Lyke Wake Walk: Supported West to East Crossing, 10th July 2021

A crossing report for your consideration!


Darren Draper

Paul Draper

Carl James

Simon James

Support crew:

Mark Heslin

Section 1: Scarth Wood Moor to Carlton Bank
Despite a great weather forecast for the day it was an unpromising start with steady drizzle as we drove down the A19 from Middlesbrough. Thankfully it had dried up by the time we reached Osmotherley and that was the last we saw of the rain all day. There was still plenty of mist around as we posed for the obligatory photo at the starting stone at 04:45. We made good progress through the early hours with the only worry being when Carl came within a whisker of spraining his ankle after only about 600m. Thankfully he managed to “walk it off”.

Section 2: Carlton Bank to Clay Bank
After a welcome brew at our first support stop, we faced the challenge of a very hilly stage with lots of climbing and a few steep descents. It was during this stage that we passed a lone walker coming the other way, who from the submitted reports looks to have been just about to complete an overnight unsupported crossing. She looked to have far fresher legs than a few of us at this point.

Section 3: Clay Bank to Flat Howe
At the next support stop most of us took the opportunity to get out of the boots and change into trainers for a few hours – a good decision for the majority of the next stage which was mostly spent on the old railway, We were also passed early in this stage by someone attempting a world record time for a crossing; by the looks of things she would make it to Ravenscar a bit before we would.

Section 4: Flat Howe to Hamer House
Another nice stage with plenty of open moor to contend with, and a few tricky areas where we had to pick our way carefully. We passed two fellow walkers heading the same way who kindly told us that from their reccies of the previous week, the next stage was by far the worst!

Section 5: Hamer House to Eller Beck
This stage was where it started to get a bit close to falling apart. Our fellow walkers from the previous stage proved true to their word, and this would be the longest stretch of the day between support stops. Over the next couple of hours various parts of Darren and Simon’s bodies started to stop working properly. The sun finally came out and there was no shelter on the open moor from the heat. And the distinctive sight of RAF Fylingdales impossibly seemed to remain always in the far distance, never appearing to get any closer for almost three hours. There was a bit of respite to the hot open moor with a lush green valley and stepping stones over a clear stream, and soon after we finally managed to make it to the next stop for a short rest. It was late on during this stage that Paul took his first pee break of the day which, speaking of world record attempts, probably qualifies him for some sort of award.

Section 6: Eller Beck to Jugger Howe
Despite having broken the back of the total distance there was still over seven miles to go. Simon picked up some walking poles at this point which ended up being the difference between him giving up and being able to finish (although equally it could have been the Tunnock’s Caramel Wafer offered by our support driver Mark).

Section 7: Jugger Howe to Ravenscar
This was the final stretch which was mercifully short but still incredibly hard work for some of us. We were promised that we’d be able to see the radio mast as a marker of how long we’d have left to go but the mist had started to come in at this point and by the time we’d finished the main ascent, visibility was literally down to about 50 metres. We made it to the finishing stone at 21:05, 16 hours and 20 minutes after we set off, with our total walking time being just under 14 hours. Mark managed to bundle us into the back of the van for the final drive to Whitby, where the only thing left to do was to dine on takeaway pizza and beers, and to start planning next year’s attempt…