BB0733  To Monroe or Not To Monroe?  
That is the Question

Thursday 1st November 2007

The excitement this week was all in the anticipation.

On Monday the plan was to tackle an English “Munroe” (Skiddaw), necessitating a team of 7 including Sherpas.

On Wednesday afternoon forecasts of 50mph winds and thick cloud surfaced and enthusiasm began to wane. Philip e-mailed to say  “I am really ambivolent about this.” Alternative suggestions of Beda Fell or the Helm were floated.

On Thursday morning the phones were hot. Don rang at 07:30 to say he, Emma and Scott had received a better offer and were pulling out.  

Fifteen minutes later Philip rang. His ambivolence almost got the better of him but every pull-out excuse was fended off….

  • Got to be back for 4pm  -  no problem, we’ll do a short walk
  • Can’t set off until 9:15 at the earliest  -  no problem, we’ll do an even shorter walk
  • Must have lunch at 12  -  no problem, Tony’s coming

At 8am I called Stan. He was in total confusion about what was happening having been left off the copy list for many of the e-mails (not deliberately of course!), but agreed that he could just about manage to get ready in the 60 minutes available.

So by 9:20 our group of four was on the road. Our target? Not the lofty heights of a Munroe any more. It was instead a trip to the Wainwright tops of Sour Howes and Sallows above the Troutbeck valley. This would give Stan and Tony vital ticks in their quest to finish the Far Eastern fells before Xmas.

After the long 15 minute drive from Kendal we parked up at the start of the Dubbs Road which ultimately joins the Garburn Pass between Troutbeck and Kentmere.

Previous experience of this route (BB0517) taught me that it’s not one to rush (mainly because we would be back before Tony had chance to have his lunch. What chaos this would cause his digestive system I hesitate to imagine!). So we decided on a coffee stop as a treat, which it was for those who had coffee, less so for our soup drinking companion!

Troutbeck valley from Garburn Pass

We pushed on towards the Garburn pass before turning off and crossing the stile to head for Sallows. The clag was by now enveloping the tops and the views from the 516 metre high top were none-existent.

From there we made our way around the head of the Park Beck valley, still in thick mist and a strongish breeze, before heading off to the top of Sour Howes. Lunch was calling (it was now 12:10!) so we hurried off to find a suitable spot and in the process forgot to take the obligatory team summit photo, so today’s was taken on the descent.

Team  photo

Windermere from slopes of Sour Howes

As we descended the weather began to improve and we got some spectacular views of Windermere

The sun by now was beating down (sunshine when we’ve finished seems to be an occurrence that has happened all too often on our walks this year!) and we arrived back at the car 4 hours after setting off.

Not quite the Munroe we anticipated but a pleasant day out none-the-less. Probably a walk we wouldn’t have done if the Wainwright ticks weren’t wanted, and perhaps a good reason for doing so – it gets you into areas you wouldn’t otherwise bother with.

Bryan, 1st November 2007

Distance: 6.7 miles  

Height climbed: 1,100 feet

Wainwrights:  Sour Howes, Sallows


Afternote from Don: Poor old Bryan.  Fresh back from the delights of Jordan (the place with endless sunshine, not the model with endless boobs) to that sort of weather!  Here is a taster of what he had left behind him.

Meanwhile, our "better offer" was a family walk through Levens Park, with antlered stags and horny old goats in autumnal splendour, to the Hare & Hounds at Levens.  Deep fried plaice gougons with chips washed down with a couple of jars of Black Sheep.  Gentle stagger to the Sizergh barn shop to get provisions for tea, rescuing an escaped border terrier from certain death in the traffic en route then home for a snooze.  A surprising (but non-qualifying) 7.8 miles and 850 feet.

Monarch of the Park

Horny old goat

Don, 3rd November 2007

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 picture.



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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