: Why Mungrisedale Common?
10th December 2008
from Los Angeles read about us in the Menton
Daily Photo, visited our website and asked to be added to our "list
of fans"! So, spurred on by our gathering
fame, our distribution list has now been retitled, The
Inter-continental Fan Club.
you, today, for one of us- namely me, it was nearly
had taken my Brashers back to the shop because they
leaking, so they had to be sent back to the manufacturer
for testing. My other pair I had left
in France. Today,
a stout pair of boots would be essential therefore action was
needed. I saw some
interesting ones on the Field & Trek website so
I tried to phone the Kendal shop to see if they had
them in stock. The website had no number for Kendal,
just one for an appalling centralised
robotic system with garbled instructions. An adenoidal
lady assured me that my call was important to them.
Of course it was The longer they held
me in a queue, the more money they made from the phone
charges! Fed up of waiting, I took the option to leave a
message, pressed 1 and was then told there was
no one there
to take a message, please put it in writing! What?????????
Have they not heard of an answerphone? No wonder Newcastle
United is in trouble. I was almost glad, when I
went into the shop, to find they did not have the advertised
boots. Instead I went elsewhere and bought a pair
of Scarpas and became a BOOTboy
objective today was Mungrisedale Common to which many
sane thinking people might ask, “Why?”
is ironic that the only reason we were going there is
because it is featured in Wainwright’s Northern Fells
book, yet he described it as having little to provide
even a passing interest for an ordinary walker and nothing
at all to encourage a visit! But we were back,
after far too long thanks to the awful summer, on the
mission to complete all his Lakeland Fells.
add spice to the day’s outing we were first going to
climb Blencathra. However, short days and long
distances meant an early start for the drive to the
car park by the Blencathra Centre- once a sanatorium
for tuberculosis patients but now a field study centre.
path up Blease Fell was, thankfully, very serpentine,
thereby converting what might have been a terrible slog
into pleasant exercise with stunning panoramic views.
We saw the sun rise over Helvellyn.
over Helvellyn, click for full panorama
skies were cloudier than expected and it was very cold.
we climbed, the day brightened but the arctic wind grew
the snow line
Soon we were above the snow line.
to Blencathra with Mungrisedale Common, centre stage.
the tops of Blencathra came into view, they disappeared
again in swirling mist.
Nearing Blencathra summit, Stan
for Tony and Bryan
A team photo was taken
at the lower summit (the same place as in BB0627)
and Bryan claimed the higher summit for Stella Artois!
Blencathra team picture
Bryan plants the Stella Artois flag!
mist continued to swirl. It was
quite icy in places and I put on my Grivel Spiders,
which greatly increased my confidence. How the
others managed without crampons I don’t know but they
mist swirls and Tony starts to vanish!
Don, Stan, Skiddaw and Mingrisedale
on Blencathra there had been many footprints to be seen,
no-one had been down to Mungrisedale Common. We
were pioneering trails in the snow. As we descended,
we briefly saw a Brocken Spectre. It only lasted
for a couple of seconds, then reappeared even more fleetingly
shortly afterwards. It is the first I have seen
but then as Bryan says, some fellwalkers go a lifetime
without seeing one.
is not the right term for the highest point of Mungrisedale
Common. To quote again from Wainwright, any one
of a thousand tufts of bent and cotton grass could lay
claim to crowing the highest point of the plateau forming
the summit. However there is now a mini cairn
that serves as well as anywhere for that purpose.
now, Tony was, predictably, aching for his lunch; not
only was it gone noon but the early start meant he had
skimped on breakfast. However, I had had a bright
idea. Or so I thought. Lunch, I announced,
should be taken at Skiddaw House. If it is open
we can go into its warmth. If not, we will at
least find a sunny spot in which to shelter from the
descent to Skiddaw House took us rather longer than
expected. Stan was clearly in a hurry for
food as he pressed on at a tremendous rate, rather belying
his description of how he felt after a night out on
House in the trees
the way we found a strange four-sided marker stone.
On each side, there were two initials and a number.
The clearly visible one said I L 7. I can’t
remember what the others said but it seemed be some
sort of boundary stone. Subsequent research found
various writers, including AW, referring to it as The
Stake and that it marked the watershed but, so far, no
comment has been found about the inscriptions.
the time we reached Skiddaw House, we expected that
Stan would have been in and prepared bacon butties for
us. Or at least a vat of soup, Sadly, however,
we found him sat outside, in the shade and in the wind.
view from a shady Skiddaw House to a sunny Great Calva.
We- sorry, I- had chosen to eat at just about
the only place on the mountain that was not in sun and
it was difficult to escape the still cold wind. It
didn’t stop us eating there.
Mingrisedale Common and still misty on top Blencathra
from Skiddaw House
down the Cumbria Way after lunch, we realised that we
need only have gone about 50 yards to find a nice warm
sunny hollow where we could have had a luxuriant break.
we had toyed with the idea of returning via Latrigg.
Three of us needed it but Bryan is saving one
fell out of each of the seven books to complete the
lot in one outing- or perhaps a seven fell swoop might
be a better description! Latrigg could wait. Instead
we crossed over to the other side of the Great Divide and
followed the easy trail back to the car.
Derwent Water skyline in the evening sun
accomplished, one more Wainwright knocked off and, I
am pleased to report, the new boots had performed admirably.
stopping to capture an evening view of our ascent route
on Blease Fell, we
returned to Kendal to discover something that will delight
daughter Emma for the upcoming festive season.
monstrous example of what she would call Niddrieness!
10th December 2008
Stake, Skiddaw House, Brocken Spectre
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0839.
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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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
If you want to join
let us know and
of new BOOTboys reports.
- BB0801 :
Avoiding the Graupel;
- BB0802 :
Lyth in the Old Dogs;
Tuesday 22 January
Sunday 27 January
Tony's Memory Lane;
Wednesday 30th January
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
High Street and Kidsty Pike
but no Fairy
Prelude to Spring
Wednesday 2nd April
Spring in Lakeland
Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
What's It All About, Tony?
The Hidden Mountain
The Bowland CROW
High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
The Northern Tip
The Bannisdale Horseshoe
Black, White or Grey Combe?
Thunder on the 555
We'll Give It Five
Thursday 10th July
Shelters from the Storm
The Big Wind-Up
Third (and wettest) Alfie
A Visit to Mud Hall
- BB0828 :
The Tale of Randy Gill
: Mosedale Cottage Revisited
: Mist Over Pendle
: Luncheon Chez Monty
Thursday 2nd October
: Escape from the Madness
: Only on a Thursday
: Reflections on Thirlmere
: Reet Grand Randonnées
- 19th November
: Back to Real8ty
: Ladies Invitation Day
: Why Mungrisedale Common?
: Breast High in Bretherdale
: Helm, direttissimo
: Cunswick Fell and back in the dark!
- BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda
23rd February - 1st March
Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
download a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which BOOTboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!