A Gray Day
4th October 2007
or Gray? Which do you think? And does it
matter? Oh, yes, it certainly does!
was the big constraint today. Bryan had early
morning commitments with builders and dentists and Philip,
Tony and I had afternoon commitments. Tony had
been totally clear but unfortunately that was on Wednesday.
He got himself ready, made his packed lunch and
waited and waited. At ten he phoned to have it
confirmed that Thursday was our day out this week. At
least was able to eat at noon without hassle. Mind
you, that is what I promised him for today.
original intention was to tackle Grey Crag as I needed
it for the W scores and Longsleddale would be an easy
journey. However, Bryan pointed out, to my embarrassment,
the Grey Crag unclimbed was actually GrAy Crag at Hartsop
whereas the one in Longsleddale was indeed GrEy Crag
but we had done that in BB0624.
wondered if I could claim a misunderstanding and that
Grayrigg Common was our actual objective but decided
that it would be stretching things too far. Nevertheless
this was an objective that satisfied both the time constraints
and the condition of not having been there before (we
turned back at Whinfell Beacon on BB0406).
And it was a Wainwright of sorts, being included
in the “Walks on the Howgill Fells” book. So
a different type of Gray Day it would be.
Lune Gorge and the Howgills from above Little
a gray day it was as we set off with the clag down on
our objective, but there again we were earlier than
expected as Bryan’s commitments both cancelled on him.
had my new boots on. I did think someone would
have risen to the challenge in BB0728
of identifying how to cure squeaky boots. I would
have put money on Robert advocating liberally spraying
WD40 or Pete recommending the foot to be lathered in
Vaseline. But no. Not a word. So I
turned to the internet for help.
Berghaus were no use, studiously ignoring my enquiry.
However googling “squeaky boots” was more promising.
Several web sites are devoted to the subject,
mostly threads on bulletin boards. There was a
clear division. The majority were indeed in favour
of WD40 however a vociferous minority warned that it
was the worst thing you possibly do and preferred instead
Nivea or baby oil.
decided that WD40 was a last resort and that on the
assumption that the cause was the drying out of the
layers of leather in the sole, the obvious first approach
should be to immerse the boots totally in water for
a considerable period. This I did and when they
dried out, eagerly, I tested them. The right,
the lesser problem, was just as it was before. The
left was, if possible, squeaked worse than ever. Just
before reaching for the WD40, I had a closer look at
the boot and immediately saw what the problem was. The
heel was coming away from the uppers.
shouldn’t happen," I thought, so I took them back
to The Great Outdoors at Plantation Bridge and said
“That shouldn’t happen, should it?” “No,” the
very helpful assistant replied, “it shouldn’t. What
would you like to do about it?” So half an hour
later I left with a brand new pair of Brasher leather
boots at an upgrade cost of just £20. I
must commend The Great Outdoors. This is actually
my fourth pair of boots in this sequence- they have
without hesitation replaced two pairs of faulty Salomon
Boots and one pair of faulty Berghaus. Am I unlucky
Brashered-up, we set off from Low Borrow Bridge up the
Westmorland Borrowdale- a lovely little valley that
seems to have escaped its one-time intended fate as
another Manchester reservoir. On reaching a bridle
path we left the valley bottom to climb up to the two
sets of radio masts littering the skyline. The
cloud had now lifted above the tops but it was still
very overcast and although we could see Kendal, it was
not very clear.
from the radio masts
Beacon from Grayrigg Common
here we made our way up to the top of Grayrigg Common,
an easy climb particularly enjoyed by Tony who was so
excited by the prospect of lunch at noon, he even volunteered
to let us eat early. However it was too cold and
blowey on the top and we thought it might be better
and within the time constraint, to head over to the
view point above Little Coum.
just out of the wind and with a splendid view of the
Lune Gorge (and the heart shaped wood with its myths
of unrequited love), we had lunch and finished it, never
mind started it, by noon.
Common Team Picture
heart shaped wood
descend, we had to retrace our steps a bit and then
follow the wall along the Birk Knott ridge with quite
a severe drop uncomfortably close on our right. Lower
down, as the wall zig-zagged, we got separated. Philip
and I in the advance party missed the wall crossing
to descend by the stream. Bryan and Tony found
it but hadn’t noticed where we had gone. Actually
we weren’t far away, waiting for them, but hidden behind
a hillock at a wall corner. So we crossed the
wall rather later and made a descent near the stream
on a regular path that eventually led us back to the
bridle path we had gone up and down to the valley road.
Bryan and Tony took the more direct but less trodden
route and emerged on the valley road just in front of
us. Thinking we hadn’t seen them they hurtled
round a corner and sat down pretending they had been
there hours. Little liars!
Coum from Borrowdale
increasingly less gray Grayrigg Common
now, it was no longer a grey (or gray) day. The
clouds had thinned and, as has happened so often on
BB walks, the sun shone for our return. In fact,
not only was I in good time for my meeting, there was
time for a snooze in the warm and sunny conservatory
one problem. My new Brashers squeak! I am
hoping it is just the effect of new leather in the tongue
rubbing on the uppers and that it will soon bed down.
I don’t want to have to go back begging to The
Great Outdoors yet again!
Thursday 4th October 2007
Distance: 6.6 miles (Garmin / Memory Map)
climbed: 1,800 feet (estimated)
Grayrigg Common (Walks in the Howgills)
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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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