Crossing report 12/13 August 2020


Having completed eleven previous LWW’s – starting in 1975 and the last one eight years ago, I was persuaded, in a moment of weakness, to guide my tenth party across. This party was to consist of my daughter Zoe, her friend Lauren and my niece Melanie and were all “newbies”.

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Starting at my ‘usual’ time of 11pm at Sheepwash, the night was still muggy from the near 30 degree heat of the day but the weather forecast proved to be correct. The mini heatwave was scheduled to finish one hour into the walk to be replaced by hill fog, cold northerly wind and significant dampness.

Wrapped up and suitably dressed all was good and for the rest of the walk we saw only 3 other people. First checkpoint was Ralph’s Cross where my long-suffering supporter wife Gill arrived dressed for the heatwave that had most definitely finished up on the tops!

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Progress was normal – usual aches and pains – and always in the never-ending mist. The long trudges over Wheeldale and Fylingdale seemed as interminable as ever. One thing that surprised me on this crossing was the lack of distinct path in places. Was this due to a lack of boots in these strange Covid times? I’ve certainly not come across this problem in the past.

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Steady progress and reviving tea and cakes from our supporter saw us arrive at the finish at 4.20pm. Having had wet feet for a significant part of the walk I was able to actually tip water out of them at the end. New boots required! I was very surprised to see the step count logged at 82509! No wonder my hips were aching! I was very pleased that the newbies all managed to finish in what were not ideal conditions. Well done!

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Andrew Thornton

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