BB0810 :  Prelude to Spring

Wednesday 2nd April 2008

Following the successful completion of the “That’s Lyth” Challenge Walk (see BB0803), I sensed that Stan and Don were champing at the bit to have a go at another one. So I entered the three of us for the “Spring in Lakeland” event, a 22 miler starting in Ambleside at 8 a.m. next Sunday.

It’s probably only fair to say at this point that I had done the entries without actually confirming that Stan and Don wanted to do it, so as to make the decision a little easier for them!

In Stan’s case this was a good decision as he had been developing a number of ailments, as well as tasks to be done, in preparation for being “unavailable” that weekend!    But, come the crunch, he’s not a man to wimp out of a challenge so, with the MWIS forecast suggesting low cloud on the tops, we opted to get some low level miles in as preparation.

Don was away doing his warm weather training; whilst Tony was away in Edinburgh doing his own form of training around the pubs of that city; so Stan and I went to knock off a couple of his un-done Wainwrights and at the same time recce part of the coming weekend’s challenge. 

We parked up at the National Trust Car Park just beyond Yew Tree Tarn on the Coniston road where, annoyingly, we had to pay because I had forgotten to put this year’s National Trust sticker in the windscreen.

We headed off up by the pleasant waterfalls to reach Tarn Hows where we encountered the usual proliferation of friendly tourists. From there we headed north along the lakeshore before heading up to Black Crag, the day’s first Wainwright

Tarn Hows

Stan on Black Crag summit

From Black Crag we made our way back on to Sunday’s route and picked up the Cumbria Way into Skelwith Bridge.

Having left the tourists behind at Tarn Hows we met up with lots more of them on the next section to Elterwater. Although it felt a little like walking through a city park, such thoughts were diminished by the magnificent views and particularly the stunning reflection of the Langdale Pikes in the tarn.

Although I’m sure Graham would do it greater justice than my "point and click" efforts, for me it still provides a reminder of a lovely view.

Langdale Pikes reflected in Elterwater

 Langdale from the Burlington Slate Quarry

The one advantage of heavily touristed spots is that there are often facilities. Today it was a proper seat to sit and have our lunch whilst admiring the views. Tony, FYI  – lunch was taken at 1 p.m., although Stan did feel his first hunger pang at 12 noon on the dot!

From Elterwater we headed up through the spoil heaps of the Burlington Slate quarries. The views of Langdale from amongst the works was a lot different to those across the Tarn and yet in its way it was just as interesting

Having crossed the shoulder of Lingmoor Fell we headed down into the peaceful valley of Little Langdale

 Stan on the way down into Little Langdale

Pike O’ Stickle seen across Little Langdale

By now time was marching on and our final hill still seemed a long way away so, after a stop for Stan to treat a potential blister, we pressed on up a short but steep climb (done steadily in true John L style so as the appreciate the fine views back to Pike O’Stickle!) before reaching the farm at High Tilberthwaite.

At this point we had a choice – wimp out and follow the road back to the car thus missing the Wainwright (and 500 feet of climb!) or go down and then over the top. Stan’s a tough lad so over the top it was. Surprisingly the climb wasn’t as bad as we expected and the top of Holme Fell was soon reached.

For anyone who hasn’t been up there it’s well worth the trip - a lovely undulating top with a big slab of rock forming the summit and splendid views all around. In bad weather (BB0602) it’s probably not so good however!

 Stan approaching the top of Holme Fell

Team Photo on summit of Holme Fell

A simple descent from Uskdale Gap returned us to the car to complete our Prelude to Spring (in Lakeland).

Bryan, 2nd April 2008




13.7 miles

Height climbed:

2,450 feet


Black Crag, Holme Fell

Debts (still outstanding):

£5 (DS to AR)
£6 (SG to BH)

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


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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!

If you want to contact us, click on