Post 89. 29 December Cleveland Circles 11

The first thing to say is that I was wrong in my previous post that this post would be in 2017. I was surprised to find that a spare day came up to fit another walk in before the New Year.

The day didn’t start well. I woke up at 4.00am and decided to have a cup of tea and look out of the window to see if the forecasted fog had appeared. It had. However, I looked on the BBC Weather forecast for Chop Gate our planned destination and it was for sunny skies from 9.00am to 3.00pm. On the basis of this I went back to bed until 6.00am.

At 7.30am ‘Sid the Yorkshireman’ and Carol picked me up. There was thick, thick fog. It was very cold and there had been a very hard frost.

This was confirmed when Carol said she had already fallen on her backside just walking to her car.

Heading out from York the fog persisted. It was not until way beyond Helmsley that it lifted and we were presented with some wonderful views of fog below us in the valley.

p1050320Hills peeked at us enticingly and the sunrise glowed.


As we reached the car park at Chop Gate we noticed planes were flying way above the fog.

We also noticed the temperature was MINUS FIVE DEGREES.


Dressed in balaclavas to keep out the cold we stopped at the pub for the Three Bucks photograph.


Ascending out of Chop Gate the light was good even if one or two houses were in need of tender love and care.


Looking back the scene was breathtaking. And of course we were out of breath because we were climbing.



I then saw one of the best views I have seen in over 60 years of walking. Bilsdale with a river of fog in it.


So me and my shadow carried on taking photographs whilst Carol struggled up the long hill.


Roseberry Topping, the ‘Yorkshire Matterhorn’, came into view in the far distance.


We were able to look back at the previous Cleveland Circles route.



I had maintained a fast pace to get to the top of the hill and escarpment as I hoped there would be more fog below us on the other side.  However, this was not to be the case. But who could complain about a view like this toward Middlesborough.


And Roseberry Topping.


Smoke signals pointed to our route ahead towards the highest point on the North York Moors.


However, to get there we had lots of ups and downs on paths that were covered in ice. I had my spikys on which helped but Carol didn’t and having had one fall was very careful. They come in various designs. Here are two.


Although an aid on short walks Spikys or Yak Tracks do not last long on these longer walks and it is probably better to get some that are more midway between climbers crampons and the above. Kahtoola micro spikes have recently been recommended to me and I have ordered some.  They are more expensive but should last longer. Later on in the walk I was to find Spikys are not good on mud!


Now on the Cleveland Way National Trail, the Wainstones eventually appeared above us. Another climb due.


Roesberry Topping continued to peep at us.


There were still fantastic views back to Bilsdale.


The Wainstones were eventually reached, some looking a bit likely to drop off!



Our route ahead pointed to more descents and ascents. We promised ourselves lunch on a bench at the bottom of the next descent. It was taking longer than anticipated due to the slippy ice covered paths.


But we could still smile – just.


After a lunch in the sun on a sheltered bench we headed up to Urra Moor. A couple of RAF jets flashed by us. Planes were still flying above the fog. We started to dream about how good it would be to have a flight in one. Coast to Coast in 20 minutes instead of the normal two weeks?


The views continued to be breathtaking.


The view back from whence we had walked.


It was not long after here that I put my foot on some sloping mud and ended up sitting down in the heather with some cramp. This had been a particularly challenging walk with the slippy surfaces. It was ironic that after the ice I slipped on mud as the Spiky’s had little grip.

Eventually with aching muscles we reached better ground and in order to get the mud off the back of my boots I walked backwards through the wet grass. It worked. A new form of boot cleaning after the streams of previous weeks.


What has been a FAB-U-LOUS day was ended at about 3pm with another magnificent view as the fog started to form again as the temperature started to drop.


Mileage Completed 11

Calories Burnt 1,300

Steps 27,108 – this was high as we had to take smaller steps on the icy paths. 

Average pace 19.49 minutes per mile.

Fastest Two Mile Split at 4 to 6 miles 19.12 minutes per mile









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