Charity Lyke Wake Walk 29th June 2019

A few months ago somebody came up with the bright idea of a company charity event …and this someone evolved into doing The Lyke Wake Walk. Being from an engineering company, where most people are office based, we didn’t exactly have a que of fit, athletic long distance walkers lined up so we ended up with four gullible employees and some family and friends added in for good measure ….making our walking group up to 8 people. We set off at 3.15am in the dark at Osmotherley, gps in hand …maps at the ready. The first stretch to Lord Stones was completed in the mist, up on the cliff top with clouds swirling round and daylight barely visible. The dewy morning caught out it’s first victim at this point – as despite walking poles – I took a good tumble on the rocks and had a proper ‘you’ve been framed’ moment (thankfully no-one caught it on camera).

Lord Stones provided the first pit stop for brekkie, then we pushed on through the mist over to Blakey, walking along the old railway line to Blowworth unaware of the steep drops around as the fog was still keeping the early morning sun at bay. A welcome crew break and refreshment stop came at The Lion, Blakey where we were met by our crew and some much needed comfy chairs. By now it was ‘factor 50’ weather, as the clouds had parted to blue sky and sunshine over the moor, allowing us to fully appreciate the views. Jam donuts, blister plasters and sock changes complete, we pushed onwards up the road looking for the turnoff back onto the moor.

The trusty GPS came in handy navigating the boggy bits over the moor, trying to avoid the bogs, dense reeds and the adders lying in wait to come attack (It certainly made you walk faster when someone shouted snake!). With hindsight, given the heat, we should have had another crew stop Blakey and the Pickering Road, as the next 10+ mile seemed like an extremely long way and we were glad of seeing the crew car parked at the side of the road!

At this point we were making good time and progress and although slightly weary, everyone was bearing up pretty well ….little did we know what would be thrown at us next! We headed away from the road and crossed the stream without too many wet feet and grumbled our way up to the top of the next hill.

A few mile further along and Fylingdales was in sight. Powering down the moor, knowing that the next crew point wasn’t far ahead we were all in good spirits. At this point we had spoken too soon and things started to go wrong! Sonia, the youngest member of our group alerted us to something in the grass. At first none of us quite comprehended what was in front of us …. We had found a lady, laid barely conscious alone in the middle of the moor in the baking sun. Not quite what we had expected to see. After a lengthy call to 999 our group split – with 5 members of the group walking on to the next road point and the remaining waiting on an ambulance and the Scarborough & Ryedale Mountain Rescue (volunteers who do a fantastic job and our thanks must go to). Given the remoteness of our location and the situation we were faced with, this halted progress by over 2.5hrs. The first five of our team made the sensible decision after 2hrs waiting to continue onwards, leaving us 3 to give chase half an hour later after we had handed over to the emergence services. By this point it was 6.30pm and we still faced another 8 mile ahead. All of us made a pact that we were finishing no matter what – we hadn’t come that far to drop out!

The last four miles over the stony moorland track and gruelling uphill after the road crossing caused a great deal of cursing, the elusive mast seemed to never be getting any nearer. After a full day in scorching temperatures the weather took a sudden turn and out of nowhere we got caught in a quick downpour of rain, although this was almost a welcome relief by this point and spurred us on a bit quicker. . We made up about 10mins on the other group, finishing the last, never ending, few miles in what was left of the daylight to complete just after 9.30pm At this point the main grumble was that the delay had caused us to miss our fish and chip stop in Whitby, as everywhere would now be shut! Sunburnt, achy, slightly wet and very hungry (yet blister free) we all felt a great sense of accomplishment – Out of our group of 8, only 2 have done any serious (20mile +) walks previous to attempting this. We have raised almost £2000 for Age UK and once we all regained feeling in our legs, discussions started around our next adventure ….. a reverse crossing in 2020 maybe ??? (!!!)

Laura, Mo, Mike, Sammy, Mobeena, Sonia, Akmal, Akram from AVRS Systems Ltd, Middlesbrough.

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