BB0817 :  Travelling Light

Wednesday 14th May 2008

In BB0814 I made reference to my climbing song “Guide Me, O Thou Great Redeemer” to the tune of Cwm Rhonnda.  Today’s theme song was undoubtedly Cliff Richard’s "Travelling Light".  Or something close to it.

I got no bags or sack to slow me down
I'm travelling so fast my feet ain't touching the ground
Travelling light
Travelling light
Just want to finish the Central Fells Alfie Wainwright 

Slight exaggeration
Still true

No flask or butties, I got nothing to haul
I'm carrying only
a mobile telephone,
a computer printed map
And they weigh nothing at all

Substantially correct

Soon, I'm gonna see over the top of that rise
I'm a hoot and a holler away from paradise
Travelling light
Travelling light
Just finished off another Alfie Wainwright 

Bring on that rise!
A tad O.T.T.!
Still true third time round
And again

Or put another way, how to turn a problem into an advantage.

The problem was that Stan and I had four Wainwrights left to tick off to complete the Central Fells book.  These were all approachable from the Derwent Water area but we wanted decent weather to justify the trip.  However, and perhaps inevitably, being the rump end of the list, they did not fall conveniently into one tidy walk.  There was a way round them but it was long and potentially very boggy and not too inviting.  And then, just when we had the ideal day, I discovered I had time constraints at both ends that made the route impractical.

A radical rethink produced an alternative strategy.  Not one but two walks.  Turn the problem into an advantage and use the car as a moveable base and split the targets into two groups, travelling fast and light for each and returning to the mobile base in between.

It was a glorious morning as I dropped the cat off at the vet’s and started on the pick up trail for Tony, Stan and Bryan.  It was still glorious as we drove past Windermere, Rydal Water, Grasmere, the much improved Thirlmere and finally Derwent Water and then headed up the narrow lane to Watendlath.

Watendlath Tarn with Great Crag to the left and Grange Fell to the right

Objective number one was Great Crag and Grange Fell.  We nearly lost Tony at base camp. The only other people in the car park at this still fairly early hour were fishermen. The Tarn had just been restocked with trout which they were anxious to remove from the lake before the fish found the cunning hiding places.  Tony, however, is a coarse fisherman and opted to remain with us.  Trout, to him, are vermin!

We rounded the lake and followed the signs to Dock Tarn, nearly adopting a little black lamb on the way till it discovered that it could in fact charge past us back to its mother (half a mile back down the valley!).  


The charging lamb


Looking back to Watendlath


Dock Tarn

 AW encourage visitors to Great Crag to extend to Dock Tarn so we did it the other way round.

 The panarama, particularly down Borrowdale, was excellent.  

I would have taken a team photo on the summit but at that moment it clouded over and as we were fairly minimally dressed, it was briefly too cold to linger.

Instead we partially retraced our steps and then crossed the boggy area to find the path to Grange Fell.

The view up Borrowdale from Great Crag

The highest point of Grange Fell is Brund Crag.  By now it was rather sunnier and with Derwent Water and Skiddaw both clearly in view, this time a team picture was essential!.

Grange Fell Team  picture

Stage one almost complete, all we now needed to do was the fast descent to Watendlath and have a picnic by the side of the lake.  

The fishermen returned whilst we were there.  

The plastic boats said life jackets must be worn but neither had them on although one looked as if he might have put it on inside his skin.

Fishing had been a near disaster for a freshly restocked lake- only six nibbles.

Lunch time view

After lunch we moved base camp to Ashness Bridge, passing two live and one dead Belted Galloways en route.  Ashness Bridge itself was predictably heaving but, as is so often the case in the Lake District, by the time we were fifty yards upstream all sign of other folk vanished.  We climbed up Ashness Gill for quite some distance, past the waterfalls and one short certain death section, before crossing the gill, and also a fence that is not marked on the map (Tony nearly losing part of his tackle in the process) before heading up the fell.  


A crowded Ashness Bridge


Tony having a certain difficulty

Looking back across Derwent Water

We were now in rough heather country, which was quite hard work, lifting the legs double height on every step.

All of a sudden, Stan shot off as if he had new batteries in him.  Travelling Light was not up to supporting the effort now needed to keep him in sight.  Switch on Cwm Rhondda at maximum volume on the internal speakers, lock the eyes onto his heels and hope to retain visual contact until the madness had passed.

Fortunately after only a few refrains we reached the top of Bleaberry Hill and could take refuge from the strong breeze in the shelter on its summit where there is a fabulous 360 degree panarama.


Bleaberry Hill team  photo

Click on photo for 360 degree panarama from Bleaberry Hill

From there it was all down hill but there was one more peak to pick up before completing the book- Walla Crag. We rattled down the hill to its triple peak and congratulated ourselves with a quite lengthy stay just out of the breeze in a lovely sunny position with a stunning view over Derwent Water.  

The view from Brown Knotts, a.k.a. Wally Cragg

Time being slightly tight, we set off eventually to find the track back to Ashness Bridge but could not find the required turning.  Then the reality dawned on us, confirmed when we did what we should have done before settling down- consult the map.  We realised that Walla Crag was a good mile further on and the admittedly more impressive spot on which we had rested was actually Brown Knotts.  Or maybe it should be called Wally Cragg.  

Bleaberry Hill as seen from Brown Knotts, a.k.a. Wally Cragg

Back we went to the real Walla Crag- only included by AW as it was a pleasant stroll from Keswick (which is probably a euphemism for his publisher saying “Alfie- we love your new book but this one’s a bit light on pages, can’t you put a few more in it?”).  Stan and I congratulated our selves for the second time on the completion of the Central Fells and the anticipated presentation of our Alfie award.

The view from  Walla Cragg

Bleaberry Hill and Brown Knotts from Walla Cragg

View to the south end of Derwent Water

This time we found the path back to Ashness Bridge, right where it ought to be, but we could not find the Bob Graham memorial.  However driving down the road we did spot a small but attractive monument by the side of the road.  Inspection proved it was that for which we had been searching.  A somewhat inappropriate place, we thought, for someone who was so inspirational for fell runners.

In memory of Robert Graham 1889 - 1966 of Keswick
who on the 13 -14 June 1932 traversed 42 Lakeland Peaks within 24 hours,
a record which stood for 28 years.

The Bob Graham memorial 

The prang

That, other than the drive home through the wonderful scenery, should have been the end of the story but unfortunately we witnessed a prang.  The blue Fiat Panda three cars in front slowed to turn right but the white car immediately behind didn’t realise until too late. Bang! Next car in line wasn’t hanging about to get involved but we did the honourable thing.  No one seriously hurt but some young kids in shock and the white car stuck in the middle of the road with front end rammed into the wheels rendering it unmoveable by engine or humans.  No mobile phone signal so we drove on to the King’s Head at Thirlspot to phone 999.  The hotel receptionist seemed quite unfazed as if this were a regular experience. After returning to the scene to let everyone know that help was on its way we made our way home.  Safely achieved, I am pleased to report!

And finally, what a well dressed future BOOTboy is wearing:

Don, 15th May 2008



BB0817 part 1

BB0817 part 2

BB0817 total


4.05 miles

4.95 miles

9.0 miles

Height climbed:

967 feet

1,554 feet

2,621 feet


Great Crag
Grange Fell

Bleaberry Hill
Walla Crag


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0817 part 1 tracklog. and BB0817 part 2 tracklog

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

BB0818 :  Pensioners’ Day Out
Thursday 22nd May 2008

BB0819 :  The Northern Tip
Thursday 29th May 2008

BB0820 :  The Bannisdale Horseshoe
Wednesday 11th June 2008

BB0821 :  Black, White or Grey Combe?
Thursday 19th June 2008

BB0822 : Thunder on the 555
Thursday 3rd July 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