A Snorkel & Flippers: Mark Kitson

Wednesday 24th June 2024
Start – Osmotherley Village
Start time – Midnight
Finish – Way later than expected 
Age – Old man (55)
Unsupported – But the lovely wife and daughter and dog picked me up.

Firstly, never believe BBC weather. It had said it would be a clear night, but getting off the train at Northallerton and into the taxi the heavens opened, with a good luck mate from the taxi driver I enthusiastically set off.  

The first section was a delight, however the descents were treacherous and slowed me down considerably and after bumping into some surprised cows near the Wainstones I was clear and onto the tracks headed to the Lion Inn.

Unfortunately, this is where it took a turn for the worse with a few annoying blisters and a recurring muscle injury made the second section a challenge.  Thankfully the weather cheered up giving me some fantastic views across the moors, lifting my spirits.  Nobody mentioned that I needed a snorkel and flippers for several of the next sections, but knowing that I had my school bronze medallion swimming award I zigged and zagged trying to find a less waterlogged path, again adding so much time.  The section up to Lilla Cross was especially frustrating.

With the mast teasing in the distance and never seeming to get any closer I was confronted with Jugger Beck Howe.  My blisters were shouting at each other and I’d forgotten my crampons at home so it took a considerable amount of effort, oh and one mars bar to get up the hill and following ridgeline, was that mast getting further away?  And then there was the wife and daughter to meet me, laughing at my wobby gate but very pleased I’d finished, sort of in one piece.

The walk did not disappoint and even though I live close, this area it is absolutely stunning.  Blisters heal, old injuries get forgotten but pride in completing the walk will never fade.

Mark Kitson