Archive for August, 2016

Crossing, Tuesday July 26th 2016

Sunday, August 14th, 2016

May we please record our Lyke Wake Walk crossing, made on Tuesday July 26th 2016?

‘We’ in this case are Michael Haslam, and Martyn and Toby Whitehead. The former pair are in their 6th decade and increasingly prone to ‘challenges’, the latter is 17 and felt sorry for them!

We set off as the sun rose at 5.15 a.m., and after a minor map reading error, made good progress to Huthwaite Green. Then up the hill to the tops in beautiful rising sunshine, and to the trig point at Carlton Bank. The photo at this point shows all three in great spirits and full of confidence. Descending the path to the road, we found ourselves at Lord Stones café and welcomed the associated facilities.
We continued up onto the top of Cringe Moor, with great views to the sea in the North, and back to where we had walked to the East. Full of energy we elected to climb to the top of the Wainstones, rather than stick to the side of the Broughton Plantation, a decision that we would come to question much later. Still good weather, although perhaps a little windy on top. We made checkpoint 2 by about 8.30 and stopped for a breakfast of slightly squashed croissants and pains au chocolate on the slope up to Carr Ridge.
Fortified, we continued up onto Urra Moor and made good progress on the excellent path past Round Hill to the railway. The first aid kit made an appearance at this stage to repair Toby’s boot which had developed a crocodile like grin.
The railway was easy walking and the weather kind with good views down both sides. But the view south was marred slightly by distant rain clouds. This rain met us as we left the railway to cross the moor to the Rosedale Head road. The path here was vague, but, encouraged by stone piles and a desire to get dry, we strode on. Near the road we first sighted our support vehicles for the first time. What a welcome sight! We made checkpoint 3 by about 12.10.
After lunch and a change of gear at checkpoint 3, we met Fat Betty, and then followed the road until the path across the moor was marked by the road markings and stone. The path was clear, and although we were anxious about this boggy section, it was in fact extremely comfortable to walk on, being spongy and not too wet. The marker stones were generally easy to see, and we enjoyed this section far more than we expected. We met our support vehicle at Hamer, and after a brief stop, continued on.
The path here was not quite so clear, but once on target, we found the Blue man I ‘th’ moss. And followed the rocky path by Wheedale plantation, eventually making the road crossing. For the first time, we were feeling a bit weary, but also still in good form. The path across Simon Howe was steep, but once there, we could see Fylingdales and had a reasonable idea of the distance to checkpoint 5. Turned out it was quite a long way, but we found the railway and crossed up to the Eller Beck car park and our supporters at about 5.00 p.m. Spirits were still high, although fatigue was evident. But only 7 miles to go and we’re still in reasonable shape.
The road here is busy and the bridge tricky, but once across and off the road we made good progress up to Lilla Cross. But conversation was more intermittent now, and all three of us were focussing our energy on moving forwards. But the path East was long and hard and dull! So many stones to step over, and spam much heather. Beautiful in moderation, but across this stage, the path is straight and long and heathery. Did I mention the heather? This stage seemed to go on for ever, and we were actually glad for the change of terrain. The descent into Jugger ravine wasn’t as bad as we expected and the steps out were a welcome change. And so to checkpoint 6, at 8.00pm. By now we were exhausted and must wanted to finish before dark, so we kept going.
The final two miles was more heather, and we were glad and relieved to finish at about 8.40, about 15 ½ hours after we started.
Thanks to the LWW club for developing this challenge and the guidance in the book, which is excellent. I can particularly recommend the talc in socks advice. Thank you.
And mainly thanks to our support team, Michael, Shirley, Melanie, Jessica and Zoe, who had a long day, and provided great sustenance and encouragement.

My Lyke Wake Walk………………..

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

I started my walk at the camp site in Osmotherley, the time was 2012hrs, Friday 5th August 2016. My son and his girlfriend had driven me up and were camping overnight. The plan was to meet me the following day in Ravenscar. I had plotted a route on my trusty Garmin – all I had to do now was follow it.

I walked up the road past Cod Beck Reservoir to the Start Stone, 2 photos later and I was on my way. All went well along The Cleveland Way, I even spotted a few LWW route markers. Just after 2200hrs, I had to get the headlamp out, it was dark. It was a cloudless, moonless night with lots of stars. It’s amazing how the mind plays tricks on you in the dark, every noise seemed to be amplified and I was convinced more than once I was being stalked. Was it the devilish sheep with their brilliant green eyes or something else I will never know.

All was uneventful until the headlamp started to pack up, and it went into power save mode – 1 hour of battery life left. It still gave me enough light to see the ground in front so I carried on. Along the disused railway line and the path just North of The Lion Inn – I couldn’t see it. I continued uphill along the road, over a bit of moor and some more road until I reached a large monolith. It was about 0300hrs and the headlamp was past it’s 1hour of battery life left. I sat and rested against the Monolith wrapped up as best I could in all the clothes I had under my poncho – I got a bit cold in the end. I closed my eyes for perhaps 30 minutes.

Anyway 0430hrs came along, the sun came up on a beautiful bright day and I started across the moors. I soon warmed up and the excess clothes came off. It was a bit boggy in places but better than I had expected and I managed to pick my through – following the well trodden paths of others who had gone before me. I met a dog who barked at me and then ran off towards what appeared to be a gamekeeper in the distance walking off to the right – we acknowledged with a waved to each other. The path was hard work in places especially amongst the stones on Wheeldale Moor, alongside and past the forest.

My only real adventure was getting lost around Skivick Crag – for the life of me I couldn’t find my way down. I trampled through the bracken down and up again countless times, in the end I managed to pick my way to the bottom only to discover no way across and no way up the other side. I managed to scramble through the undergrowth along the stream bank, ending up right knee deep in a drainage channel for a better word for it before finding a few stones across the stream. The other side appeared no better with more bracken and to my dismay thistles and gauze bushes I scrambled on. In all I was lost for 30-40minutes having gone almost nowhere. When eventually I was reunited with the path it was obvious where I had gone wrong – I think tiredness had got the better of me for a while. Onwards and upwards in any case.

Next into view came RAF Fylingdales a landmark on the horizon. It was just after 0900hrs. I was approaching the Simon Howe Cairn and standing stones and I met 4 fellow walkers going in the other direction the first people I had spoken to in 10 hours of walking. They gathered I was walking the Lyke and congratulated me on getting this far. I presumed they were doing the same in the opposite direction I never did ask though. The path got a little hard to find past Fylingdales and was again a bit boggy – this was the only part of the walk that had no clearly defined path and it was hard going for 30 minutes.

At Lilla Cross the end came into view, a radio mast – I was never more relieved. However this was shorted lived as it transpired I still had a lot of walking on tired legs to go, the radio mast just never got any closer. Over the A171 and up the last hill i got the end the finish stone and 2 more photos, the time was 1148hrs approx, Saturday 6th August 2016 – I had completed the Lyke Wake Walk in just under 16hours. I carried on my walk into Ravenscar and to the old station only to find the cafe was not open, it appeared to have closed. In which case I sat in the shade under the tree and finished the last of my water and food 2 bags of skittles and a sandwich wrap.

My son and his girlfriend picked me up a little while later and we all went for coffee.

• finishing, and;
• walking in the dark -it was brilliant.

Many Thanks,
Peter Louth