BB0736  Gowbarrow Fell and Glenridding Dodd  

Wednesday 21st November 2007

Uncertainty was the theme of the weather forecasts so even as Bryan, Tony and I left Kendal to head for Pooley Bridge we were still keeping our options open.  Should it be a wet weather circuit around Askham (arguably research for a Slipper Stroll) or, if the cloud level was high enough, the capture of a low Wainwright, Gowbarrow Fell? Passing through Shap in teeming rain, even the Slipper Stroll seemed ambitious but as we drew closer to Ullswater, the day improved radically and it was with some confidence that we decided to tackle the hill.

Gowbarrow Fell from the car park

There was a reception committee awaiting at the car park above Aira Force but it transpired they were looking for the local hunt.  We descended by the stream to the falls and most impressive they were after the heavy rain. There are a number of plaques in the vicinity, the most interesting being a glowing tribute to Cecil Spring Rice, our Man in Washington during the Great War of whom it was said that "No ambassador has ever had to discharge duties of greater delicacy or of more far reaching importance."

Looking down Aira Force.....

..... and back up

Our route took us on the gently ascending path that runs for a mile or so above Ullswater before turning north above Yew Crag.  

Ullswater, southern end

It was here that we saw the hunt, or at least several dogs.  We met the Master of the Hounds, complete with horn and Tony asked him if they had put anything up yet.  “Oh yes, we have had five kills already today” was not what he was going to say to three total strangers.  Instead he blew his horn and, I kid you not, a thick mist rose up out of the valley and engulfed him.  When it rolled back, Huntsman, Horn and his dogs had all vanished.  Spooky.

The Hunstman awaits the pack.....

..... and summons up the mist

A bit further up the hill we met another, more communicative huntsman who confirmed that they were out with the Ullswater pack of over thirty dogs and that the path ahead of us was muddier than he had ever seen it.  He was right.  

Ullswater, northern end

It was an exceedingly wet approach to the summit but the day was looking good.  

Gowbarrow team photo

Just as well as I was able to establish from the trig point that the gps on my phone that I had finally got to work with Anquet maps was consistently reporting a position about 100 yards west of where we undoubtedly were.  Had the clag come down, who knows where we might have ended up?

We took lunch at the summit, aware that the clouds were gathering and something very dark and menacing was approaching from the far end of the lake.  The temperature was dropping fast.  It was not a time to linger and we took the direct route to Dockray and back to the car.

Had the rain set in, that might have been the end of our day, but although it was still getting gloomier, there was the opportunity to bag another low Wainwright that most of us (Bryan excepted) had decided not to climb on BB0632.  We drove to Glenridding and parked in the big car park.  The objective was a quick up and down of Glenridding Dodd so we decided on travelling light, abandoning all rucksacks and, of course, singing Cliff Richard.  

Unfortunately, although the path that starts off up the crag is clearly marked on the map and can be seen on the ground, the farmer has frustrated all attempts to reach it legally.  

Eventually, after a lot of to-ing and fro-ing and somewhat misleading consultation with locals, we did find an alternative and well trodden way around Blaes Crag.  

Had we only consulted the Chris Jesty revision of AW’s Eastern Fells before setting off, we would not have had this problem.  

Glenridding Dodd

The path proved steep and it was much more of a late afternoon challenge than we normal inflict on ourselves before we reached the shoulder where we had opted out of this peak on BB0632.  

Glenridding Dodd team photo

As I suspected at the time, the opt-out had been a mistake as, from here, it was an easy and short zig-zag to the top.  

We had quite an explore around the subsidiary peaklets at the summit, trying to find the best view of as much as possible of Ullswater.  

On a good day, this must be a magnificent viewpoint but the light was fading somewhat and there was the hint of drizzle setting in so we returned to the car much faster than on the ascent.

Ullswater from Glenridding Dodd

So, on a day when we almost did not bother, we achieved a successful two-parter and two more steps towards another badge.  Where can you buy those Wainwright badges to glue or stitch to your rucksack?  

We also gleaned some invaluable information from Tony whose fishing club’s pond has been under attack and all the larger fish have disappeared.

Having consulted experts, he now knew that, in this instance at least, it was wrong to accuse the Poles of taking the fish.  The cause was definitely Otters and he had photos of otter poo containing fish eggs to prove it.  

Normally, poo is not the sort of thing, photos of which, we would inflict upon Bootboys readers but an exception is hereby made so that if you have a similar problem with your pond, you may be able to identify the culprits without provoking an international incident.

Otter poo with fish eggs

Don, 21st November 2007


Distance: 7.7 miles  (Garmin/ Memopry Map) (5.0 & 2.7 respectively)

Height climbed: 2,526 feet (Anquet) (1,332 & 1,194 respectively)

Wainwrights:  Gowbarrow Fell and Glenridding Dodd


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






2007 Outings

  • BB0701 Loughrigg - the GPS test
  • BB0702 Whinfell- Castle Craggs
  • BB0703 Wansfell Pike or the Stockghyll picnic
  • BB0704 BOOTboys Cancelled Day plus High Altitude Report
  • BB0705 Out of the Mist and into the Cloud
  • BB0706 Cockups and much much more
  • BB0707 Equipment testing day - High Rigg
  • BB0708 Seat Sandal
  • BB0709 Circling Hollow Moor
  • BB0710 Latterbarrow
  • BB0711 Eagle Crag and Sergeant's Crag
  • BB0712 Bakestall, Great Calva and the Great Divide
  • BB0713 Helvellyn- the range; North to South
  • BB0714 Ease Gill to Great Coum
  • BB0715 Stone Arthur, Fairfield and Apocolypse Now
  • BB0716 Caudale Moor and Hartsop Dodd
  • BB0717 High and Low Rigg or maybe a Rival?
  • BB0718 Oh No!  Not Steel Fell Again?
  • BB0719 Mad Dogs and Easedale Tarn, Codale and Tarn Crag
  • BB0720 An English Munro:  Helvellyn via Catstycam
  • BB0721 Levers Water Circuit
  • BB0722 By Steamer to Hallin and Place Fells
  • BB0723 The Dove and The Deep Dales Round
  • BB0724 Wainwright's Worst Wet Walks!
  • BB0725 To Hell in a Bucket.  And Back!!!
  • BB0726 Wrinklies on the Crinklies and the Return to Hell!
  • BB0727 BOG OFF- Pen-y-Ghent & Whernside
  • BB0728 Shipman Knotts and Half a Horseshoe
  • BB0729 Pikeawassa and the Fusedale Round
  • BB0730 A Gray Day
  • BB0731 Another Gray Day
  • BB0732 Gable and a Great Deal More
  • BB0733 To Monroe or Not to Monroe?
  • BB0734 Nabbing the Nab
  • BB0735 Helm Crag and a Question of Ethics
  • BB0736 Gowbarrow Fell and Glenridding Dodd
  • BB0737 Middle Dodd and Red Screes
  • BB0738  An Adventure and a Test
  • BB0739  Ticking Off Langdales
  • BB0740 The Calf Revisited



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