START TIME 19:30, 27/08/2018
FINISH 13:40 28/8/2018


Stevie Clark
Stu Franklin
Sam Franklin (age 17)
Nikki Pattison (f)

It was with much trepidation that I agreed a further attempt at this challenge walk as a few years ago the Gods were against us and we had a torrid time, finally admitting defeat just past Flyingdales.

With daylight hours being less at this time of year it was decided to make a start just before dusk as the first part of the walk is easier to navigate and we might get a second wind when the sun comes up. As with most challenge walks you can prepare physically, carry the things you will need whilst keeping weight low, and have adequate food and drink. What you can’t legislate for is the weather conditions on the day.
Fortunately on this occasion we were blessed with dry conditions, some cloud covering and almost a full moon which lent some illumination during the hours of darkness. Other than a few cars at Osmotherley car park and one or two returning day hikers we saw no-one once we began the crossing until we topped up our water supplies at a farm in the morning.

It was almost torch time within minutes although the moonshine helped when reflecting off the stones of the Cleveland Way. The consensus was that walking during the night seemed to help pass the time as concentration levels had to be higher and you couldn’t see the climbs ahead! It was a beautiful sight in its own right looking out over the lights of Teesside and the ascent of the moon. Despite the tough climbs in the earlier part of the crossing we were making good progress. My Garmin registered 10.9 miles by midnight and a whopping 202 floors climbed 184 descended (a floor equates to approx. 3m – only a few floors will have been prior to the start).

Of course starting in the evening meant no opportunity to call into a café or pub so our first stop of note was on the road just before the boggy section. All four of us literally lay prostate on the road to stretch out our backs, get some food down and personally I let the air at my feet. The next section over the boggy ground was horrific a few years ago but on this occasion in the main it was ok. The posts which had fallen are still not back in place and it could still be very easy to stray off track. Signage from this point on is very poor and map reading skills I would suggest are essential. It was heartening to see the first glimpses of daylight as we arrived at Hamer.

The effects of such a trek were now starting to take their toll along with general tiredness from being awake all night (and previous day). My wife Gwen and Stu’s wife Helen who had been our emergency extraction team will have had a full nights rest and now be making their way to Osmotherley to collect one parked car and then proceed to Ravenscar. Their early morning text just said – ‘so far so good, eta at finish 12:30’. This time seemed reasonable given our position and progress to this point, however understandably we slowed and kept putting the eta back.

Conversation had all but dried up and it was just a case of one foot in front of the other. It was wonderful to see Lilla Cross and our destination but it appeared to keep getting further away! Jugger Howe ravine was a killer – the descents were tougher on our tender feet than the ascents. Arriving at the finish stone was certainly more relief than jubilation. It is only on reflection when with a beer in hand, sitting in the garden at The Ravenscar Hotel overlooking those fantastic views that a sense of achievement comes.

We will all relay tales of the crossing for years to come.

Yours, with respect


Left to right: Stevie, Sam, Stu, Nikki.

And not forgetting Gwen and Helen!