Slithery Crossing. 12th September 2022. Phil Renshaw & Andrea McCartney

It is with deep regret that I can report a successful crossing by myself, Philip Renshaw and Andrea McCartney.

Start time 12pm Sunday September 11th 2022
Finish time 6pm (ish) Monday September 12th
Crossing time 18 hours

With the Church of St. Peter calling 12 bells we set out from Osmotherley with hope and resolve
and for the following five hours of darkness the wind blew a hooligan, the rain drove at us unrelentingly from all sides
but the hope and resolve held.
The unsuitability of Andrea’s lighting arrangements in the face of the conditions became alarmingly apparent on the steep and slippy descent from Carlton Bank, making for slow and cautious downward progress under the guidance of the one headlamp and with further occasional pauses on the exposed sections of the high banks of the Cleveland Hills where the wind sought to hurl us plunging to our doom, the clock was against us.
Dawn crept reluctantly over the moors from the East and with the familiar sights of Ingleby Incline and Bloworth Crossing appearing through the swirling clouds we pressed hard on hoping to make up for lost time. Leaving the old ironstone railway to cross to Young Ralph however it was evident that the peat and water had other ideas.
Eventually and after a short pause to pose with Fat Betty for a selfie we splashed and flailed our way over Cock Head Moor to meet with Andy our trusted support at Hamer House. Thus briefly fortified with cheery conversation, vitals and tea we struck out to meet the Blue Man int’moss and the crossing to Wheeldale. The sun even put in a half-hearted appearance as if by way of encouragement.
Our wet sock marinated feet were by now starting to burn as if we were walking on bees and at Ellerbeck we opted for a foot soak and a sock change while the kettle boiled and the coffee brewed.
Gaining the high point of Lilla Howe the mast at Ravenscar could be seen on the far horizon…a horizon that stayed afar and that never came one yard closer than it had to until we were almost on it. As if by call of symmetry the rain returned and mobbed by loquacious sheep we stumbled, cursed and limped like hob foot pigeons down to the bar of the Raven’s Hall Hotel, where the price of the beer amply distracted from the pain of the feet and we hopefully provided
a worthy topic of conversation for the gathering dinner guests.

We thoroughly enjoyed loathing every single second of it and will be back for a return crossing in hopefully more clement weather.

Phil Renshaw

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