Archive for the ‘Crossing report’ Category

Crossing Report Date: 16th August 2021

Wednesday, August 18th, 2021

Crossing Report
Date: 16th August 2021
Runner: Jane Weatherill (solo, supported)
Checkpoint Support: Lee Weatherill
Time: 7hrs 56mins
My Yorkshire husband casually mentioned I should do the Lyke Wake Walk having made the crossing himself in his younger days (back then he probably did it bare foot over still forming glacial rock). I like running, I like crossing things, so why not! Here is my report.
Before looking at any maps, I thought I’d do a spot of research. Turns out this route had some history to it. It has a club, it has condolence cards, a book with a coffin on the front. It may just be that myths and legends are synonymous with the Lyke Wake Walk. This was not going to be the sort of journey where I nonchalantly hum away to myself, no; this was going to be one of contemplation and deep introversion…I was about to undertake a….well…undertaking.
Fast forward to the morning of the run, the weather was fitting enough, drizzly, a bit murky. Time for my solitary procession. Or so I thought.
Grouse! What splendid birds they are too. Springing out from every bit of heath, I wasn’t alone after all. The scenery was beautiful, naturally. Legs, they felt strong. I was very much enjoying this. Upon reaching the infamous Lion the weather still hadn’t really lifted, in fact it was a bit chilly. Coat on. Was this signalling the beginning of the ‘ordeal’ that I had foolishly disregarded?


Bogs! It was August so I was hoping they weren’t going to be too bad (they weren’t too bad). But they were there, mustn’t get complacent Jane. I could die out here after all. And maybe somewhere on Glaisdale Moor/Rosedale Moor the sun came out. I couldn’t be certain, the darkness was descending and the mania was taking hold. Where are you Blue Man I’ th’ Moss? Where are you Blue Man I’ th’ Moss? Where are….?
Laugh. Don’t laugh. Curse. Don’t curse.
Upon reaching Lilla Cross, amidst the purple haze, it was dawning on me what the Lyke Wake Walk was symbolising. From sorrow comes acceptance. Of rocks, that is.



Making my way up towards the mast at Ravenscar I was starting to realise my mind, my legs, and my soul had been scrambled. To anyone who embarks on this journey, I send you my deepest sympathies.
In memory of my father: JC

Lyke Wake Walk / Chaos Crossing Report. 27th July 2021.

Friday, July 30th, 2021

Walkers.

• Lewis Brunt
• Dave Shaw
• Dom O’Leary
• Chris Moran
• Tom Williams
• Matt Williams (COVID drop-out)

Start: 04:45 End: 21:20 – unsupported

Excited, eager and underslept we emerged from our hostel in Osmotherley and rapidly realised that we had a mile of walking to do, in the early morning light, before we would even lay hands on the starting stone.

   

? The early parts of the walk saw us climbing up onto the ridge of the beautiful Cleveland Way as the sun rose, breaking over the lowlands to our right. Morning haze sat in the valleys as we trudged towards the rising sun. A stunning start to our hike that hid the perils ahead.

Stopping for breakfast some opted for the first of many sandwiches. A chance to build energy reserves for our march.

? We took a brief detour with a slightly unwanted climb up the hill to see the Wainstones, and to uncover who the mysterious figure was watching us as we crossed the valley. It turned out to be just some bloke with an unnatural ability to stay very still like a silent watcher on the moors. We trudged on.

 

We hit the first signs of trouble in the flat stretch following the old moorland railway. After a significantly long period of flat ground Lewis somehow put a foot wrong sending his hip out of place. Some complaining, emergency stretches and commandeering of the walking poles later he was working on a new Gallagher brothers-esque walking style to alleviate the aches and pains.



Then, after a bit too long staring down the flat straight track of a long gone railway line, we turned a corner and laid our eyes on the the pub, our halfway point. A building astride the top of the next ridge (albeit an hours further walk away) and with the promise of even more sandwiches to break the morning diet of strawberry pencils, third-tier Haribo and dried out peanut butter bagels.

Fully sandwiched up, including with ample supplies of the Lion Inn’s apparently famous ‘cheese savoury,’ we headed on the path towards our greatest fear. We had heard much of the ‘boggy section’ leading to some quite extensive research via Google Maps, Ordnance Survey and YouTube to make sure we were fully prepared for what lay ahead (it was nearly as intensive as our pre-walk sock research). Stopping only once to save a baby rabbit in distress, we left the road following the course of a thankfully dried out river bed to what we could only imagine was certain, muddy death.

Recent spells of dry weather meant that it was a good few miles before we became blocked by wet ground. The spring line causing us to have to plan each step in a way that we weren’t accustomed to so far. Having passed a few fetid ponds and another towering cairn we emerged largely dry, largely unscathed and most importantly without breaching our Scarpas.



We thought at that point that we had broken through the most difficult leg but instead we were about to enter something much worse than a largely dry bog. Unbeknownst to us we faced eight miles of broken footpaths, dry riverbeds and uneven stones. All on tired feet that had carried us thirty miles already.

Flyingdales haunted us from a distance. A speck of white that we knew was well before our end point.



This is where the real pain began, five men in the peak of fitness beginning to break emotionally, physically and rapidly losing the energy to talk to each other.

Breaking the thirty mile barrier was the only reassurance that this could be done. Our bodies were telling us no but our minds still had it covered.

We broke out our second sandwiches and kidded ourselves that this next section was the final stretch.

The stepping stones over Wheeldale Beck distracted us momentarily in the sea of grinding heather but the hills and the constantly rolling moors were really taking their toll now.



Chris, in a bid to up morale, pulled out a portable speaker and played the greatest hits of local musician Paul Tilley. Singing along to the chorus of ‘Bobby Moore’ made the miles passed underfoot momentarily more bearable. The mis-hit notes from five exhausted men spooked local grouses in the bushes around us, sending them into mad skyward flurries.

The last few miles of the walk became blurred. Minds wiped themselves clean of thoughts, feet hoped to forget. Photos stopped being taken, why would we want to preserve how we felt in these moments?
The final ascent was only achievable after devouring a final packet of wine gums between the team. The steps up became welcome relief as the incline pulled on different muscles to those worn by the flat ridgeline.

As we approached the aerial at the walks end the final sprint finish felt like purgatory. The aerial, now in the low evening light, felt like it remained a few hundred metres out of reach for too long. Our trials weren’t over yet. Chris, overly excited by the prospect of removing his shoes one final time, rushed us to the wrong finishing stone. As he went to lay his hands on what was clearly a trig point, camera at the ready, it dawned on him the painful truth. He had added a painful fifty metres to the walk, fifty metres dashed on deadened legs. We returned to the path and found our end amongst the long grass.



But one final test remained.

Dead to the world, the sun setting on the moors and on our joie de vivre, we were refused salvation. A taxi wasn’t coming for us. Another mile stood to our hotel and a final sandwich promised to mark the day’s end. A mile emerging out of the gloom. We trampled on into the encroaching night, the darkness of Ravenscar taking what was left of our souls.