Crossing – 16th September 2017.

September 25th, 2017

Having now recovered from all my aches and pains, I am now in a position to report my successful crossing on 16th September 2017.

I’ve wanted to do this walk for a while now, and 2 weeks previously I had attempted it with my 15 year old daughter, in glorious weather, fantastic views, decent temperatures, no rain etc…unfortunately around the 30 mile mark we had to admit defeat as her training, consisting of one 20 mile walk combined with teenage invincibleness, and a week of watching game of thrones didn’t pay off! So a rather expensive taxi ride later, I was back to planning to do it solo again. I do, however have a small amount of sense and realise that if we only saw 4 people on a glorious day in 30 miles then doing it on my own really wasn’t my best plan, so I jumped on the organised trip bandwagon.

Two weeks later, and I am parked up in a pitch black Osmotherley, wrestling with my bootlaces in the confines of the car awaiting a minibus. I soon joined the other 14 people on this quest, and at 1am after the customary smiley pics next to the stone, we set off, fully waterproofed up, into the dark. I don’t recall a massive part of the first 10 miles as it was dark, very rainy and during the steep descents, an effort to stay upright. Luckily I have my previous memories of the glorious views from the attempt a couple of weeks ago. Upon arrival at checkpoint 2, the soup was a welcome warm up, and a change of socks and a bit of respite from the rain in the bus, most appreciated. At this point my feet were still just damp….this was not going to last in these conditions! Back on the trail, and it’s still dark, as the light began to emerge, I turned the head torch off and relied on the little natural light around to avoid the puddles (god knows why as I’m soaked to the skin now!) As the full sunrise hit us, we were on the long trek toward the Lion, some lovely views across here in between showers and it was great to have some moments without the rain. I managed to sneak in front for a few minutes too!! Then we turned off the railway, this was a new path for me as last time I fell into the “lets have a drink in the Lion” trap… This bit was hard going, pretty boggy and the path was hard to find in places, we soon reached the road though, and I’ve never been so glad to see two blokes in a white van in my life! The beans and sausages were most welcome, I debated another sock change but I was too cold and I knew there was bog to come. After the feed, we set back off up the road past fat betty and then onto the bog. Last time I was here it was far worse…probably because I didn’t want to get my feet wet, this time they couldn’t have actually got much wetter so it was a saunter through whatever was in the way! By this point I was one of the back markers, but the company was good and I don’t think we were massively behind. Once at Wheeldale road I knew that I was going to make it, I’d got this far before, no way was I going to fail it again. Now came the small issue of Wheeldale beck….we all went down to be faced by a raging torrent and the stones, well under water. A 3 mile detour to the ford and through the forest before rejoining the path to Simon Howe began, I think this was one of the hardest parts as we all knew it was extra milage, the terrain heading to the ford had twisted my knee and brought up a previous injury, and we were all soaked still. We did however, eventually emerge back onto the route and soon were over the crest of Simon Howe and Fylingdales was in sight…but still rather small on the horizon! We slowly trudged our way to Ellerbeck where some members were more broken than others, but after a regroup, some drug injestion, and a bowl of stew ( I may have remarked that it looked like dogfood, but at the time it was the most delicious thing I have ever tasted!) and pockets filled with sugary stuff, we all headed off on the final push. This part wasn’t too bad, I was tired but I’d gone through the barrier and it was just a case of plodding on to the end now, the views were great along here too which always helps, a few showers hit us again, but at least it wasn’t cold. Once past Lilla Cross I was on new territory again, Juggerhowe beck was picturesque although not appreciated fully at the time, I’m sure I had several stops while ascending the other side. Time for a quick cherry bakewell and some water at the last checkpoint then onto the finish. I rediscovered my mojo on this last 2 mile section and my speed increased dramatically, catching up the person in front and having some company again for the final few hundred metres. Once almost upon the finish stone, it was good to hear the cheer from the folk that had already finished, and to finally get into some dry clothes! Amazingly I had no blisters, yet I have the strangest friction burn from my knee support!

In the end I walked 42.6 miles in 18 hours and 11 minutes.

Thanks to Brian Smailes and his crew for their constant support along the way, I know I have the physical and mental ability to do this on a good day, but I’m pretty certain that under these conditions I’d have given up way before the end (in fact I’d probably not have left home really!)

Crossing Saturday 02/09/17 – Sunday 03/09/17

September 11th, 2017

The Lyke Wake walk. East West route Ravenscar to
Osmotherly. Distance 42 miles, time 18 hours.

Richard Gunn. : Distribution and Self Service (organizer)
Rob Gunn. : ATM Delivery
Adrian Butterworth, ATM Delivery
Shaunne Hildred Zlotowski, ATM Delivery
John Paul Blackwell: Contractor
Steve Brown: ATM Delivery
Support Driver Tom Williamson: Distribution and Self Service

Walk to raise money for Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice.
The Hospice supports children with life shortening conditions and their families in West Yorkshire.
They support children and families in many different ways to make their lives
just a little bit easier. From offering respite to hydrotherapy, music therapy,
neonatal care, counselling or bereavement support; their care team supports the whole family both at their purpose built hospice in Huddersfield as well in
families own homes. We managed to raise £2,200 in sponsorship; with more to come in our Total will be over £5,000

We set of from Ravenscar beacon at around 23:40 Saturday and soon found ourselves off track. A quick correction and a fall into a hole jarring my back and we were away. Navigating across moorland and heather in the dark is no mean fete, but after several route corrections and sinking up to my knees in the marl, when crossing Stoney Marl, Moor. We carried on to Jugger Howes, and then after finding Lilla Howe cross in the dark, we eventually arrived at checkpoint 1. Eller Beck Bridge where Tom and the support vehicle was ready and waiting.

A quick bite to eat a change of socks and a dusting of talc, away we
went crossing Howl and Wheeldale Moor, Wheeldale Beck ravine and
the Roman road which we totally missed in the dark. We met up with Tom again on the Wheeldale road, by this time about 14 miles into the walk the injuries were starting to tell, and I was starting to doubt my ability to finish the walk, groin strain and old age was starting to tell. After a foot inspection and more Talc, we set off again on what was probably the worst stretch of the walk, over endless heather passing Blue Man- i- th Moss, stone. we were then onto endless bog, meeting up with Tom again at checkpoint 3 Hamer.
Re-supplied fed and watered administering to sore feet and blisters, we were of again over even worse endless bog, by which time we were hurting bad, John Paul was suffering from some of the worst blisters I’d seen in a long time, but we pushed on bravely to meet up with Tom at checkpoint 4, Rosedale head, with a direct view across the Rose Dale head to The Lion Inn at Blakey. Once we got to that point we would be over half way, and no turning back. Another foot check clean dry socks and a change of footwear we set off into a chill biting wind.
At this point, Tom set off and met up with us at the Fat Betty (White Cross) stone for an unscheduled stop and cups of tea. Brilliant, he was suddenly my new best friend.
Off again on probably the longest un-interrupted stretch of the walk, following the old railway line over High Blakey Moor and Farndale Moor to Bloworth Crossing. The line seemed to go on forever but at least we were now seeing other walkers coming the other way.
Leaving the line, climbing over Round Hill, our first real hill, and then a long descent down Urra Moor to Hasty Bank meeting up with Tom our trusty support. Only 9.5 miles left to do. 5 miles over Kirby Bank to the next checkpoint at Lordstones cafe, for another well-earned cup of tea. At this point we met up with Richard’s Family.
John, Richard and Robs Dad, accompanied us over the last 4.5 miles, passing through Huthwaite Green and Clain wood which included a heart-breaking accent up a very steep hill before reaching the cattle grid and road towards the finish.
By this time even Shaunne had lost her cheerful smile. The last few hundred yards to the car park and the end was in sight, or so we though. No, the LWW finish/Start stone was further on at the next car park. There was Tom our trusty support, waiting at the finish post with a bottle of champagne. We’d done it. No one had dropped out, even though they must have thought about it. Blisters, groin strain aching legs and feet, but most of all shear guts and determination. Hearty congratulations all round.
Well done to Richard Gunn. Rob Gunn. Adrian Butterworth, Shaunne Hildred Zlotowski, John Paul Blackwell, and me.
Not forgetting Tom Williamson, for doing a sterling job in support.

Yours sincerely
Mr. Stephen Brown

East to West crossing on 22nd July 2017

August 27th, 2017

I think it was just before Christmas that we got talking about this walk – my dad, David and one of my sisters, Jennie, had done the walk before. So naturally my husband, Tim, and brother in-law Jonathan heard the call of a challenge and said ‘we’d quite like to do that’. And so it became that our team-sheet started as 5 – dad, Jennie, me, Tim and Jonathan… and after asking at least 20 other people if they wanted to join us… the team-sheet stubbornly stayed at 5.

The date was set as 22nd July as the weeks before were busy – Jennie was on a girls trip to Ibiza, mum and dad had back-to-back weddings and then we had my brother’s graduation 2 nights before the walk – it seemed like excellent prep for what promised to be a gruelling trial (last time Jen and Dad both lost a few toenails).

The weekend arrived and we were all bit shocked to find that we were going ahead with our commitment. After a long week of work we mustered on the Friday night at Davina and Jonathan’s house for pasta, fish and chips and route/stop planning. Davina, mum and Steve (Jonathan’s dad) gamely agreed to be our support crew – and thank goodness they did – they carried no fewer than 7 extra pairs of shoes, 8 extra pairs of socks, 1 baby, 2 dogs, 18 litres of water, 25 sandwiches and 3000 biscuits.

Against advice from Tim we set our alarms for a leisurely 3:40am in order to start the walk at a slightly-later-than-planned 5:40am… but after arriving with some apprehension in the pouring rain at the reservoir carpark we were off!

The first 10 miles went off without a hitch as we all enjoyed the beautiful scenery and regularly exclaiming at how it was ‘only’ 6am, 6:50am, 7am and ‘why aren’t we in bed’. We were happy and upbeat as we met our support crew around mile 9 and were all pleased to review our state of dehydration by confirming who had and hadn’t made a loo stop yet. Off we set again and the rain closed in, by the time we made it to the Lion Inn we were soaked to the bone. 3 mountains of (really good) chips, a few sandwiches, coffees and sweets later, we were slightly drier and back on the road about 13:30.

By mile 24 we all acknowledged that the mood had become a little sombre, the 20-30 mile stretch seemed supernaturally long (maybe the chips were a terrible idea after all), and we all wondered out loud as to whether:
a) Anyone had actually died carrying a coffin along this supposed coffin-carrying route
b) Anyone had done their duty and on return to Osmotherley found another person in need of a wake (the sighs of frustration)
c) Whether it would be preferable to be cremated or buried rather than inflict this pilgrimage on anyone

We reached the Goathland viewpoint area and were happy to be fed, watered (and medicated – thank goodness for ibuprofen) again by our support crew. We all agreed that staying still for more than 60 seconds meant seizing up so after a bit more ‘foot admin’ we got back on our way. Off we went into the marshes where we immediately acknowledged that the trench foot we had been suffering since the downpour was here to stay; we would all just have to worry about our rotten toes later.

We did a final mini stop as we crossed Scarborough Road just as the light completely faded. The final stretch was done under torch light and completed at marching pace with only a few half-hearted debates about who was in the most pain, before we finally made it (in the pouring rain again) to the finish stone –  such relief!!

In our morning after debrief (around a fry-up) we all declared the walk to be punishing and exhausting and a really great day. It’s day 2 of recovery now and we’re all walking gingerly around our respective work places wishing we were at home in our slippers, or even, dare I say it, still out walking..
In tribute to our walk, and the fact that this Ed Sheeran song was stuck on a loop in Tim’s head for at least 30 of the LWW miles, here are some photos of our day.

Our walkers were:
David Wilbraham (for a 3rd time- he did the walk in his 40th year, 50th year and this year he turns 60!)
Jennie Downing (nee Wilbraham, for the 2nd time)
Jonathan Marchant
Tim Snaith
Annabel Snaith

Crossing from 1968.

August 20th, 2017

I  would  like  to  register  with  you  my  Walk  details.

My  card  reads  

 Mr  T  Bannister, crossing  24  February  1968, time  17 Hrs  20  mins,  west  to  east,  issued  by  The  Chief  Dirger Potto  Hill,  Swainby,  Northallerton.
“Condolences  on  your  crossing” 
…..are offered on the  card!

PS  I  am  now  76  yrs  of  age  and  have  hung  up  my  long distance  walking  boots! However  I  can  still  remember  my  walk.  6  of  us started  out,  only  4  finished and  there  was  snow  up  on  Fylingdales,  by the  RAF  station.

I  had  to carry  a companion  for  the  last  half  mile  or so because  he’d  collapsed. I knew  that  if  I  didn’t  make  the  last  bit  then  both  of  us  would  probably  have  perished  in  the  dark,  so  I  was  assuredly  motivated!

No  mobile  phones nor  nanny rescuers around then!


Tony  Bannister

The Astill Family v. The Lyke Wake Walk – Crossing Report from May 14th 2017

August 10th, 2017

Happy to report the successful and pleasurable crossing on May 14th 2017 of myself (Rachel, 24) and my dad Neil (54), well supported by our mum/wife Suzanne, who bravely faced the notorious Yorkshire roads alone. Based on the excellent advice of a past report from this page, we had downloaded the route on the ViewRanger app (thanks so much to publisher Gary Fox!), which played a brilliant role in reassuring us that we hadn’t gone astray. Highly recommended to anyone about to undertake the challenge.

We also made good use of Dad’s Garmin watch which we programmed to bleep each mile, helping to steady our pace both mentally and physically.

Setting off at 4:15am, our head torches didn’t shine for long as within half an hour we had left the darkness behind. Despite the steady rain and grim conditions on the moor, we were able to get a good pace going and met the support car at Hasty Bank just after 7:30am.

After a half hour’s rest and a hearty breakfast of flapjacks and Jammie Dodgers, we were back on the track. This leg of the journey passed quickly too – we hit a marching pace along the old railway tracks, distracted by games including A-Z of cars (W was a struggle) and the first line of hymns (very difficult – not recommended (and apologies for the singing)). The sight of the Lion Inn set our stomachs grumbling prematurely… little did we know what a long slog down the main road loomed between us and our lunches. Thankfully we were met with inviting deck chairs and a hearty feast prepared by Suzanne (accompanied by flapjacks and Jammie Dodgers).

40 minutes later we were sufficiently fuelled up and heading off apprehensively towards the dreaded bog territory. Unbelievably we escaped unbogged! Only a slight diversion was needed, but the path was otherwise terra firma. This boosted our spirits and kept us going strong till our 25 mile checkpoint at Hamer. It was 2.15pm now, 10 hrs into the walk and energy levels were going the same way as the depleting supplies of flapjacks and Jammie Dodgers.

Once niggling twinges were fast becoming significant sufferings; we began using our walking poles at this stage and certainly felt the benefit. The miles began to feel twice as long as before, not least because the battery in Dad’s watch gave in at 29 miles, and the thought of the finish point seemed dispiritingly out-of-reach. The hymn-singing was turning to prayers and the promise of a pasta dish and a hot drink at Eller Beck was all we had to spur us on. Indeed, our spirits were elated as we mounted the climb up from the steam railway to the inviting sight of the support car awaiting us – imagine then our horror as our much-anticipated refuge reversed and drove away before our helpless eyes and flailing arms. Unfortunately, we’d underestimated our ETA and, deciding she must be waiting in the wrong place, Suzanne departed to try and track us down. To make matters worse, there is no phone signal in the 7 mile vicinity of the army base and we had left our carrier pigeon at home. We were forced to consume our emergency supplies (a jam-free Jammie Dodger) in desperate hunger as we waited in hope of her return. Thankfully – just as we’d given up hope and were strapping on our rucksacks to depart with sullen spirits – over the brow of the hill to the right, our golden chariot reappeared, brimming with sustenance and Suzanne. However, the difficult Yorkshire roads had taken their toll by this stage and, somewhat harshly, we received a much frostier reception than previously. Having taking a considerably longer stop than scheduled, we got back on our way as quickly as possible.

This leg again felt much longer than anticipated, and a real hard drag over unchanging scenery. Even a few rounds of the Name That Tune Humming game only marginally lifted our spirits. The steep descent then ascent up the ravine was an unwelcome strain on our fatigued muscles. It seemed like the final checkpoint would never appear, but once it did – only 2 or 3 miles from the finish – we caught our second wind. We sped off on the final stretch to the telegraph pole, where we happily finished at 9:45; 17.5 hours after our departure and just before darkness fell. We were very pleased with the time as we’d expected to finish nearer to twenty hours. A good nap on the journey back to the caravan in Osmotherley preceded one of the best night’s sleeps of my life!

West to east crossing 1st July 2017 (Bring Me Sunshine)

July 17th, 2017

On a works night out in September last year, after a few drinks one of our group mentioned that we should do the Lyke Wake Walk. This was something that I had vaguely heard of, and that at that point in the evening seemed like a good idea. When I chatted with Katrina about the walk, it soon became clear that she knew less about it than I did, which itself was some achievement. By the end of the night, we were all in and were trying to muster up support among our colleagues. It was only when I woke up and googled the walk the following morning that the scale of the challenge took shape.
However, we were not to be deterred. We were a group of social care workers who had a recently started up a rambling group and at that point most of the group could manage 10 miles without passing out or being sick. What could possibly go wrong on a forty mile endurance walk across the North Yorkshire Moors! We set a date for the 1st July 2017 and started our prep. By Easter we had 23 committed souls aged between 21 and 58. Our local Go Outdoors store was raking in business and our local chemist had had to order in compeed in bulk.
Starting at 3.30 on the morning of 1st July, we all set off from the LWW stone at Osmotherley heading eastwards, hoping to see our support crew at the various checkpoints along the way and to be joined by colleagues who did 10 or 20 miles stretches with the main group.
The collective spirit was amazing and the shared experience will help form friendships new and reinforce those not so new.
There were no serious injuries on the walk other than the total abandonment of dignity
which you get with no toilets for 40 miles! It certainly answered the less frequently asked question as to whether or not it is just bears that s**t in the woods…
I’m sure we all had our own personal challenges along the way; whether those were making our way through pain and fatigue, overcoming the sheer relentlessness of it all, remembering the alphabet, or in my case trying to maintain some sense of dignity whilst falling arse over elbow. My admiration goes out to each and everyone of the group, with particular mention to be made of Adam who completed the last 11 miles in role, completing sketches from the Ministry of Silly Walks. Twenty of the 23 starters finished the walk with the last of us coming home in 17 hours.
Thanks also to the support team, who provided welcome relief at each check point and supplied us with fuel and good humour.
To everyone who planned, practiced, fundraised, laughed, joked, encouraged, guided, shared advice, compeed and ibuprofen, sang or provided light relief by falling off chairs – thank you; not least of which was Lynn who herded us with remarkable good grace throughout the weeks and months leading up to a day I am sure none of us will ever forget, until a time when forgetting the LWW is the least of or problems.
Whether you are young of body or just young at heart, it is a significant achievement by anyone’s standards.
Respect to all who have ever completed the LWW

The people who completed the walk are:
Lynn Richardson
Katrina Newby
Dianne Shires
Claire Collins
Al Rodger
Dave Williams
Steve Bardsley
Martin Crompton
Andy Sleigh-Munoz
Dale Darby
Adam Burton
Janice Judd
Neil Morrisroe
Bill Dyson
Carl Kemp
Ian Pearson
Oxana Goncharova
Jo Rawnsley
Gill Parkinson
Andy Rawnsley
The people who did parts of the walk are:
Gemma Reilly
Zoe Lloyd
Fiona Martin
Nathalie Kayij
Rebeca Sinclair
Marianne Pearce
Kristina Phillips
Vickie Orford
The support crew were:
Geoff Rodger
Hazel Harwood
Mark Harwood
Janice Hubbard

Pie Club On Tour 2017 – Lyke Wake Walk in loving memory of Barney (the Labradoodle)

July 17th, 2017

01st July 2017
I am pleased, nay I am proud to report our successful crossing from Osmotherley to Ravenscar. I would like to think that this was just the first of many trips but I am not sure the rest of Pie Club will quite feel the same way! 

We’ve talked about doing this walk for years and as keen beer drinking pie eaters we needed the exercise, however the thought of walking much further than any of us had ever walked before was I must admit daunting. The final must do, nail in the coffin so to speak motivation was delivered in April when we suddenly lost our ten year old Labradoodle – Barney. I decided to carry his ashes with me – for spirit, motivation and ‘one last walk’. 

Having read numerous accounts, blogs and taking account of the time that we would like to finish, we decided that we would set off just before dark and make just 4 stops. We were too late with our barrow to book any reasonable digs for the finish line so instead turned to our families for support. A group ‘WhatsApp’ chat was opened up to relay messages to the group before and during the walk which later proved valuable to anticipate etas. We did a reasonably flat 20 mile practice walk which ended with umpteen pints at the finish to help digest and do some more ‘planning’. Psychologically we were prepared!

We had all checked the weather but knew that we had to be prepared for everything and wanted to ensure that we had plenty of supplies in terms of food, water and clothing at every stop so everyone (could have) had a ‘pack 1,2,3 & 4’ positioned along the way. As a final preparation some of the group did a little 9 mile recki walk just 3 weeks before (this would replicate the first 9 miles to Clay Bank [573 035] that we planned to do in the dark) in theory to allow us to walk this first section in our theoretical sleep. A quick check with the moon phase confirmed that just 1% would be visible for a very short amount of time. We were in for a dark night, but we had a plan and everyone knew roughly where we would be and roughly at what times. One last itinerary check: head torch, hip flask. Good to go!

Friday 30th June 2017: Nothing screams preparation for a long walk like a full week of work and the prospect of no sleep for the next 24 hours! Mark managed to grab 20 minutes on the trip up but the rest of us were too excited. We dropped a car with supplies off at Clay Bank then headed to Osmotherley where we ditched Mark’s 7 seater and took the obligatory start photo at the LWW stone (opposite the car park) in the last minutes of daylight 10:10pm. A little over an hour later and we had the red light of our head torches lighting every step. Just as well because the tree roots and the gullies were plentiful. 

A quick march on with our torches now on full beam, dry but sticky from the muggy weather we were making good use of our camel packs and plentiful snacks. We arrived at stop number 1, 9 miles in at Clay Bank and checked in with our WhatsApp group at 01:50am. The support team had already checked in their arrival to Stop 2 and were putting their head down in preparation for an early start. It later transpired that they had set up camp at ‘Charring Cross’ and didn’t stand a chance of getting any shut eye, thus compounding the feeling I suppose that we were ‘in it together’.

15 minutes later and socks changed for some, we headed up for the last big climb and out across the drizzly cold tops where at least one member was beginning to regret their lack of clothing options. Heads down, light now creeping in, we convinced ourselves that we could smell the bacon and it’s not even half past four. Ahead of schedule, we hesitated to phone ahead and prepare Paul & Pauline, thankfully we received a welcome message from them at 5am to say that the kettle was on & boy were we ready for it! We bypassed the closed pub and my feelings were fleeting between elation having made it half way to bugger, we are only half way.

We approached the junction at Rosedale Head just before 5:30am. We couldn’t believe our eyes as we were welcomed by what looked like an oasis in the baron moorlands – two camper vans, extended horning and loo area. Feet off, talc on, bacon butty in hand, cup of tea (and a porridge pot if you wanted it). We were in heaven! Taking our time to restock water supplies, clothes and snacks we were well refreshed and had a good spring in our step raring to crack on and face the longest section. 

The next stage went on and on and on. Relatively dry, the landscape was very kind and we only had to negotiate one or two large sections of bog. It wasn’t long before we could see the sea and by 9 o’clock our next support stop was checking in ready and in position. A very brief stop on the moors to tend to one members feet with the life saving compede (posh plasters), sticks now supporting half the crews aches and pains but we were still positive. We passed a couple of groups at stepping stones really struggling with their feet, accompanied by one youth bragging that his trainers were great and he had no blisters! Our crossing was relatively quiet considering this was just after the longest day of the year.

We arrived at Ella Beck Bridge ahead of our scheduled 11:30am and were welcomed with our packs and Pot Noodles ready for our final feed and motivational sock change. Little over 8 mile to go and we all claimed to be in fine fettle, our regular and plentiful feeding and watering had made good the 7000+ calories expelled. We perhaps spent a little too long at this stop as we began to stiffen up, but it was worthwhile seeing trainer boy hobble by moaning about his sore feet (we’ve all been there).

At 12:25pm we reached Ella Cross and we could see the finish. Yes you can see the finish, but I am sure you will read countless accounts of how this distance remains for an eternity and it does! We were beginning to think of reasons why it wasn’t getting any nearer? Maybe it’s one big in joke that only LWW members are privy to, maybe it moves somehow? 

Eventually we made it! Marching on to the finish we were met by the entire support crew, ice cold beers in hand and huge applause. The obligatory finish stone photo with Barney’s ashes and the pie club flag before we sat down for our ceremonious pies at 2:20pm. Mission accomplished, we reflected on our achievement’s in a slightly surprising 16 hours and 10 minutes finish time. 4 hours later we were all home safe, blisters popped and our pjs on. By 7pm our families were sharing pics of sleeping beauties (apart from crazy Davie who went on a 47 mile charity bike ride) and finally we could retire fro the night (with ibuprofen).

I hereby request the honorary status of Witch for the walkers: Adele(37); Lis(45); & Michelle(38);
Plus the unmistakable title of Dirger for the walkers: Mark(49); Dez(45); David(44); & Davie(44);
Our very own magnificent seven that would be nothing but a pitiful group of hopefuls if it wasn’t for our superb support group (ages omitted): Paul & Pauline; Rich; Pam & Neil; & Dan;

Darren Parker

Unsupported E-W Crossing Report 23-24 June 2017

July 14th, 2017

A Bulgarian friend of mine, Nadya, now a resident of Nottingham, has been walking in the UK for a few years and was looking for a walking challenge. I, having been born in Middlesbrough and therefore having grown up visiting the North York Moors, suggested we attempt the legendarily cruel Lyke Wake Walk. I say ‘legendarily cruel’ despite my Uncle insisting he completed a double crossing in under 24 hours in the 1960s. I have my doubts about the state of his memory, and indeed his sanity, but that’s a whole other story.

We decided that we’d do the walk in two stints breaking the journey with some sleep at the Lion at Blakey. We were joined by Chris, Nadya’s boyfriend, who is also one for a challenge. We are all relatively fit, so did no specific training. While this was a reasonable approach for my two friends who are in their early 30s, as a chap approaching his 50th, my feet did not seem to agree come the end of the walk.

We used Brian Smailes excellent book as a guide and I also purchased the OS maps. We did the walk as follows:

Preamble part I: the night before.

Nadya and Chris attended the ballet at the Playhouse in Nottingham and soaked up a bit of culture. I attended the Trip to Jerusalem pub in Nottingham for 8 unintended pints of bitter and witnessed an angry gentleman of the street getting aggressive with passers by over the death of a nearby duck. It was a night of contrasts.

Preamble part II: Friday morning and the journey to the start.

We travelled up in Chris’s car and parked near the Golden Lion where we ate a superb meal and drank a lovely pint and reassured ourselves that the walk would be no trouble. We then ambled to the starting point, a trek of about 2 km that I would come to regret, somewhat, a few hours later.

Section 0-1: Lyke Wake Stone – Lord Stones (6 miles)

14:07 – 16:20 (actual 2h 13h / target 2h 00m)

We set off at a brisk pace in nice conditions and decided to utilise my local knowledge, so I was map holder. Within 30 minutes we were lost. At this point Nadya reminded me that I had downloaded the OS map onto my phone and we relied on modern technology to double back to the path and crack on. Good job I was with younger people. As a consequence of this mishap we were behind schedule at the Lord Stones. This was compounded by my insistence on buying an ice cream for nostalgia reasons combined with our ill advised attempt to locate the glider club which appeared to have flown elsewhere. We couldn’t locate it. We decided that the Lord Stones would do as a checkpoint, took a photo, took a slug from our hip flasks, and pushed on.

Section 1-2: Lord Stones – Clay Bank Road (4 miles)

16:20 – 17:54 (actual 1h 34m / target 1h 30m )

We hit the hills. I started feeling quite chipper at this point and decided to race some OAPs to the top of the Wainstones. I won. This was my finest hour. I savoured this epic victory as the weather closed in. We soon passed half way to half way so Nadya insisted on celebrating with a nip of whisky (she wasn’t an alcoholic until she assimilated in the UK), and we soon found ourselves at checkpoint 2, so we took a snap and had another nip of whisky to celebrate.

Section 2-3:Clay Bank Road – Rosedale Head [via The Lion Pub] (9.5 miles)

17:54 – 20:48 to the Lion; from the Lion 05:23 – 05:51 (actual 3h 22m / target 3h 05m)

We pressed on, Chris leading the way and now chief map holder after my embarrassment early on. I regularly checked the phone app to ensure his map reading skills were sound. His map reading skills were sound. As we joined the disused railway tracks my mood darkened with the weather and Nadya and I cheered ourselves up with a good old moan as Chris continued to set the pace with a smile on his face. Now then, I like pubs, but I’ve never been more overjoyed to see one as when the Lion honed into view. We recorded the time, took a piccy and had a slug of whisky, and I whinged about my feet while Nadya gave Chris a piggy back to prove that she was the best. Congratulations Nadya, you are the best.

[The Lion: 20:48 – 05:23 (rest time of 8h 35m)]

We dried out and ate one of the huge portioned meals at the Lion, and they kindly supplied us with a packed lunch in lieu of breakfast. We drank a beer, toasted our achievement and retired to bed. Chris thereupon suffered severe cramp in his calf. He didn’t moan about this once during the remainder of the walk thus proving himself to be some sort of borg.

Having dragged ourselves back into action shortly after sunrise, we got moving feeling sore and stiff, but in beautiful sunshine, and confident of completing the quest in under 24 hours. We were soon at checkpoint 3 where we saw the first evidence since we had begun trekking of other people also attempting the mammoth feat. A helpful chap from the support team for a more organised bunch informed us of some improvements to the route that we were too disorganised to have previously registered.

Section 3-4: Rosedale Head – Hamer Layby (5 miles)

05:51 – 07:38 (actual 1h 47m / target 2h 00m)

We carried on at a good pace and enjoying the sunshine until the turn off near the Fryup sign which heralded the start of the peat bogs. We were afeared of the bogs on account of not knowing just how boggy, and therefore slow going, it would be. Thankfully the lead up to the walk had been dry and the blogs only slowed us marginally. We emerged from the bogs a little damp but still on schedule.

Section 4-5: Hamer Lay-by – Eller Beck Bridge (8.5 miles)

07:38 – 10:41 (actual 3h 03m/ target 3h 00m)

We stopped briefly at the checkpoint for me to change my socks as my feet were starting to feel like they belonged to someone else. After a quick photo and exchanging a few words with some other organised groups who were resting we cracked on.

As we crossed a stile at a wire fence my muddy boots caused me to slip and, concerned that I may break my ankle in between the steps of the stile, I hung onto the fence for what seemed like an eternity as my fellow travellers at first were concerned but soon found my predicament hilarious. Once I untangled myself we continued down the ravine with the prospect of our packed lunches egging us on. Alas, this pending bounty caused me to rush down the ravine resulting in my muddy boots once again failing me and dumping me on my bony backside on the rocks. Once again the laughter rang out. The only thing damaged was my pride and we were soon tucking in to our sarnies by the stepping stones.

Once we got moving again, a few quick calculations had us concerned about our progress. This turbo charged Nadya, and Chris had no problems keeping her pace. I dragged myself along behind admiring the backs of their heads the whole way. I could tell that Chris was smiling and Nadya was not. Good. A yomp across the moor had us back on schedule and we reached checkpoint 5 as planned.

I once again changed my socks as my feet were now getting raw and the act of bending to tie my laces induced cramp in my abdominals forcing me to straighten my torso and release my grip on the laces. Repeated attempts resulted in the same sad retreat. Fortunately Nadya stepped into the breech and thankfully the Bulgarian bow is as sturdy as its English cousin.

Section 5-6: Eller Beck Bridge – Jugger Howes (5 miles)

10:41 – 12:52 (actual 2h 11m / target 1h 40m)

We now felt like we cracked it but the 5 miles quoted in the guide looked an awful lot more on the map. We made haste at an excellent pace but a combination of fatigue, a lack of stimulating scenery and the fact that the progress being reported by our GPS watches did not seem to match the reality of our progress saw our heads drop. Nadya and I were suffering by now but our robot companion marched on relentless. I started to consider whether he was more of a Terminator or android. After what seemed like an eternity across now rocky ground we spied a radio mast: our ultimate goal of Beacon Howes we concluded. As we neared, we were puzzled by the absence of the A171. As it dawned that the radio mast was not Beacon Howes and so the climb that faced us was not the last of the walk, we started to panic that we may not make the 24 hour deadline. This happily gave us an adrenaline boost and we bounded up the hill like new born lambs with the sure footedness of mountain goats. Finally we spied Beacon Howes and the A171 and when we reached the checkpoint we celebrated by returning to the hip flask trail.

A warning to others: this section seemed a lot further than billed and our GPS watches suggested that it wasn’t just our imaginations. Then again, perhaps we took the long route?

Section 6-7: Jugger Howes – Beacon Howes (2 miles)

12:52 – 13:29 (actual 0h 37m / target 0h 30m)

We were now convinced that we had it cracked with over an hour to do the last two miles. Nadya was suffering with her stomach thanks mainly to the supersized pub food portions and my feet felt like the skin had all dissolved away, yet Chris (or was it Robocop) continued with a smile on his face (I could tell by looking at the back of his head as he set the pace). Meanwhile, Nadya and I were fuelled by our collective pain. Finally, 23 hours and 22 minutes after setting off, we got to the Lyke Wake stone. We celebrated by finishing our Whisky and posing for some photos thanks to a random support person. We all agreed it was too hard and we were crazy for doing it.


The plan had been to rendezvous with Cheryl, my partner, at the nearby Ravel Hall Hotel, but it was too long a walk to contemplate (15 minutes) so I called her and requested that she collected us. She has never looked so beautiful. She then immediately became more beautiful when she went to the bar at the Ravel Hall Hotel and returned clutching a round of beers. We all then agreed it wasn’t that hard after all and we should do it again.

There followed a quick horror show as Nadya first showed her blisters, I displayed the parts of my feet formerly occupied by blisters and now simply red raw flesh and Chris polished his metal feet. We then made haste to Whitby for some well earned fish and chips and a belly full of ale.

Final totals: walking time including checkpoint breaks 14h 47m; rest time at the Lion  8h 35m; elapsed time 23h 22m.


Three weeks later I have three black toe nails but my blisters have subsided and I would happily do it all again.

PS: Does this mean we are now 2 Dirgers and a Witch?

– Mike McManus
– Nadya Marinova
– Chris Morrison

Lyke Wake Walk crossing report June 9th 2017 John Holden

July 13th, 2017

West to east crossing
John Holden, Graham Hunt, Andy Bennett, Paul Crossland & Ben Wright.
Back up team: Ross & Julie McFarlane

…… Well the story starts with a like-minded group of us, after yet another round of golf, in the 19th hole of course; someone suggested a challenge, bearing in mind the age group ranged from 32-67 and did anyone fancy doing the LWW. “It’s flatter than the 3 peaks we did the other year”, John said. Little did he know!!!

So, we started training doing short walks building up to the final one at 21 miles. We walked through very muddy fields, in long wet grass, on roads with some long inclines several steep hills, but, was it to be enough? Another group member Ross (the intelligent one) said he would act as back up and promptly said his wife Julie would help, he’s generous like that.

Graham and myself decided to walk the first section to get a feel for it, the wives came along and off we went. The starting stone was soon found and we were away up the hill walking along Scarth Wood Moor then through the gate following the Cleveland Way and down through the wood but we couldn’t find the cattle grid. So, came our first lesson, we had walked with the guide book and no map so consequently got lost right at the beginning. So maps and compasses were bought and much map reading took place.
We decided to walk in June which should allow us the most daylight hours and hopefully good weather, setting off at 20:00 hrs.

On the afternoon of June 9th the back-up team picked us all up with a comment from Ross “are you all going for a walk or a 3-day holiday?” anyway food, water and a change of clothes were loaded into the minibus and off we went.

On arriving in Osmotherley at the little car park opposite the starting stone we got out and started getting ready, nearby was a car with a friendly young family in it, they were not from the UK. We could see them watching us, “are you tourists” the man said, which sounded highly hilarious coming from them! When we explained what we were doing his face said it all!!

Off we strode, the customary photos took place around the stone then before we knew it we were up the hill onto the moor and walking down to the cattle grid. Even though it was 8 o clock at night we were not the only ones out and about as when we were going up the steep incline after the moor plantation, a group of people could be seen behind us but not for long and they soon overtook us going at such a pace, we wondered if they could keep that up as they said they were going all the way! The first two sections took place relatively straight forward and it was lovely warm night. A nice night for a stroll.
It was supposed to be a full moon that night, but the cloud formed over the moon which didn’t give the help through the night we thought we might have had and out came the head lamps. The third section came and went without much bother, mind you seeing the signs warning of snakes and ticks made you think and as we had then completed 20 miles realised we had got to the half way mark, everybody felt pretty good and problem free.

At check point 3 the mood was buoyant as we set off to the boggy section. It started to rain at 05:10 hrs just before we left the road to go onto the bog. I should tell you I think we had picked the wettest week in June for years. Walking on the peat was great in the beginning it was so spongy, if this is the bog we thought we will soon be through it. All to soon the ground became wetter and wetter almost impossible to cross without getting very wet, less and less clumps of grass could be found and we ended up walking in parts with water over the tops of our boots.

We reach check point 4 all completely soaked. Socks were changed but blisters had formed so repairs had to be carried out, drinks and food replenished off we went again. Thinking only 15½ miles to go, needless to say, we were still in good spirits albeit weary and set off on the next section of 8½ miles. The dry socks immediately got wet through due to the first mile being still a wet bit of bog then we come to the stony path and this really took its toll; tired legs slipping and sliding. Never the less even though it felt like forever we eventually came to the ravine and despite a few tumbles Paul even bent one of his poles, he looked a bit like a downhill skier it was very slippery, The river loomed ahead, it was flowing fast and the first few stepping stones were under water causing some concern. First person across Ben slipped up to his knees, never mind, feet already soaked on he went, up the steady incline to Simon Howe then down the long descent to the railway line what a shame we missed the train passing by 15 minutes. Very soon what a relief check point 5 was in sight and back up waiting. we arrived at check point 5. What a sight our back up team had bought us bacon butties from Pickering they must have had a half a pound of bacon in them what a treat.

By this time everybody was carrying out some form of body repairs but only 7 miles to go, we said “what a breeze”. Section 6 now and its never stopped raining by the way and underfoot was very slippery by the stream. This was the only area we seemed to miss a turning and had to detour up to Lilla Howe cross, but it only added maybe 15 minutes on. We carried on up to the Cross but now heavy cross winds were causing the rain to arrive horizontally. Water proofs were holding up very well, pity I couldn’t say the same for boots. Will this section never end, it seemed to go on forever.

We only stopped for 5 mins at check point 6, everybody was keen to finish the last 2 miles, however this felt like 5!! We needed to go steady now as one team member had slipped on the ravines and pulled something but he bravely carried on. Gradually the mast got nearer and nearer and suddenly it was all over 40 miles across the North Yorks Moors after 19 hours and 50 minutes’.

What a lovely feeling standing around the finishing stone having photos, everybody had completed the challenge. What a great team and we couldn’t have done it without the help of our great back up crew.

Well done to everyone!!

The minibus took us to a nearby pub where we were staying for the night, the plan was to have a couple of hours rest and a hot bath but even all good plans fail as when we went to check in you had to go into the bar and the rest well you can guess.

Crossing Report – 7/8 July, solo and unsupported Claire Chapman

July 12th, 2017

When my husband Tom decided to enter the Lyke Wake Challenge race with our usual partner in crime Dave Allen, I must admit to a bit of jealousy – I only started running in April this year and so am nowhere near that kind of challenge. But having done 20 crossings (walking, the last one just a week before this!) I thought maybe this would be the perfect opportunity to attempt a solo. After all, there would be loads of runners about and people at support stops should I get into trouble.
Tom and Dave dropped me off at the start stone near Osmotherley at 9.45pm and headed back to Dave’s for some much-needed sleep. It was still light and I felt great. Until I descended into the trees and it got dark. At that point, I really questioned what on earth I was doing, I don’t have the best sense of direction and I watch far too many horror films! Passing some walkers going in the opposite direction and then a couple having a massive drunken argument at Lord Stones, I felt more confident – I was still alive!
The disused railway track felt shorter than usual, and I was even able to give some directions to some first-timers. Passing them, I had a real spring in my step as I got onto Flat Howe. Luckily I had my GPS with me (how did anyone cope without these magical devices?) as I was aware that the path seems to appear then completely vanish! The sun came up and the views across the moors were amazing.
I always like the road for a bit of variation in terrain and before I knew it I was on to the boggy section. Having crossed just a week ago, knew it would be a little bit damp but not as horrendous as I have seen it, and despite a little variation off the path, I reached Shunner Howe with no difficulty. Eating breakfast there with the sun shining and the grouse warbling was delightful. Being completely alone with not a soul in sight felt utterly uplifting and, I have to say, spiritually fulfilling.
I pressed on over the next section towards Blue Man I’ the Moss, passing him with no slowing, but the slog to Hamer Road felt utterly horrible. Loads of puddles and kicking every rock beneath my feet led me to utter several expletives to, well, no-one. I was even pleased to have the descent down to Wheeldale Beck and back up to Simon Howe. Here, I admired the view again, and enjoyed the sunshine for a while.
On I pressed to my next goal, Lilla Cross. I love it there, and Eller Beck didn’t give me too much of a challenge. I passed a lovely old farmer repairing his fence at Fylingdales who told me all about the different strains of sheep in the area.
Lilla Cross always marks the ‘you’re nearly there’ point for me, and with this in mind I felt really good. I had a fabulous conversation with the bees buzzing round the beautiful purple heather on the way to Jugger Howe, and even enjoyed going down and up (I usually hate that bit!)
Crossing the A171, I felt amazing! The last walk up to the mast and the finishing stone was much quicker than it usually seems. Solo, unsupported crossing done in 14 ½ hours! I must have been quicker than anticipated as I didn’t see any runners or supports.
I then drove down to Raven Hall Hotel to await the arrival of Tom, Dave, and a couple of other runners from the Quakers Running Club. I had plenty of time to have a cold drink and enjoy the views. At the finish line, I was delighted to see Gerry Orchard finish accompanied by the ever-supportive Julie. We sat chatting in the grass before Tom arrived in the excellent time of 9 hours 9 minutes, Dave not long behind and then the Quaker lads. As we drove off back towards Osmotherley, we passed the amazing Nick Carter, having completed his 30th Lyke Wake Challenge in 30 years. Awe inspiring.
I never tire of this walk. It’s one of the most life affirming and confidence building experiences I can think of. I might even do the challenge race next year if my running improves sufficiently! See you again soon LWW!