It occurred to me during the run-up to my walk that it might be fun to write a report in verse. In the end that’s taken longer than I’d hoped, and the straight prose version on the club website contains all (and more, perhaps !) of the details that might be useful/interesting for most people. But the light-hearted (or maybe not 🙂 ) verse version has now, with the invaluable help of my niece and God-daughter, gone live on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wvQDqkiAtWM It’s just a bit of fun, of course, which I hope will excuse its occasional divergence from what actually happened on the day and will also excuse my truly dreadful mock-Yorkshire accent (despite my father having been born in Huddersfield and my step-father born and raised in Cottingham I never picked up even a smidgen of it !). The words are based, very loosely, on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Raven and a few of the feebler jokes refer to that. I did make a bit of an effort with the costume though – I hope it looks suitably mournful and lugubrious ! Thanks again for the merchandise. My wife’s in the process of stitching the cloth badge onto my rucksack and I’ve worn the lapel badge several times already. It’s never failed to attract attention.
Archive for July, 2016
Claire and Tom Chapman, accompanied for the first ten miles by Joanne Thomson and Chris King.
We set off at 10:10pm from Cod Beck Reservoir, Osmotherley. The sky was overcast which meant no moonlit walking, but otherwise conditions were perfect.
We made good progress up to Carlton Bank. It was just before reaching the trig point on Carlton Bank on our previous crossing that we passed a fellrunner (at midnight!) who was in the middle of a recce run and was headed all the way to Reeth. Just goes to show that however big a challenge may seem, there is always someone that will top it!
We passed Lord Stones just as the campers and revellers were headed to bed and refilled our water bottles. The water tasted a bit odd but I think we drank from the pot-washing tap so no idea if it was meant for human consumption?
The steep pull up Cringle Moor passed without a hitch, but we had to watch our step to make sure we didn’t squash any toads, who were out in force on large sections of the walk that night.
We followed the path along the Broughton Plantation, which was very muddy, but we were grateful for the shelter as it started to rain on this section; fortunately it stopped about an hour later.
At Chop Gate we said our goodbyes to Joanne and Chris and headed onto the last big climb, over Urra Moor onto Round Hill. This section passed by nice and quick and before we knew it we had passed Bloworth Crossing and it started getting light as we walked along the railway path. This section is definitely more interesting when you can see where you are going and there are great views down into Farndale.
The Flat Howe path was good underfoot which led us to anticipate that the bog would be kind to us, and we stopped at Flat Howe for a bite to eat before a quick to take a look at Ralph Cross before continuing along the road until we reached the bogs of Rosedale Moor. Flat Howe had offered false hope as the bogs were about as wet as can be! We somehow passed through the section without getting wet feet but that was a miracle. Had the next snack relaxing in the heather at Shunner Howe before tackling Hamer Moor to go say hello to Blue Man-i’-th’-Moss. We had seen some support vehicles at the Hamer Road so figured that we would soon be crossing paths with a party doing a reverse crossing and soon enough we could see some shapes moving on the horizon. We were delighted to bump into Gerry and Julie who were leading a party of walkers and had a quick chat and catch up about all things LWW related!
Our meeting with them put a spring in our step and this section passed without incident. We had a quick refuel at the top of Wheeldale, as Julie had warned us about the midges down around the stepping stones. I love the views as you descend into Wheeldale and when the stepping stones are crossable it is always an added bonus. The sun was starting to shine brightly and so we rolled up our walking trousers and trudged onto Simon Howe. By now I could feel blisters forming but nothing too troublesome and I was glad I had changed into fresh socks a while back.
We normally manage to just miss sight of a train trudling along the NY Moors railway line but this time, shortly after crossing into Fen Bog we caught sight of a diesel train as it chugged along the line behind us.
The wet bogs meant that we set off on the section along Little Eller Beck with some trepidation but we needn’t have worried, the ground was reasonably dry and we fair bounced along this part of the walk and up to Lilla Cross. With the clear conditions we had fantastic views and the purple-heather clad moors meant that the next part of the walk over to Jugger Howe was especially scenic.
Jugger Howe is a real toughie this far into the walk so it was just head down and march down and back up the other side and onto the metalled road that comes out on the Whitby Road. We were in fine spirits as we headed back up the other side of the road and with the mast beckoning us ahead, we enjoyed the fine weather conditions and moorland scenery. We reached the LWW stone at 2:40pm, exactly 16 hours 30 minutes after setting off.
We rounded the day off in fine style with a meal, drinks and an early night back in Osmotherley, reflecting on another fun crossing. This was my (Tom) 13th crossing and Claire’s 15th, hopefully squeezing in a couple more this year
Allan Campbell, Graham Hooks, Alan Whittel and myself completed the walk on Saturday 25th June.
My wife and Alan’s son dropped us at Osmotherley, they then drove to Ravenscar and left us a car to use when we finished. Other than a little water Alan had previously stashed 30ish miles into the walk we were on our own and carrying everything we needed.
So at 7:30pm on Friday evening we set off, onwards and upwards and there did seem to be an awful lot of upwards.
The weather was excellent, a light breeze, no rain and great visibility, we stopped on Carlton Bank for a bite to eat and another breather on Cringle moor, before we knew it we had reached the disused railway and were treat to a spectacular red moon for most of the journey. If you haven’t walked through the night you have to try it.
Even the boggy section was kind to us, the combination of our head torches and the light sky allowed Alan, our navigator, to pick his way unerringly through the miles of moss, reeds and muck.
Our stop at Wheeldale Beck was short lived, the scenery was great but the resident midges are ferocious, so we set off again and had a long stop near Ella Bridge where Allan ‘whipped’ out a gas stove and made the best brew I have had in my life.
We arrived at the finish stone, tired and with one or two injuries but exhilarated, it had taken 16 hours and 37 minutes, but it was well worth the effort.
We obviously celebrated this effort by consuming copious quantities of larger and beer in Scarborough that same evening. (Would highly recommend the walk and the compulsory night out afterwards)
On Friday 17 June we (Julian, Jay and Molly the dog) travelled from Kent to Yorkshire.
We found the campsite and went to recce the start. After a bit of confusion from the guides that said the stone start was at the large car park we eventually found it at the small car park ad had our pictures taken for our charities, The Duke of Edinburgh Diamond Challenge and Ellenors Hospice which is close to our family.
Our support team, Tony and Caroline and 3 dogs came from Cumbria and we met them for a lovely pub dinner before going our separate ways to try and get a couple of hours sleep.
I had said ‘go bold or go cold’ but the rain never stopped and I opted for my trusty Parmo jacket for the first shot.
At 0025 we started in light rain, the stuff that gets everywhere. As the night went on the weather got worse, the rain driving into us horizontally and visibility was down to a few metres. Jay is not a hill walker and found it very hard, Molly the dog showed no signs of slowing down but we were concerned about her getting cold.
We met Tony and Caroline at the first check point tired and cold. We decided Jay and Molly better sit out for now and get dry and warm. The bacon roll and hot chocolate did its job.
I then did the next section on my own and ‘tabbed it’ which is a word any old soldier would appreciate and made very good time. As the sun rose the weather began to clear and the Moors started to show its beauty.
Tony joined me at the boggy section with Molly and one of his dogs. It was very boggy but it was nice to have some company again. Unfortunately I dropped my map on this section but a group behind us very kindly gave me some photocopied routes which saved this mountain leader any blushes.
The girls met us with some really nice local sausage rolls and a can of coke helped with sugar levels.
A short stop and we were off again. It was getting quite warm by now and the wind and rain seemed a distant memory. After a few steep up and downs my old man knees were starting to feel it and by mile 30 I knew why this was a challenge.
Jay joined me for the last 8 miles and I really appreciated her support and was great to have the team back again. We met Tony and Caroline in the car park with the ariel view, dumped our bags put on our charity t-shirts and stepped off up the final stretch of the last trig point where Tony and Caroline had driven to the last car park.
It was a great atmosphere in the early evening sun and after lots of photos, tweets and hand shakes we left for a shower and a curry.
I wondered if it was possible for my husband and I to report our LWW? This
was our first attempt.
We started at Osmotherley at 02:15 July 4th) and finished in Ravenscar at
17:40 on the same day. That included getting lost three times and taking two
long routes by accident (i’m not sure if that actually counts as getting
lost 5 times to be fair).
Between us we are a few toenails down, a baker’s cyst and some impressive
blisters. That said (despite what we ACTUALLY said yesterday) we can’t wait
to do it again. It was such a brilliant challenge and we can’t thank you
enough for facilitating such a fantastic concept.
Charlotte & Gregor Douglas