Charity Lyke Wake Walk 29th June 2019

July 4th, 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.

Lyke Wake Walk, Saturday 29th June 2019

July 3rd, 2019

A date pencilled in the diaries for 2 brothers (James and Tom) and 1 best friend (Smudger) since March the same year. With the date closing in the weather forecast was that it was going be the hottest day of the year so far, not really ideal conditions to take on the Lyke Wake challenge. Not deterred or put off and never a group that was going to turned down the challenge that lies ahead. We arranged to park the cars at The Lion and Ravenscar, we embarked on the biggest endurance challenge any of us had taken.

We got underway at 04:27hrs after an evening of how best to take on the challenge and a morning spent being eaten alive by midges at the camp site. Tom’s water bladder leaking all over his gear through the night, we were keen to get going to beat the sun over the 1st 10 miles of hills.

Each hill we climbed was covered by cloud and incredibly windy which provided some of the most spectacular views of the day.

                

 

We were 8 miles into the 40 mile when we had our 1st blister. Typically, the only tiny piece of skin not mummified by tape on smudgers foot was his little toe that hosted the 1st blister of the day.

We managed to beat the heat as we ventured over the hills onto the long trail to Blakey. With a reasonable time of 6 1/2 hours, we reached The Lion where the 1st car was parked with extra water, food, change of socks and a toilet stop awaited.

We rested up for about 45mins, with a coffee recharge and an ice cold drink. We then set off to tackle the boggy section.
On a previous practice run of this section (it was a lot dryer) Tom managed to sink up to his knees in mud and split his trousers. With this in mind I was the only one to purchase some new gaitors. The heat was beginning to pick up, and after a lot of rain in previous weeks I was feeling pretty happy with my new gaitors prompting the nick name “gaitor boy”.
It was a lot worse than last time, luckily we had “sheep track” Smudger leading the way finding the best route to keep his and Tom’s boots nice and clean.
Part way through this section Tom started to drop back from a pain in his shins which had been gradually getting worse. After a brief stop to provide some make shift support for his shins, we knew the pace had to slow with more frequent stops if we were to stand any chance of finishing together as we were not prepared to leave anyone behind. We were very stubborn with our attitude that we were all going to finish no matter what.
There was a lovely breeze slightly cooling the day down until we dropped into the ravine at Goathland. This is where we really noticed the heat as the breeze was being blocked by the deep ravine.
There are 2 parts of the walk where we really had to try to switch off and not look forward, there was the stage where Flyingdales RAF base (dubbed the big sand castle) started to come into view and when the radio mast at Ravenscar came into view. They are like optical illusions that never seem to get any closer. It almost seemed at one stage that they were moving further away but we weren’t about to let this dampen our spirits.

With the pace slowed right down we still managed to complete the walk in 16 hours 50 mins.
What an incredible experience. We witnessed the sun rising and setting, we had highs and lows and made memories to last a life time.

           

Tom showed incredible guts, resilience and mental strength to push through the pain he was experiencing for over half of the walk. Tom definitely got the walker of the day award from myself and Smudger as we both know the pain he was going through and the most people would easily gave up. I know a lot of people will say he should have stopped, but this was his choice and I’ve never seen more pure determination to reach a goal, even in my 7 years in the Army.
Smudger was amazing throughout, I didn’t expect anything less. He was calm, lifting morale where needed, always there with a joke normally at our expense and patient even though his hay fever exploded after about 4 miles leading him to bung toilet roll up one nostril only removing it for photos.
I’m going to repeat myself….what an incredible experience, I wouldn’t want to do it with anyone else and having spoken to the others we are all in agreement with that
Cheers lads, onto the next challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lyke Wake Walk Supporters Report June 21/22nd 2019

June 30th, 2019

After a horrendous journey up the A1 due to 2 accidents and queuing traffic, we pulled off after York to eat. Here the barman/waiter took the mickey out of the boys for drinking lime and soda until they told him how far they were planning to walk! We arrived in Ravenscar and then the four walkers Andy(mountain man) Cardell, Stephen (pilot) Leggott and Dave and Paul from somewhere down south set off at 9.30pm Very sad for me as I am no longer able to do the walk so supporting was the next best thing,
The weather was perfect cool but dry and clear.
We drove round to the crossing on Scarborough Whitby road to make sure they we on their way then we had a quick drive to Ellerbeck where we waited with bated breath for our intrepid explorers. They were late or were we just a bit anxious and enthusiastic!
After fuelling them with jam butties and flapjack, Debbie shooed them out with her no-nonsense school maam voice!
Driving round to Hamer in the dark had its moments with Debbie driving mountain mans car which is twice the size of her own car. We had to stop at the road signs to squint at them to see where we were as I couldn’t see the map in the dark.
We arrived at Hamer and I would like to apologise to the person asleep in their car for the noise we made doing a six point turn on a narrow road.
Sitting in the dark waiting seemed forever and then we spotted their head torches coming across Wheldale moor then as dawn broke, they turned them off and we lost them until they appeared on the path.
Fuelled this time with chicken and bacon pasta and banana cake they were escorted onto the bogs. We then drove round to Ralphs cross. Confident that the bogs were wet enough to slow them down, Debbie settled for a quick nap while I had a walk around checking the road for them coming. Sure, that I hadn’t missed them they crept up on us. More apologies this time to the people in the campervan who were probably expecting a peaceful night’s sleep only to be awoken by a group of nutters eating malt loaf and flapjack at 5 in the morning.
We had to be a bit more forceful ejecting them from the checkpoint and we drove off to Carlton bank.
While waiting in the layby, Julie and Gerry came down the steps with their party crossing west to east. After a chat we asked them to tell our walkers to get a move on when they met them as we were getting bored.
They strolled into the checkpoint mumbling under their breath about not only support party bullying them but other walkers as well!
Apparently the next 4 miles to Lords stones seemed a lot longer. (I remember that feeling well)
We enjoyed a bacon butty and coffee in the café while they stumbled across the track. We then encouraged them to hurry up to the finish as we were looking forward to hospitality at Swan House.
Cod Beck was very busy with families cooling down. As our party rounded the last bend to the stone, we greeted them with gin and tonic and warm champagne and a well-earned bacon butty. Lovely. Walk time 13 hours 37 minutes.
This was then followed by us all enduring Debbie’s severe case of road rage as she drove through a very busy Osmotherley and arrived at Swan house and after a shower and sleep for some we then were treated to one of Christine’s epic roast dinners.
Missed doing the walk with the feeling of achievement you get at them end, loved being support across the Moors.
After a better journey back Pete and Dave (from somewhere down souths) last words to us were “hope we never see you again” That’s gratitude for you
Well done to walkers Andy Cardell, Stephen Leggott, Dave Maytum and Pete Horrel
Debbie Wray and I Lynn Chapman were the support.

Lyke Wake Crossing Report Saturday 22nd May 2019.

June 25th, 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

Lyke Wake Walk 14th June 2019

June 16th, 2019

We did it!!

Myself (Tara Morris), Jade Baker, Christian Player, Abby Prince, Adam Tennant, Rob Davisworth, Amy Fleming, Penelope Chan, Melissa Hird, Andrew Walton and Richard Bentley completed the Lyke Wake Walk on Friday 14th June.

We set off from Osmotherley at 4.15 am (slightly later than planned due to one team member having a bath before he left!!). The first 10 miles were nice and straightforward with everyone in good spirits despite the rain. We are all pleased to see our first support vehicle at Claybank, especially as he had been locked in the campsite at Osmotherley until 7 am so it was close!

The next 10ish miles were a fairly pleasant walk along the old railway line with the next stop for hot dogs at checkpoint 3 (near the The Lion Inn).

Section 3-4 started off well and we were all pleased to see ‘Fat Betty’. However we then came to the peat bog section and it was tough going, three days of severe weather meant it was wet and slippy and took a lot longer than expected. We had people falling in wet holes disguised by heather or not quite making the jumps over the streams so we were very wet. One member slipped on a bank and fell, she warned others not to follow suit however another member of the team was sure he could manage it and then in slow motion came to exactly the same fate!!

We were all pleased to see the next support vehicle and change our socks!

Section 4-5 Hamer to Eller Beck was again quite boggy. The stepping stones were under water but only ankle deep. Some of us took our shoes off and walked across which was quite refreshing. One of us (the netballer) did this and decided to throw her walking boots across rather than carry them, unfortunately she did a terrible throw and the boot landed in the water, but not before the ‘catcher’ went in up to his knee trying to catch it! Great comic relief but very wet boots and people!

A final break and cake stop with the last support vehicle and then the final stretch. It felt like we would never get to the radio mast but we did and the feeling was great! We celebrated with Prosecco and lagers!!

We were all very tired, with some blisters and sore legs but the great company, lovely scenery, fantastic support and the fact we raised approximately £1,500 for our chosen charities made it all worthwhile.

The Lyke Wake Walk in Super Quick Time ………… a Walkthrough

June 4th, 2019

Nigel Curson created this wonderful overview of the walk.

Strap yourself in ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

 

A lovely day, mostly

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!

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

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!!

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