Friday, 8 October 2010

A-Walking: Chequers Challenge

Our three expeditions this week (Sunday, 3rd October) each took place in the eastern region of the North York Moors. The A-Walk set off from Clay Bank, the B-Walk started at Chop Gate and the C-Walk commenced at Sutton Bank Visitors Centre. All three walks finished at Kepwick.

After leaving Clay Bank {NZ 572 034}, the intent of the A-Walk was to visit the Wain Stones, Cold Moor, Cringle Moor, Carlton Moor, Huthwaite Green, Chequers, Nether Silton Moor and Honeykiln Farm before arriving at our final destination in Kepwick {SE 468 909}.

We left our drop-off point at about 10.20 am. There were seven people in the group: PB, RB, CH, MH, CL, AM and JT. CH and MH led the walk.

We set off along the B1257 road towards Chop Gate in pouring rain. At {NZ 572 033} we turned right and joined the route of the Cleveland Way (CW) long-distance footpath.

The B1257 road
Following the CW in a westerly direction, we made our first climb of the day - up on to the high ground near White Hill {NZ 566 037}. Continuing in a westerly direction, we made our way to the Wain Stones {NZ 558 035} and then descended to the low ground in order to cross the northern end of Garfit Gap.

Our second climb took us up onto Cold Moor - just above above Broughton Bank {NZ 550 034}. We made our way along the high ground - still experiencing incessant rain and poor visibility. Indeed, because of the rain and low-lying mist, our views of the surrounding terrain were severely restricted. The views got better as we descended to lower ground.

We started our third major climb near Cringle Moor Plantation; this took us up Kirby Bank onto Cringle Moor {NZ 541 031}. As we ascended we passed into more moorland mist. We started our descent from Cringle Moor from near the viewing point at {NZ 534 033}. We dropped down to the car park at Lord Stones cafe {NZ 524 030} where there seemed to be quite a lot of activity going on - despite the heavy rain. We took a short lunch break here - standing amongst the trees in order to try to get what shelter we could from the inclement conditions around us.

Lord Stones
Following our rather damp lunch break, our fourth climb of the day took us up to the trig point (OSBM S4421) on Carlton Moor {NZ 519 026}. From here we followed a south-westerly bearing along the CW - passing the old glider station on our left. As we made our way towards Gold Hill {NZ 509 014} we passed lots of walkers (coming towards us) - apparently participating in a sponsored walk.

We continued along the Cleveland Way to the minor road near Huthwaite Green {NZ 492 007} and crossed Scugdale Beck using the footbridge at {NZ 492 004}. Because of the torrential, incessent rain fall during the day there was a tremendous volume of water flowing down the beck towards Swainby.

Staying with the CW, we now headed in a north-westerly direction through the wood on the south side of Scugdale. At {NZ 482 008} we turned right (onto a south-westerly bearing) and entered our fourth major climb of the day. Following this, we continued along a good forest track to reach the cattle-grid in the minor road at Scarth Nick {NZ 472 002}.

We now had some road-walking to do. Leaving the cattle-grid, we headed south towards Sheepwash to reach a footbridge at {SE 471 994}. We used this to cross over Crabdale Beck and then climbed up onto Pamperdale Moor to join High Lane. As we went up the track, we were confronted with large volumes of flood water running downhill towards us.

High Lane
We followed High Lane in a south-westerly direction to reach the road junction at {SE 473 972}. Now turning onto a south-south-westerly bearing we made our way along the road towards Chequers {SE 473 972}. Passing the (one time) tearooms on our left we continued along the road towards Jenny Brewster's Gill {SE 478 964} where we were now confronted with a major challenge! Because of the volume of rain that had fallen during the day, the road over the gill was flooded. This meant that we had to divert upstream in order to try and find a section of the flooded river which was narrow enough for us to 'leap across'. MH just waded through the water - on the basis that he couln't get any wetter than he already was!

After we had crossed the river, we resumed our southerly trek and rejoined the CW at {SE 479 959}. However, we left this again at {SE 479 954} by taking a path on our right that took us in a south-westerly direction through the woods on Nether Silton Moor {SE 470 944}. We stopped at the picnic area on the south-western extremity of the forest for a short tea break {SE 467 936}.

Leaving the tea stop location on a south-westerly bearing, we followed Moor Lane until we reached a public footpath on our left at {SE 466 934}. This took us across the fields towardsHoneykiln Farm {SE 467 927} and Thwaites Farm to reach the minor road at {SE 466 919} - Bridge Beck Lane. We followed the lane in a southerly direction for about 235 yards and then took to the fields again at {SE 467 917}. Maintaining our southerly bearing, the field paths led us into Kepwick where our coach was waiting to ferry us home.

Many thanks to CH and MH for organising such an interesting and exciting adventure for us today. Despite the incessant rain and the fact that we were all literally 'soaked through', we had a really great time.

Use the buttons below to see where we went, how we did and some of the pictures.




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