Lyke Wake Walk Crossing Report. 11th August 2022.

With regret, I have to report the crossing of three unfortunate souls on the 11th of August, 2022. This Walk had been long planned memorial walk, with two of us spreading our father’s ashes, and it was with some concerned that we eyed the weather forecasts that seem to creep up and up as the day came closer.

The group consisting on the Paul Shurman, Emma Baillie, and Conor Eaton-Smith departed the car park near Cod Beck Reservoir at 2:30 am on the sub-optimal foundation of one and a half hours sleep.

The early going across Live Moor and Carlton Bank was good, the temperature a cool 17 degrees, and we made the passage in darkness, only potentially disturbing the peace of the moor by shouting “Gully” periodically. We met our very able support, Rachael Chaffer, who furnished us with tea, coffee, and porridge.

At this stage spirits were high and we headed up to Busby Moor and Hasty Bank – enjoying the sun rise over Teeside, and belting out “Radio Ga Ga” as we passed through Blowwoth Crossing. The sun was getting up as we headed down the dismantled railway – not losing too much morale as the route followed the contours as we reached the Lion. Stopping for much needed pints of Pepsis’ and ice, sandwiches and scampi fries we felt refreshed and ready to move on, feeling sure that we had broken the back of the route. Alas this hubris was swiftly rewarded by the 2000 W Sun lamp that would be our ever-present companion for the next 10 hours.
The Sun mostly definitely had it’s hat on and was definitely coming out that day. On the march from the Lion, the sun was oppressive, and we tried to cover the road portion of the route quickly as possible. The bogs were spongey and generally kind, albeit One did manage to place a right foot in the wet stuff, which managed to be quite refreshing. We met our stalwart supporter just before Hamer, and trying to find any shade we can, 3 bodies taking cover behind a Ford Fiesta, and what was becoming a startingly regular occurrence, refilled our water supplies and did personal admin.

Blisters treated, and mainlining a combination of Tangfastics, Candy Kittens, and Maoam, we then set off across possibly the most miserable part of our crossing across Wheedale Moor. With no clear direct path, we carefully picked our way through the heather, cursing the stones and turns which seemed to prevent the team from every getting a head of steam. When we finally made it to Eller Beck, we were in pieces, taking what shade was possible, which appeared to be inside the wheel arch of the faithful Ford Fiesta.

After downing drinks, refilling water, taking on salt in the form of crisps and peanuts, finally have a quick cry we set off on the last 8 miles or so. Passing RAF Fylingdales, which hadn’t demoralised us as much as we had thought – our sore feet took us to Lilla Howe, where we rested in sight of the radio mast, which would prove to be a spectacularly unfunny joke, as it would dip behind hills or appear to get smaller, but never, ever get any bigger. The path to Jugger Howe was torture on our tired feet, and much of the time was spent trying to avoid the metalled path where possible.

With one last push, we conquered Jugger Howe, with the sun just starting to abate its fiery gaze, and with a few tears again, soldiered on to the trig point, with only one close encounter with the A171, as one should really look right as well as left before crossing.

Finally we reached the Trig point by the radio mast at approximately 20:15, put on some definitely natural and not at all forced smiles, and then collapsed for a few minutes, bitterly regretting the assertion made at Eller Beck that we’d be able to walk the extra mile to the Raven Hall Hotel.

Emma and Conor scattered their Father’s ashes overlooking Robin Hood Bay, and then the group hobbled their way back to the hotel, negotiating by phone with the Kitchen to ensuring that there were hot chips, sandwiches, and ice cold Pepsis available, for an Ice Cold In Alex moment, a film which the author was disgusted to find out that the rest of the group hadn’t even been aware of it…
Two special notes – if it was not for Rachael Chaffer, the crossing would not have been achievable on that day. Her constant support and encouragement were essential to getting our three weary bodies to Ravenscar, alive in any case. For an indication of how hot it was, the group between us, drank 22 litres of water. Secondly, Paul Shurman, who is only too happy to admit to having done no significant preparation for the walk, struggled gamely on, despite the heat and the distance, showing true grit and determination, and managed to get all the way to the end, and then fell asleep in the bathtub.

With this successful crossing report, we request the membership of the LWW Club.

Sorrowful Regards

Conor Eaton-Smith