Archive for the ‘Coast to Coast’ Category

Day 14 the Final Day Coast to Coast – September 2016

26/09/2016

The final day is always a mixed blessing – soreness in the bones, some thoughts perhaps of getting back to work or normality, even some thoughts of ‘never again’! Nonetheless, the day is here and we leave Egton Bridge to head for Bay Town. The day is relatively straightforward with no big climbs other than Grosmont hill and then a gentle meander through Littlebeck Wood with a halt at the Falling Foss Tea shop to entertain us.

Once past Littleneck, we climb up on to the last piece of the NY Moors before seeing the coast in front of us. It always looks a similar sight to the one we left two weeks ago in St Bees – but that was Wainwright’s tidy mind to give the challenge some symmetry.


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So as we walked into Robin Hood’s Bay, all that remained was to walk down to the beach, wet our feet in the North Sea and fling our pebbles carried from the Irish Sea at St Bees into the North Sea at Robin Hood’s Bay.

The triumphant Coasters September 2016

Apologies for the delay in posting but as some of you know, we had a close family bereavement on the penultimate day and this overshadowed everything over the last week.

Well done to all the Coasters and may the memories, good and bad, last longer than your blisters!

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Coast to Coast – Days 10-13 Richmond to Osmotherly, Blakey Ridge and Egton Bridge

23/09/2016

Richmond to Osmotherly is one a 26 mile slog across the Vale of Mowbray – and somehow comes as a ‘surprise’ to many Coasters for some reason – it is well documented as a hard day and THAT it is. With and average daily speed of 2 mph so far on the C2C  this promises to be a long 13 hour day unless you pick up the pace when you can on the flat.

Alan waits patiently for departure in Richmond - he obviously knows something!

Alan waits patiently for departure in Richmond – he obviously knows something!

I’m always struck that people who embark on the C2C don’t realise how hard a challenge it is. Henry Stedman says “let us be clear – the Coast to Coast is a tough trek, particularly if undertaken in one go”. Ramblers describe it as ‘challenging’ and they’re not wrong – so it’s always a bit of a surprise that Coasters suddenly make comments about not having time to take photographs, or that it’s a tough day, or that it’s not a race. It’s simply a matter of making sure that you get into your lodgings in time for a shower, meal and recuperation in good time.

So the day across the Vale of Mowbray is long and flat and can take up to 12 hours unless you manage your route well and take advantage of the flat and easily walked terrain.

Still a fair way to go yet Ladies!! Not sure Tai Chi, will help!

Still a fair way to go yet Ladies!! Not sure Tai Chi, will help!

 

Well - there you go - 25 miles done and that's how you may feel!

Well – there you go – 25 miles done and that’s how you may feel!

So we made it for showers, blister dressing and a hobble to the Golden Lion for a sleep infused meal.

Coming up next is a superb 20 mile day across the Cleveland Hills and on to the N Yorks Moors with some morale crushing ascents and descents. We left Bob and Christine to make their way to Blakey Ridge by vehicle due to tired muscles, sore knees and a desire to complete the remaining two days – a sensible option!

The view to The Wainstones from the top of Kirby Bank

The view to The Wainstones from the top of Kirby

Today’s pace was slow at less than 2 mph (not helped by tea and scones before lunch at Lord Stones) but that’s what the group craved and that’s what they got. Nobody admitted to the fact that the cream scones were weighing heavily on their body’s but the pace gradually slowed. When we hit the flat old rail track, it slowed dramatically apart from the spearhead contingent of Steve, Alan, Paul, Sam, Sue, and Kathy who kept up a consistent and steady pace to the end.

Spot the Famous Grouse!

Spot the Famous Grouse!

Food and drink at the Lion at Blakey is plentiful and good so another good meal and rest was the recipe for most!

The next day is a very easy 10 miles to Egton Bridge – downhill all the way – yes that’s true. So we arrived mid afternoon with a lot of time to recuperate and relax before our final day of 17 1/2 miles. Breakfast is later in this sleepy part of the U.K. So a leave time of 0845 looks likely and at our rate of walking I estimate arrival into the top of the Bay at around 1700.

As far as I’m aware at the moment, all 13 Coasters will be walking so that will give this group an 84% achievement rate – ahead of the average – so fingers crossed!

Coast to Coast – Day 8 – Keld to Reeth

19/09/2016
Swaledale as we walked towards Rampsholme Bridge

Swaledale as we walked towards Rampsholme Bridge

Another easy day for the Coasters with a 0930 start and just short of 12 miles through Swaledale to arrive in Reeth early afternoon.

The day is one of the easiest and most picturesque on the whole C2C so   I just met the group find their own pace and determine their arrival time in Reeth.

Christine's washing hung out to dry as we left Keld

Christine’s washing hung out to dry as we left Keld

Swaledale barn complete with Swaledale Ewe

Swaledale barn complete with Swaledale Ewe

The walk down Swaledale is a really pleasant one, pheasants, ewes, dippers, the sound of the babbling River Swale, the click of walking poles ……… all adds to the experience!

We organised lunch at the Kings Arms in Gunnerside and after a pleasant interlude it was on up to the scar and onwards to Reeth.

Swaledale

Swaledale

As we reached Hill Top, I thought I’d get Bob (aka Jonesy) to pose for his grandson Deg and show him that he was still very much young at heart. PS – he’s still there – haven’t seen him since!

Young at heart

Young at heart

A short stroll later we arrived in Reeth after just over 6 hours for ice creams, showers, Compeed, beer, or whatever you fancied. Tomorrows day is a short 10.5 mile stroll into Richmond along the River Swale – see you in Richmond.

Coast to Coast – September 2016 – Day 5

16/09/2016

Day 5 from Patterdale to Shap is a 16 mile trek over the highest point of the C2C at Kidsty Pike with a sharp descent over Kidsty Howes to the shores of Haweswater.

First we need to climb some after breakfast to Boredale Hause and Angle Tarn.

Angle Tarn from from Stoney Rigg - the sun just breaking through the cloud

Angle Tarn from from Stoney Rigg – the sun just breaking through the cloud

We left Christine and Bob in Patterdale today – Bob not wanting to risk  his knee on the steep descent from Kidsty Howes and Christine recovering to get fit for the walk on Saturday to Kirkby Stephen. Bob took a taxi to Shap and walked back to meet us at the bottom of Kidsty and probably walked further than we did overall! Good effort Bob – although the crate of beer he promised us seemed to have been taken before we got there!

The team at Kidsty Pike minus Bob and Christine

The team at Kidsty Pike minus Bob and Christine

 

Looking down to Haweswater from Kidsty Howes

Looking down to Haweswater from Kidsty Howes

The group are walking well overall, with Steve, Alan, Paul and Sam all leading the way at the front. Andrea is our flat ground expert with the rest of us tagging along between. The average speed today was 1.8 mph so it’s all looking positive for tomorrow with some flatter land and less rocky terrain as we leave the Lake District behind.

Everyone seems to be enjoying each other’s company and Alan and Anne apparently shared a bath this evening! I thought it best not to try and seek clarification on the statement! Meanwhile, Paul and Sue our married couple continue to have an early meal and bedtime to recharge their batteries.

Everyone seems to be managing their feet and aches well and so far we have no major issues to worry about.

What a view!

What a view!

So a good meal tonight and a 21 mile day tomorrow awaits us.

See you tomorrow from Kirkby Stephen!

 

Coast to Coast – September 2016 – Day 4

15/09/2016

Dawn broke with an eerie mist over the Grasmere Fells but Carol from the BBC Weather service assured me of another warm and sunny day for day 4 on the C2C!

We were back to full strength this morning with everyone walking and looking forward to another ‘easy’ day in Lakeland. It’s only 8 miles or so up Tongue Gill to Grisedale Tarn before dropping down the valley to Patterdale. Having said that, it’s still a decent climb to Grisedale Hause on a rough track.

I always tend to start the day walking at the back just to make sure everyone is walking ok and not carrying any obvious injury’s and so it seemed today.

The C2C can certainly break a pair of boots - duct tape though is the number one thing I pack on every expedition!

The C2C can certainly break a pair of boots – duct tape though is the number one thing I pack on every expedition! I hasten to add that these boots don’t belong to our group!

The walk up Tongue Gill certainly made us a touch warm with the humid conditions and the sun trying to break through the cloud. After some clothing adjustment and baggage redistribution, we all made the Hause for elevenses in the sun.

The decision had already been made to walk down the valley route rather than climb St Sunday Crag, so Steve led off on what turned out to be a sheep trod over bog and down a rock outcrop whereas the wily amongst us took the path in comfort! So trainee guide Steve was unanimously sacked from his role after the second misadventure in two days 😉

After sharing tonight’s laundry with all of us further down the slope during a not so private wild wee, Andrea soon caught us up just in time for lunch break at the Ruthwaite Climbing Lodge.

As it was such a lovely day with a spectacular view (not Andrea’s laundry) we made the most of an extended lunch in the sun.

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This photo is for Deaglan, Bob’s grandson back in Australia who is following his Grandad’s progress across the country. Deaglan – he is doing fine and putting us all to shame with his fitness and determination – you can be very proud of him!

 

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The view down Grisedale after lunch as we headed towards Patterdale

Once down in Patterdale, we took advantage of the hostelry to top up on fluids prior to checking in to our varies accommodations. I’m not sure how much the alcohol post exertion played in the part that followed but Steve made a revelation that surprised us all. He asked us for advice on how he should tell his wife that this was the best holiday he had ever had!!

Well, after much hilarity, and suggestions that he should text her, leave a Dear John letter, leave the country, etc, we decided that it may be best if she learns from reading this blog. When you do, please leave Steve’s belongings in a waterproof container outside the house for his eventual return.

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Refreshments in Patterdale

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This was the moment when Steve shared his innermost thoughts…….I’m not sure what advice Christine is giving him, but as you can see in the background, Paul is highly amused!

So after a light refreshment, we made our way to our accommodations and hot showers. Tomorrow, we leave the Lake District with regret but heartened in the knowledge that the Yorkshire Dales await us in a day or so. Who knows what further revelations may emerge as time goes on – we can only speculate – watch the blog for further instalments and learn whether Steve ever goes home or spends his life on a permanent loop of the Coast to Coast; will Andrea continue to air her laundry in public; will Alan’s jokes ever get better; will my wasp sting ever stop stinging – see tomorrow’s next instalment if we ever get to Shap!

If you would like to become part of the C2C adventure check out http://Www.sherpaexpeditions.com and see how. After all, Steve can’t be wrong, can he?



Coast to Coast September 2016 – day 3

14/09/2016
Stonethwaite, Borrowdale

Stonethwaite, Borrowdale

So a nice short day today from Stonethwaite over Greenup Edge to drop into Easedale and Grasmere.  Unfortunately, Christine felt that her muscles were a little tight after the first two days and so opted for a scenic bus tour to Grasmere via Keswick.

The day started a little misty but soon turned out to be a beautiful warm September day. It warmed up pretty quickly and promised to be a very good walk.

Beautiful Borrowdale

Beautiful Borrowdale

It wasn’t long before we reached the foot of Lining Crag and Bob was very happy to be able to fill his hat with cold water from the beck to yield an impromptu head shower

Bob takes an early morning head shower at Lining Crag - he said it was 'orgasmic'

Bob takes an early morning head shower at Lining Crag – he said it was ‘orgasmic’

It wasn’t too long until we made the summit for the team photo where Andrea tried her best to photo bomb Sue! Bob’s hat still looks full of water too!

The team minus Christine at the top of Lining Crag, Borrowdale

The team minus Christine at the top of Lining Crag, Borrowdale

The team managed the ascent pretty well and without incident. As usual, the descent into Washburn valley was a little messy with some of the group finding the peat and boggy conditions a little damp!

Even Helen, our Fall Prevention Manager could prevent herself from the occasional flirtation with the ground.

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We had lunch at the saddle before an easy descent into Grasmere and the opportunity to sample the many tea shops, pubs, and gift shops all available in the town.

Ellen ponders her next step as the gallery wait for a splash - which incidentally didn't happen!

Ellen ponders her next step as the gallery wait for a splash – which incidentally didn’t happen!

So day 3 ends, and baths, showers and good food awaits us again to recharge us for tomorrow’s walk to Glenridding and Patterdale.

I wonder what other jokes Alan can dredge up from his memory bank to keep us ‘entertained’.

Alan – sorry I’m late Malcolm but I had to stop and watch a hedgehog and a rat fighting in the road. Never seen anything like it in my life!

Malcolm – amazing – who won?

Alan – the hedgehog – on points!!!!! Boom boom!

Yes they are all like that – long days indeed 😀

 

for or more information see http://www.sherpaexpeditions.com

Coast to Coast May 2016 – The End

15/05/2016

It’s always a bitter sweet day when the final walk into Robin Hoods Bay arrives. The weather was dry with a hint of early morning drizzle for our last 17 1/2 miles from Egton Bridge to RHB.

Stepping across the River Esk

Stepping across the River Esk

After a couple of miles we reached Grosmont (lit. Big Hill) and with a calf popping 230m climb out of the town, it had us all puffing a little harder (except Trevor who loves hills more than Full English Breakfasts)!

At least we got to see a steam train departing at Grosmont

At least we got to see a steam train departing at Grosmont

So we climbed up on to Sleights Moor and gained our first view of Whitby Abbey on our way to Littlebeck. I had promised everyone a coffee stop at Falling Foss in the woods – a delightful tea garden but the signs warned us of an impending wedding at the garden and closure at 1130! After a hasty dash through the woods, we made it for a brunch. With only 7 miles walked in 4 hours as we left the garden, I was anticipating a late arrival into the Bay.

Falling Foss Tea Garden

Falling Foss Tea Garden

Trevor scraping the barrel

Trevor scraping the barrel

Negotiating the mossy stones across Little Beck near Falling Foss - Mark shows the way

Negotiating the mossy stones across Little Beck near Falling Foss – Mark shows the way to Kelly

With Jo’s, Liz’s and Karen’s blistered feet, Kelly’s mushed toes, Mark’s ‘dead legs’ there was only Cheryl, Trevor and me walking on air! I needn’t have worried though. The walk over the moor was as if the group were on drugs – oh wait – they were – Ibuprofen at least as far as Jo was concerned – enough to dull the pain caused by her blisters Bob and Betty who were not giving her an easy time at all!

After a good yomp across the Moors, Trevor needed to treat himself to a reward – yep – a light snack by way of an ice cream

'Just a top up Malcolm' - it's Bootiful - just like these fleece lined trousers to keep me warm!

‘Just a top up Malcolm’ – it’s Bootiful – just like these fleece lined trousers to keep me warm!

So as they say in war movies, “over the top we went” and down to the cliffs of the North Sea Coast

The North Sea always looks like the Mediterranean on arrival  - look at that sun kissed sea!

The North Sea always looks like the Mediterranean on arrival – look at that sun kissed sea!

The final 3 miles melted away as we drew close to the end of this particular pilgrimage paying homage to Alfred Wainwright. He has been revered, respected, cursed and dreaded for what he has led the group to do – but for all that they have succeeded!

Bay Town at last - 192 miles and many aches and pains later

Bay Town at last – 192 miles and many aches and pains later

After checking into our accommodation, it was down to the end and the ritual of depositing our carried pebbles from the Irish Sea into the North Sea.

Liz escapes the pebble throwing ceremony just as the waves engulf the rest!

Liz escapes the pebble throwing ceremony just as the waves engulf the rest!

Liz's pebble caught on camera mid chuck!

Liz’s pebble caught on camera mid chuck!

So with a mix of emotions, it was off to celebrate the achievement and contemplate what next…………..

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It’s been a wonderful crossing with only a half day of rain, and plenty of sunshine to help us across. There has been torment, pain, agony and ecstasy en route and finally the joy of the finish.

The Coast to Coast is a challenging walk over 192 miles, three national parks, mountains, hills, bogs, vales and coastline – each bringing their own brand of challenge.

Well done, and congratulations to Cheryl, Jo, Karen, Kelly, Liz, Mark, and Trevor for an epic journey that you’ll never forget. It has been a pleasure to guide you for the past two weeks and good luck with your next challenge – don’t let it be your last – no matter what you do.

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If you would like to take the challenge, contact Sherpa Expeditions at http://www.sherpaexpeditions.com

Coast to Coast – May 2016 Day 12

13/05/2016

The penultimate day and we are back to full strength for the 11 miles from Blakey Ridge to Egton Bridge. It’s all downhill today (literally) and suits some but not all!

Mark suffered from his post ‘race’ exertions with Trevor yesterday along the old railway track to Blakey. Muscle fatigue hit his legs ( not due to Black Sheep he declared) and he kept a watching brief on the group from the tail 🙊

The wind through the night was pretty wild and no less so when we left Blakey – gusting to 35mph and a wind chill of 4c taking it down to about 8c! This made it positively ‘baltic’ for our Australian Coasters – normal May temps for us Brits!

Passing Fat Betty and on through Great Fryup Dale, we stopped for tea at the Glaisdale Tea Garden and enjoyed scones, tea cakes, and cake in the summer sun!

Karen, Cheryl and Kelly from Australia enjoy a UK summer tea in the garden

Karen, Cheryl and Kelly from Australia enjoy a UK summer tea in the garden

Hardy Brits Liz, Trevor and Mark  enjoy summer sun

Hardy Brits Liz, Trevor and Mark enjoy summer sun (Trevor having just mopped up the spare cream, jam and milk! – using his knife too – what would his wife say?

So tea done and it was a short roll down the hill to Beggars Bridge, through the woods and into Egton Bridge and the Horseshoe Hotel for an early afternoon libation (sleep for Mark though!)

Tomorrow is our last day – 17 miles to Robin Hoods Bay and the termination of this crossing. It’ll be a sad farewell on Sunday after breakfast to this lovely group of people. They have been an absolute pleasure to lead across the 192 miles with laughter, fun, some pain, but above all some brilliant moments that will live forever hopefully in all of our memories.

Still, one more day to go and the opportunity to enjoy the walk into The Bay and celebrate a tremendous achievement by all of the ‘Magnificent Seven’

 

Coast to Coast – May 2016 – day 11

12/05/2016

After yesterday’s 26 mile day, a number of us are feeling the pain of a long hard walk across the Vale of Mowbray. It may be flat, but it requires a huge degree of effort, determination, stamina, and luck to finish the day without blisters, muscle strains or a collapse of morale!

So it was with sadness and regret that two of our Magnificent 7 opted for a rest and recuperation day. Today is not an easy day with 21 miles on offer and over 1000m of ascent over the ‘5 lumps’ on the way! So the ‘Famous Five’ tackled today’s challenge.

The weather forecast was dry with strong ne winds and cloud so it wouldn’t be as hot as yesterday with something like 15c – that in itself was good after some of us suffering sun burn from yesterday!

Setting off after the usual breakfast vitals, (but only 1 breakfast for Trevor today but Mark was back on the FEB after his healthy smoked haddock yesterday).

After hitting Carlton Moor (408m) we dropped down to Lord Stones cafe for tea and cake as a late elevenses.

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Coffee and cake at Lord Stones Cafe

From Lord Stones, it’s a climb up and down 4 times, each presenting different gradients and difficulty – Cringle Moor at 432m, Broughton Bank at 402m, Wain Stones at 390m, and finally Hasty Bank at 398m before our lunch break at Clay Bank Top. The visibility closed in with heavy cloud and mist with a strong NE wind so the view up to Wain Stones was a little restricted! From then it’s a climb back up to Urra Moor at 454m and heading due east towards Bloworth Crossing.

 

The view to Wain Stones from Kirby Bank

The view to Wain Stones from Kirby Bank

 

Mark - Horse Whisperer!

Mark – Horse Whisperer!

At Bloworth Crossing, Trevor clearly had expended his energy nursing his tight hamstring and felt a quick ‘Grandad Nap’ was the thing to do to restore his prowess.

Sleeping Beauty!

Sleeping Beauty!

From Bloworth Crossing, the remainder of the day is a steady walk along the old railway bed to Blakey Ridge. Most of us took it steady apart from Mark and Trevor who effectively supercharged their macho moods and raced each other along the track. Such was their fervour that together with a competitive edge and the low cloud, they both missed the turn up to our destination at Blakey Ridge. On arrival, we realised their schoolboy error and proceeded to shower, bath etc while I waited for them to realise that they had gone too far. Fortunately, knowing the area well, I knew exactly where they’d be and when the pair arrive 40 minutes after us, all that was said was ‘Tortoise and Hare’ to much amusement all round.

Wain Stones ascent

Wain Stones ascent

The group made light work of the climbs today and it’s proof positive that their fitness levels are increasing day by day.

The Famous Five

The Famous Five

So tomorrow us a relatively easy day at 11 miles, so a later than usual breakfast and a leisurely departure time – plenty of blister dressing time!

Hopefully, we’ll be back to the Magnificent 7 tomorrow too 😀 – getting close to the final day now and already it seems to have flown by. Well done Liz, Jo, Kelly, Trevor and Mark for such a strong day after the 26 miles of yesterday – truly amazing!

Coast to Coast May 2016 – Day 10

11/05/2016

Today is a real tough one -26 miles across the Vale of Mowbray! Most people who attempt the C2C have never walked 26 miles in a day and so the task is always an immense one. Hot feet from pounding the deserted roads and tracks, blisters and sores making their feelings known with every foot placement – and the mental battle knowing that not only is today tough but tomorrow is probably even harder at 21 miles but lots of ascent and descent – everyone’s favourite!

The morning started with Trevor losing his camera when he stopped to adjust his clothing – fortunately we were able to contact the local pub and hey presto a local dog walker had found it and was happy to return it to him.

We soldiered on head down and putting in the miles to get tonDanby Wiske which is halfway, by lunchtime. A quick lunch and it was off again through rape seed oil fields and each step a metre closer to Osmotherley.

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Everyone slowed a little after lunch, not due to lunch or anything else – just cumulative fatigue. However, alternative transport was considered but not particularly easy or comfortable

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The day wore on and after 10 1/2 hours, we walked (err limped) into Osmotherley and our accommodation for the evening. It’s been a very very tough day and maybe just a little too hard for some of the Magnificent 7.

Well we will see how overnight recovery works and see who dons their boots again for day 11.

I apologise for not sharing more photos, but the day is a tough one and very flat which led to few good photo opportunities. Hopefully normal service will be resumed tomorrow after a full English breakfast and some hills to keep us entertained!


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