Wainwright's Worst Wet Walks!
22nd August, 2007
to Julia Bradbury, Griff Rhys Jones and others, Wainwright’s
favourite walks are getting a lot of attention lately.
However, I suspect that today we tackled four
of his all time least favourite tops.
confess that thanks to my old computer having died on
me and the new one not yet arrived, I had not paid too
much attention to Stan’s suggested route, except that
it included the dreaded Armboth Fell. Dreaded
because I recalled from many years ago on first reading Wainwright’s
description of the boggy terrain that he considered
it one of the few peaks that did not merit visiting.
It was only after the event, knowing where we
had been, that I discovered he had hardly a good word
to say for any of our destinations.
day started brilliantly. Literally. Threw
back the curtains and saw something I had not seen for
what seems like ages. Sunshine and wall to wall
cloudless sky. For the first time this summer
the most important thing to pack was the sun cream.
range across Thirlmere
travelled up the west side of the newly opened up Thirlmere
much more accessible now that so many of the lower trees
have been removed- and parked by the Launchy Gill bridge.
Stan described the route he had planned for us
as “experimental” which meant he had not done it before
and it does not appear in any recognised guidebook.
This is always a worrying sign as readers of BB0603
and Tony looking south from Raven Crag
turned out that we had parked rather further south than
intended and had to walk some 2.2 miles north along
the lake before turning onto the path to tackle our
first objective- Raven Crag. This involved quite
a steep climb up through the forest that AW detested
so much before approaching the summit. Bryan opted
out of the final climb as this is another of the 7 that
he is saving for his grand finale of this round of Wainwrights.
views down Thirlmere and north to Skiddaw and Blencathra
made it all worth while.
and Blencathra from Raven Crag
retraced our steps down to the forest path and shortly
afterwards came across Castle Crag which seemingly had
been an Ancient British Fort.
The path around
to reach the summit emphasised its defensive advantages,
which is another way of saying that one wrong step and
you’re a dead man!
we retraced our steps and then tried to find a sensible
route down to and across Shoulthwaite Gill.
as this was an experimental route, various obstacles
had to be overcome on the way, including a deer fence
at which some kindly soul had placed a piece of wood
as a sort of plank to help you get over it.
watches Tony get his leg over
the stream and we were faced with very steep ground
where, near the top of which, again an experiment took
place- to let Tony have his lunch much earlier than
the normal punishment to which he is subjected.
here I had a senior moment. I put the cup back
on the top of my flask of coffee and placed it in the
side pocket of my rucksack which was lying horizontally
on the ground. Then I noticed that the stopper
was still lying with my sandwiches. Not the cleverest
move of the day.
and spillages completed, we made our way onto the ridge
where a decision had to be made.
picture on High Seat
Should we head
over to Bleaberry Fell (which I subsequently discovered
AW rather liked) and then return or leave it to another
day (and another route incorporating Walla Crag) and
head south to High Seat. We chose the latter.
The terrain up there on the strangely named Threefooted
Brandreth is alternatively bog and heather. The
heather was looking very attractive as it was in full
bloom. Sadly, millions of big, black clegs and
flying ants thought similarly and they rather spoiled
the enjoyment somewhat.
Seat may have its demerits but the views, particularly
from the Langdales round clockwise to Skiddaw were excellent.
However the wind was quite fierce at the time and the
summit was not a place to linger.
From High Seat looking south
From High Seat looking north
Armboth top with High Tove (left) and High
here to High Tove was a boggy route march by the fence.
This potentially could then have got a lot worse
had we taken the direct route to Armboth Fell. However
we took the path that would eventually lead down to
Fisher Gill to miss the worst of the bog before turning
right to reach the top of Armboth Fell by the driest
route possible. The summit is a surprise. After
all that moss and bog and heather, it is a slab of bare
rock which Tony convinced carried carvings by stone
age man but Bryan tried to persuade him were entirely
decision was now needed. A seemingly safe and
simple descent via Fisher Gill or the experimental route
down Launchy Gill which would bring us out by the car
but on the map looked rather too experimental for comfort.
We chose safety although once again we had an
obstacle to tackle.
We were suckered into an enclosed
area by a stile over the deer fence, but there seemed
no path inside and having crossed the Gill, it was obvious
the path ran outside the enclosure. We had to
escape which we did in the most responsible manner,
hoping that wires did not snap and cause untold personal
damage. Fortunately no damage resulted and from
there it was the anticipated safe and simple descent
back to the road and a mile or so more to the car.
get his leg over a second time
AW got this group of peaks wrong? This has not
exactly been the driest of summers so some wetness was
not a surprise; indeed I would not have been surprised
if it had been rather worse. All in all I found
it quite an enjoyable outing but definitely not one
for the rainy season.
22nd August 2007
Distance: 8.5 miles (Harveys
climbed: 2,507 feet (Harveys / Anquet)
Crag, High Seat, High Tove, Armboth Fell
For the latest totals see: Wainwrights.
Stan has added a few more. If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let
me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which Bootboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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!
If you want to contact us, click on