Lyth- it is NOT a Race!
27th January 2008
strip my willow! A Burns Night Supper with vigorous
country dancing, preceded by a friendís birthday night
out with vigorous alcoholic consumption is not the best
way to prepare for a long distance challenge walk! When
the alarm went off at 6 a.m., this Gay Gordon was more
of an "Omigawd Don"
those who might be wondering who organises these things,
it is the Long
Distance Walkers' Association.
LDWA is an association of people with the common interest
of walking long distances in rural, mountainous or moorland
areas. Many of its activities are social walks
but from time to time it offers ďChallenge EventsĒ-
a walk mostly on footpaths and other Public Rights of
Way across open fields and moors, avoiding tarmac as
much as possible. It stresses that the challenge is
to the individual, to complete the route within the
allowed time, it is NOT a race. Distances range from
twenty miles to a hundred miles (to be completed in
48 hours). And if you complete the challenge within
the allotted time- you can buy a badge to prove it-
what more incentive could anyone need?
is divided into many local groups and Thatís Lyth is
organised by the Westmorland
and North Lancs Group.
description of the challenge reads:
year it takes place on Sunday 27 January
2008, starting at 8 a.m. from the Scout Hut
in Kendal. This is a superb winter event,
encircling the Lyth Valley and visiting
Scout Scar, Cunswick Scar and Whitbarrow
Scar. The route is 23 Miles with an ascent
of 3,200 feet.
superb winter event it might be on a superb winterís
day. But at 7 a.m. on a dark grey morning, it
is somewhat less appealing. Still, we were committed,
so the team of Stan, Bryan and myself convened and headed
to the Scout Hut in Kendal where the walk would start.
In at Kendal Scout Hut
first we had to find somewhere to park-
the New Road car park is normally empty
at that time of that day, bar few cars that
had been left over night by Kendal revellers.
This morning however it was almost
full. There was one place left for
crossed the river and checked in. Although
the event started at 8 a.m. we had made
discreet enquiries and had been given tacit
permission for us oldies to set off immediately.
So it was 7:24 when we set off through
the streets of a still dark Kendal, heading
for the golf course.
the time we reached Cunswick Fell it was daylight. Via
a minor but longer detour, we
headed over to Gamblemires Lane where the advance party
of runners were starting to catch us up. We took
Tranthwaite Lane down to the Underbarrow Road and the
Punchbowl and for the next dozen miles or so followed
the route described in BB0802.
first checkpoint, or grazing station as we preferred
to call it, was at Crosthwaite school.
know the sort of blue elasticated plastic
headwear that dinnerladies wear?
we had to put them on over our shoes to
protect the floor of the school. Bending
down to fit these turned out to be one of
the bigger challenges of the day.
offer here were fruity malt loaf or doughnuts.
I opted for the excellent fruity malt
loaf plus a most welcome cup of tea. We
decided not to stop for long and forced
Bryan to take his tea with him to drink
on the road!
forced to have his tea on the move
fruity malt loaf worked wonders and I got a real energy
rush that enabled me to crank up the already quite fast
pace and really crack on up onto Whitbarrow. Bryan
was getting seriously worried about how fast we were
travelling, fearing that we were going to burn out.
The descent of the scar was a different matter.
Although generally the ground was in better condition
than on Tuesday that was not the case on the steep path-
it was considerably greasier than before and I found
it challenging to keep my footing, especially given
the sharp drop to the right. Bryan and Stan had
no such problems and romped down at twice my speed;
I did not catch them up until a decent bit of level
ground near Witherslack School.
over Yewbarrow, we had only been passed by a handful
of walkers and some of them had their 100 mile walk
badges on their sacks so we didnít feel too bad. However,
there were two blokes that were a little ahead of us
but not getting away so Stan decided they had to be
reeled in, which we managed before the next grazing
station at Witherslack Parish Hall. This time
the choice was between a hot dog and quiche. I
didnít fancy anything hard to digest so went for the
quiche (plus tea, of course) but Bryan and Stan raved
about the hot dog and rued the fact that they had only
been offered one.
uphill section at the southern end of Whitbarrow Scar
was cruel because it felt unnecessary but when we got
over the brow, Stan suddenly took off. We let
him go for a while but by the time he had opened up
a hundred yard lead, we felt he needed to be reeled
in which took him a bit by surprise when he looked round
to find us on his shoulder.
across the bottom of the valley was no easier than on
Tuesday but this time we had ensured that Robert and
Diane were in at Cinderbarrow and they cheered us on,
Diane waving the Union Jack and Robert taking the team
photos as we strode by- as he said- no time for a chat.
Indeed that is why, other than the ones Robert took,
there are so few pictures. See BB0802
Arriving at Cinderbarrow....
and heading off to Cotes Corner
fact we were only two hundred yards from the third grazing
station at Cotes Corner. Here I made a big mistake.
On offer were doughnuts or biscuits. I had
hoped for more fruity malt loaf but in its absence opted
for tea plus a doughnut. It was pleasant enough
but for the next half hour I had an awful sickly sweet
taste in my mouth. However I canít blame that
for now starting to flag. My pace was certainly
dropping and it was a great effort to cling to Bryanís
boot heels. Stan meanwhile was on some sort of
interval training schedule as we climbed up to Helsington
Church and Scout Scar. The reason was that he
feared being beaten home by a young lady of generous
proportions so was determined to open up a big enough
gap to prevent this happening.
departed from the BB0802
route by heading right at the cairn, across Helsington
Barrows and the Racecourse before dropping down into
Kendal. And on Gillinggate the unthinkable happened.
The aforementioned lady who was so far behind
she could not possibly catch us, did just that and powered
past. Stan put in a token challenge but it was
too little too late.
he and Bryan seemed to be finishing particularly strongly
whereas I was just about shot as we arrived back at
the Scout Hut at 2:18 p.m., just under seven hours since
setting out. So, we had not needed that bonus
half hour of the early start in order to meet the time
commitment of a 5 p.m. return to base! We had
in fact made remarkable (for us, or at least for me)
time with a moving average speed of 3.5 miles per hour
over 24.1 miles.
the weather, which had been grey all day and windy to
start with, was probably ideal for the purpose. Certainly,
heat or rain or worse would have given rise to a much
pretty pleased with ourselves we checked in and grazed
for the last time on more tea, this time plus fruit
salad with creamed rice. Wonderful.
we collected our certificates and badges.
Now, are you non-joiners jealous?
an even bigger challenge- The Spring
in Lakeland Walk on Sunday 6th April. The
route is from Ambleside, visiting: Loughrigg Tarn, Skelwith
Bridge, Elterwater, High Tilberthwaite, Coniston, Tarn
Hows, Skelwith,Clappersgate and returning to Ambleside.
A scenic 22 mile event with 4,900ft of ascent. 10 hours
interested? Or should we let the madness pass
and get back to normal Bootboy
27th January 2008
miles (Garmin/Memory Map)
climbed: 3,200 feet (Anquet)
Whitbarrow Scar (Outlying Fells)
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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Avoiding the Graupel;
Lyth in the Old Dogs; 22 January
: That's Lyth;
: Tony's Memory Lane;
: Fell's Belles! Thank You Mells?
: The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!
An Outbreak of Common Sense;
Askham Fell and the Lowther Estate;
: Thanks to the MWIS
19th March 2008
: High Street and Kidsty Pike but no Fairy
: Prelude to Spring
2nd April 2008
: Spring in Lakeland
6th April 2008
Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
10th April 2008
: What's It All About, Tony?
17th April 2008
: The Hidden Mountain
22nd April 2008
: The Bowland CROW
1st May 2008
: High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
7th May 2008
: Travelling Light
14th May 2008
BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda
23rd February - 1st March
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 an 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