Archive for May, 2019

A lovely day, mostly

Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

Happy to report our first crossing, unsupported, on 25th May 2019, going from West to East. After snatching 3 hours sleep we got to the stone in Osmotherly just before 4am and headed off up the hill toward Scarth Wood Moor, following the route in Brian Smailes’ guidebook. The sun was about to rise, and the vista was stupendous, totally clear visibility (for a change!), birds were singing and all was wonderful, apart from my usual trick of twanging my right knee by an over-zealous blast-off. Fortunately I know from experience that the pain will walk off in half an hour. So we proceeded happily until, on the ascent on Live Moor, I played a little motivational bagpipe marching music on my phone (not antisocial as we were totally alone!) and twirling my walking poles theatrically, twanged my right knee in my zeal to stick it to the Sassenachs. (I’m English but did live in Glasgow for a decade…). So, after the Black Bear had finished I switched off The Pipes and focussed on walking straight…
We plodded on in beautiful spring sunshine until we stopped for a sock change and a bite of lunch at Fat Betty, by which time minor aches had sprung up everywhere, for both of us, seeming to compete for your attention like a pack of petulant kids, until they all melded in to a general background of physical fatigue….

Mary and Gavin enjoying the moment near Fat Betty

(Another chap who was doing the walk at more or less the same speed crossed our path a few times, although he spent some time at check-points, and we didn’t see him after we exchanged a few words with his wife waiting for him at Checkpoint 5 – hope he finished ok. He must have thought we were sitting on the route at Fat Betty and headed off north along the bridleway, until realising his mistake a few minutes later….)
Anyway we ground on in a haze of minor physical miseries, but loving the experience, until a misty rain began (just as the forecast predicted) in the ankle-twisting trail on Wheeldale Moor. The weather was no problem but the word “purgatory” seemed to be stuck in my brain at that point, and our mood descended into grim determination…
Once at Lilla Cross, as we all know, the psychological boost of seeing the end on the horizon fuelled us through the last several hours, until finally we could fire up the skirl o’ the Pipes for a victory march and a few selfies at the Ravenscar stone.
Would I do it again? Yep…maybe in reverse…maybe solo…Mary isn’t so sure, but we shall see…it was only yesterday after all…
For the record we did 16 hours 28 min, which I was a bit disappointed in, it just means “try harder” eh? I turn 60 next year so I need some targets! Cheers all….

Gavin Cutler & Mary O’Neill (still sleeping it off!)
Hull

Made it, in only 18 hours!

Thursday, May 9th, 2019

I am pleased to report that my friend Tony and I successfully completed our first ever crossing over the weekend of the 27th and 28th April.
I am very excited to be able to now style myself as a Dirger.
We set off at 9 00 pm on the 27th and walked continuously overnight through gales rain thick fog and torrid conditions, which included suddenly coming face to face, at about 2 am, with a cow standing fast asleep and quite motionless on a narrow path. For all the world it looked like some kind of Lyke Wake ghost. Another highlight for me was to experience the strange sensation at about 6 00 am of falling asleep while actually walking which is, interestingly, a first for me, a man in his late sixties.
We were met by a friend at Lila Cross and completed the walk in warm sunshine. The beer in Ravenscar tasted better than any previous ale although when I tried later to stand up my body refused to agree to instructions.
All in all a memorable weekend.
Would I do it again?
Mmmm…..
Gordon

Crossing Report 3rd/4th May 2019, I Blame John Kettley

Sunday, May 5th, 2019

My latest lapse into ‘funereal masochism’ saw me perusing the weather forecast. Mmmmm, thinks ‘if I leave Friday midday-ish, should get most of the way across before the BBC-predicted northerly gale & showers arrive in the early hours’ – at my standard late middle-age* pace I should get 80% of the way across before that lot arrives; in return for decent conditions to start with, I reckoned I could live with blustery showers from Ellerbeck to Ravenscar (I’ve been wet before & I did eventually dry out!). However, the Lyke Wake weather gremlins had other ideas. As I set off from Hamer I felt a soft pattering on the back of my head and white flecks sped across my head torch beam. Paul Hudson et al, you’ve got to be kidding, for goodness sake hailstones in May! In short order Wheeldale Moor became Winter Wonderland & by the time I got to Blue Man he was wearing a modest cap of hailstones. This meteorological nonsense persisted all the way to Ravenscar. Once again a failure of BBC weather wisdom (come back Keeley Donovan, all is forgiven).
For the record 16hrs, including 45 mins for a leisurely late lunch at Lords Stones.
Yours, with modest Lyke Wake hypothermia
Dirger Ian Evans
(* when I initially typed this I put ‘muddle-age’ instead of ‘middle-age’, perhaps I was giving myself a clue!)

26-27th April 2019, East to West – Three Holderness lasses with Hannah in the Heather!!

Friday, May 3rd, 2019

On locating the carpark near the Lyke Wake stone in Osmotherley at 9.45pm, one of my friends got out of the car only to fall over a wooden kerb in the carpark and ended up sprawled on the floor – hoping this was the worst it would get we gathered ourselves together, touched the stone at 10pm and began our adventure.
We had a very dry couple of months prior to the walk and certainly reaped the benefits underfoot in the boggy sections later in the walk. We bounced across like three gazelles! OK. Maybe not exactly but it was good going! The same cannot be said for the weather overhead. Storm Hannah was hot on our heels! Crossing Carlton Bank she caught up with us – rain and freezing wind pelting us with full gusto!
Hannah continued to hover around us for nearly all of the walk except for the last 5 miles where I dare say the sun was trying to make an appearance. Carefully scheduled ‘sock’ changes had to be deferred until dry spells – at one point a friend changing her socks near the ‘Blue Man’ waving her bare foot around in the middle of the Moors with me crouched next to her rubbing talcum powder between her toes! Memories to treasure forever.


It was lovely to bump into Brian Smailes (the author of the Lyke Wake Book) at the Hamer check point. He signed my book whilst trying to shelter from the wind and rain in the front seat of our support vehicle – leaving a few smudgy words in the front of my book which will forever remind me of this very wet crossing.
The second to last section saw us loose some concentration which meant that we took (I think) the alternative route, adding unnecessary miles to the walk. Frustrating.
Digging deep and carrying on meant we finally touched the stone in Ravenscar at 4pm. Elated, exhilarated, exhausted but not enough to stop us enjoying a plastic cup of prosecco to celebrate our achievement!
Katherine, Pam and Jenni