The First Year
early days of BOOTboys were not well documented at the
time. It had its antecedent in the Boxing Day
(or thereabouts) walks that Ian would organise when staying
with his in-laws at Christmas. I remember, probably
around 2001, going up Thornthwaite Beacon from the Kirkstone
Pass with Ian and Sam (Martin) and finding it very hard going
in my then unfit state and being embarrassed by how slow
I was. Revenge would have to wait until BB0617!
There was also a similarly arranged outing at
Christmas 2003; a successful ascent of at least some of
from a Langdale Pike
Skiddaw in snow
From time to time Stan and I would
bump into each other and he would always say how we
really ought to get ourselves organised and get out
on the hills but it took some years and the additional
influence of others, particularly John, for it to come
Unfortunately I lost all my records
in the Great Computer Disaster of March 2004 but some
self termed "saddos"
have retained their electronic or paper diaries and
have confirmed that the first such outing took place
in January 2004. Although the name had not then been
coined, in retrospect it merits being termed the first
appearance of the BOOTboys .
Harter Fell in the very very wet.
22nd January 2004
recalls the that "there were 5 of us
- Don, Philip, Pete, Stan and myself and there was disagreement between Stan and Don
as to what route to follow up Harter Fell -- Stan won. We had to bail out early because of the cloud and bad
weather. I remember being wet through at the shelter on Nam Bield
have no recollection of any disagreement. I just
remember driving along Haweswater in the rain, wondering
what on earth we were doing and later having similar
thoughts on reaching the shelter on the Nan Bield Pass.
recollection is also of the torrential
rain and of Philip's wife, Ann, telling his wife, Joan, on meeting her in Kendal that Philip had
reported that Stan had tried to kill him!
photographic evidence has come to light, presumably
as the conditions were so bad. Indeed after that
inauspicious start, it is wonder we ever got out again!
Rough Fell, Kidsty Pike, High Street and the Fairy
18th February 2004
started from the same point, at the Haweswater
car park, but on a totally different type
of day- the sort you dream about. John
certainly must have been dreaming as for
nearly three years afterwards he claimed that the walk
was on his 60th birthday and had brought
along a small cake from Les Beavis's daughter's bakery
to share with Pete, Stan and me to prove
it. He even persuaded me to take a
commerative photograph of him. Only now
does he concede that he was actually a year
boy. But how old?
it was a delightful walk in delightful weather,
what I remember most about it was the bizarre
experience I had when I processed the photographs
on my computer.
you believe in fairies? Well you should
because I have the photographic evidence.
This little fellow on the left was
captured on camera on the other side of
you don't believe me, check it for yourself.
Make a wish and click on the
do you believe?
The Rydal Round
7th April 2004
we have visitors who want to have a gentle stroll in
the lakes we invariably take them on the Rydal Round.
If there is another walk with such stunning views
at any time of the year coupled with points of interest
achieved at comparatively little effort, I would like
to know where it is.
though this was originally intended as a "Slipper
Stroll", Stan refused to set the route, not wanting
to be accused of killing of Henry on his guest appearance
so John L and I decided to take them plus John S and
Brian W round the lake.
started with the stiff but mercifully brief
climb up from the White Moss Common car
park to pick up the footpath to Rydal Mount
and proceeded clockwise to visit Rydal Cave
and then along Loughrigg Terrace to drop
down to Grasmere and back to the car park.
far as I can tell, I failed to take my camera
with me so no photos but here's one I prepared
from Loughrigg Terrace
Monday 12th May 2004 please read Monday 10th
compliance officer had to point out that the e-mail advertising the walk had a non-calendar-compliant date
and consequently all clients had to be issued with a statement that was clear and
record reads: "An excellent excursion
today with JPL, APM and me up Heron Pike (above Alcock Tarn/ Grasmere/
Rydal). A bit steep to start but once up
on the top wonderful views. The
threatened storms held off, the sun shone, the rhodies looked
magnificent." and then ran out of comment!
recollection is that the "bit steep to start"
referred to Nab Scar and is somewhat understated!
I have no photos.
10th June 2004
had wrecked my knee gardening so was unable to join
the party. Stan reported:
attempt at COM went well with good visibility (only
some very slight mist at times over distant tops) and
no rain whatsoever. Fell top conditions
were quite blustery and cool with noticeably warmer
breezes on the way down.
one might expect with 3 geriatric ex fell runners in
the party, whatever the planned route, it didn't materialise.
Someone suggested the 'tourist' route through the quarries
was a bit grim to which I readily agreed, so we set
off along the Walna Scar road intending to branch right
the event we slightly overshot the turnoff so we decided
rather than retrace steps 50 yards to carry on to Dow
Crag (it being one of the best Coniston tops anyway)!
We set off down from COM, but again, rather
than face the quarry workings, Graham suggested we descend
via the grassier path further to the south which is
a much better route, not to mention easier on the knees!
in all an excellent day at a leisurely pace.
had a slightly different version:
day. Weather conditions good for walking apart from
a 10/15 min spell at the top when the wind was quite
strong ( I could lean into it at 45degrees) and lower
down it was too hot -for 10 mins).
time 10:18 , finish 14:40.
at end of metalled road on Walna Scar road (grid 289-971)
-220 m above sea level. Headed East on Walna Scar Road,
round bottom of Goatfoot Crag -up to Brown Pike (682
above sea level), along the ridge to Buck Pike and Dow
Crag (778)- then lost height to Goat Hawse (649) then
up to Old Man ( 803) -I found the pull from Goat Hawse
worse than that from Rydal to Nab Scar we did last time
but the experts said it wasn't as long or steep ---so
I'll put it down to my blood donating on Wed !!. Got
to Old Man around 13;05. Have to report that, yet again,
we were overtaken by nubile young ladies who smiled
at us cheekily, and accelerated away.
views on to of Coniston, Windermere and across to Pennines,
Ingleboro, Morecambe Bay -and behind to Sellafield.
Baled off down grassy tracks almost due South to hit
the Walna Scar road again. PVH reckoned that the route/length/time
was just about right for him though he was 5 mins in
front of me at end- I reckon that I could have managed
another hour provided there had been minimal additional
height gained/lost. The others, Graham, Stan and Bryan
looked as if they had been on a gentle stroll -Stan
even ran down part of the bale off route -perhaps he
was relishing the freedom to let the wind run through
his hair as he hasn't got a good cap to keep his ears
should be reported to Trinny and Suzannah for low sartorial
standards -fancy wearing the same rugby shorts he had
when he played !!!-especially with his legs.
no-one take any photos?
8th July 2004
Today saw Gardiner,
Hardaker, Lyons and Shore valiantly battling with wind and rain along the
(Westmorland) Borrowdale ridge to the radio masts and then back through the
haven of the valley.
wrote: "On a
quick map measurement last night I got our Borrowdale trip at 5/6 miles -please
tell me it was more!!---it certainly felt it
kept quiet about was his remarkable feat of strength
that day. He accomplished something that Kentdale
LandRover claimed was totally unique and had never previously
been heard of. Without any fuss or bother, in a
swift movement, seemingly effortless, he pulled off
the handle to the rear door of my Freelander. That's
what comes of going to the gym everyday! Why did
I not have my camera with me?
Bowfell, Esk Pike and Whitwham
29th July 2004
is it. The one the girls have been waiting for.
The long awaited revelation of more photos of
Graham in the buff- never mind the walk!
actually the walk deserves a write up. So you
will have to wait a little longer to be titillated.
Although what I wrote at the time was remarkably
brief given that we had been along the scary traverse
and up the Great Slab where one slip would have meant
certain doom! My report simply said:
strenuous but very satisfying stroll up Bowfell and
Esk Pike today. The computer says it was 3,589
feet and 9.36 miles but that does not take into account
all the wiggling from side to side. Talking of
which, hats (and everything else) off to Graham who
displayed a rare talent for skinny dipping in Angle
response to these photos was quite remarkable:
Called Col to have a look at "The Naked Ape". I have to record a reaction of
uncontrolled laughter rather than anything more lascivious ! A
feeling knackered yesterday my knees are ok to day -Not saying I could do the route again today but much less
stiffness than usual -perhaps the knee bandages worked -or the sight of the
Bingley Whale has magical properties
becoming like that character in "Last of the Summer Wine" - the one they made do
all the tricks and lusted after Nora Batty!?
I let it be known that I had more photos which were
rather more revealing (despite the effects of cold water)
I received many requests for them to be shown. But
out of respect for Graham I desisted. Until now
that is! Or at least would have been but I regret
to report that mysteriously they have all vanished from
my computer. And from the backup files on my laptop.
And ditto from the CD backups. How on earth
did he get them to self destruct? Or has he raided
my home to delete all the evidence? I shall never
know. All I can say is sorry, folks, they are
trip to Skiddaw was rather challenging. A very
steep start then up a long steep ridge whilst the weather
ignored the forecast and brought the cloud and rain
in several hours earlier than it should.
achieved what I thought was Long Side only
to discover it was only Ullock Pike with
a near vertical ascent to follow in horrid
conditions if anyone had said let's do a
Paula I'd have turned round like a shot!
And then it got worse going up onto
Skiddaw itself. Coming down Carl Side
however suddenly the mist cleared and there
was a magical view of Derwentwater seemingly
floating in the sky in front of us. From
then on the day picked up! 11.2 km
and 989 metres of ascent.
kept his clothes on today.
you might be interested in the description of Skiddaw
in one of my books. The walk described runs from the
South East as opposed to the way we did it but leaves
down the track we followed to the White Stones. The
text reads......... "From the cairn marking the
South Top it is 400m along the ridge to the true summit
or Skiddaw Man. The summit is bare and stony, often
lashed by winds and decidedly colder than the fellside
leading to it. Return to the South Top where a decision
has to be made. All but the most intrepid or hardened
fellwalkers are likely to be daunted at the thought
of descending the steep scree down to the col of Carl
Side. If in doubt go back the way you came. From
the col the path down from Carl Side averages 1:4 with
the ground falling away disturbingly to the left..."
-are we hardened or intrepid??
Loughrigg, not Ingleborough
run of bad weather meant the repeated postponement
of a trip to Ingleborough but on this day, for once,
the forecast was wrong. My report ran:
the lesson is not to make up your mind until you open
yesterday called off Ingleborough due to a not inspiring
forecast, opting instead for a short Slipper Stroll
up Loughrigg, today dawned fine and stayed that way.
Indeed as we had our butties on the top of Loughrigg,
it was so clear we could just see the top of Ingleborough
peeping over Barbon Fell. Still Loughrigg was
possibly a more suitable stroll for those (i.e. me)
who had done nothing since the last outing and consequently
Ingleborough remains an option for another day when,
hopefully the sun shines and more people can get out.
no photos. I think my camera had gone kaput and
I didn't get a new one until December.
4th November 2004
more cancellations for bad weather and illnesses a successful
day out was achieved. Only a brief report however:
Ian, Graham and I were joined by Sam (Martin). Although
the weather was not as good as we had hoped, Place Fell
proved a very pleasant challenge with superb views and
a long undulating walk back above Ullswater and a well
earned pint in the White Lion.
4th November 2004
stunning day. Only a relatively short walk but
Bryan took Pete and I up the north face of Wetherlam
and I soon found how out of condition I was. A
big struggle going up the at times near vertical gullies
so plenty of stops to slow the heart down.
views from the top all over everywhere.
& Bryan on Wetherlam. Scafells in background
told us of the "Brocken spectre" phenomenon
he had experienced recently, only the second
time he had encountered it. It was
news to us but apparently under the right
conditions of low intense sun behind and
cloud in front you can see your image projected
onto the clouds, halo-ed by a rainbow.
prove it Bryan has forwarded this photo
and if you look carefully you can definitely
make out his outline.
on it for a larger version. Don't
you think it's a remarkable likeness?
more on Brocken Spectres see BB0603.
Mini Effort on Langdales
25th November 2004
mentioned in an e-mail that "Bryan and I had a mini effort in
Langdales-- on 25th Nov and that was it for 2004". I know no more but that
was not quite it for the year.
26th December 2004
year finished with Ian's Boxing Day walk. Ian,
Sam (Martin), Keith, Jamie and me.
original idea was to start from Hallow Bank
but the ice on the road gave rise to certain
difficulties in getting up there. Indeed
it was quite exciting as cars made their
own way down the road irrespective of what
their drivers intended.
we made our way back to the village and
then walked up the Garburn Pass and someway
toward Yoke. Two years after the event
I can't exactly recall how far we went but
I do recall it being a wonderfully bright
day with snow underfoot.
so ended the first year of the BOOTboys.
as a foot note, what was probably the first proper Slipper
Stroll should also be remembered.
5th August 2004
from John to Don:
-remember looking at Side Pike and wondering if it would
be suitable for a Slipper outing for Margaret?
and I did it this morning -I get the feeling she does
not regard it as a starter walk!!
in ODG and walked up the road to Blea Tarn -at top turn
left over stile and follow route straight up hill
-some hand holds needed on some of the outcrops. Took
an hour to the top and a further hour to get to
Blea Tarn---the route off and under buttress was a bit
airy -Gill muttering she didn't like it. A quicker/shorter
route would be to park in the Blea Tarn c/park ,walk
round the Tarn ( lovely view of Side Pike with
Langdales in background and Blea Tarn in foreground)
and you hit the road opposite the stile ref'd to above-saves
the hard work clogging up from ODG Great views on top
back down the Langdale valley, up Mickleden to
Rossett Ghyll, left of Band up Oxendale to Crinkle Crags
and behind on other side over Blea Tarn
than two years after the events, memories dim. Perhaps
not all above is totally accurate, but to the best of
my knowledge and recollection, it is in spirit if not
in absolute fact!. Certainly, however, it is not
complete. If anyone can correct or preferably
add to the record or donate the odd photo, please let
me know and it will be included.
Don, 14th January 2007
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