Archive for the ‘Crossing report’ Category

Crossing. 11th September 2020, Nick Hallissey, Deputy Editor, Country Walking Magazine

Wednesday, February 24th, 2021

Nick Hallissey managed to squeeze in a crossing of the Lyke Wake walk between Lockdowns on 11th September 2020 crossing starting 4.54am and finishing at 7.52pm – a very respectable time of 14 hours and 54 minutes.

Quoting :
“Conditions were overcast but dry, cold at first, warming into the evening. I encountered no others doing the Lyke Wake, but several doing the Cleveland Way or Coast to Coast. I enjoyed the walk immensely; even the boggy bits. My highlight would have to be the Wain Stones, but I also enjoyed the peace and seclusion found in Wheeldale Beck and Jugger Howe Beck too”.

The story will appear in the April issue of Country Walking, on sale from 1st April to 29th April.


www.walk1000miles.co.uk

Crossing Report from 1991……………………….

Thursday, February 18th, 2021

Lyke wake challenge Edited by Ron Feb 17 2021

This Lyke Wake Report is for the 5th – 6th  October 1991

The challenge was taken up to hopefully get sponsorship to cover the cost of supplying and fitting seat belts in the Dagenham, Robert Clack, School Bus.  

In support                                                    Walkers

Maureen Palmer                              Bill Fuller, Dean Philpott ( 13 yrs ), Gary Andrews,

Sue Philpott                                          Geoffrey Boyling, Paul Christian, Ron (2) Deadman, Ron (1) Philpott      

If you have not walked this countryside before, DON’T do it, it’s far too nice to be rushed in this manner

Forget the challenge just enjoy the walk..

We Left Dagenham (East London) at 06:45 on Saturday 5th October 1991.

Ron 1 drove us the 230 miles, straight to the Queen Catherine Hotel, in Osmotherly arriving at 12:30, for Food and beers. After two pints Ron 1 had had enough and decided to take the van to ensure that all ahead, was as had been planned. That is, the pub where we hoped to have supper, had not been demolished and where he intended for us to camp was all ok. An hour and a half later he returned to find us full of good spirits and insisted we visit the village toilets, these were unique to say the least, the cleanest & sweetest smelling loos in all of GB. With vases of flowers etc.

In due course, we set off in the van towards Cod Beck car park, close by the official-start of the walk.                                    Here suitable clothing and footwear  were donned, rucksacks filled with waterproofs etc. In Ron 2’s case an old jacket and a pair of plimsolls which Oxfam had thrown out. At 17:30 we walked to the trig point behind the wall near to the B.T repeater station on Beacon Hill. Photos were taken and watches synchronised.

At precisely 18:00 the seven of us set off for Clay Bank Top. By 19:30 it was dark, we passed through Huthwaite Green, negotiated the climb up through Live Moor Plantation, the “Devils Staircase” 105 steps and no two alike, before crossing Carlton Moor. With rapidly dimming torches, by 20:00, we think we passed the gliding club. Guessed our way across Cringle Moor then felt our way over Hasty Bank.

It was whilst Ron 2 was relating how he had narrowly escaped death, “I was on Mt Everest when I was “abandoned by my Sherpa’s, with nothing more than my underpants and fifteen foot of rope”. That Ron 1, who’s torch had long since died and with sight impaired due to tears of laughter, totally missed his footing, he fell awkwardly and twisted his knee.

We met with the support team at 22:30, where dirty kit was exchanged for clean, Maureen then drove us to catch last orders at the Black Horse in Great Broughton. Whist there, Bill tried hard to convince the locals they should all move down south, young Dean fell asleep and Ron 1 tried to ease the pain in his knee by self-administering foaming anaesthetic, at the same time making up for what he had missed earlier.

Gary said he didn’t want to have to get up once he got into his tent, and kept paying visits to the gents (five in ten minutes). Paul said “If we stay any longer, we will be in the pub all night” after a long silence & clearly some thought followed by further persuasion, we said goodnight to all the locals & our landlord, who had made us so welcome. We made Clay Bank Top by 01:30 where sleep was had until Ron 1 woke us at 04:00. Tents etc were stowed, some fresh batteries fitted to torches and Cheese sandwiches consumed. We were under way by 05:00. Into the dark of Urra Moor and Round Hill.

Paul, in an attempt to draw some of the sympathy from Ron l, promptly pulled his knee, the pair later coined the Lyke  Wake Limp, ow, ouch !!. At 06:30 a frost came down onto the Moor and it was bitterly cold.

As we walked along the disused railway track towards Esklets the sun came up and even if it didn’t feel any warmer, it looked like it should have been. Spirits were raised, and the remaining twenty-five miles or so didn’t seem such a daunting task.

In his haste to find a suitable spot to answer a call of nature, Ron 1 relieved himself of his maps and compass which fortunately, were picked up by those following.  At 09:15 we met the support team at White Cross, more cheese sandwiches, but this time with a choice of tomato or brown sauce & if you were lucky, a quick cuddle.                        

Ron 1 was reunited with his maps etc and advised that he would be penalised severely at a later date.

Geoff very generously offered to take his punishment for him, so long as he could ride in the van for the rest of the way. Ron 1 declined his offer telling him to get walking. 09:30 found us on our way to the BIue Man-in-the-Moss, knowing that the halfway point had been achieved, was good.

Support was on offer on the Hamer road at about 10:15 and we made the Blue Man standing stone at 11:30.              Cracking on to meet the support team again at 12:35 on the Wheeldale road.

Signs of tiredness were now apparent as was some anxiety as to what may lay ahead of us together with the time remaining to complete the challenge. After hurried refreshments, we were off again towards Eller Beck Bridge. Now the pace noticeably more punishing, and the adrenalin beginning to flow. Eller Beck car park was reached by 13:30, the first members, arriving prior to the support team. They had it transpired, stopped to pick up one of our number who was experiencing difficulty.

15 minutes later we were off again, passing Fylingdales early warning radar “Golf BaIIs” and on to LilIa Cross.                 Crossing Jugger Howe Beck, we made the Car Park at 15:40, Someone said “I’m going to leave my rucksack off for the final leg” abuse of all kinds followed with one person suggesting “he should be made to do it again, backwards”.

Dutifully we all put our rucksacks on, one or two even filed their water bottles.

With two hours twenty minutes left to complete the challenge, and with our goal in “sight” a warm feeling enveloped us. A slightly more relaxed pace was set as we walked on towards the Beacon on Stony Marl Moor. The Lyke Wake Stone was achieved at exactly 16:30.

Ron 2 looking at what now remained of his plimsolls remarked” You’ll have to take me home in the van, I’m afraid. These plimsolls won’t make it back to London”- What a guy?  After refreshments and photographs we got back in the van for the drive home. Extremely tired but very satisfied, our challenge fulfilled.

Many hours of planning had helped us achieve our objective. Ignoring the time to get to and from Yorkshire.

We had spent twenty-two and a half hours, sixteen of those walking, four in the pub & two and a half asleep.

Photos at the LWW stone then Ron 1 started to drive us home, but he soon fell asleep so Maureen suggested it may be better, if she took over for a while & Ron 1 had a rest. Geoff took over from Maureen and Ron 1 slept most of the way back home.

A thought: Without the immense effort put in by Sue & Maureen (support) the whole thing would have failed.                              That being the case all we would have had to show for all that effort, would have been a great pub crawl….emmm?

Majority conclusion: This was one of the most exhilarating if not somewhat foolish experiences of our lives.

Addendum: 30 years later 17 Feb 2021: Would I do it again?

Not sure I could, I’d give it a go but get more sleep and save the pub until after..

Crossing report – 12th September 2020

Monday, November 16th, 2020

It has been over 2 months since this most dreadful of experiences, and I feel only now am I able to look back to that day and recount in some small part the awfulness of what befell me.

It began at 7.00am or thereabouts at Osmotherley, and from the off the fates conspired to deliver the constant menace of a cloudless sky, a relentlessly gentle cool breeze, and the dread prospect of dry ground for the full length of the route. Travelling alone, the odd encounter with a fellow traveller consigned to perdition brought fleeting moments of respite from the thankless task, but unbroken views north from the heights of Hasty Bank only served to dampen spirits.

The only deviation from the course was around Flyingdales, wherein a navigational error set me on a different path and opened up the possibility of escape! Alas, the route was not to let me go that easily and reappeared some hour or so later, reminding me there would indeed be no escape.

After what felt like a lifetime but was just under 9 hours, very hired legs and a broken will limped beneath an antennae at Ravenscar and I vowed never to speak of that day again.

What a gloriously, utterly, wonderfully dreadful route.

Jon Haste

‘Lest We Forget’

Friday, November 6th, 2020

I blame Boris.

Announcing the latest shutdown but leaving a 4 day window resulted in the entirely predictable damage to my heels. Yep, managed to clear the decks and get the logistics sorted to cross yesterday. The only crossing that I’ve done on one day since I started dirging again in 2014 – all the others have been overnight. 17 hours then slept in the car in the car park just north of Beacon Howes – there has to be a first time for everything! Everywhere is very, very wet, stepping stones partially submerged. New boots worked OK but I should sue – they are supposed to be waterproof! (I suppose ‘warerproof’ is not the same as Lyke Wake proof)!.

Dirger Evans.

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Crossing Report (West to East) – Friday 9th / 10thOctober

Wednesday, October 14th, 2020

6 knees and 30 toes started – 5 knees and 28 toes finished

The Dirgers are –

Andrew Laird
Warren Mayers

The Witches are –

Michelle Cruikshank

Having seen an aborted crossing in February due to weather and another planned crossing early June abandoned due to lockdown restrictions, finally managed to arrange a smaller group crossing this weekend going west to east with a couple of first timers Warren & Michelle.

We planned to set off around midnight to land us around the bog stage with some early morning light. Providing us a moderate chance of getting ‘less’ wet. But In the spirit of foolhardiness changed this last minute and set off at 8pm allowing us to fully experience the wonders of the bog in all its glory going knee deep in a couple of places.

Pace was decent from Osmotherley to Blakey but slowed over the bog and then again after the stepping stones with some minor injuries. Still pushing on over some extremely squishy ground we arrived at the stone around 1pm..

Some very changeable weather towards the end but overall largely favourable overall along with some truly stunning views along the way..

Andrew Laird
Yarm

“The Doom Trilogy”

Tuesday, October 13th, 2020

It is with the gravest of hearts that I must regretfully report a trilogy of doomy crossings………

Sunday 27th September 2020: departing Osmotherley at 07:54am and arriving at the mast at Ravenscar at 17:20pm, I have indoctrinated my sister in law Jill into the weird and wonderful ways of the Lyke Wake Walk, with her first ever crossing being a very steady shuffle-trudge Eastwards across the moors. Soggy underfoot, and with occasional horizontal rain blasts, this was not an ‘easy’ crossing by any measure. Ably supported by Jill’s husband, Matthew and their trusty canine friend Lilly-dog, this was a rather uneventful crossing, but another treasured notch on the LWW post for yours truly. I am sorry to proffer that I doubt Jill will be making the Lyke Wake Walk a repeat event on her diary, but you never know, do you?
D: 7.54am / A: 5.20pm

Sunday 4th October 2020: obviously having had his appetite whetted from the previous week’s supporting endeavours, this time it was my brother in law Matthew who was to join me, and this time dutifully supported by Jill and Lilly-dog! I do like to keep it in the family. This was an ever so slightly quicker affair this week, with my crossing time being a pleasing nine hours and four minutes. I’ll recapture those sub-nine hour PB days soon enough I tells ya! As opposed to last week, we took the Cleveland Way over the tops, and the views were absolutely stunning. After a minor SNAFU in our planned rendezvous with Jill by Old Margery, we eventually met up further along the road at the lay-by by the Millennium Stone for a hearty refreshment of cheese pasties and hot coffee. Being an altogether more gifted runner than I, Matthew was nought but a mere dot on the horizon for much of the second half of the crossing, but again I was full of the joys, sorry – miseries, of another day spent out on those moors we all love so. Lilly-dog joined me for the final mile and half push up to the mast, and I dare say pulled me on a little more quickly than had I been “unencumbered” by my dog-walking duties.
D: 6.14am / A: 3.18pm

Saturday 10th October 2020: after two familial crossings, I was delighted to reconvene with my original Lyke Wake family, Claire and Tom Chapman for a reverse crossing from East to West. It was fantastic to spend the time catching up, especially with this world of ours having gone so tremendously potty of late! Naturally, there was a lot of reminiscing of past crossings – typically focusing on the ones that did not go quite according to plan! Fortuitously, no such disasters today… Tom and Claire are keen advocates of a reverse crossing but I remain unconvinced… the Wainstones, Cringle Moor and Carlton Bank take a little “digging deep” when you’re already thirty miles in. Perhaps due to the toll of a third crossing in three weeks, my right calf muscle gave up the ghost today but I just about got through intact. Conditions throughout the day were very changeable but the skies cleared for our passing over the tops giving rise to stunning views.
D: 7.29am / A: 6.05pm

So… I must admit, I’ve very much enjoyed my “three in three” but it’s now time to rest up, and start plotting that first attempt at a double crossing!!!

David Allen
Aged 46.6 years
Ripon, North Yorkshire

Completion of the Lyke Wake Walk on Saturday 12th September 2020.

Tuesday, October 6th, 2020

You have some new Dirgers and Witches! We set off at 4am and arrived at the slightly later than planned time of 10.15pm. We had 11 starters but sadly had 2 retirements.

The Dirgers are as follows –

Andy McDermott
Phillip Bacon
Jimmy Strickland

The Witches are –

Rachel McDermott
Abi Tyreman
Lynda Aitchison
Natasha Bacon
Lindsay Greensmith
Vicky Snowdon

I also have evidence! I have a brief YouTube link that should be all the proof you need that made the 40 mile journey. To say that it was a challenge was an understatement but we were glad that we made the effort and have also raised over £2800 for Zoe’s Place which is most worthy local charity. If you wish to share the Just Giving link we would love to get to £3000.
https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/lyke-wake-walkers

This is the link of our little adventure –
https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10158995860888243&id=531408242

YouTube Link : https://youtu.be/WoYhlppsh0U

If we need to purchase a book of condolences or anything else to make it official then please let me know. Many thanks for support and advice!

All the best

Andy McDermott and the team


Crossing Report – Chris Hutchinson – Saturday 22nd November 1971

Monday, September 28th, 2020

My crossing prompted my Dad to look up the log of his crossing – and he has asked if he can be enrolled, having previously been a member of the Lyke Wake Club (see picture with his original club tie).
Log entry: “I walked from Osmotherley to Ravenscar on 22.11.69 starting at 07.00 and finishing at 22.55. I had rain and mist from 10.30 to 16.30 and clear skies and moonshine from 18.30 onwards.”
Chris writes: “I was walking with a group from Lanchester Polytechnic (Coventry), with the person I was walking with dropping out at the then Hamer House Inn. I then joined a following group. What I remember about waiting in the Hamer House Inn was that it was warm and had lights and beer on. I waited about an hour. The most memorable thing was that they had a juke box and kept playing a song “I’ve got a brand new pair of roller skates.” This was top of the pops at the time. Interesting to listen to once or twice – but for an hour ?? !”
I googled the song, which Wikipedia notes was released in October 1971, and pointed this out to Dad.
Chris responds: “Well I must have sat in the pub when I was support crew in 1971 then”
In short, we are not quite sure what happened.


Crossing Report – Alastair Hutchinson – Saturday 22nd August 2020

Monday, September 28th, 2020

My Dad (Chris) made me aware of the Lyke Wake Walk about 20 years ago, when talking about possible long distance walks I could do. It is still marked on his old OS map. I have always intended to complete a crossing, but work, Morris Dancing, and other commitments have always transpired against me, despite only living in Leeds for the past 15 years.

My in-laws (Lynne and Martin) moved to Redcar 4 years ago, which gave an even more convenient drop of and pick up opportunity. The limited opportunity to celebrate my 40th Birthday during lockdown, and a bit more free time, gave the impetus to get on with the crossing. That said, it was little more than a week before walking that I firmly decided I was going. I would have loved my Dad to have been able to join me, even only as support, but sadly it was not going to be possible.

Lynne, Martin and I left Redcar at 03.30, I was dropped at the departure stone at Osmotherley just after 04.00, and start walking at 04.15. I had planned the departure so that I would be on the top of Live Moor to see the sun rise, and enjoy the morning sun as I made my way across the Cleveland Hills. My intention was to get Ravenscar for about 20.00, just before sunset and dusk.

Early catastrophe was avoided on departure, as I was texting family to let them know I was on my way. I walked off the road and into a ditch. I managed to stay upright. Don’t text and walk!

Though slight cloud cover meant I missed the sunrise itself, the morning was glorious, dry and clear and I enjoyed the views of the Tees Valley. All was going well until descending from Cringle Moor, when I noticed my feet seemed slightly sore and a little damp, which was unusual for a trusted pair of GoreTex boots. Closer inspection showed the sole splitting from the boot, on both feet. A phone call to wake my Wife (Sarah) at about 07.30 and I arranged for a pair of trainers to be delivered to Clay Bank. My old walking trainers were well worn, but it meant I could carry on. Sarah was dispatched to buy me a replacement pair of walking boots.

As I reached the top of Round Hill the heavens opened. The rest of the railway track was relatively uneventful, with rain showers and sunny spells. I reached the Lion Inn (and Sarah, Lynne and Martin) at 12.15 – later than I had hoped given the boot debacle. It had become clear my old trainers were not going to get me to Ravenscar either, so I gambled on a new pair of walking shoes Sarah had delivered.

I departed the Lion Inn at 13.00, the new shoes settled in very well (I was very lucky), and then the heavens opened as I approached Rosedale Moor. Picking through the bogs took a lot longer than I had hoped – it took me until 16.30 to reach Blue Man-I’-th’-Moss. From there I seemed to make better progress – but was later than I had hoped. I made Lilla Howe at 20.30 – as darkness finally fell – and here the walk became a real challenge. The descent to Jugger Howe Beck took me until 23.30. Picking my way down the hill, with little sign of a path, in the dark was infuriating – and then seeing the climb to Jugger Howe was demoralising. I picked myself up and cracked on. Sarah, Lynne and Martin, who had been waiting at Ravenscar since 21.30 met me at the car park at Jugger Howe for encouragement. I then set off for the short walk up to the trig point at Ravenscar. Sarah had already found the stone, and Martin had parked with the car headlights on it so we could take a picture. A quick inspection revealed Sarah had found a gate post, so I set off back to the trig point with Sarah for a completion photo.

Crossing 09th/10th September 2020.

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020

Didn’t rate our chances of completion very high. Harriet has suffered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and, while loads better than she used to be, can still go flop when pushed too hard. The problem is she is very determined to do stuff and does all the pushing herself! I was pleased to step in as a late substitute when her walking partner cried off as I had meant to do the Lyke Wake years ago but somehow never did. Although I haven’t done this distance for over 20 years my recent Covid-related job as a relief bin collector has got me quite fit but I was worried about a dodgy knee which has suffered from jogging on pavements in safety boots.



Early September is usually a pretty good bet for the weather and it was very fair. No rain, not too hot, wind perhaps a bit brisk but at least it would be behind us most of the time. Harriet’s mum, Jane, had kindly volunteered to drive us to the start and pick us up when/wherever and also joined us for the first section. It was sunlit and scenic with gorgeous views, purply heather, browning bracken and a few ripe bilberries still around. Mostly stony or slabbed paths so I was quite glad of previous pavement conditioning. Enjoyed plenty little breaks for nibbles and fags. We had started about 13:20/13:30 so really got the benefit of the views. Local livestock obviously used to walkers and hang about to be admired.


The disused railway line was rather monotonous underfoot but provided easy miles-per-hour and was also where we saw a cute little stoat. Here Harriet revealed that she doesn’t actually like walking much but was doing this only for the challenge! It was dark and chilly before we finished that bit so the next stop was for a more substantial feed and change into ‘nightclothes’. Then came a stretch of road, then the boggy moor.


Really, I suppose we had it pretty easy. Arriving at the end of a dry summer we never found ourselves above ankle-deep and the clear night made spotting the white-topped boundary stones no problem. Harriet was still leading the way most of the time and full of bounce. I suppose hopping around looking for a dry-ish passage is a sort of entertainment and I wasn’t bothering with checking the time any more. There were toads! We saw several, in various colours and sizes, just sitting in the path. Also large spiders making their web across the path, I guess ready to catch an early morning breakfast before men and beasts trampled the webs. We did make an effort to step over, not through, especially for the finer examples.

‘Ware grouse butts! Up here, instead of mounds for the shooters to stand behind, they have dug great pits to trap unwary errant night travellers.

The moon was high in front of us now, helping visibility and atmosphere. We tended to have our little rests near standing stones where possible and it felt a bit special.



The rest of the way should have been simple but there was a bit by some streams after Fylingdales where it was annoyingly difficult to find the path. I suppose that could have been a lot due to tiredness and being up at a time that man was not meant to wot of. And maybe singing to keep the spirits up distracted attention from route-finding. Hint – learn some songs properly so you don’t have to keep conferring about the next verse.


And all was not well with Harriet. Her dicky metabolism was playing up again. The first symptoms were stomach bloat then belches of awesome volume. Mind, after my hi-cal rations of cheese, sausage and chocolate I was competing with quieter but more noxious emanations. Harriet’s belly had more or less packed up work. She was even struggling to take water. Fortunately in her bag of many things there was some isotonic sugar/salts powder and that helped the water go down. Still couldn’t take food though and the remaining distance without it might be too much of an ask. We went slowly, very, very slowly. Dawn happened with its usual uplifting effect and that helped a bit. When the way was dry enough to be worth putting on clean socks we did that too and it was another boost. Slower and slower yet. Then H sent me into the Bag for some energy gel thing and managed to get most of it down. Quite disgusting, apparently, but it did the trick and we made it to the end. No skipping off to do the extra bit, stone to stone was quite enough, and our 8:30 or so finish time is hardly one for the annals but we felt very, very proud.



Maddy