Post 95: 3 January 2017 Cleveland Circles 12.
With slightly warmer weather today, we arrived at Ingleby Greenhow just below the North York Moors to enable us to start walking at 9.10am. The car was parked opposite St Andrew’s Church, which during renovations in 1905 revealed the remains of Bos Torus, the extinct wild ox.
Our route would lead to Incline Top as shown which used to have wagons of ironstone going up and down it from 1861 until a fire in the Brake Drum House in 1869.
We soon passed the local ‘Stonehenge’ at Low farm, whilst shooting parties headed out onto the grouse moors. .
Little did the grouse suspect what was coming their way, but we soon heard shots.
In its defence the grouse shooting is a huge employer, income generator and finances the management of the moors. I personally would not want to do it but there are arguments in its favour.
The height gain we would need to do soon came into view.
In my view Alan Hinkes, from nearby Northallerton, is Britain’s greatest climber, being the only Briton to have climbed all fourteen of the World’s highest peaks over 8,000 metres. Many have died attempting such a feat. He has proper crampons!
He used to train (and may still do so) on the North York Moors hereabouts in Winter and in the dark with a torch! Such dedication is required to climb Himalayan Peaks, including Everest, K2 and Makalu, shown in the photograph above.
I followed his climbs in awe from the early days. His book is an exciting read and summary of his climbs. He has true ‘Yorkshire Grit’.
Back to more routine matters we had to negotiate some icy lanes. No problem for me as I had my new Kahtoola Microspikes which, later on, at £50 were to prove a bargain for what was to come. Without them Carol and Sid had to try and keep to the grass edges.
Roesberry Topping was peeping at us again.
The impending height gain was getting nearer.
Fortunately, what appears to be our path through the main white snow wasn’t it!
There was a sideways view of the rail incline with Postman Pat on his rounds in the foreground.
The path steepened and more snow and ice appeared.
My microspikes came into their own as I could ascend much quicker.
At last we reached a reasonably sheltered spot for a banana and muesli bar break, and coffee (with honey) stop.
The sheep were hungry and interested to see what food we had got.
They weren’t impressed with my microspikes, having adapted much better to these harsh conditions than us. Did they know we were wearing New Zealand Merino wool base layers, the best for insulation?
It is at this point I started to think whether I could improve my food intake for more energy.
For breakfast I had grapefruit, porridge with blueberries and cinnamon, Bergen soya and linseed bread (recommended by my son who is a personnel trainer in Derby) with marmalade, but no butter, and tea.
Lunch would consist of a home made multigrain roll with apricot jam (for instant energy), low fat crisps (for salt), low fat yoghurt, Mary Berry’s home made fruit cake and an apple, tea made fresh with coffee mate and honey.
The above has served me well for many years, but if anyone knows better (e.g. Alan Hinkes) please let me know!
Ascending a little further, we came to The Cleveland Way and Wainwright’s Coast to Coast route, which is the equivalent of the North York Moors M6.
Just like some of the roads these days it hadn’t been gritted! Carol looks a bit worried here don’t you think? At one point on the ice I had to grab her arm and steady her like I do with my 93 year old mother and 94 yrs old mother in law!
However, we eventually came to Round Hill on Urra Moor, the highest point of the North York Moors at 454 metres, 1489 feet. We had been climbing for exactly four miles.
Here we could view much of the largest expense of heather moorland in England. Britain is thought to have almost 75% of the World’s remaining heather moorland and much of it was in view before us.
Not surprisingly the path got even more icy, but is was beautiful with the sun shining on us. We were somewhat surprised to see a mountain bike with ‘fat’ tyres pass us.
Even the standing stones seemed to have faces laughing at us. This one is mentioned in 1642 as the ‘bounder called Faceston’. They are believed to be late Bronze Age or early Iron Age.
We were now able to increase our pace along the old railway line to Bloworth Crossing.
What was amazing was that ‘Snow Sleepers’ (my term) had formed based on the old sleepers that had been removed, after closure in 1929. The rate of thawing of the snow as related to where the sleepers had compressed the ground under them. Awesome.
We arrived at Bloworth Crossing
But the last train had departed a bit before us.
We could only find about four sleepers.
It is not a place to linger.
We proceeded to Siberia, which is at Incline Top and was even colder. It was so called by the ironstone railway workers. Wagons full of iron ore went down the incline under gravity and this allowed empty wagons to be pulled back up at the same time.
In the past there were buildings there including the Brake Drum House.
It was incredibly windy and cold and I have posted separately on Facebook a video I took there.
There are some remains of the buildings.
A little further on we came across Jenny Bradley’s Cross. It is not known who she is. Next to it is a boundary stone marking the Ingleby Estate.
There were also grouse butts hereabouts. No escape for our poor little grouse we saw earlier.
Middlesborough suddenly appeared in the distance lit by the fading sun, with some delightful cloud effects above it.
We were somewhat surprised to see four wheel drive vehicles pass us.
Another standing stone appeared.
Below the small stone on the top was the following message. I wouldn’t want to find it in mist alone on the Moors!
The stone dates from 1757 according to the inscription on the side.
We then started to descend with splendid skies behind us. It is always a good to keep looking behind you on a walk as you might miss something. Or the man might come to take you to the gallows.
The side view wasn’t bad too. I do like winter walking!
We finally dipped our boots in the stream at 3.15pm next to the car and church in order to clean them. What a splendid walk!
Miles Walk 11.06
Calories Burnt 1,300
Steps taken 24,722
Average Pace 19.389 minutes per mile
Fastest mile split at 10 to 11 miles 18.20 minutes per mile