One of the biggest challenges I have set myself this year is to complete the Lyke Wake Walk. I shall be doing the walk in June with a couple of other blogger friends who also love to hike. Why? Because it sounds like fun – we want to do it and we think we can. And as I rediscovered last summer, hiking is something that makes me feel alive.
Walking. The best way to see the countryside.
The Lyke Wake Walk is a complete crossing of the North Yorkshire moors between the Ordnance Survey trig point on Scarth Wood Moor near Osmotherley, and Ravenscar on the east coast (North Sea). It is approximately 40-42 miles and includes all kinds of terrain thanks to the nature of moorland, oh and 5,000 metres of ascent along the way.
The classic route will take us from Scarth Wood Moor trig point or Sheepwash car park; summit track from Live Moor over Carlton Moor, Cringle Moor, Cold Moor and Hasty Bank; Smuggler’s Trod, Bloworth; Ironstone Railway; Esklets or South Flat Howe or Lion Inn; White Cross (Fat Betty); Shunner Howe; Hamer; Blue Man-i’-th-Moss; Wheeldale Stepping Stones; Fen Bogs; Eller Beck; Lilla Howe; Jugger Howe ravine; Stony Marl Moor; Beacon Howes or Ravenscar. Walking from west to east will mean the prevailing wind will be behind us, and also means the major ascents are in the first 10 miles (getting them over and done with!).
If we manage the walk within 24 hours, which is the challenge, we will become members of the Lyke Wake Club – as I am female I will become a Witch of the moors! I am told the average time for walkers is 12 hours (or just 5 hours for runners!); we think we will need 15-18 hours to complete it, which is still well within the time given and leaves us a little time for a nap should we decide we need one.
Walking along the Viking Way.
If you’ve been following Splodz Blogz for any length of time you will know I love a good hike. But so far my hiking has taken me a maximum of a little over 26 miles in one go. I have done the marathon distance a few times over recent years – Spires and Steeples, Yorkshire Three Peaks, London Moonwalk and also the Seabank Marathon if you go back a little while. Part of my head believes that adding another 14 miles to that will be no problem at all… after all it is just one foot in front of the other, and I have never got to the end and collapsed in a heap on the floor. But the rest of my head knows that 40 miles (65 kilometres) is quite a large step-up from a marathon, and one that I am doing my best to not take lightly.
I’m planning a number of training hikes to give my legs a decent chance. I did a gentle 11 mile walk along the Viking Way to get me started a couple of weeks ago and I’ve “booked” dates in my diary for a few more. At Easter I am going to walk from Lincoln to Boston along the water railway (also on my bucket list), which will be my longest walk to date at around 33 miles., although now I’ve realise Easter is less than a month away I’m a little concerned it will be too much too soon – so I’ll let you know how that goes! I’m also doing a squat challenge at the moment that I’m hoping will strengthen my legs and core – every little helps!
Hiking Kinder Scout last summer, and reminding myself why I love hiking.
Based on what others have told me so far I am expecting my mind to play a massive role in the success of this hiking challenge. However fit I am come June my body will only do what my brain tells it to, and so making sure that I am armed with lots of motivating techniques will be vital. Minfulness will help; I did a six week course before Christmas and have found it incredibly helpful since then (although I am particularly bad at taking time every day for this). Music may also play a role. Of course, doing the challenge with a couple of other people will help for sure – we will be able to look after each other.
Oh and I will be brushing up on my navigation skills between now and then, as apparently the route is quite difficult to find in some places and it will inevitably be dark for part of it. As a former Scout Leader I’m confident that once upon a time I could find my way using a map and compass with no problem whatsoever, and teach young people to do the same, but as with all skills you forget things when you don’t practice them regularly. If you see me out on a really obvious trail clutching onto my Explorer Map and compass please don’t laugh (or worry), I’m just checking! Making sure I’ve got the right kit (and I’m used to using it all) will be important, too.
Finishing the Spires and Steeples Challenge, October 2014.
Finally, to further help my preparation for this hike, I’m looking to chat with people who have already completed it, or who have done other similar hikes. I’m looking for your advice! How long did it take? What was it like? What training did you do? What did you wear? What was in your kit bag? Did you lose your toenails? Did you take a nap along the route? What did you eat? Did it make you cry?! Please get in touch – either comment below or drop me a message via my contact page.
I am an ordinary girl with very average fitness, who works full time and has a busy life leaving limited time for proper training – I hope I am not kidding myself with this challenge! I know I need to make the Lyke Wake Walk my focus for the next three months (eek, not long!) to give me the best chance of getting to the finish with a smile on my face. I love walking and hiking and want to do more; this seems like a pretty good way to make sure I do.
Find out more about the Lyke Wake Walk at The New Lyke Wake Club.