BB0734  Nabbing the Nab and Bagging the Alfie  

Wednesday 7th November 2007

Today was to be a very important day.  A qualifying day for the presentations of the Alfies at this year’s Bootboys awards ceremony.

So it came as rather a shock when I called for Tony at 7:35 this morning to find him still in his nightie and curlers, looking very much the worse for wear.  “Did you not get my e-mail?” he asked.  No I hadn’t so I was unaware that he had seriously been out on the pop the night before with his fishing friends, had not got in until gone midnight and had thought better of spending the next day in the hills.  I did think about taking a photo of him for the record but thought it too cruel.  My colleagues, it has to be said, berated me later for this failure, thinking it was no more than he deserved.

St Martin's Church

Consequently there were only three of us who set off from the car park by
St Martin's Church- the old church in Martindale- in better than expected weather- cloud quite high and very good visibility.  Our first objective was Beda Fell, which we tackled by the nose although at times we had to lay up (I think that is the correct nautical term) because the wind was much stronger than expected and was making progress difficult.  Three deer had a laugh at us but did not hang around for their photos to be taken.

Beda Fell with Martindale to the left, Boredale to the right

 Ullswater from Beda Fell

 The Nab and Rest Dodd from  Beda Fell

From Beda Fell we made our way along this pleasant ridge, around by Angle Tarn and had a coffee break near Buck Crag, overlooking Bannerdale.  A quick detour to knock off Brock Crags, which Stan needed as he had not been with us on BB0731, then back near Satura Crag to start contouring around Rest Dodd to find the access point for the Nab.

Angle Tarn with Rest Dodd to left and Brock Crags byond the tarn

A word of explanation is needed here.  In AW’s time, this was the only permitted way on to and off the Nab and as such it made it a rather difficult place to include on walks.  The impression is still given from the maps that this is what ought to be done but Bryan had done his homework.  He had reviewed the Dalemain Estate's attempts to thwart the right to roam legislation.  They had argued that as the Nab is a deer sanctuary it should be excluded.  However the inspector had ruled otherwise.  

The landowners conceded that some walkers may need to exit The Nab quickly if the weather deteriorates, or if they are benighted or perhaps because of fitness in a member of the party. Stiles have been installed in the fell wall near Nab End and the field boundary near The Bungalow allowing walkers to access the track to The Bungalow and exit on to the public highway.   This route has been allowed by permission of Dalemain Estate. They consider there is no legal right to use the track and insist that it is for exiting The Nab only. There is a “no entry to CROW land” roundel on the entrance gate to the track from the road.  In short, there is a one way “escape” route off The Nab to the north. However the route has not been promoted on the interpretation boards at the request of Dalemain Estate so as not to encourage its over-use.  The route from and back to Rest Dodd remains the “Preferred Route”.

The Nab Nabbing Team Nabbing the Nab

The steep drop to Martindale from the Nab

As we approached the Nab summit, we noted that the weather was deteriorating and we might need to exit quickly.  Also, my new boots were giving me blisters thereby potentially affecting my fitness.  And if we lingered too long over lunch (taken in the lee of the hill and out of sight of the gamekeepers) we could become benighted.  So armed with three sort of legitimate excuses we made our way down the nose of the Nab.  We were clearly not the first- a well-defined track is developing.  However I have to say that I think this is the steepest ground that I have been down and must confess that at times I found glissading (or what my first ski instructor called “Scottish Skiing”, i.e. sliding down on your bum) was the easiest way.

We need not have worried about being challenged.  We saw no one (indeed the only people was saw all day was a group of two self confessed wrinkly couples up near Satura Crag who were going very well for their advanced ages- and, Tony, they had been up half the night drinking and dancing in the local night club before hitting the hills).  We also saw no deer in the deer sanctuary although there were quite a few in the fields in the valley bottom.

The Nab from  Martindale

Ullswater on the way home

The weather picked up again (as per normal) as we headed back to the car.  Stan and I claimed our qualification for the Far Eastern Alfie award (in Stan’s case his second, having first achieved this in 1980).  Bryan has now completed all but one Far Eastern Fell. He is leaving one fell in each book for a final sweep up expedition to complete the Wainwround of seven Alfies in one.  Tony, on the other hand, is ....... (answer on a postcard in not more than five words).

When I got home at the unusually early time of 3:30 p.m., there was a message on my answerphone- not from Tony- complaining that I did not seem to be getting my e-mails. True. There was a problem at the server.  Eventually they started to trickle through including one from Tony sent in the wee small hours excusing himself, wishing us a good day and saying “hope you all realise you'll have to do these again!!”  

Not for a while, Tony, not for a while.  As I indicated in BB0731, one of the delights of completing the Wainwrights is the realisation and relief that I would not have to do those hills again!

Don, 7th November 2007


Distance: 9.1 miles  (Garmin/ Memory Map)

Height climbed: 2,575 feet (Anquet)

Wainwrights:  Beda Fell, Brock Crags, The Nab

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!



     E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  


BOOT boys

Home Page








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!

If you want to contact us, click on