Post 224: 8 January 2018, The Inn Way, Glaisdale Station to Hart Leap
The forecast was for high pressure to dominate with clear skies and a heavy overnight frost.
It came as a bit of a surprise when I went to the car at 7.00am to find the wing mirrors frozen stuck for the second time this year. My wife has now agreed to provide some ‘wadding gloves’ for them which I can put on overnight, before the early walk day starts. I can’t have walk days delayed due to freeze ups!
Eventually we got to the main Pickering to Whitby road, where a couple of car drivers had experienced much worse problems, having skidded off into a ditch and a tree.
Given that we would soon leave the main road and be driving along narrow, little used, steep, un-gritted lanes in Heartbeat Country, we had to decide whether we stop at a nearby Hole of Horcum car park and do a revised walk or continue to the next stage of The Inn Way. Having winter tyres on my car and seen how in Norway with such tyres they drive in much worse conditions, we decided to continue on our original plans and walk on The Inn Way. Without winter tyres I would not have left home!
I took it very steadily especially on the big icy downhills and didn’t encounter any problems, apart from a couple of brief wheel spins on a steep ascent.
We parked in the Glaisdale Station car park as there was a train strike on. It was a bright sunny morning and there was a prospect of fine walking ahead. Two of us decided to put microspikes on and two didn’t.
We were heading to what Mark Reid describes in his guide to The Inn Way:
‘………the central high moors above Rosedale are wild and desolate… two or three hundred years ago trains of packhorses carrying fish from Staithes to or coal from moorland pits came this way across a moorland scene similar as today ‘.
We ascended to The Arncliffe Arms where I had stayed on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast in 1991 – on karaoke night! As you can see I haven’t changed a bit, slightly less hair, a pound or two added (weight not money) and due to the time of year some extra winter clothing on. The hat is the original 1991 one and I have the photographs to prove it! I am of the ‘make do generation’ and not a follower of fashion – its suitability for the outdoors being my prime criteria in choosing clothing.
With the sun coming up behind the hill, we passed the former Glaisdale ironstone mine powder store, which would have been in use from 1862 to 1876 when the mine was in operation.
Passing through Miller’s Wood we reached the old corn mill with its waterwheel.
Following the River Esk we arrived at Rake Farm,
and the Paddy Waddell Railway, the railway to nowhere. This was known as the Cleveland Mineral Extension Railway, which was intended to take a branch line from the Esk Valley Railway over the moors to connect with railway lines near Lingdale over ten miles to the north.
In 1872 John Waddell, a famous Victorian Engineer began work on the line.
The project ceased in 1889 but a flooded cutting and bridge remain. John was nicknamed Paddy due the many Irish navvies he employed.
Rake Farm makes a fine house, but was formerly a pub during the construction years.
Arriving at Leaholm, which has been described as the perfect English village, we stopped for a coffee and banana break on the well provided for benches. There are also toilets which need donations to keep them going so give generously! Even Sid the Yorkshireman made a donation!
After passing The Board Inn,
the real climbing on iced roads towards the open moors of Glaisdale Moor and Low Moor began.
We followed The Inn Way sign, but there is no inn until Rosedale is reached many miles ahead. Having got someway behind my walking friends due to taking photographs, I had what I can only call a Sublime Moment, which climbers and walkers in remote areas experience as described in Robert McFarlane’s book Mountains of the Mind, which I have just finished reading. I think the moment was related to the sudden sense of changing nature, the icy sparse vegetation, the lone tree, the far distance views, the increased biting cold wind, all which overwhelmed my senses. It crossed my mind that if you had to spend a long time out here you would struggle to survive. It is essential to carry emergency bags and have good clothing. You go suddenly from a cosseted secure world to one of fragility.
How did that tree survive when all other perished? What qualities had it that others didn’t? How is that some climbers and explorers seem to survive when others perish?
Catching up with my friends at Glaisdale Rigg, I then did a small diversion to see wonderful vistas in the next valley of Glaisdale, where the frost lingered well into the day.
There was no time for us to linger as we continued along the icy track towards Hart Leap.
Great Fryup Dale looked remote and beautiful below us to the north-west.
Finally, we arrived at Hart Leap where it is said that a large stag made its last leap in a vain attempt to escape the huntsman and their hounds; one stone marks where the stag took off and the other where it landed, the distance being 40ft 6 inches. The men’s world record long jump is 29 feet 4inches.
This was our location to drop off the Rigg and leave The Inn Way to find a route back to the car and find a lunch spot out of the cold wind. There followed a few obstacles, a steep descent and a near fall for Sid the Yorkshireman (note without spikes!).
We found a sheltered spot between walls with a view to savour. With homemade bread rolls, jam and fruit cake it was better than any restaurant lunch in York – well sort of!
There was even a sculptured stone in the wall, which could be removed to let the sheep through! Not surprisingly it is known as a sheep hole.
After lunch we followed the road to Glaisdale Mehodist Chapel near Postgate Farm. Built in 1821 it is very small and intimate and the graveyard has far reaching views up the valley of Glaisdale. A fine place for a final resting place.
After a climb back onto the Glaisdale Moor, a descent through Glaisdale Village noted for its history of ironstone mining and the Glaisdale and Lealholme Association for the Prosecution of Felon’s, the powder store looked quite different in different light.
A superb walk justifying the purchase of winter tyres!
Miles walked 10.2
Calories Burnt 3,300