LWW Crossing Report – Crazy Dude and his 2 Rottweilers

I would like to report my third crossing of the Lyke Wake Walk, from Cod Beck to Ravenscar on 16th & 17th September 2016. My first crossing (W to E) was in December 2015 and my second (E to W) was in May of this year.
I’d like to say that I had planned the third walk well in advance, but in fact it was a fairly last minute thing. I’d had a week away in Switzerland doing some walking the week before (in the Grindelwald area near to the Eiger – it comes well recommended!), and on the back of that I thought I’d have another go at the LWW. The weather had been good, so I hoped that the boggy section might be dry-ish.
My wife Sue dropped me and our two Rottweilers – Cesar & Jasmine – at Cod Beck just after 10pm on Friday 16th. The weather was good, but although it was meant to be a full moon, the cloud cover kept it obscured for most of the night.
The first stage was uneventful – the dogs had a good drink at the stream near to Huthwaite and then we continued up the steps and along to Trig Point. After this and on the way down to Lordstones, we could hear the ‘happy campers’ who had congregated at Carlton bank for a Mountain Bike race weekend. Rotties being Rotties, they became really focused on where these noises were coming from. We stopped briefly for a bite to eat and a quick drink, but fortunately we didn’t actually encounter any of the campers – just as well really as I’m sure the dogs would have started barking and woken up the entire site!
When walking with the dogs and in the dark, I always take the low path near to Broughton Plantation. The younger of the dogs – Jasmine – must believe she is a mountain goat, as she explores every nook and cranny. The high path would very likely end up with a painful injury and a severe wallet extraction at the vets, so the low path it is for me. There are still a couple of fallen trees partially blocking the path which isn’t great, but we arrived at “Robbie’s Bench” near Clay Bank for our now obligatory 5-minute break there. I walk this part of the LWW regularly with the dogs and they now associate the bench with stopping for treats!
Onwards to Urra Moor and it started to ‘blow a hooley’ – out came the windproof jacket and onwards we went. The satisfaction of knowing when we were at the high point of the walk was short-lived when I remembered that I still had the Wheeldale and Jugger climbs to do!
The moon made a brief appearance and the clearing sky coincided with the passing overhead of the International Space Station at 0421.
The Lion Inn was all quiet as I walked past around 5am. Thankfully this meant that it was too early for the tempting smell of bacon butties to distract me. I managed to get a phone signal and sent a message to my wife who then set of for Rosedale Road car park with an ETA of 0630. This meant that I could have a relatively calm stroll – despite this part of the journey being the easiest to traverse, I can’t help but feel that I’d rather be walking on the moors rather than a road. I had considered taking the path off the Bloworth to Blakey line to Ralph’s Cross, but the thought of cutting off the Lion Inn part of the walk made me feel that I’ be cheating myself and reducing the mileage count.
Wifey arrived on cue and I had half an hour in the car drinking the best coffee I had ever tasted! From this point the dogs went home (two stiles to cross with two Rotties ain’t much fun!).
The boggy section was the best I have seen it. It still lived up to its name, but was nowhere near as bad as on my first two crossings.
The stepping stones at Wheeldale Beck were easily traversed – back in December the water was going over the top of the stones but this time it was fine. Up from the beck was where muscle fatigue started to take hold so I took it relatively easy for half an hour or so until I arrived at Simon Howe. Then the focus was on the ‘Cheese Grater’ (Fylingdales). At Ellerbeck I took 10 mins out to refuel as I was feeling really tired at this point.
The Steam Train went past around 1145 which is always good to see but then it was onwards to Lilla Cross and Jugger Howe. By this point the muscles were protesting so I had frequent mini breaks punctuated by voices through my headphones of “Pausing Workout” and “Resuming Workout” – I have a Nike tracking device and had set the app on my phone to ‘auto pause’, so every time I stop, it stops and I get this message. At least it gave me someone to hurl my abuse at!
My wife was waiting for me at the Ravenscar stone – she worries when I do the walk, but having read the numerous crossing reports, she gets it why many people do this more than once. Still, she was happy to see me and relieved that the life insurance policy can go back into safe keeping.
So, the Ravenscar stone was reached at 1519 hours on Saturday 17th September 2016 – 17 hours and 10 minutes after I had left Cod Beck. According to my Nike App, it was 40.23 miles and my active walking time was 15.5 hours which I am happy with. I may have been exhausted, but I was also happy that I hadn’t cut across the Lion Inn corner as I know the mileage would have been under 40 miles and that would have left me wanting to go back out next weekend to put things right……..

Paul Walsh
(plus Cesar & Jasmine for half of the way!)