I’ve always wanted to do this walk since my dad hiked it for charity many years ago when I was just a wee lad. The walk itself is a 40mile slog starting in Osmotherly and ending in Ravenscar via a high moorland route across the North York Moors.
When Paddy rang me up to see if I fancied it my reply was “when”?, and so a plan was hatched and without a thought it was upon us. Now as you may of noticed I’ve been a little lapse with my blog for sometime, mainly due to the fact it’s hard to write an outdoor blog when your not actually doing anything in the outdoors. With my new job now going extremely well I can announce the return of the adventures of ukmase.
We used Cote Ghyll campsite in Osmotherly as our base and I brought along the Outwell Nevada tent for some luxury, it easily fit 3 people and 2 dogs. We hampered down for an early nights sleep but I was hardly slept thanks to Pepper being a little excitable.
We set off on the stroke of midnight in true dirging tradition and headed of into the dark, cold moors that lay before us. The first part of the walk follows the Cleveland way for some 12 miles, the ground underfoot is great but there is a lot of ascent involved. It was quite breezy on the escarpment of the NY moors but the sky was lit with a perfect array of stars.
After a quick hot brew stop near clay bank we were soon at Bloworth Crossing, from here we struck off into the heart of the moors following an old railway track. The mist rolled in the second we left Bloworth Crossing and it was the thickest mist I have ever seen, I was struggling to make out the puddles in the track, I must admit I was glad to have Paddy with me, manly because my head torch battery ran out and secondly because I would of been shitting myself if id been walking solo.
By the time we had reached the road which the lion inn sits on it was just getting light, however the mist was that thick we missed the lion Inn which was our meet up point with Gill and the chance to pick up some food. This was the low point of the walk, Pepper was hungry and I only had jelly babies to give her. Anyway we struck off out into the moors again with empty bellies.
The path now turned into ruin and we were soon splodging through bogs, I would recommend changing into wellies for this section. The going was really difficult and sapped a lot of my energy, at some point we crossed the North York Moors railway and Ella Beck just before our last check point for a very well deserved rest break and some hot soup. Pepper looked knackered and I covered her with my coat but she soon jumped up when we headed back out for the last stretch towards Ravenscar.
The last section seemed to take forever and we were moving quite fast, it was dark for the last 15 minutes of the walk and by the end i was pretty weary. It took 18 hours and a lot of hard graft on some of the sections. I swore never to do it again but I’m starting to think a few weeks on that a summer crossing would be nice and a lot quicker. Well done to Paddy and Pepper and thanks to Gill for supporting our crossing.
I did this walk in non waterproof innov8 trainers, no issues really but it did mean on some sections I had very cold and wet feet mainly due the continuous bogs which never gave my feet the chance to warm up and dry out but on the plus side I wasn’t having to lug big heavy boots for 40 miles.
Its good to be back in the thick of it.