Archive for April, 2019

Crossing Report 29th/30th March 2019 – Pants to That!!

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2019

Crossing Report 29th/30th March 2019 – Pants to That!!
There’s been one constant factor in my dirging activities since I recommenced Lyke Wake Walking 5 years ago – my ‘lucky’ dirging trousers. Every one of my 25 (maybe it’s 26?) crossings from September 2014 onwards has been achieved wearing the same pair of black jeans. Sadly, my latest jaunt across Blackamore lead to the demise of this much favoured item of dirging attire.
But firstly a warning. Don’t, whatever you do, believe John Kettley, Michael Fish, Paul Hudson or whoever else dispenses the BBC’s distilled weather wisdom these days (I’d make an exception for Keeley Donovan). With a BBC website forecast of a minimum overnight temperature of 8?C for Goathland you might guess a temperature of 6? maybe 5? on Wheeldale Moor? Don’t believe it for a minute – thick frost and very bracing conditions were what I got in the early hours from Blue Man eastwards; it felt more like minus 5?. The descent down to the stepping stones proved very ‘interesting’ as the frosted grass & bracken were like a ski slope & I had to resort to using the drystone wall as a bannister to avoid a very rapid uncontrolled descent to the beck.
As dawn started to colour the eastern horizon I was making my way up the gravel track towards Lilla. I was using two head-torches (one, as you’d expect, on my forehead, the other handheld) but the lighting conditions were the kind of twilight where the torches make little difference. I put my foot down on the flat verge at the edge of the track but it wasn’t flat at that point and I slipped over on the frosty grass ending up in an undignified heap on the north side of the track. I used the full extent of my ‘Anglo-Saxon’ vocabulary to loudly summarise this situation to myself & any grouse or sheep that might happen to be listening. Then I gathered myself together to resume and discovered: (a) the handheld torch had disappeared into the heather (minor treasure for anyone who cares to look); and (b) a serious wardrobe malfunction had occurred with my lucky pants ripped fore to aft in the most strategic of locations. Fortunately my anorak is knee length sparing the my blushes on the approach of any sheep or of passing motorists on the A171.
On return to base I consulted my sartorial and haberdashery adviser on the prospect of repair of the aforementioned much cherished trousers. The Commander-in-Chief held the prized garment aloft using thumb & forefinger and issued a one word reply ‘Really?’ [I’ll take that as a no then.]