An Adventure and a Test
12th December 2007
words like “adventure” and “test” are bandied around
about your proposed route before you have even got out
of the car, you know you are in for something serious!
first objective was Birkhouse Moor. Most people,
if they bother with it at all, approach it as a short
and easy detour from the Mires Beck path to their main
objective, Helvellyn. But as Birkhouse Moor, for us,
was a primary target in order to finish the Eastern
Fells we thought it deserved to be approached as a mountain
in its own right.
meant the direct approach from Glenridding
up the nose of the Nab. This is the route
on which Wainwright commended the “beautiful view in retrospect”
and he was right with virtually the
whole of Ullswater gradually being revealed.
Dodd to the left, Ullswater ahead and Place Fell behind
also described as it an adventure
(albeit prefaced with the adjective “mild”)
and a test in route-finding amongst low
so it proved. Stan, in rampant form,
took the direct approach on one particularly challenging
crag and called triumphantly from the top not to go
that way. Bryan ignored his advice and also went
direttisimo. Tony and I took the flanks.
I suspect I had the better of it. My route
was essentially a grass staircase. Heart pumpingly steep
but totally safe. Tony's route was more exposed
and particularly challenging for those who are a little
short in the leg department.
the crags were out of the way, the summit
cairn came as a bit of surprise with Catstyecam
in the background which, given the wintery
conditions, looked as if they had escaped
right out of an AW sketch.
Nab crags approach to Birkhouse Moor.
Moor cairn with Helvellyn behind.
dropped down to take shelter behind a wall
for a coffee stop, or in Tony’s case- Oxo
which enables him to last a little longer
before the hunger pangs kick in.
we contoured round almost to Red Tarn before
taking the path that climbs to Swirral Edge
where we started to meet real snow on the
did not, however, climb Swirral; our second objective
was Catstycam which Tony needed so on meeting the high
level path we turned right for the easy climb to its
tried to tell us that our way down was to the north-west to the old dam. Perhaps he had forgotten
that I had been up that way on BB0720
how steep it was. These were definitely not
the conditions to be descending that sort of terrain. I
like to think that he was only joking! We returned by the path on which we had arrived,
however, for the first 50 yards or so, it seemed much
more treacherous going down than it had been the case going
up. I almost had to resort to the instep crampons
that I had bought yesterday on seeing the Met Office warning
not to venture out without your crampons and ice-axe!
Tarn with Striding Edge behind and Helvellyn to the
headed down towards Red Tarn, taking lunch at a dining
table sized rock whilst watching quite a few folk making
their way very carefully along Striding Edge. We
met a Ranger who had come down Swirral Edge and he confirmed
that it was OK but you really needed crampons and ice
axe up there. Perhaps he files the Met Office
lunch we bore left down into the Glenridding Valley
and the trail back to the car. A relatively short walk,
but as someone once said, an adventure and a test!
12th December 2007
miles (Garmin/ Memory Map)
climbed: 2,428 feet (Anquet)
Birkhouse Moor, Catstycam
For the latest totals
of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books 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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- BB0701 Loughrigg - the GPS
- BB0702 Whinfell- Castle
- BB0703 Wansfell Pike or the
- BB0704 BOOTboys Cancelled Day plus High Altitude
- BB0705 Out of the Mist and
into the Cloud
- BB0706 Cockups and much much
- BB0707 Equipment testing day
- High Rigg
- BB0708 Seat
- BB0709 Circling Hollow
- BB0711 Eagle Crag and
- BB0712 Bakestall, Great
Calva and the Great Divide
- BB0713 Helvellyn- the range;
North to South
- BB0714 Ease Gill to Great
Stone Arthur, Fairfield and Apocolypse Now
- BB0716 Caudale Moor and
- BB0717 High and Low Rigg or
maybe a Rival?
- BB0718 Oh No! Not Steel
- BB0719 Mad Dogs and Easedale
Tarn, Codale and Tarn Crag
- BB0720 An English Munro:
Helvellyn via Catstycam
- BB0721 Levers Water
- BB0722 By Steamer to Hallin
and Place Fells
- BB0723 The Dove and The Deep
Wainwright's Worst Wet Walks!
- BB0725 To Hell in a Bucket.
- BB0726 Wrinklies on the
Crinklies and the Return to Hell!
BOG OFF- Pen-y-Ghent & Whernside
Knotts and Half a Horseshoe
- BB0729 Pikeawassa and the
A Gray Day
- BB0731 Another Gray
- BB0732 Gable and a Great
- BB0733 To
Monroe or Not to Monroe?
- BB0734 Nabbing the
- BB0735 Helm Crag and a
Question of Ethics
- BB0736 Gowbarrow Fell and
- BB0737 Middle Dodd and Red
- BB0738 An Adventure and a
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