BB0826 : Tony’s Third (and wettest) Alfie

Wedmesday 30th July 2008

It’s strange how a short walk in the middle of summer should prove to be one of our most challenging.

In reality, the summer weather lasted three days and that was two longer than had been forecast. Consequently the Scafell Pike trip had to be postponed yet again.  Tony decided to take the day off to do some painting and decorating but I phoned him late last night to explain that firstly, that was not allowed; secondly, the weather forecast was for the rain to be focused on the western part of the Lake District leaving the eastern side relatively dry, and thirdly, we had a short route planned over Harstop above How that would complete Wainwright’s Eastern Fells for him.  With the prospect of a third Alfie, he relented.  However, as we were driving over the Kirkstone Pass in the pouring rain, cursing the forecasters, we very nearly turned round.  All four of us seriously contemplated exchanging today’s outing for several hours with Tony’s paint and brush in hand.

Hartsop above How with Dovedale to the left

Hartsop above How is the ridge that runs above the western side of Brothers Water and leads on to Hart Crag.  

Given the weather, we decided on a quick up and down- no need for Hart Crag- been there, done that previously.

It was damp but not atrocious as we made the steep ascent from the Cow Bridge car park through Low Wood to get out onto the ridge.  

There were good views to the cloud-laden hills.


Place Fell in cloud

Brock Craggs and Grey Cragg

Brothers Water comes into view

Tony celebrates his 3rd Alfie

As we got higher, the rain set in with a vengeance and the wind picked up, gusting strongly at times. Key decsions had to be made about levels of protection. Tony went for the full works.  The rest of us decided to brave it out in shorts.

In the mist, each new false summit loomed hugely but succumbed easily.  

Eventually Tony's missing peak was completed as we ran out of ridge summits.  Shorts very wet by now, we decided to return the way we had come.  

Except that Stan pointed out that we were not far from Hart Crag and it would be more interesting to carry on to the top and descend by the path to Dovedale.   

Tony was far from certain about this but I recalled it from BB0604 when Stan had taken Pete and me up that way.  I knew it was an extremely well made construction and would make for safe descent even in poor conditions.  Bryan thought it would be more interesting to contour round to pick up the path at a lower point, rather than climb to the top of Hart Crag.  

Visibility was very poor and there were steep drops to the valley. However lessons were learned from last week and, this time, the map came out with the intention of marking our position and taking a bearing.  I was somewhat worried as water had got into the plastic wallet in which I had put the map print-out and part of the fells had been washed away. Fortunately, the bit we wanted was still there.  This week’s learning point- use sealable freezer bags from Lakeland Limited to keep the map dry.

We ensured that we cleared the top of  Black Crag to more level ground and then contoured round the valley head to try and find the path.  I found this hard going- traversing the steep slope on very uneven ground was playing havoc with my left ankle. We had to cross a rocky stream but my boots (which I had forgotten to dubbin) were already soaked so wading was no problem.  There was one anxious moment when Stan decided to descend out of sight to where he thought the path was.  Bryan led Tony and I on a few more yards and there it was.  Fortunately Stan was waiting for us a bit further down.  It was an excellent piece of navigation in conditions where it would be easy to get lost and into serious trouble.

After all this excitement, lunch was called for and the steps doubled nicely as seats. We were out of the wind and the rain had eased off so it was almost quite pleasant.

Suddenly, we had company.  Three men working their way gingerly down the hill- the third finding it extremely challenging, mainly because on his top he just had a fleece and, worse, he was stupidly wearing jeans that had become sodden, heavy and cold.  He would have done better to have taken them off.  The three of us that were bare-legged were in much better shape! 

Lunch stop team photo

The view down...

... and up Dovedale

Dovedale is a lovely curving valley and as we dropped out of the mist we could better appreciate its charms.  Near the bottom, Tony spotted this week’s Wildlife Feature- red coloured maggots, dead, abandoned near a gate, no doubt by some fisherman.

Rain in Dovedale

Red maggots

From here it was a pleasant stroll back along the side of Brothers Water back to the car and the luxury (for those in the front) of heated seats to dry very wet bottoms.

Despite the conditions, it has to be said that it was preferable to several hours of painting Tony's walls!

Don, 30th July 2008




5.6 miles

Height climbed:

1,963 feet


Hartsop above How


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0826.

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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2008 Outings

  • BB0801 :
    Avoiding the Graupel;  
    Wednesday 16 January
  • BB0802 :
    Lyth in the Old Dogs;
    Tuesday 22 January
  • BB0803 :
    That's Lyth;
    Sunday 27 January
  • BB0804 :
    Tony's Memory Lane;
    Wednesday 30th January
  • BB0805 :
    Fell's Belles!
    Thank You Mells
    Wednesday 6th February  
  • BB0806 :
    The Langdale Skyline
    and a Fell Race!
    Wednesday 13th February
  • BB0807a:
    An Outbreak of Common Sense;
    Thursday 21st February
  • BB0807b:
    Askham Fell and
    the Lowther Estate;
    Thursday 13th March
  • BB0808
    Thanks to the MWIS
    Wednesday 19th March
  • BB0809 :  
    High Street and Kidsty Pike
    but no Fairy
    Friday 28th March
  • BB0810 :  
    Prelude to Spring
    Wednesday 2nd April
  • BB0811 :  
    Spring in Lakeland
    Sunday 6th April
  • BB0812 :  
    Wet, Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
    Thursday 10th April
  • BB0813 :  
    What's It All About, Tony?
    Thursday 17th April
  • BB0814 :  
    The Hidden Mountain
    Tuesday 22nd April
  • BB0815 :  
    The Bowland CROW
    Thursday 1st May
  • BB0816 :  
    High Cup Nick:
    The Gurt La'al Canyon
    Wednesday 7th May
  • BB0817 :  
    Travelling Light
    Wednesday 14th May
  • BB0818 :  
    Pensioners’ Day Out
    Thursday 22nd May
  • BB0819 :  
    The Northern Tip
    Thursday 29th May
  • BB0820 :  
    The Bannisdale Horseshoe
    Wednesday 11th June
  • BB0821 :  
    Black, White or Grey Combe?
    Thursday 19th June
  • BB0822
    Thunder on the 555
    Thursday 3rd July
  • BB0823
    We'll Give It Five
    Thursday 10th July
  • BB0824 :
    Shelters from the Storm
    Thursday 17th July
  • BB0825 :
    The Big Wind-Up
    Wednesday 23rd July
  • BB0826 :
    Tony’s Third (and wettest) Alfie
    Wedmesday 30th July
  • BB0827 :
    A Visit to Mud Hall
    Tuesday 19th August
  • BB0828 :
    The Tale of Randy Gill
    Tuesday 27th August
  • BB0829 : Mosedale Cottage Revisited
    Wednesday 3rd September



  • 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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