Archive for May, 2017

Crossing Saturday 27th July 2013 Nick Coombes & Chris Wood

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

What follows is the Lyke Wake Report of Chris Wood and Nick Coombes, of West Ayton and East Ayton respectively, following their maiden crossing of Saturday 27th July 2013…

Now here’s a tale I’d like to tell,
Like many heard before
It tells of how two youngsters
Set off to conquer the moor.

Two pals they were from Ayton village
One’s East, and one’s from West,
They came not to set records,
But to put themselves to the test.

Handsome and bold, fearless and brave
These young men were – ‘tis true,
And the years they held between ‘em
Only totalled a hundred and two.

They drove off from their village
In the middle of a moonlit night
The stars shone brightly to guide their way
It was a magnificent sight.

They parked by Cod Beck reservoir
And filled up on sarnies and tea
They planned to start at 4 o’clock sharp
But first they both needed a pee.

That done, they started up the slope,
as Brian’s book says you should.
The skies were clear and dawn was breaking
As they journeyed along Scarth Wood.

They passed on through and climbed the steps
With nary a thought of stopping
And as the sun rose on Drake Howe Hill
They spotted Roseberry Topping.

At checkpoint 2 they stopped to put on
Suncream and drink water.
Then undeterred and without a word
They went on like lambs to the slaughter.

They lengthened their stride cross Urra Moor
The pace got slightly faster.
Bloworth Crossing came and went,
Thoughts turned to beer and pasta.

At the Lion Inn they met their team
Just seven hours had passed.
The supporters gave out sandwiches
Which they gobbled down real fast.

Refreshed, they stood and thanked their team,
Clean socks on their smelly feet.
Then on they pressed to the old Ralph Cross –
Ahead lay the path of peat.

The summer heat had helped them;
T’was mostly dry and spongey.
But here and there still lurked some spots
Of bog, which were quite gungey.

And so of course it came to pass,
As the Gods of the moors may please,
That Chris fell into a deepish hole
And sank right up to his knees.

His partner Nick ran to lend a hand
But Chris climbed out unaided.
He seemed to have gained a pair of socks –
Dark brown and fairly jaded.

As they continued across the peat
They suffered the briefest of showers,
But little did they know what lay in store
In the following couple of hours.

Onward now the heroes pressed
Past checkpoint 4 they strode
Their target was now Eller Beck
But their pace had slightly slowed.

And as they passed the Man i’ th’ Moss
Their cheerfulness was banished
As, despite the line of dots on the map,
The path had completely vanished!

From north to south across the moor
By heather they were confronted
Some of it old, some of it tall,
And some of it quite stunted.

No trace of a passage could they espy –
The heather had covered it all.
No choice remained but to stagger on through
Trip, stumble, slip and fall.

They gained a lot of knowledge there
About Yorkshire’s moorland heather:
That it scratches your legs to hell and back
And seems to go on forever.

But with never-ending fortitude
They finally prevailed,
Their courage never faltered;
Their spirit never failed.

And as they neared checkpoint 5
Where more sustenance awaited,
A beautiful adder crossed their path
Which left them both elated.

Now at this point it’s fair to say,
The two were feeling shattered.
A cup of tea and a slice of cake
Were all that really mattered.

And there she was, the maiden fair,
Standing by the beck
Across the moor came Nick and Chris
And they were neck and neck.

Nick’s wife and son were there again
Five hours since the pub.
They fed the walkers and saw them off
Refreshed by tea and grub.

The day of toiling in the sun
Had left our heroes dirty,
The homeward push was on them now,
The clock stood at 5.30.

They trudged on up to Lilla Cross
In view of the “big cheese grater.”
They knew that they would finish now
The question was “sooner – or later?”

They wondered how other travellers
Could do it in rain or snow.
Because, despite the good weather,
The legs were beginning to go.

But finally, despite the pain
The Beacon hove into view,
They crawled along those final miles
And reached it at 8.32.

Still not content with the victory
They pressed on to the Raven Hall bar.
It took thirty minutes for that last mile –
The hardest one by far!

Exhausted, grimy, weary and worn,
They sat and supped their beer,
And said to each other, with a strange sort of grin
“Shall we do it again – next year?”

Crossing Report Saturday the 6th May 2017

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

I am pleased to report the successful crossing of the Lyke Wake Walk on Saturday the 6th May 2017. Albeit with two men down. Will, Pete, Matty and I set off from the Youth Hostel at 5.50 Am, twenty minutes behind schedule. However, this was good going after two much red wine in the Golden Lion the night before.
> We set off with spirits high and the sun was shining. In all fairness our spirits were a bit too high, as we spent too much time chin wagging instead of pressing on at a good pace. Nevertheless, this guaranteed that our support crew (Nics, Hels Kiera and Olive the dog) were ready and waiting with sausage sandwiches and tea at checkpoint two.
> Heading off from checkpoint two we initially went in the wrong direction. Luckily enough we realised quickly without adding too much more in distance. By the time we reached checkpoint three after the Lion Pub the sun had gone in and the reality had set in how much further we had to go. We then headed over the bog (which was definitely boggy) and arrived at checkpoint four to find out support crew had not yet arrived. A quick phone call confirmed they had got side tracked in an art studio! Subsequently, we pushed on over the next stretch. This is where it began to take its toll. Wills ankle appeared sprained after some spectacular bog jumping and Petes joints seized up. The average pace dropped down from a steady 3 mph to a slow 1 mph. Luckily enough the support crew broke off from the art viewing and found a road to meet us at about 30 miles in. Pete (tin man) was done and could not go on but Will wanted to press on. He did not want to drop out as he had previously taken the micky out of Matty from dropping out of another challenge and was worried he will be in for the same treatment! However, after much persuasion and the realisation that it would take us about 24 hours at his pace he honourable admitted defeat (Matty waited until the next day to give him some stick back).
> Matty and I continued the concluding stages alone. As the night drew in, the blisters and aches became painful and our morale took a blow. It was just a case of that we needed to get through it. Luckily enough Matty was still going strong and managed to pull me along with him. Those latter stages in the dark felt like they were never going to end because we could not see where we were heading.
> At 10.20 Pm we were triumphant and concluded the walk in the thick mist. Our support crew were there with our two fallen comrades flashing their headlamps to welcome us to the finish. We were all too tired to finish with a celebratory pint so just headed off to bed. However, we enjoyed a great breakfast together the following morning.
> Thanks to our great support crew – as we could not have done it without them.
> A word of advice would be, don’t underestimate this challenge. we tried to do some practice walks together but due to other commitments we never got around to it. The big joke was Will said I don’t need to practice walking as I have been doing it since I was one years old! He admitted afterwards that practice walks were needed. We are all thirty something physically able men and apart from one the rest suffered with severe aches and pains.
> I would also highly recommend purchasing the sketch map. It was much easier to use than an OS map.
> Will Bb (Harrogate), Will B (Harrogate), Peter B AKA tin man (Selby) and Matty R (Sheffield).