Crossing Report: Saturday 16th June 2018

July 8th, 2018

After parking my car in the Sheepwash car park at the head of Cod Beck Reservoir, the first problem that faced me in this attempt at completing the Lyke Wake Walk was deciding on and locating the starting point. The route description provided at http://lykewake.org/route.php refers to a Stone at grid reference 470994. I could find no stone of any significance at that point, so resolved on starting from the stone inscribed “LYKE WAKE WALK” at grid reference SE467992 and also taking in what some consider the official start of the walk: the Ordnance Survey trig point at SE459997.

I started off at about 5:45 in fine weather thinking that I would have plenty of time to complete the walk in daylight. Here comes my first lesson learnt: just because I’ve previously completed a 40 mile challenge walk in southern England on well made up paths in 12 hours doesn’t mean the same can be achieved over the North York Moors, so don’t dawdle, keep moving!

The weather remained fine until I reached the Lion Inn, and it was about then that I heard distant thunder, and shortly afterwards there was a brief shower. Soon after passing Shunner Howe, I could see another storm approaching, and quickly found myself walking through heavy rain accompanied by thunder and lightning. My second lesson learnt was to check that waterproofs really are waterproof; my supposedly waterproof trousers certainly weren’t, but fortunately the storm soon passed and the weather remained dry for the remainder of the walk.

For a long time I could see RAF Fylingdales in the distance, and for a long time it didn’t seem to get any closer, but eventually I passed it, though it was about then that I realised I wouldn’t complete the walk in daylight. With just about sufficient light not to need my head torch, I was approaching the final trig point at NZ969011 when I was halted in my tracks by a sound I haven’t heard in many years: the churring of a nightjar, which was sitting on top of a bush close to the path; I stopped to listen for several minutes. At about 10:45 pm, 17 hours after starting, I reached the trig point, and then continued to the Raven Hall Hotel, the bar of which is apparently the traditional end point for the walk. I expect the bar was closed by the time I reached Ravenscar, but I didn’t investigate as all I wanted to do by this time was find somewhere to pitch my tent and get some sleep.

The following morning, fortunately feeling refreshed, I was faced with getting back to my starting point. Retracing my steps didn’t seem appealing, so instead I walked the 9 miles into Whitby along the old railway track, caught the train to Battersby – a pleasant hour long journey – and then walked the remaining 12 miles back to my starting point by the shortest and easiest route I could find.

David Tyers

******* Please note, David is quite correct. The start shown on our website map is incorrect. I will get that sorted as soon as possible. Thanks for pointing this out *********

Gerry.

Crossing Thursday 28th and Friday 29th June 2018

July 4th, 2018

Dear Sirs

I hereby wish to report a solo and unaided crossing by myself over Thursday 28th and Friday 29th June. Having parked in Osmotherley I left the car, reaching the stone and setting off at 19.10, having already completed a couple of miles. A beautiful sunny evening, although still a little too warm. I’d been going up to North Yorkshire regularly over the past couple of months to train and familiarise myself with sections of what I thought was the whole route, but somehow still managed to discover portions I’d missed.

               
Clear skies and a full moon meant I saw out the brief hours of darkness wearing only shorts and a T-shirt. Once past the Lion Inn (joined by a soundless owl gliding towards me along the other carriageway), having left the road I finally donned a fleece while I sat and ate my breakfast of cheese sandwiches with homemade plum chutney. There was a cloud inversion to watch while I rested, the clouds rolling down into the valley behind me like a fast moving glacier.
Although the boggy section was probably the driest it had been in years, I persevered until I found a patch of ground where I was able to sink in the bog above my knees. Never let it be said that I tried to avoid a difficult crossing. Things were good, but the weather was heating up and I thought I had easily beaten the task, until I came to Fylingdales Moor. I have crossed this patch of ground three times now, the clear and direct path marked on the OS map just doesn’t exist, at least not near checkpoint 5 on the road. After my training run I endeavoured to keep to the stream on the left, only to lose the path again and in my now tired and seriously overheated state, had a complete sense of direction failure and ended up scrambling through energy sapping heather, having to use my walking pole to beat the heather before me to scare away any sleeping adders. A gamekeeper didn’t bother approaching, probably thinking me some poor blind fool who having come this far, would find his way eventually. I have to say that with the midday heat and exhaustion setting in, if my wife who was coming up to join me that afternoon had arrived, I would have been very tempted to give in and ask her to pick me up. She was still lazing about at home in Sheffield though, so with the help of the GPS on my phone (I’d reached the fence where the gate should be to Ella Cross, but had no idea whether to turn left or right), I eventually after about an hour and a half found the path, and gratefully sat a while in the shade of the cross while I emptied my boots of bits of heather. I think the radio waves from Fylingdales MOD station must have addled my brain.
I am not prone to blisters but they now appeared to make the journey awful. Having finally spotted the mast and with Grouse Hill caravan park left behind, I reached and crossed the road only for the mast to completely disappear! Was it a mirage? Was I lost yet again? No, the mist had come down at the last minute, not close enough to the ground, but enough to conceal the mast and play tricks with my now nearly deranged mind. It did not reappear until I was almost upon it. I reached the mast and the stone at 14.15, a 19 hour crossing far longer than I’d anticipated, but a crossing none the less.
Luckily I’d had the foresight to park my caravan at the small Smuggler’s Cove site just down the lane in Ravenscar, but those last two hundred yards were the longest I’d ever walked. I had a mug of tea and a big bowl of porridge to replace lost carbs, followed by a good sleep for a couple of hours before Mrs G arrived and thoughtfully woke me up to see if I was dead. Remarkably, apart from one blister and sore shoulders from carrying all the water I’d needed in a very heavy rucksack, recovery was swift and the intention never to walk anywhere again, ever, was quickly replaced by a feeling of achievement and wondering which long distance footpath I could tackle next.

Having suffered what I am sure must be the requisite amount of pain for a crossing, I therefore respectfully request membership of the club.

Kind Regards

Mr David Glentworth

Swifty’s Lyke Wake Dirge

July 1st, 2018

It seemed a good idea at the time
A Challenge to celebrate being fifty
A chat at work found a colleague’s wife “happy” to do it with me
So, we set off to join in the Lyke Wake Walk history.
Started in 1955, I know my Dad did it once as I have his tie
Wake means watching and Lyke means Corpse.
We were pleased we only had to watch for ourselves
And our
“Shimmering Shining Car”
We set off on Saturday (30.06.18) just before 4 (am)
Along and up and over and down to our
“Shimmering Shining Car”
First six miles done
Then we were joined by Cocoa (aka poop machine)
Five miles and 3 poop bags later and more up and over and down we came to our
“Shimmering shining Car”
and so, our day repeated.
The next nine miles the main discussion was what we were going to have for lunch when we got to the
“Shimmering Shining Car”
Five miles past “Fat Betty” covered in snacks, over the “boggy” bit that was quite dry, to our
“Shimmering Shining Car”
Next nine miles walking against the flow of D of E ers, bronze, silver and gold some sad, some happy, some we could hear for miles to our
“Shimmering Shining Car”
Next six miles no idea what went wrong as took us an extra hour on top of what book said to get to our
“Shimmering Shining car”
Last two miles yahoo was covered in typical time with the motivation of “Leeds train station pace”
To finish at the Lyke Wake Stone and our
“Shimmering Shining car”
In 15 ½ hours with morning mist clearing up to sun with a slight breeze- perfect conditions.
(massive thank you to Mel – driver of the “Shimmering Shining Car” (our support vehicle) and to Zen for her companionship and to Coco the dog (aka poop machine) for her contributions !!!)
Witch Chris Swift.

Crossing Report. Saturday 23rd June 2018. Time taken 13 hours and 38 minutes.

June 24th, 2018

Crossing Report. Saturday 23rd June 2018. Time taken 13 hours and 38 minutes.

Walkers: Bevis Cox, Julie Moorby, Mary Waterfall
Support Crew: Ben Guy, Alex Newall

        

The Start                                                                      Only another 39.9 miles to go

We set off from home at 4.00, our support crew picking us up with a car laden with supplies. Alex had prepared a Yorkshire quiz for the journey in an attempt to awaken our fuddled sleep weary brains, (Bevis had been out partying all night, oh to be young enough to party then walk 40 miles.) The quiz highlight was Bevis’s answer to Ilkley moor bar t’at, being on the moor without your bath mat. He’s a Yorkshire man he should have known the answer.
We pulled into the carpark in Osmotherley touched the start stone and were off by 5.30 am just as the sun was rising over the hills, ready to meander up the first few climbs of the day. As we tromped up Carlton Bank, we came across a large group of charity walkers spreading out down the narrow path, moving slightly slower than we were. To pass them we almost had to jog up the hill and we were very amused when they shouted to each other to move out of the way, as some “Speedy Speedsters” were passing. We certainly wouldn’t have viewed ourselves as that and we never jog up hills on long walks, but the jog kicked in some adrenaline and we carried on at a good pace.
We ignored check point one and made good time to the second checkpoint, arriving at 8.25 to the smell of freshly brewed coffee and Alex grinning and asking, “What took you so long”? We laughed as our legs were still going strong at this point. After a brief stop, talc on hot toes and change of socks, we changed boots here. We had walked the first half of the walk a few weeks before and Bloworth crossing had been hard on the feet, so we wanted something a bit more padded between our toes and the cinders. Little did we know that much of the second half of the walk would be hard on the feet, there are some very sharp rocks on this route.
We set off towards Round hill and the highest climb of the day, still feeling strong and our feet in good order. We hated Bloworth so much that we were pleased to have read on the updates to the route that we could knock a chunk off the crossing, because the old path across the moor had reopened. We trudged along the crossing keeping out a sharp eye for the turn up towards Rosedale Head. There is a LWW stone in the ditch, painted yellow marking the way, which we found after we had turned onto the path. Now, you would think having mapped this new path on our phones we would have managed to walk what is in effect a straight line upwards without much trouble, unfortunately two paths start from the same point and we took the wrong one. We went right instead of left along, a rarely walked path, so lots of scratchy heather and walking with knees as high as possible, through squishy bogs, (we would probably have looked like drunk Charleston dancers to anyone watching.) We saw the standing stones leading up to the road in the distance through a heat haze and cursing loudly set off towards them. I think we still felt that this turn off, had been worth it though.
We arrived scratched and covered in black streaks at Rosedale head at 11.30 to more freshly brewed coffee, and sandwiches. We changed back into our walking boots, more talc and fresh socks then set off with a spring in our step towards Fat Betty. Oh, the temptation to jump into the car and cut out the tarmac section as the support crew gaily peeped their horn on the way past. Fat Betty is amazing, we didn’t realise that people left offerings here for other weary walkers, plasters, fruit, moleskin, so dug into our pack to look for something suitable then set off down the road towards the next turn off by the looming standing stone.
We approached the bog section with trepidation, but as there had been very little rain they were mostly dry, (the odd squelchy section still caught us out through.) As we walked along the channels, we were in awe of anyone tackling this when the bogs were full. The bogs baking in sunshine were a pleasure on the feet as we bounced along the springing turf. We had a quick check in at Shunner Howe with the support crew but as we hadn’t needed to do any wading, we still had dry feet and set off towards the Blue Man in’t Moss. A quick touch of the stone and we were off again towards Howl Moor and Simon Howe.
Ow, ow, ow, is all we can say about this section, those rocks are sharp, and so close together that your ankles get a good work out. We had been looking out for Adders, desperate to see some, but I think Bevis must have been sleepwalking at this point, (partying catching up on him.) He let out a piercing howl and jumped several feet in the air when he disturbed a sheep in some bushes, thinking it was an Adder. Lots of rib pulling about Adders not being the size of pythons followed and the laughter set us up for the steep descent of Simon Howe. I slipped on the way down and popped my shoulder out, Bevis and Julie were both nearly sick, as unfazed I popped it back in, but I have been doing this since childhood.
We set off upwards to the next checkpoint, (the ascent much easier than the way down,) which we reached at 4.30. That section had been hard going and Julie and I now had blisters under our toes, strange how you can ignore them after the first few steps though. Last change of socks, more talc, (bliss on sore toes) and words of encouragement from the support team, who by now were fetching and carrying anything, we needed from the car. The next section seems far longer than five miles, we still felt ok but Lilla Cross, seemed a long way off. The path from the cross to Jugger Howe seemed to stretch on forever. Oh my, when you see the path up the other side of Jugger Howe it really takes some motivation to descend into the bottom. I had been walking about 500 yards behind Bevis and Julie on the last section and however fast I tried to walk, they never got any nearer or further away. I am sure they had hatched a plan to coral me up the steps as one set off in front and one behind, (probably worried I would slip again.)
We reached the last checkpoint and dropped our bags in the car, then set off towards the Radio Tower and the finishing stone. I think we had a new burst of energy here, as it did seem easier walking than the last few miles. As we approached the end of the path Alex and Ben were whooping and waving and had covered their car in congratulatory bunting, and were holding up Witches and Dirger placards, which really cheered us on to the end. We touched the finishing stone at Ravenscar at 7.08pm, sunburnt but with smiles on our faces, 13.38 hours after we began.

The Finish

Would we do it again? Who knows, we are seasoned walkers and this was a hard slog. Quite frankly, only laughter gets you through the tricky bits.
Bevis Cox
Julie Moorby
Mary Waterfall

Lyke Wake Walk (June 16th /17th 2018)

June 20th, 2018

West to East Cutting Slightly North of the Lion Inn. Distance 38.72 miles, time 16h:44m.
Walkers:
Alex Alderthay
Andrew Laird
Malcolm Lummas

Malcolm Lummas:
This was my 4th attempt and 3rd successful completion of Lyke Wake Walk the last ones been in the early 90s. I found this one much harder, perhaps as its over 20yrs since my last crossing… What can I say other than knees not what they used to be..
Alex Alderthay:
This was my first attempt at the Lyke Wake Walk. Over the last few years I have done several trail running events on the North York Moors, starting with the Osmotherley Phoenix and then 6 or 7 Hardmoors events. The LWW seemed like the obvious next step and allowed me to see parts of the moors away from the Cleveland Way for the first time.
Andrew Laird:
I remember when I was little my Dad talking about his crossing and despite ending up waist deep in a bog, how much he had enjoyed it… Later in life our small group started talking about planning our crossing together, though talk was pretty much where it ended for some time… It wasn’t until my Dad’s wake in February and the fact we we’re all together for his funeral we decided to finally fix a date. Closest weekend to the 21st June that we were all free, to give us the longest day. This worked out to be 16th-17th June, Father’s Day which seemed strangely fitting. My Dad’s condolence card pictured below (he was 24 at the time).

As time marched on towards the date, while taking on the challenge predominantly for ourselves, it seemed like a potential missed opportunity if we didn’t at least try to do it for a good cause. One close to my heart and with a father son link being JDRF. Having nearly lost our youngest when he was just 1yr old to Type 1 Diabetes this seemed and obvious choice and to date the total raised has been £905 plus £166.55 Gift Aid.
After a few practice walks the day finally arrived and having discussed the need for a break at about the half way point we met up @ 7pm just north of the Lion Inn to drop off one of the cars, equipped with camping stove, bacon, buns and other items such as spare shoes, socks, water and anything else we may now need. Then back to Osmotherley ready for our start @ 8:20pm.

Having been fairly overcast with thunderstorms earlier in the day as we approached Carlton Bank the sky cleared just in time for the sun to set and what a view..!!!

By the time we reached Lordstones the sun had pretty much set and it was time to choose high path or low path. Given we’d only covered a few short miles and were all still fired up it had to be the high path, though I suspect if we had crossed East to West the opposite would have been the case and in hind sight the steps down at clay bank were not knee friendly.

Crossing the B1257 at around midnight it was at least now to our pit stop just north of the Lion for some 4am Bacon Butties and the sunrise…

           

After refuelling it was back on track though the pace started to slow as we hit the rocky terrain and the bogs. After a few slips and misplaced feet, it was clear no one was finishing with dry feet, and after passing the early warning station at Fylingdales the pace slowed further. With only three fully operational knees between us by this point it was slow going. Still we pushed on eventually touching the Ravenscar stone little after 1pm. Dry clothes, shoes and fish and chips awaited us with our ever supportive other halves…!!

Crossing Report: 8/9 June 2018

June 19th, 2018

‘How old are you again?’ he asked.

‘I’m doing it a week before my 72nd birthday’ I replied a bit truculently.

‘Don’t do it, Susan. Don’t do it.  I tell it like it is, you know. It will kill you, it’ll kill you!’

 

Since the advice I tend to listen to is my own, I paid no attention and consequently, with our three wonderful guides, Tom and Claire Chapman and David Allen, I was part of the 13 LWW virgins, including my daughter, that set off in high spirits at 9pm, pleased to be on our way and out of the range of persistent midges.

 

Unlike other Crossing Reports, I can’t detail just where we were, at what time, what conditions were like in X wood or Y hill.  All I know accurately, is that we started at Osmotherley and all but 3 ended at Ravenscar.  I apologise to experienced Club members for any inaccuracies, but like one lady whom I had met on a training walk who had completed a crossing ‘Oh, many years ago’, I can with clarity remember starting and ending – but the bit in between is a bit of a blur!  In fact she said ‘horrid blur’ – but, apart from a handful of occasions when I wished my heart and lungs were 40 or even 20 years younger – I generally loved the whole experience.

 

I can though, describe some of my personal thoughts and impressions.

 

We all admired, still as a single group, the sunset to the north, as we walked through Coalmire woods, though I was pleased to stop for photographs as I reckoned we were walking at a fair fast pace.  On reaching the first hill, we spread out and, to my surprise, I still found myself towards the front.

 

Someone then asked me if I’d practiced walking at night. My vast experience of my head torch extended from me walking from kitchen to sitting room and back and deciding I didn’t like that torch, so I carried a hand one instead.  In retrospect, I think I should have persisted – though with the light of others’ head torches, we managed to get to our first checkpoint and waved and flashed our lights to guide the second group home.

 

I wasn’t looking forward to climbing up Cringle Moor, but in fact we skirted it, picking our way carefully trying not to fall in the drains and just grateful that at least the stones were dry. We collectively shuddered at the thought of rain or ice and then reached our second checkpoint where hot drinks and sweet things were served. With the temperature having noticeably dropped, I successfully managed to blag my way into the warm of the support van on account of my age!

 

Then, having managed the ascent reasonably well up to Round Hill, I knew the dreadfully boring stretch to Bloworth and the Old Railway lay ahead, but I was looking forward to seeing dawn break.  No chance though, as by then we were engulfed with bitingly cold early morning mist! Since I live below the railway, I’d seen what the previous few mornings had been like and decided, thankfully, to wear my thermal trousers and then change into light summer ones when the temperature rose. (However, as the temperature rose later in the day, I forgot to change, and I got so hot that salty sweat dripped constantly into my eyes!)

 

We eventually cut off the railway, and after some considerable guide pondering on the right unmarked route, we eventually trudged rather wearily along the road to Rosedale Head until seeing the support van loom out of the mist and I again had no compunction in playing my second Joker to get a seat in the warm. The rest of the group were visibly shivering.

 

After setting off, I made sure that I gave due obeisance to Fat Betty, though thankfully she turned down the remains of my ‘Trekking Bar’ in my pocket.  We were excited and nervous about the ‘boggy section’ to come, which afterwards, our guides said was the driest they had known it. It didn’t seem dry to us, as most of us ended up with having to change out of our soggy socks at checkpoint four!  I attended to what I thought might turn into blisters – my only physical problem during the walk.

 

It was at this checkpoint, I think, that the leading group decided to stock up on the pile of just cooked bacon into the rolls provided.  I pounced, overfilled my butty, grabbed a seat and called out my order for a cup of tea. And I gobbled it down.

 

I’ve never been very good at exercising after eating!

 

Dave, the guide at the front, pointed out the Blue Man-i-th’-Moss to me and we then speeded up to catch up with one ‘mountain hare’ in front.  I wasn’t feeling too good, and then just behind the leading pair, I threw up.  ‘That delicious bacon butty’ I thought, but immediately felt better and caught them up, saying proudly, like a six year old, ‘I’ve just been sick!’ They were duly solicitous, but I felt much better and we motored on.

 

Before Simon Howe I was sick again, and again felt a lot better. Then, excitingly, there was a chance of seeing the Moors Railway train pass in front of us so of course we ran, just to see a wisp of smoke in the deep embankment below as the phantom train trundled towards the coast.

 

And so to checkpoint five and another long wait for the others in our group to catch up in order that we could leave together.

 

There was a pull up towards Lilla Cross and it was soggy and energy sapping as I remember and just before that landmark from where the finish of the walk can be seen, I did something I’ve heard about, but never experienced either as a participant or as an observer… I projectile vomited almost the whole of the bacon butty that remained in my gut.  I was no longer in the front group at this point, but just with my lovely daughter and Charlie, the son of my local MP, Kevin Hollinrake (a great supporter of the cause we were walking for). At least I was useful in adding to his life-learning experiences and because of that thought, and with a blissfully empty stomach, I now felt good again, and as traumatised Charlie waited for his parents, the pair of us powered on.  However, it felt, for my daughter and me, a long way to the next checkpoint, wherever it was!

 

We had again, quite a long wait before setting off on the home run towards the mast that appeared to never come any closer.  But, after the slog up Jugger Howe, of course it did, simply by putting one foot in front of the other. (If David Allen  is your guide in the future, do not ask him how far it is to the end, because his 1/8 mile turned out to be 1.5 miles – though I put that down to his inspiring motivational skills!)

 

At the end, my daughter reminded me to touch the final LWW coffin stone – otherwise I wouldn’t have completed the crossing and presumably, would have had to turn round and go back to Osmotherley!

 

It was great.  We were elated.  We had done it (17 hours and 43 minutes) and we cheered in the rest of our group that followed.

 

I know we all felt emotional at the end because we had pushed ourselves both physically and mentally.  We had hit our personal walls at various stages but had climbed over with difficulty and dogged determination. We had passed!

 

Oh, and there’s still life in this old dog. The walk didn’t put me in a coffin – though that would have been pleasingly symbolic!

 

PS:  When can we do it again?

 

 

Sue Mumford

     

   

 

Crossing of one Stephen Scorer on May 30th 2018.

June 4th, 2018

Just before sunrise on the morning of May 30th, 2018, a figure was seen to skulk out of The Golden Lion public house and stagger across to the churchyard. A black and white cat is believed to have been the only witness to the doleful deeds that transpired prior to the departure of this soul.

 

As the church clock tolled at 4.30, I left the church yard, walking up North End and was quickly consumed by a motionless and mournful mist. The dam at Cod Beck stood like a gothic pile as I pushed on towards the stone marking the beginning of my journey to the other side.

 

Soon enough, the tombstone like marker emerged from the mist, the letters, LYKE WAKE WALK, scored into one side. The trial was about to begin.

Soon I entered Clain Wood, paying respects to Mr Cowley as I passed through. In the depths of the wood I felt a tingling trickle down my spine. I was sure that someone, something was watching me. I kept on walking deeper into the wood and saw a tall, dark apparition appear in the fog. I walked closer in silence, was it a bush, an animal another being? Suddenly, cloven hooves propelled a deer into the trees.

Progress to the Carlton Bank trig point was good, I kept my head down, focussing on the few feet of path I could see. As I dropped down to Lord Stones, the mist lifted a little and I could see some of the new buildings by the path.

On Kirby Bank, I sat in Mr Falconer’s seat, looking out into thick fog. The plaque said optimistically that Penshaw Monument, a landmark near my childhood home, was directly in front of me. Sadly, I would have to enjoy this view another day.

Dropping down to the Broughton plantation, pine trees were covered in a phantasmagoria of mist bejeweled webs until suddenly, I found myself in a wasteland, smashed branches and tyre ploughed earth showed a recent harvest churning the earth in a mass of destruction.

Heading up to the old train track, the wind stiffened, blowing thick mist like wet smoke across the track. As the wind gusted from the north and from the east, the cold wet seeped in to me, penetrating waterproofs and chilling. I pressed on along the interminable track, unable to see much around me. The track seemed to go on for ever until, eventually, I hit the junction and car park at Little Blakeley. I’d totally missed the turning to The Lion Inn and had to walk along the road. Annoyed at myself for missing the turning, soaking wet, cold and hungry, I almost walked past the inn. I happened to look up and noticed a light in the mist, I then saw the sign and found my way into the warm heart of the Lion at 1130.

After two hours in front of a fire, drying out, warming up, drinking hot chocolate and eating chips I was ready to set off for what I knew would be the more difficult part of the journey.

By this point, my phone was on its last legs, a heavy power pack I had been carrying to try to feed the device had failed and the charger lead had also died. I wanted to keep the little power my phone had left for emergencies so I knew that for the rest of the journey I was to be totally alone.regardless at 1330 I set out once more into the mist, refreshed but concerned about the infamous bogs and worried about my ability to navigate safely in such conditions.

I carefully picked my way across Glaisdale and White Moors. The roman road on Wheeldale was particularly spooky in the mist. At Goathland Moor, I had to work hard to keep out of Little Eller Beck. At Lilla Cross, I was amazed to see a clear cycleway leading me clearly into the mist but sadly, this didn’t last long. The tyre tracks in the ground got my wondering ‘who on earth would cycle across these moors?’

As I approached Jugger Howe, the mist seemed to miraculously clear. I saw a fence ahead with a sign saying Jenny Fell…..poor Jenny – I hope she didn’t do herself an injury. I crossed the beck and had a fantastic view of the steps up onto the moor. Gee thanks!

Once up the steps, down came the mist and the final slog to the mast and the Ravenscar stone. Throughout the walk I had seen very little apart from the track in front of me. As I approached Ravenscar, I was sure I saw the mast several times to find that I was actually looking at trees. I’m sure I was attended by phantom visitations several times in my mist bound crossing but was sadly unaware as I pressed on, desperate to get to the warmth of Raven Hall.

Finally, I saw the mast appear out of the mist. As I passed, I touched the Ravenscar LWW stone and a few seconds later, my watch that had been tracking my walk gave up the ghost. Exhausted after 17 hours 24 minutes and 38 seconds of tracking my movements. It said I had walked 44.68 miles and was later to give me a route map of my crossing to the other side. It was 9 50 pm and still light……just about.

I walked down to Raven Hall where I had booked a bed for the night and checked in, wet through and tired but incredibly exhilarated to have completed a journey I had wanted to make for years. Please do graciously consider my request to be accepted as a Dirger after walking alone and unsupported from The Golden Lion, past the Osmotherley Lyke Wake Stone to the Ravenscar stone in 17 hours 25 minutes. A journey accompanied by dense mist at all times apart from the descent to the stream at the foot of Jugger Howe.

 

Lyke Wake Walk Report 5-6th May 2018

May 25th, 2018

Cometh the hour, cometh the man or in our case men …cometh the 20th hour of walking and said men were nearly a goneth!
Whilst physically ranging from late 30’s to mid 60’s, upon getting together beforehand it was apparent the mental age averaged out a lot younger, in a good way.
The 7 men arrived, pensive but excited, up to their ears in gear, some old and trusty, some new and barely used, the gear that is, not the men.
At 20:00 hours the obligatory “before” photo was taken, and the outwardly calm smiles could barely hide the enormity of the task ahead. 40 miles of which some of us knew the first half but no-one really knew the second bar the more “experienced” member of the group, who did the walk back in ’76. Given this was predominantly a walk through natural landscapes it should look pretty much the same as ’76 we thought.

Lesson 1: Use up to date maps; during the practice walk slight disorientation occurred when we were expecting fields and markers and instead were met with woodlands that weren’t meant to be there!
Upon climbing the umpteenth hill the second lesson was learned, SLOW DOWN we had set off at quite a yomp and whilst this felt like real progress was being made, we became acutely aware that once the jam sandwiches and pre-walk liquid calories had worn off we would be somewhat lacking in the required oomph to continue at such an athletic pace and given that between us we represented every shape of athlete from sprinter to power lifter we would pay the ultimate humiliation of a phone call to the “support” team (Wives) and the indignity of hearing the immortal phrase “I told you, you’re all mad! I don’t know why you do these things in the first place! …I’ll be there in an hour”.

In order to maintain temporary hero status in our children and grandchildren’s eyes we were determined to complete the jaunt on our terms and at a somewhat more sedentary pace.
As we made our way across the moors, conversation flowed and miles went by. The darkness closed in and the tranquillity of the evening took hold. Until the 3rd lesson was learned.

As we marched along the old rail track we heard a loud thud and weary groan. A new problem that would not have existed in ’76 occurred, mobile phones. The mindfulness state of walking had lured one of the team into following the sound of marching feet whilst fully engaged in electronic communications with base camp. The thud we heard was a body slam of human versus metal gate!
The wildlife varied as the hours passed, the evening chorus slowed down and small millipedes made their presence known, looking like a low budget 70’s horror invasion flick as they strewn the paths. Dawn gave way to the grouse with their varied calls and responses. We were no avian experts, but the messages between the respective grouse were clear:
“There are people coming, stay low”
“The people are a bit close, get away people!”
“They’ve buggered off, as you were”
Later on, as the sun hung high in the sky we saw, what for some of us was the first time, Adders and Grass snakes!

Past dawn and a way past the Lion Inn pub and our feet were burning and the confines of the boots were taking their toll.
A well earned “dip for the feet ” at the stepping stones near Wheeldale Lodge turned back the miles and reinvigorated our feet and ankles.

35 miles in, after 15 miles of slow muddy progress through the boggy Moore, I was convinced I had an expert eye for spotting the “solid” ground and decided my sticks could resume their primary purpose of holding my back side above my knees…how wrong I was! With only a few more arduous miles to go I nonchalantly marched through the marshlands and ditches with my eye on the prize.
Visions of throwing offspring in the air and joyous, relieved and hopefully carnal looks from our spouses as their heroes returned after defeating the North Yorkshire Moors.
The end came 40 miles later as the silhouettes of friends and loved ones appeared on the horizon and children ran down to great tired parental legs. A couple of cold beers were drunk (For rehydration purposes) in quick succession and the drives home ensued.

What an experience, what great company and never again!

The walkers were:
Sean Newby
William Maughan
Graham Tweddle
Geoff Simpson
Andrew Simpson
Gary Willoughby
Stephen Heafield

Unsupported Crossing 5-6th May 2018

May 11th, 2018

I’d like to report our crossing. I attempted this walk a few years ago with people from work, but only managed to get as far as the Blue Man i’th’ Moss, had to retire due to some serious blisters. I roped my older brother Craig Meek into it this time and at 20.25hrs on a warm Saturday evening 5th May 2018 we began the walk to the starting stone at Osmotherley. I knew what we were letting ourselves in for, and we had the necessary food, clothes, spare socks etc. This was an unsupported walk, we carried everything we needed on our backs.

Catching the last of the evening sun, we made our way, making reasonable time, through to the first foot check and sock change, at the Lord Stones area…hmmmm, are those warm spots going to be trouble later I wondered, as I talced my feet, putting fresh “blister free” socks on? I thought my boots were broken in and comfortable, having been ‘walked in’ on previous walks lasting up to four hours.

The temperature never dropped below mild, so it was onwards and upwards, admiring the glow of Teesside at night as we tackled the first few hills. We almost stumbled on a few cows as we navigated Broughton bank and the Wainstones, with another foot check / sock change confirming my worst fears….blisters, both feet. Passing another group on the same challenge, we managed to climb Botton Head and pass Round Hill, by torchlight, with the red lights of the Bilsdale transmitter a constant feature for the next part of our journey. Travelling on the old railway line, this part seemed to go, and on, and on..eventually finding the Lion Inn at Blakey, around 4am.

As we fed and watered ourselves near the pub, the warm weather meant some of the bedroom windows were open, and it was so quiet we could hear snoring…so jealous!

Realising my blistered feet were going to be a real problem, with only two painkillers, (one for each foot I suppose..) we set off with some trepidation. I couldn’t see how I could possibly continue, but equally, I couldn’t see how I could possibly give up ..again. Weighing up the options, phoning my wife Donna at 5am for a lift home, tail between my legs, or seeing how far I could go, the latter option meant we got to see the sun come up over the area near Fat Betty.

The sunrise at that time was glorious and spurred us on, I knew it would be a scorcher, and wasn’t wrong. Gritting my teeth and plodding on, we covered some ground, but slowly and surely made progress. Making it to the second OS map seemed to make it within our grasp, until I unfolded the map to see how much further we still had to cover..then unfolded it again..and again, and again…

Almost stepping on the first of our three adders we saw along the way, catching the sun, we stumbled on and on, seeing countless lizards, a mouse, birds galore and two barking deer that greeted us near Wheeldale plantation.

By now the going was tough, with rough stony terrain, sore painful feet, aching legs, the heat at least 20C, water was down to our reserves as we crossed Wheeldale Beck stepping stones, resting for a while as we soaked our feet in the cold water. Bliss..

It couldn’t last, though, so on we stumbled, literally stumbled on to see the end in sight….in the distance…sheer torture. The transmitter never seemed to get closer as we ploughed on, too close now to think about quitting. With water now down to a last few mouthfulls it was with a heavy heart that we discovered there was no ice cream van at the car park at the A171. With grim determination, and the thought of cold fresh water in the waiting car where my wife Donna was at the finish, we managed to lift each aching, agonized foot up, then putting it down, again and again until at last we finished.

The time was now exactly 14.25hrs,Sunday 6th May,2018, 18 hours of walking across the North York Moors, a real slog on this occasion. We’d finished though, we’d done the Lyke Wake Walk, an immense feeling of satisfaction known only to those Lyke Wake Walkers.

Cheers.
Guy Meek and Craig Meek

Katherine Knight, Crossing on 13th March 2018

March 23rd, 2018

I would like to report my crossing – completing my passing after 13 hours on the 13th March.
It seemed that I was the only person on the trail that day, I certainly didn’t see anyone else which was the inspiration for my ‘report’. I made a little video too

I hope they are sufficient for membership to your fine club!
Best wishes,
Katherine

The passing of Katherine Knight in 13 hours on the 13th

Darkness cloaked the world as I left Osmotherley,
Not a living soul did I see

Grouse and pheasant flocked a plenty,
Not a living soul did I see

I took a selfie with White Betty,
Not a living soul did I see

I fell in a bog up to my knee,
Not a living soul did I see

I took a break for a much needed wee,
Not a living soul did I see

I counted curlews one, two, three,
Not a living soul did I see

Frog spawn on the, right in front of me,
Not a living soul did I see

I passed the plantation, thick with tree,
Not a living soul did I see

I crossed the flooded river with anxiety,
Not a living soul did I see

Finally the end stone greeted me,
Not a living soul had I seen

Katherine Knight
www.narwhalexpeditions.com