chooisin’ t’ path thruff thorniest thorns, ower steeapist hills n’ ruffest rocks, wadin’ thru’ ‘undred fathum deeap becks an’ gills, an’ snorklin’ thruff fiercist & deeapist bogs. On Fylingdales wi’d ignore t’red flag sooas wi could play hide & seeak wi t’Red Caps and hopscotch on t’minefields. An’ when we got t’ Ravenscar arr Dad would make us dance on broken glass, just furr fun, affoor he made us run bihind t’car all t’60 miles ‘til we got hooem. Then wi hedd a rub daan wi’ a wet flannel, eat an handful o’ cowd gravel an’ it wurr straight off ter wukk foruzz, furr a short twenty-five hower shift, if wi wurr lucky!
Jeremiah: An’ if yerr try telling t’ young foak that terday theh wun’t believe yerr!
All: Aye, that’s troo, reyt enuff.

and so, fast forward to July 2017……………
So in an attempt to replicate the glories of teenage dirging of yester year, I attempted to cross in the style of days gone for no other reason than to remind myself how tough this walk used to be. None of this namby, pamby Lyke Wake Stone business for me, no sir, daft as a brush I set off uphill from Osmotherley (as we used to) to the Trig Point on Scarth Wood Moor to start – 983 glorious feet above sea level and close to 2 miles walk uphill from Ossie. Having (unnecessarily!?!) walked up to the ‘old’ start, I set off toward the Cleveland Hills frontline visible ahead. In days of yore, between Cringle & Carlton Moors, there was only a bleak, shelterless, windswept col before the emergence of the tall confers and the Lords Stones emporium. It seems that the normal modus operandi these days is to follow the Miners Track around the faces of Cringle Moor, Cold Moor, and Hasty Bank, but resorting to the masochism of yesteryear I slogged over all three summits, admittedly using the now paved Cleveland Way/Coast to Coast track. As I progressed along the railway I reached the ‘pile of lime’, an historic Lyke Wake landmark now barely visible adjacent to the railway where the stone, white-lettered, ‘Esklets’ sign is. Sticking to the ‘Full Classic’ plan and ignoring all good sense, I descended sharply towards the old Esklet ruins secluded at the bottom of Westerdale by following the line of shooting butts and from the bottom immediately turned eastwards again to ascend through the crags back to the moor top and the track direct to Old Margery. In the good old days this ‘detour’ was introduced to avoid disturbance of nesting grouse around South Flat Howe.
From Old Margery the Full Classic doesn’t use the tarmac at all except where crossing the road. I stuck to the parish boundary on the direct path across the heather to Fat Betty and then followed the boundary stones across Rosedale Head to Loose Howe – this actually proved to be just about the toughest part of the whole process as it was now dark and there is no path as such – nobody goes that way these days as everybody succumbs to the seductive lure of the easy going on the tarmac all the way from the Lion Inn to the Millennium Stone. Additionally the drainage channels that have been cut into the peat hereabouts lie athwart the Lyke Wake route & in the moonless gloom these are unfortunately quite easy to stumble into. I managed to employ quite a bit of Anglo-Saxon phraseology on this bit describing to myself the stupidity of doing a 40 mile walk (a fair proportion of it in the dark) and deliberately choosing not to do it the most straightforward way.
The younger generation might be surprised to learn but the Rosedale Moor bogs are not as terrifying as they used to be – it was normal to go at least knee deep numerous times between Loose Howe & Shunner Howe but in the drier climes of more recent years it is usual, on a summer crossing at least, to get through without getting too wet. From Hamer much of the rest progressed as it was ‘way back when’. Wheeldale Moor has not recovered from the punishment doled out by passage of half a million boots to the same extent that Rosedale Moor has. The mixture of soft and rocky ground is as tiring as it ever was. The section from Ellerbeck to the military gravel track is actually wetter and squidgier than it used to be. Way back I always used try and avoid intersecting the military gravel track until I’d got most of the way to Lilla; the EWS fence used to run adjacent to this track & the threatening MoD signs hear about used to unnerve the teenage me & I was always expecting an uncomfortable encounter with the Military Police (though that never happened).
The final bits of experience from days of yore that I indulged in were to jump across Jugger Howe Beck (there was no foot bridge in the 70’s) and after reaching Beacon Howes plodded onwards the further mile & a bit to Ravenscar to finish outside the Raven Hall Hotel.
Conclusion – Yep, it really was ‘tuffer wenn arr wurr a lad’!!! (even though this July 2017 dirge took me 6 hours longer than it would have done in the 70s).

17 hours total but spent around 2 hrs in Lion with Thomas having a meal so I suppose 15hrs walking

[Any problems understanding the 1st bit, try Google translate.]