BB0828  : The Tale of Randy Gill

Tuesday 27th August 2008

Is this the worst summer in living memory?  True, there has been the odd decent day but it is now some ten or eleven weeks since there has been a settled period and all thoughts of going over to Scafell have been put on hold.

With injuries on the mend and a typically poor weather prognosis, a relatively low level walk was again called for.  The forecast was better for the east so we elected to visit the Howgills, approaching them from the north via Bowderdale.  Virgin territory, for me at least.

The encouraging view from the parked car!

We parked just off the A685 near the hamlet of Bowderdale, midway between Tebay and Kirkby Stephen, and set off up the valley.  

Bowderdale comes into view

The clag was down on the fells, there was a quite strong wind blowing and it was damp in the air.  

Bowderdale is a long wild valley, populated only by sheep, brown cows and wild ponies.


Bowderdale, populated by sheep.....


..... brown cows and wild ponies

There was nearly four miles of gentle climbing, albeit somewhat wet under foot, before we reached our decision point at the foot of Yarlside- the confluence of Bowderdale Beck and the intriguingly named Randy Gill.  

Randy Gill to the left, Yarlside in the middle and Bowderdale continuing right

We opted to climb up the nose of the fell to Randy Gill Top and have lunch in whatever shelter we could find up there.  

But first we had to cross the becks.  Stan took the bold approach and attempted a big leap across a wide part but lost his footing on the approach and had a bit of a dunking. Sadly I did not observe this so no photographic evidence over which to chuckle.


A big leap by Bryan.....


..... and a little splash by Tony

The rest of us chose a narrower part further up where it was deep on the take off side and shallow for landing.  No problems there nor with the leap over Randy Gill.

Writing that last sentence reminded me of John S’s quotation from one of the Lakeland poets:

    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    O’er bonnie braes and banks
    I put a BOOTboy’s boot on a bare boy’s bum
    And a lady’s voice said: "Thanks!"

Could that have been Randy Gill speaking?

The climb up the nose was surprisingly steep – or maybe we are just out of condition.

Fuelled by his new poles Tony set off like a train but it didn’t last!

The top was in cloud but as we approached the cairn so did, from the opposite direction, an attractive young lady.  

I expressed surprise at seeing anyone else up here and was just about to ask her if she was called Gillian when her minders appeared so I desisted.


Randy Gill Top Cairn

We took a bearing to make sure we headed directly to Leachgill Bridge- not a man made bridge but a shoulder between two valleys- where Bryan found us a feeding station in a leeside gully.  After lunch the weather deteriorated as we climbed up Hooksey but thereafter it improved markedly as we dropped out of the cloud.  


Team photo in the gully


Mist lifting whilst descending Hooksey

The 1:25k map shows the path as an unfenced track and this we had been following without an obvious junction but Bryan realised that it was taking us down the wrong ridge to the wrong road so navigational correction was called for.  Otherwise the journey back to the car and then home passed without incident.

View from the parked car- a little better than earlier!

It was good to get out but the views had not been spectacular.  Randy Gill deserves another visit on a better day, so she does!

 Don, 27th August 2008




8.7 miles;

Height climbed:

1,830 feet


Randy Gill Top, Hooksey
(Walks on the Howgill Fells)


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0828.

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
  • BB0830 : Mist Over Pendle
    Wednesday 10th September
  • BB0831 : Luncheon Chez Monty
    Thursday 2nd October


 The Comback Trail

  • CBT01 : Helm, direttissimo
    Monday 22nd September
  • CBT02 : Cunswick Fell and back in the dark!
    Monday 29th 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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