: Thunder on the 555
26th June 2008
the BOOTboys were
put to shame. We had an ambitious
outing planned involving bus to Kirkby Lonsdale, then
a stroll over Middleton Fell to Sedbergh and bus back.
When the weather forecast deteriorated leaving
just a window of opportunity on the morning, we opted
for a local walk, to be CROW warriors on Helm.
fact, the weather did not fair up and so Bryan and I
simultaneously decided to abort. Stan had already
opted out. I then went into Kendal on an errand
and what did I find on the drive on my return? Son
Jamie, at home for the week,
disappointed at the decision and going solo up Helm in
my anorak in the pouring rain. Well, I suppose
when you live in Crete a bit of cold, pouring rain is actually
to be welcomed.
of anoraks, the statistics for the BB08 half year reveal
a record 21 outings, 253 miles and 52,000 feet, i.e.
3 outings, 112 miles and 9,000 more than any other year.
following week, much as I needed the exercise for the
upcoming big one, I was unable to join in the fun so
Bryan takes over the story.
3rd July 2008
3rd July 2008
bit of chaos on our parts this week in getting arrangements
sorted. Don e-mailed us all on Wednesday afternoon to
say that the illness of a visiting friend meant he wouldn’t
be able to manage a walk next day.
(Tony, Stan and myself) reacted to this news by sitting
at home waiting for one of us to take the initiative
and e-mail a plan. In the end Tony cracked and at 21:09
on Wednesday wrote… “Not heard anything so see you all
next week”. I read it at 22:00 and hastily resorted
to the traditional method of voice communication via
the telephone to sort things out.
possibility for the day was to get "Two
Ticks for Tony" by taking in the Low Pike
/ High Pike side of the Fairfield Horseshoe.
Stan suggested doing it by bus. I’ve noticed
Tony, Stan and Don have become quite keen
on bus walks since they all acquired their
free Pensioner’s pass (I’m still far too
young to qualify for one!).
at 9:45, Stan, Tony and I boarded the famous
555 bus to Keswick. Famous because it has
this book written about it (see picture,
always interesting to travel on the upstairs
of a double-decker through the Lakes as
the views are so much more extensive because
you can see over the walls.
we passed through Windermere and Ambleside
the bus got fuller, and by the time we reached
Grasmere there were only a few seats left.
It seemed to me that I was the only one
that had paid – all the rest were on free
and Tony "enjoying the bracken
got off at Dunmail Raise and headed off in nice sunny
conditions to begin the climb of Raise Beck.
I made the mistake of following a good, muddy, path
through thick heather but realised after a few hundred
feet that I was probably following the trail used by ‘"Bob Graham" contenders to climb / descend Seat Sandal.
So we had to batter our way through the bracken to rejoin
was then a pleasant climb following the beck, with good
views back to Tony’s favourite piece of "vertical Lakeland"
– Steel Fell.
After an hour or so we reached Grisedale
Tarn. The sun had gone in by now but there was only
the odd bit of cloud on the top of Fairfield as we began
minutes later we felt the first spots of rain.
we stop and put waterproofs on? No, we’re near the top
so we’ll hang on. One minute later it was no contest.
The clouds had enveloped us and it started bucketing
down. We passed a couple on their way down who asked
Stan if they were on the right track to Easdale!
Passing Grisedale Tarn on
the way to Fairfield
Clouds clearing on Fairfield
was thirty minutes after the witching hour (Tony’s lunchtime)
when we reached the top of Fairfield.
It was looking
like a very wet sandwich stop today but, amazingly,
just as we approached the wall shelter it stopped raining
and the sun came out.
a leisurely lunch stop we headed off to Hart Crag in
glorious sunshine with excellent views all around. It
was a day for putting the world to rights and we proceeded
to do so as we ambled along.
Helvellyn from track to Hart
over Dove Crag and then the descent to High Pike for
Team Photo – top of High Pike.
Strolling down towards Ambleside
we descended towards Low Pike dark clouds began to appear
out to the West. A quick look at the watch reminded
us that we had better push on a bit if we were to get
back to Ambleside for the 16:30 bus home.
Pike was soon reached but the clouds were beginning
to gather and the sky was getting very dark.
time there was no hesitation when the first raindrops
appeared. On with the waterproofs and get moving. A
few moments later, the first rumble of thunder echoed
around the valley. We couldn’t see any lightening but
the storm seemed very close. We hurried down off the
fells and onto the lanes into Ambleside as the thunder
continued and the rain poured down. The rain was bouncing
off the roads as we got into the centre of Ambleside
and we sheltered in a doorway for five minutes before racing
for the bus shelter to await our transport home.
bus arrived on time and Stan proceeded to entertain
the other pensioners by making himself a cup of coffee
as the bus twisted and turned along the roads from Ambleside.
is an impressive performance as he balances his cup
on the seat; gets out his tub of coffee and spoons it
into the cup; then retrieves the flask of hot water
as it sets off to roll down the bus, before filling
the cup; next he unwraps the plastic bottle of milk
from it’s poly bag and adds this to the coffee; finally
he drinks it (or attempts to – it’s a bit like drinking
whilst stood up on a train!). Finally it’s all neatly
packed away again and remarkably not a drop was spilt!
the time we reach Kendal the sun is shining again and
all that remains is the short walk home.
5th July 2008
Stan's account was quite consistent:
was talking about Ingleborough, or as an alternative
doing Fairfield to get Tony, High and Low Pike, the
latter of which would have involved a detour to collect
Tony as he had no transport. Whilst talking to
Bryan about the options I had the idea that if we all
caught the 9:35 555 to Keswick and got off at
Dunmail we could then could walk up to Fairfield via
Grisedale tarn and then down the ridge to Ambleside
returning via the 15:10 (very optimistic) or leisurely
16:30. We had the odd shower just before the
summit of Fairfield but had lunch on the top in sunshine
with super views from thereon. An odd shower threatened
on the way back but essentially we stayed dry. As
we got into the centre of Ambleside the heavens opened
and we sheltered in a doorway for 5 mins before making
for the bus shelter to catch the 16:30.
know about Bryan and Tony but I certainly enjoyed the
day and it started me thinking about all sorts of options
for combining bus journeys so that we can start and
finish at different points. There are lots even
from Dunmail itself eg the Helvellyn Ridge to Thirlspot
- either way, or Thirslspot to Ambleside etc or, if you
can face it, Steel Fell to Easedale!
Slightly annoyingly there is a very convenient bus
stop at the end of Queens Road for Bryan and me but the
return stop is either way back on Highfield or at the
bottom of Windermere Road - I will have to take it up
with whoever sites them!
4th July 2008
Hart Crag, Dove Crag, High Pike, Low Pike
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0822.
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!
E-mail addresses on this web site are protected
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- BB0801 :
Avoiding the Graupel;
- BB0802 :
Lyth in the Old Dogs;
Tuesday 22 January
: That's Lyth;
Sunday 27 January 2008
: Tony's Memory Lane;
Wednesday 30th January
: Fell's Belles! Thank You Mells?
: The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!
An Outbreak of Common Sense;
Thursday 21st February
Askham Fell and the Lowther Estate;
: Thanks to the MWIS
Wednesday 19th March 2008
: High Street and Kidsty Pike but no Fairy
: Prelude to Spring
Wednesday 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
22nd May 2008
: The Northern Tip
29th May 2008
: The Bannisdale Horseshoe
Black, White or Grey Combe?
19th June 2008
: Thunder on the 555
3rd July 2008
: We'll Give It Five
Thursday 10th July
: Shelters from the Storm
17th July 2008
: The Big Wind-Up
23rd July 2008
Third (and wettest) Alfie
30th July 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