Ticking Off Langdales
19th December 2007
like too good a day to miss.” So said Martin,
hastily rearranging his appointments. He added,
“What is the point of being self-employed if you can’t
get out on a day like this?” Quite. Other
it was by no means certain that your scribe would actually
get out. I should explain that I had been training
Tony-style. In other words, lunchtime o’booze
in Chester followed by a night out at the Highwayman
in Tunstall. The net result was that at 4:30 a.m.
I was awoken by three concurrent crises: a bladder ready
to burst, a calf crippled with cramp and a gut that
was overwhelmed with ‘orrible indigestion.
addressed the first two and went back to sleep only
to wake an hour later to find the third had redoubled
its intensity. I thought about hobbling downstairs
(my calf still ached from the cramp) to find some Gavascon
but feared the movement would trigger a conversation
with God on the big white telephone so lay still while
the crisis passed. You will therefore understand
why it was with no great confidence that I set out!
view from the Low Wood Hotel
day was magnificent as were the views, with Windermere
and then Elterwater so still and the air so clear. We
parked at the New Dungeon Ghyll National Trust car park
and set off up Stickle Ghyll.
Initially I was
going much better than I had any right to expect but
after half an hour or so of solid climbing, I did feel
the energy tanks getting low. However, reaching
Stickle Tarn helped me forget about such considerations.
It was partly frozen and the liquid portions were
absolutely motionless, offering splendid reflections
of Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark.
picture of Don taking the picture below
offered to take us up Jack’s Rake but we declined such
generosity and elected instead for what Bryan called
Easy Gully but I knew as North Rake- much simpler, not
exposed but rather longer than I remembered. Towards
the top it started to get icy in parts (it’s not called
North Rake for nothing) and I wondered whether to unleash
my secret weapon; however, I decided to keep it packed
away for the time being.
from Pavey Ark
on Pavey Ark
we had claimed Pavey Ark summit, we stopped for lunch-
or in my case, for a bad attack of the hiccups. As
there were quite a lot of icy patches around, I decided
it was time to experiment with the secret weapon and
withdrew my Grivel Spiders from their bag. These are
nothing more than two pieces of yellow plastic, one
to be strapped to each boot and each having ten small
metal spikes. Not quite instep crampons, more like instep
hobnails. Once you have them on, you hardly notice
them until you have to cross ice where they give you
a considerable amount of grip. So it was with
this added reassurance that I confidently set off to
Thunacarr Knott over terrain that was, at times, causing
others some difficulty.
to Skiddaw from Thurnacrr Knott
had thought that I needed Thunacarr Knott for my Central
Fells badge but on approaching it I realised that I/we
must have done it on the Christmas 2003 visit to the
Langdales. However as that precedes Bootboys,
it probably ought not count!
Thunacarr Knott we turned around and headed for Pike
o’Stickle. As we got closer, being in the lead
thanks to my supergrip footwear, I had to identify the
way up this rock fortress. I found what I thought
was a path circling round to the right and this led
to an interesting scramble- indeed it might even be
graded as an easy rock climb. Here I found that
the "crunchers", as I have termed my Grivel
Spiders, actually got in the way somewhat. They
did not prevent the summit being attained but, fortunately,
I discovered an easier way down.
Stickle from Pike o'Stickle
o'Stickle from Loft Crag
we climbed the rather simpler Loft Crag. There
was a nice little sunny platform out of the wind where
we ate the remains of our lunches (hiccup-free this
time). Tony never ceases to amaze me. Here
was a guy who is as wimpish as I am about
exposure, almost having to be physically
restrained from going back to the scree
gully so that he could explore the stone
age axe factory!
We had intended to round off the excursion
with a visit to Harrison Stickle but the sun was getting
low in the sky, the top of the path down Dungeon Ghyll
was already in the shade so we decided to leave that,
for those who need it, for a later day.
path refound the sun and traversed round below Harrison
Stickle. Although it is quite wide there are some
severe drops not far off to your right. I was
finding the crunchers a bit of an encumbrance on the
rocks so I took them off. Only to find, inevitably,
an ice patch ten yards further on! However, it
was a one-off and there was no more ice to speak of
until almost down into the valley. Having negotiated
this ice without problem (or crunchers) the path became
dry and sound so I pressed on, admiring the silhouette
of Side Pike on the other side of the valley when the
ground vanished from beneath me and I found myself sliding
along on my backside. I managed to alert the others
to the danger but no sooner had they safely found a
different way round than a man in a bright orange cagoule
did exactly what I had done. Strangely he didn’t
find it any comfort to be told that!
is little else to report except that when I took my
boots off there was so much steam escaping that Stan
reckoned you could boil an egg in them.
so ends BB0739 and, possibly, the Bootboys
19th December 2007
miles (Garmin/ Memory Map)
climbed: 2,510 feet (Anquet)
Pavey Ark, Thurnacarr Knott, Pike o'Stickle, Loft
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 test
Whinfell- Castle Craggs
Pike or the Stockghyll picnic
Cancelled Day plus High Altitude Report
Out of the Mist and into the Cloud
Cockups and much much more
Equipment testing day - High Rigg
Circling Hollow Moor
Eagle Crag and Sergeant's Crag
Bakestall, Great Calva and the Great Divide
Helvellyn- the range; North to South
Ease Gill to Great Coum
- BB0715 Stone Arthur, Fairfield and Apocolypse Now
- BB0716 Caudale Moor and Hartsop Dodd
High and Low Rigg or maybe a Rival?
Oh No! Not Steel Fell Again?
Mad Dogs and Easedale Tarn, Codale and Tarn Crag
An English Munro: Helvellyn via Catstycam
Levers Water Circuit
By Steamer to Hallin and Place Fells
The Dove and The Deep Dales Round
Wainwright's Worst Wet Walks!
To Hell in a Bucket. And Back!!!
Wrinklies on the Crinklies and the Return to Hell!
BOG OFF- Pen-y-Ghent & Whernside
Shipman Knotts and
Half a Horseshoe
Pikeawassa and the Fusedale Round
A Gray Day
Another Gray Day
Gable and a Great Deal More
To Monroe or Not to Monroe?
Nabbing the Nab
Helm Crag and a Question of Ethics
Gowbarrow Fell and Glenridding Dodd
Middle Dodd and Red Screes
An Adventure and a Test
Ticking Off Langdales
The Calf Revisited
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