BB0818 :  Pensioners’ Day Out

Thursday 22nd May 2008

Every year there is a period in April or May when the weather in the Lake District seems perversely better than in the rest of the UK.  Sometimes that period only lasts a day or two and then the norm reverts.  In other years it can last a couple of weeks before retribution sets in.  This year we have enjoyed a long period of settled weather in May that has not only been considerably better than the south of England, it has even been superior to that experienced in the Mediterranean!

It was partly in anticipation of the weather at last breaking that we decided on an early start. However other considerations decreed that the start could not be too early. In fact we timed our arrival at the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel to perfection- just in time for the 9:30 bus- the significance of 9:30 being that any earlier and our old folk’s bus passes would not be eligible for free transport.  Indeed I don’t think the bus driver took any money at all on that run, everyone who got on was waving their NoW card, as the bus pass is known.

It really was Pensioners’ Day Out.


We three sprightly oldies, Tony, Stan and I, alighted at Chapel Stile, not really feeling anywhere near old enough to warrant zero cost public transport but happy to have taken a freebie from Gordon Brown.  We were taking advantage of young Bryan’s absence on a Monro-fest to do a round up of Tony’s unfinished Central Fells for another Alfie award. First stop, however, was to snap some washing for Margaret!  It was a beautiful drying day though there was quite a noise coming from the quarries.


Chapel Stile washing!


Top of Mags Gill with noisy quarries behind

We climbed the footpath on the west side of Mags Gill.  A couple from Henley-on-Thames kindly stood by to allow us to pass, warning that where we crossed the ravine was not a good place for those with vertigo!  Tony and I trembled but pressed on.  Actually it was not that bad.  A short bit of exposure but a good enough path.  Just focus and keep moving.

We quickly reached the summit that wasn't Silver How and then one that was. Tony looked down into the valley and waxed lyrical about how much he liked Langdale. Unfortunately he was looking at Grasmere.  Tony, it’s behind you!


Not the Silver How summit!


Grasmere and Rydal from Silver How

In contrast, it was a long haul to Blea Rigg.  The views were grand, if a little hazy.

Langdale from near Silver How

The route went past many a small tarn, one offering  an interesting reflection of Lang How. As we neared Blea Rigg, Stickle Tarn came into view and North Rake could be seen very clearly, as on the other side, could Codale and Easedale tarns.


Lang How reflected


Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark with North Rake

Codale and Easedale Tarns


Stan nearing Blea Rigg summit


Tony atop Blea Rigg, Sergeant Man to the right

 By now Tony’s dining requirements were getting serious.  We managed to persuade him that it was only a short haul to Sergeant Man and there we took lunch, watched over by a greedy beady-eyed raven, anxious to swoop on any crumbs.


The greedy beady-eyed raven


High Raise Team picture

Next target was High Raise and was easily accomplished.  Here, however, we had a dilemma.  The clouds were gathering to the southwest and Ullscarf was a two mile trek down and up across Greenup Edger.  

Ullscarf from High Raise

Had we the fitness and the time to include it and return or would Tony have to come back another day?  We decided to go to Low White Stones and make a decision there.  Señor Antonio, he say, “Yes!”  So we did it.  

Gable and co from Greenup Edge

We thought there should be a trig point on the top and could not find one on any of several potential contenders (and some no hopers).  I had my gps in action and knew from the readings that we had visited the actual top so we made our way back.


Ullscarf summit


High Raise from Ullscarf

I haven’t normally had my gps switched on to track our walks as Bryan’s is a more up-to-date model with much greater battery life.  I regarded mine as an emergency weapon.  However I had bought some extra long life rechargeable batteries and a test had suggested that they should last long enough for a day’s outing and so I had switched it on at Chapel Stile.

We retraced the two miles back to High Raise, meeting on the way two Norwegian blokes who were asking a couple who were heading the same way how to find Borrowdale only to discover that the couple wanted to ask them how to find Grasmere.  Not a map on any of them and quite clueless.

Harrison Stickle and Pike o'Stickle from High Raise

We did our citizenly duty, then reclaimed High Raise and set off for Harrison Stickle, taking in a bonus peak (not actually needed but only just off the path) of Thunacar Knott on the way.  It was an unusual experience to have a major Langdale Pike all to ourselves but it was getting a bit late by now.  Tony duly celebrated the completion of his second Lakeland Fells book.


Approaching Harrison Stickle


Tony wins his second Alfie!


Harrison Stickle Team Picture


Dungeon Ghyll

Dropping down the steep Dungeon Ghyll, with rather more exposure than on the ascent of Mags Gill, was a bit of a struggle for six now tiring legs.  The three, no longer sprightly, old men who reached the car at the bottom felt that they really were now sufficiently aged to qualify for their free bus passes.  After all, 13.5 miles and 4,000 feet is a long way to go for your Horlicks.

Don, 22nd May 2008





13.5 miles

Height climbed:

4,045 feet


Silver Howe, Blea Rigg, Sergeant Man, High Raise (x2), Ullscarf, Thunacar Knott, Harrison Stickle

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0818.

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