BB0729 Pikeawassa and the Fusedale Round

Wednesday 26th September 2007

With Autumn officially only a few days old and the leaves just starting to turn, it seemed, first thing this morning, as if Summer and Winter had both arrived at the same time to try and take over.  It was a beautiful day although bitterly cold.

As we drove up Shap, heading for Pooley Bridge and another excursion on the Ullswater Launch, we thought we were in for one of those glorious outings of which we have known few this year.

We took a short cut through Lowther Park, past the ghostly ruined castle to the delightful village of Askham where Stan wondered what property prices were like and got the predictable reply.

At the Pooley Bridge pier there was a man filming for the Ullswater Steamers web site so you might, one day soon, be able to see us in the movies.

Lowther Castle

Ullswater from Pooley Bridge Pier

Sadly, Summer was starting to lose the battle with Winter.  The clouds were forming and a bitter North Wind was blowing.  Not so strong however that the Captain of the Launch needed to use his hands to steer.  Feet sufficed!  We landed at Howtown and made our rather cold way up the nose of Steel Knotts, along to its summit, the wonderfully named Pikeawassa where Wainwright challenges the walker actually to stand on it highest point.

Look!  No Hands!

Meeting AW's challenge on Pikeawassa

As we continued south along the ridge, with Fusedale on our left hand side, Stan suddenly shot off.  When Tony stopped to put on more clothes, I decided to catch him up.

The Steel Knotts Ridge with Fusedale to the left, Martindale to the right

It took quite an effort but in the end I managed it and asked why he had set off so fast. He explained that it was now past noon and he did not want to have to listen to Tony twining on about needing to stop for lunch.  

The drawback of a trip that starts with the Ullswater Launch is that inevitably we are late getting onto the fells, in this case it was around 11:20 before we started walking so it was inevitable that a late lunch stop would be involved and that Tonyís needs would be severely challenged.

When we reached the High Street motorway on Wether Hill, we stopped to wait for Tony and Bryan to catch up.  To our surprise, Bryan confirmed that Tony had been as good as gold and had not mentioned lunch once.

That was soon to change.  On the top of Wether Hill and despite a wind chill effect of considerable extent, I thought for a moment Tony was going to emulate a Burmese Monk and stage a one man protest sit down.  However he was encouraged to carry on to the col that was in the lee of Loadpot Hill where we managed to find a peat embankment behind which we could get down out of the wind and refuel.

Having had his pit stop, Tony was anxious to carry on so he hurried us to recommence our progress up to the top of Loadpot Hill.  Here was definitely not the place for lingering so we continued on towards Bonscale Pike, trying, en route, to find the stone circle that is mentioned on the maps but we could not see it.


Ullswater from Bonscale Pike

The view from Bonscale Pike is quite spectacular down the lake to Fairfield and the Helvellyns and east to Skiddaw and Blencathra.  

Stan had another attempt to find the stone circle but soon gave up and rejoined us on the way to Arthurís Pike.


Team  picture at Bonscale Pike


Skiddaw and Blencathra from Arthur's Pike

From here it was a fairly gentle descent to Aik Beck and then down to Park Foot which is quite a complex of cottages, caravans, pony trekking and the largest gentís loo and shower block I have seen since I left school.  On discovering a huge campsite, it finally dawned on us for whom it was there. 


Park Foot Wash Basins


Late afternoon at Pooley Bridge

Once we reached the road, Summer started a bit of a fight back and pushed Winter aside.  The drive back was almost as pleasant as the outward journey.  We stopped for a few minutes to explore the Lonsdale familyís churchyard and admired the extensive model village of estate workerís cottages.

The Lonsdale Mausoleum and Church

Estate Cottages

If only Summer had made that effort earlier on, this would have been a magnificent outing. As it was, it was still a good walk with tremendous views but oh so cold!

Don, Wednesday 26th September 2007


Earl of Lonsdale

Detail from Mausoleum

Distance: 10.5 miles  (Harveys / Anquet and Garmin / Memory Map)

Height climbed: 2,543feet.

Wainwrights:  Steel Knottsl, Wether Hill, Loadpot Hill, Bonscale Pike, Arthur's Pike

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fell Book Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!




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Bryan has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which Bootboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of Bootboys.  

To download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.  

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


BOOT boys

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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