BB0803  That's  Lyth- it is NOT a Race!

Sunday 27th January 2008

Well, 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"

For those who might be wondering who organises these things, it is the Long Distance Walkers' Association.  

The 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?

LDWA is divided into many local groups and Thatís Lyth is organised by the Westmorland and North Lancs Group.

Their description of the challenge reads:

This 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.


A 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.  

Check In at Kendal Scout Hut

But 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 us.

We 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.  

By 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.

The first checkpoint, or grazing station as we preferred to call it, was at Crosthwaite school.  

You know the sort of blue elasticated plastic headwear that dinnerladies wear?

Well 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.  

On 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!

Bryan forced to have his tea on the move

The 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.

Going 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.

The 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.

Going 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 and BB0610 for more.

Arriving at Cinderbarrow....

.... and heading off to Cotes Corner

In 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.

We 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.

Nevertheless 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.

And 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 slower performance.

Feeling 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.  

And we collected our certificates and badges.  Now, are you non-joiners jealous?


Certificate ....

.... and Badge

But fear not,

Thereís 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 time limit

Anyone interested?  Or should we let the madness pass and get back to normal Bootboy activities?

Don, 27th January 2008


Distance: 24.1 miles  (Garmin/Memory Map)

Height climbed: 3,200 feet (Anquet)

Wainwrights:  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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BOOT boys


Home Page








2008 Outings

BB0801 : Avoiding the Graupel;  
16 January

BB0802 : Lyth in the Old Dogs; 22 January

BB0803 : That's Lyth;
27 January

BB0804 : Tony's Memory Lane;
30th January

BB0805 : Fell's Belles!  Thank You Mells?  
6th February

BB0806 : The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!
13th February

BB0807a: An Outbreak of Common Sense;
21st February 2008

BB0807b: Askham Fell and  the Lowther Estate;   
13th March 2008

BB0808 : Thanks to the MWIS
19th March 2008

BB0809 :  High Street and Kidsty Pike but no Fairy
28th March 2008

BB0810 :  Prelude to Spring
2nd April 2008

BB0811 :  Spring in Lakeland
6th April 2008

BB0812 :  Wet, Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
Thursday 10th April 2008 

BB0813 :  What's It All About, Tony?
Thursday 17th April 2008 

BB0814 :  The Hidden Mountain
Tuesday 22nd April 2008 

BB0815 :  The Bowland CROW
Thursday 1st May 2008

BB0816 :  High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
Wednesday 7th May 2008

BB0817 :  Travelling Light
Wednesday 14th May 2008


BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda  
23rd February - 1st March



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 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!

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