Winter Crossing Report 23rd/24th February 2018

Myself and Gary Dumbrell arrived at Osmotherley at 2315 on Friday 23rd February 2018. I had decided to attempt the walk again after bad weather put a stop to my first attempt a few years previous.
For extra incentive I roped Gary in and we both decided to do it in aid of Rags2Riches-Romanian Dog Rescue charity, just an extra push to complete it if we needed it.
Between us we managed to raise £600 ish ?

Once we sorted ourselves out and got that all important photo of the Lyke Wake stone we set off into the night at 2340 hours.

The Start

The weather was good for the whole trip but the wind was freezing and not very pleasant, but we cracked on regardless.

Now, walking at night throws up it’s own challenges such as what were we walking on and just who owns those pair of eyes staring at us from the trees!
The first 20 miles of the walk were fairly straightforward as i myself have walked it numerous times.
Familiar landmarks such as Stokesley and Middlesborough as well as the radio mast at Bilsdale were recognisable so visibility was good but, there was no moon. The stars were out but the moon was no where to be seen but it did make an appearance during the day.

After some 5 hours of walking that the sun started to come up. Beautiful pink, oranges and purples gave light to the beauty of the moors. Still very cold, our spirits were lifted by this welcome sight. As we continued on, we caught site of our halfway point which was the Lion Inn pub at Blakey ridge.

Lion Inn “Oasis”

We were met here with hot coffee and a welcome sit down to allow us to change our socks and get some food. We’d been walking some 9 hours by this point as it was now 0830.

Next we headed east towards Fylingdales and this involved some road walking initially where we saw some ancient stones such as Fat Betty and old Marjorie.
We then came into a section which was unpleasant and really slowed up down. This was the first of the boggy sections and it was wet. Cursing we were when we went up to our ankles in mud and water but we got across eventually. This went on for some time over a couple of valleys to a rocky outcrop called Shunner Howe. By this point, we could just make out the upturned Ice cream cone that is RAF Fylingdales. Fires were burning in various locations to burn off the heather which brought nice smells. An air sea rescue helicopter flew past which reassured us that if we needed it, we knew it was working!
Onwards we went, up and down, boggy section, sandy section, rocky section, and on and on until we reached the railway line. We passed 3 walkers out for a stroll and they said we were mad doing the walk in winter!! nice of them.

“Lovely Mud”

And so we reached Ellerbeck bridge on the main Pickering to Whitby road. At this point, the sun was going down and we were about to be plunged into darkness once more. So, head torces on and away on the final leg. At this point Gary learnt not to ask about how many miles remain. Because when your fatigued and hurting, you don’t want to hear me say 13 miles!!
Fylingdales next, the boggiest section of all with no obvious path in the dark! It was at this point my OS map app decided it wasn’t playing up ball, so it took some time but, we got through. So, along a slippery path heading further east.
Soon we arrived at Janet’s Fell, heading down hill the old knees started to ache.
Upon reaching the bottom it suddenly dawned on Gary that we had to go up again, progress was slow but eventually we reached the top and plodded on to the A171.
Crossing the road we were now running on reserves, but eventually we made it.

22hrs and 22 minutes.

The Finish at last……………………………..

I hope this report will be ok, I for one will attempt this challenge again, I won’t tell you where Gary said I could stick it!! ?
Kind Regards
Richard Leggott