Oh No! Not Steel Fell Again?
27th June 2007
things first. Let’s get the key question out of
the way for the benefit of Tony (who is concerned that
the stitching in his boots will have rotted before he
next gets out on the fells!) What time did we
take lunch? Answer- 14:40 ! !! !!!
I hear Tony cry. “Glad I wasn’t there”.
Tony- wrong reason for not being there. We had lunch at 14:40 because
at 10:40 we were holed up in Grasmere Garden Centre
downing cappuccino and shortbread, waiting for the rain
to clear mid-morning as MWIS had promised. And when exactly
is "mid-morning” anyway?
wet but clearing Dunmail Raise
were on the verge of an embarrassing wimp-out. But
we gave the weather once last chance. We decided
to drive to the top of Dunmail Raise and if it stopped
raining we would walk and if it did not…… Academic.
It stopped. And two fighter planes flew
over in celebration, rather lower than the 250 feet
alleged minimum. So low in fact that Stan had
to take evasive action and in so doing banged his head
on the tailgate roof and twisted a muscle.
what is the correct reason for Tony being glad he was
not with us? Certainly not the fact that he was
sadly burying one of his biker friends today. It’s
because we were going up Steel Fell again.
may recall in BB0705 that I foolishly made reference
to “On a clear day I imagine this must be a very attractive
route.” So when Stan suggested Ullscarf it seemed to
me to be a route that was calling like unfinished business.
truth is that, if I found it hard when I could not see
where we were going, I found it every bit as hard and
then some when I could. To be fair we took a slightly
different route. Rather than hugging the fence we took
the more open route up what might loosely be described
as a path somewhat to the left.
directly below Stan, I was in receipt of bits of rock
and bits of soil and at one stage almost a bit of Stan.
I was reminded of a line from Bob Dylan’s “It’s
all over now Baby Blue”- “The ground too is moving under
you”. It was.
shouted helpful things like “Don’t go up the rocks-
they are steep and very slippery.” But the grass,
in comparison, was slippery and very steep. Actually
I preferred the rocks so I disobeyed instructions. I
think it is something to do with having short legs and
long arms that when things get difficult, adopting the
chimpanzee position comes naturally and a bit of rock
on to which to cling is most welcome.
the unlikely event that anyone ever reads this report
for directions, my advice is unequivocal. Keep
to the fence.
It might be equally steep but at
least you have something to grip on and by which to
haul yourself up.
suddenly we were at the top and although grey, it was
clear and there were extensive and impressive views.
Steel Fell summit and then Calf Crag quickly succumbed.
view north from Steel Fell
view south from Calf Crag
was a bit of a haul up to Sergeant Man. We were
overtaken en-route by a young lady running up the hill.
Stan explained that she was probably in training
for the Bob Graham around which only seven ladies had
succeeded. This put a bit of a spring in his step
and for ten seconds I thought that he was going to try
and reel her in. No doubt that in his pomp he
would have done so but today he was guiding another
sexagenarian around the fells so quickly realised his
responsibility and held off.
were a little unsure as to which was the actual top
of Sergeant Man so knocked off the second top just in
case. A wise precaution as it later transpired
the second was the real Sergeant- a very upright citizen
when viewed from the East.
on to High Raise and the aforementioned late lunch (or
afternoon tea) in the very welcome shelter as the wind
was bitterly cold.
views all round but too cold to linger out
of the shelter.
Down over Lower White Stones
and the long haul to Ullscarf, touching on route BB0711.
After several false summits and a real summit
that just happened without drama, we had the dilemma
of how to get down.
picture on High Raise
from High Raiser
There is no established path back
to where we needed to go. Retreating to Wythburn
was an option but we did that on BB0705. After
consulting the map we decided to pioneer a new route.
Provided we picked up Ullscarf Gill, it seemed
we would avoid the cliffs to both sides and as long
as we kept out of the gully bit we should get down unscathed.
Stan did tempt fate when crossing the gill and
secured a minor drenching but that apart the descent
was fortunately incident free. When well down,
we spotted a little hillock with what looked like cairn
so, still having a modicum of enthusiasm left in the
legs we climbed up to investigate. It turned out
to be no more than six foot (length) of wall with no
is very rare to be on a descent to Thirlmere with Helvellyn
in front and we spotted a tarn, Harrop Tarn, low down
that was a complete surprise to me. So was the
cramp that was starting to grip my legs!
and Harrop Tarn
Fell from Steel End
made our way down to Steel End and then prepared for
the ascent of Dunmail Raise. “From Steel End
farm it was an easy stroll back to the top of Dunmail
Raise and the car.” So says BB0705 but we
were not convinced that would be the case today with
the extra climbing and mileage we had put in but fortunately,
in what was by now excellent weather, the comment held
27th June 2007
Distance: 10.3 Miles
(Anquet / Harveys)
climbed: 3,022 feet (Anquet / Harveys)
Steel Fell, Calf Crag, Sergeant Man, High
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This page describes a 2007 adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature
years who enjoy defying the aging 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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