Archive for June, 2016

Crossing 25th June 2016

Thursday, June 30th, 2016

We live in Osmotherley so the plan was always to end up at the Golden Lion for dinner so:

The alarm came as quite a shock at 03:00 but by 04:00 there were a total of five bright eyed and bushy tailed lads aged between 34 and 48 years ready to go at the cross in Ossy. We bundled into the 7 seater and toddled across the moors to the Ravenscar Mast. We hit the trail by 05:10 with the weather and wind on our side. The table was booked for between 20:30 and 21:00 so we knew wee needed to get our skates on so to speak.

The first 12 miles was a breeze although I could feel the blisters starting on the right foot and the iffy knee complaining by the stepping stones just before the North York Moors Railway crossing. Ibuprofen and Compede got me through to Blakey Ridge but I do remember constantly asking the other guys; “Is this the boggy bit” over and over as that was the bit I was least looking forward to.

Just before the road at Blakey Ridge, I disappeared up to my knees with a rather fetching squelch at which point I was informed that THIS is the boggy bit.

I had a bit of a battle once we got to the road. I could see the pub, it was there; just there and it looked 10 minutes away. The mind plays tricks at times but it was definitely the pub playing tricks as we schlepped the 2 miles round the road and the pub not only didn’t get closer but did in fact disappear behind us. Still, a welcome 20 minute break, some sardines, clean socks and shoes over a dousing of talc was worth the effort.

Next up, the wonderful stretch of the Cleveland Way with its wide paths that are easy to follow and superb views made the next 12 miles fly by and before I knew what was going on we were at Clay Bank. This is where the torture started. I am a bloody minded sod which is just as well as given the offer of a lift home at that point, my body and blisters would have won the argument and I would have jacked it in. The climbs were hard work for me and I am so grateful to the guys for taking turns in dropping back and keeping me strong. Wain Stones came and went, then Lordstones and the second scheduled break. My son ran up the hill to greet me and I staggered to the grass area and the arms of my wife. A cup of tea, fresh socks, slice of cake and more jelly babies than are good for you later, we set off and I have to say, this was the best section for me. Call it second (or perhaps third or fourth) wind but I kept up with the guys and in spite of the climb into the plantation area, the site of Scarth Wood Moor in the distance gave me all the push I needed for the last push.

We arrived at the Wake Stone at Cod Beck as a group surrounded by wives and children and I have to say at that point I felt on top of the world. 14 hours and 48 minutes after we started I felt great; by 15 hours and 20 minutes Not so great and didn’t even finish my pint and Chicken Kiev in the Golden Lion and had to be helped home up the hill.

Lessons to learn:
1. Sleep the night before – The LWW is made even harder on only two hours sleep.
2. Condition your feet – my wife told me to but I didn’t and the blisters are just awful.
3. Plan the stops – and get one in between the start and Blakey Ridge (assuming you take the East to West route).
Mike Cantelo

Successful East-West Lyke Wake crossing on Saturday 25th June.

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Four of us from Osmotherley and a friend from East Harlsey decided to undertake the crossing after some of our wives successfully completed a crossing at the same time last year. For three of us it was our first attempt and two of our group had previously completed crossings in the West-East direction although some years previously, with one of the group last crossing when he was just 12 years of age. Having initially planned to undertake the crossing unsupported, as the date got nearer caution became the better part of valour we decided that the offer of morale support and sustenance from our better halves was too tempting to refuse and so we arranged for support to meet us at both the Lion Inn and Lordstones.

We had decided to complete the crossing in an East-West direction as, living in Osmotherley, we thought the psychological impact of being able to “walk home” would be on our side, not to mention the ability to head to The Golden Lion for a well deserved beer and some good food at the finish.

One of our wives drew the short straw and collecting us all at 4am from the Market Cross we headed over to Ravenscar and the start point. We began our crossing at 5:08am with excitement and a hint of trepidation in our hearts and a beautiful early morning sun at our backs. The first 10 miles or so was pretty uneventful and we made good progress and bumped into a few groups who were making the crossing in the other direction and had trekked through the night! It was at this point that we begun to acknowledge the task we had set ourselves as we passed some rather beleaguered and weary souls who could barely muster a “Good morning”.

We headed on and soon came to the “boggy section” which certainly lived up to its name and gave our feet a good soaking as well a encounters with a couple of adders!! What we hadn’t banked on is the distance still to get to the Lion Inn after the point at which you first see it. Our spirits lifted as we exited the bogs onto the the road near Rosedale Head and could see the pub across the valley and the promise of a hot drink and homemade cake. We quickly realised that my comment of “it’s only about a mile away” was somewhat misjudged as we finally finished the 2.5 miles trudge round the road, arriving at 12:30pm.

After some lunch, a hot drink and fresh shoes and socks we set off again towards Bloworth Crossing. This part of the walk was wonderful with beautiful views, good paths and a steady pace. We joined the Cleveland Way in good spirits and we could soon see the outline of Black Hambleton and thoughts of home. We reached Claybank at about 3:30pm and braced ourselves for the undulating path to come across Hasty Bank, Wainstones, Cold Moor, Cringle Moor and Carlton Bank. Again this was a fabulous section of the route with spectacular views and plenty of people around offering encouragement and family waiting for us at Lordstones cafe with more hot drinks and fresh cake.

We set off from Lordstones at 6pm and set ourselves the target of finishing before 8pm. We were thinking how lucky we’d been with the weather as it was a beautiful, warm evening with blue skies and we’d received messages saying there had been heavy rain only a few miles away from us. By this stage we were all suffering with sore feet and assorted other ailments, but the sight of our families and some fresh food seemed to give us a much needed boost as we climbed onto Carlton Bank and then began the steady descent towards the finish. Spirits were high as we came down off the morning, through Scugdale and into the woods for the final section. The steep steps from the top of Swainby up towards to cattle grid seemed nowhere near as bad as anticipated and we marched on to the stone at Cod Beck joined by some of our wives and children. Irony then struck as suddenly the heavens opened to give us a good wetting (albeit somewhat refreshing) in the last five minutes of our journey!! We arrived at the stone just before 8pm for a total crossing time of 14 hours 48mins.

With a quick photo at the finish we bundled into the cars and headed down to the village and The Golden Lion. We perhaps had overlooked how busy the pub is on a Saturday evening with diners as we staggered in wet and muddy receiving some interesting looks, but to the delight that the table we had pre-booked was waiting for us. After a couple of beers and a meal it was clear that we were all ready for our beds and made the short journey back to our respective homes reflecting on a wonderful, but challenging day undertaken with good friends and the support of our families.

Paul Howlett