Crossing – 29th September 2021.

As a group of 6 people (5 walkers and 1 supporter) we did the crossing from Osmotherley to Ravenscar on Tuesday 29th September 2021. We travelled up from Leicester on the evening of the 28th, had an amazing meal at the Golden Lion and then managed to get a few hours sleep, before waking up at 02:00, to be ready at the start for 03:00.

The weather was kind to us. The rain was torrential on our drive up, but it was absolutely perfect for us on the day. There was a very slight drizzle first thing in the morning, but after an hour or so, it was dry and daylight appeared just as we came out of the ‘forest’ part of the walk.

We followed a GPX route that was 40.83 miles and it guided us spot on from the stone on Osmotherley to the end stone in Ravenscar.

Our support vehicle met us at our first checkpoint [Checkpoint 2 (a layby)] and then we met at The Lion pub, Checkpoint 4, Checkpoint 5 and then the end.

Morale was very high for most of the walk. We had taken a walkie talkie each so that we could keep in communication when we naturally started to spread out, but the general rule was ‘If the person at the back, cannot see the person at the front, then radio in for them to slow down to allow us to close up a little’

The crossing too us around 17 hours as we were waiting at The Lion for quite some time for the support to arrive, and then our final Checkpoint (near the RAF base) was a longer stop as we needed to change footwear, gear up for the darkness (again) and ditch our bags etc, so we could get it done as quick as possible.

The stretch to Checkpoint 1 was done in (more or less) complete darkness. A headtorch is essential and it is a little treacherous in places. Steep steps and very exposed areas where you can see the city lights, but not too much more. I didn’t take walking sticks, but a couple of the group did, and they were really useful at this point. When we were in radio range of the support vehicle (after a few hours of walking) his voice was the best thing to hear. It was on nice to be able to see a fresh face, get some food, recharge, refresh, change socks and then set off for the Lion Inn.

The walk to the Lion Inn can be a little soul destroying as it is a long path and you can track along the headland exactly where you ae going to have to walk. The path is fine, it is easy to walk, relatively flat and even in the wet, I imagine it would be fine with only a few puddles. You then see the Lion on the horizon and again, it is the nicest sight, as you know you are then virtually 50% of the way through. Another change of socks, and footwear, before setting off again for what is the most difficult part of the walk – Just to note, up until this point, we were walking in our trail shoes, but at the Lion, changed into our ‘proper’ walking boots, and also ditched our bags (so we were travelling as lite as possible) as we knew that the bog was coming!

We tracked the road for a couple of miles before then heading into the bog. And the bog is a bog. Wet, peaty and arduous. We are a fit bunch of people, and this was where the niggles started coming in. Tight hips, ankles etc. We therefore decided to liven things up by playing a classic game of ‘Sh&g, Marry, Cruise’ – It passed the time and boosted the morale. In total, this was about an 8 mile stretch, but we weren’t hanging around as we knew that we only had limited daylight remaining.

The final stop (at the RAF based) was a good one. We had a team talk, changed footwear again, unloaded anything we didn’t need in the bags, but also packed the headtorches as we knew we would be needing them again to complete the crossing. You can (just about) get away with trail shoes here, there is a little boggy section but it is OK, and then the rest of this is pretty much steps and path, and then a straight line to the end mast!

We started as a team, and we finished as a team.

I would strongly recommend using a support vehicle if this is the first time you have done it, as there are no shops etc on the route. And when we got to the Lion Inn (the only thing en-route), it was closed as we got there too early.

Synergy Personnel Services

  • Connie Towl
  • Gavin Dilkes
  • John Ghent
  • Sam Goddard
  • Tom Westbury, and
  • Trevor Short was our Support Driver

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