BB0707 Equipment testing day - High Rigg

Friday 23rd February 2007

With Don and Stan both away on ďmid-winter warmerĒ pensioner breaks it was left to Tony and I to venture out into the wet English winter.

We decided that we should put the day to some good use and so opted to treat it as an equipment testing day. In Tonyís case it was an opportunity to prove that his expensive (but economically acquired) Lowe Alpine waterproofs and his newly replaced Brasher boots would stand the test of a wet and boggy day. In my case it was to try out a pair of extremely expensive, and very uncomfortable, mountaineering boots that I have just bought to use on a trip to the Alps this summer.

The rain was pouring down as we left Kendal and made our way over Dunmail Raise and alongside Thirlmere. This is a drive thatís becoming much more scenic because United Utilities, who Ďowní the lake, have started a project thatís scheduled to last 3 years to remove all the none-native trees that surround Thirlmere.

This means that views from the A591 have really opened up and with the mist swirling around in the gullies on the crags opposite, and the water pouring down the hillsides, it had a look of the fiords about it.

Our target for the day was a gentle walk over High Rigg. We parked up in the United Utilities car park at Legburthwaite just off the A591 and set off up the hill.

My new boots have a completely rigid sole, a feature Iím sure will prove very useful when I have to use crampons on them on steep ground in the Alps. However on normal walking terrain itís akin to wearing ski boots and took a fair bit of getting used to, but thankfully by the end of the walk I felt much more comfortable. They brought back memories of my youth, as these were the kind of boots that all the guidebooks insisted you should wear on any walk in the hills. Thank goodness opinions have changed since then!

The rain continued to pour down as we made our way along High Rigg giving Tonyís waterproofs a good workout. At the far end of the ridge we dropped down to St Johnís church, where we took the opportunity to get out of the rain and have lunch in the porch.

Our return route took us along the bridleway that makes its way up St Johnís-in-the-Vale. Towards the end we passed Bridge End farm, a lovely spot that normally provides excellent tea and scones. Sadly itís not open until April so we pressed on back to the car.

For anyone whoís never done this route I can highly recommend it. Itís particularly good for a sunny summer afternoon / evening as itís fairly short (about 5 miles) and only has a 1,000 feet of climbing, and the tea and scones at Low Bridge farm makes an ideal end!

Bryan Hardaker, 23rd February 2007

Distance: 5 miles

Height climbed: 1,000

Wainwrights:  High Rigg


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Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.

This page describes a 2007 adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the ageing process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear but is in memory of Big Josie, the erstwhile landlady of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!

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