Lyke Wake Crossing Report Saturday 22nd May 2019.

A group of us from Northallerton completed the LWW last Saturday the 22nd June and I have written a brief account of our adventure below. It was a good walk with great scenery so thanks for the good work the club does in keeping the information available online for fools like us to take up the challenge:

On the 22nd June 2019, 12 of us huddled around the stone at Ravenscar for a 4am photo of the start. Despite there being a few hiccups up to that point (sleeping through alarms, wrong pick-up times etc), the group had planned sufficiently well to take these issues in our stride and still met the start time with everyone present and correct. Hopefully this preparation (or possibly blind luck) would continue to pay off during the day.
A suitable pace was set, interrupted only by photos of the sunrise until the question of route choice was raised – a previous recce was to be thanked for allowing someone to point out the error of our path choice before it was too catastrophic, and upon consulting the map we corrected for our 2 off-course drifts with a short off-piste wade through the brush. Upon regaining the correct path we noted that the 2 walkers holding maps were chatting at the back and made a mental note to regroup and confirm any choices at junctions. The weather was kind to us as the sun came up over relatively dry moorland and, while the paths were not always obvious, it was at least possible to choose a winding (tortuous?) route rather than the wading upstream we experienced on the aforementioned recce. Good spirits held, and progress was made at a steady pace of around 3mph.
The group was made up of some firm friends and some new acquaintances but during the day we learned a lot about each other, including such information as their favourite expletive or shrieking pitch when the bog was found to be deeper or the mud found to be more slippery than expected. We can all now say with certainty to whom an unfortunate incident has happened by their distinguishing cry. Nearing halfway morale started to get a little lower as people were individually afflicted by niggling troubles and the group became fragmented as the difficult terrain dragged on.
At the halfway(ish) point of the Lion at Blakey we were met by our 1st support vehicle and “Sherpa Kate” for restocking and sock/boot changes. 30 minutes was our allotted time and we all set off with freshly re-weighted baggage and bellies. All were pleasantly surprised by the change from twisty boggy paths to well-made trails and the speed, and mood, once again picked up as previous discomforts were temporarily forgotten.
The next support point was at Clay Bank (thanks Sherpas Sarah and Jen) where we mysteriously lost a team member for whom the lure of nearby hot food and rest for weary legs presumably overcame the upcoming sense of satisfaction at completing the challenge. A shame as the best part of the walk with good paths and less barren surroundings was just starting. The rest of us continued on towards our next support rendezvous resembling a troop from Monty python’s ministry of silly walks as various discomforts in feet and legs made their presence known once more. At Carlton Bank we found our support team of Paul and Vic had a camp stove set up with a choice of freshly made tea or coffee and ice creams waiting for us. This was just the pick-me-up we needed and after a brief sit down we made our way onwards towards the finish while the words “its somewhere between 5 and 10 miles to go” were ringing in our ears.
Onwards we trudged; different people leading for the ups and then swapping for the downs as it became possible to tell where people’s blisters were located by the walking styles they presented. We all adopted determined grimaces and pushed on. Before long we were met by support crew coming the other way to guide us home in the evening sun. This same support crew that had provided ice creams soon lost whatever favour they had earned when they directed us up the hill to a false finish at the LWW stone at grid ref: 471002 rather than the one at the head of Cod Beck reservoir.
Down the path and onwards along the road we struggled and assembled next to the stone atop a painfully small mound for celebrations and photographs at the end of a long day’s walk. There was talk of a pint or 2 in the pub, but for all except one brave (alcoholic?) adventurer the prospect of being transported home to warm baths was too compelling. A total of 17 hours for the journey across the moors and not one drop of rain, a remarkable feat on, what, by this time, had become remarkable feet.
Completed 66km in 16hrs 53 minutes traversing from East to West and raising ~£1000 for the Northallerton Amateur Swimming Club were:
Dirgers: Jonathan Brown, Pete Hinde, Mike Margerson, Peter Stanley, Jamie Tosh, Alastair Wilkin, Andrew Wyllie.
Witches: Beverley Bowers, Wendy Patterson Cullen, Sarah Schofield, Angela Wilkin.

Thanks
Pete

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