The Comeback Trail

CBT02 : Cunswick Fell and back in the dark!

Monday 29th September 2008

John arrived to pick me up saying “We not really going out on a night like this are we?”  I had to remind him what he had said in his e-mail: “Weather forecast isn’t great but what the hell--just have to get the wet weather gear out!”

Besides which, despite the weather, we had a big turn out with Stan, Stuart F and Roger all joining us.

What was really worrying John was whether the steel implant in his knee was genuinely stainless or if we would need to take the WD40 to stop it rusting.

We parked at Stan’s house and joined the golf course at what used to be the 18th hole in the days when, after a tiring round, you had to climb the iron ladder up the cliff face with your golfbag on your back in order to earn your noggin in the club house.  

Maybe it still is the 18th but the ladder is now gone and the softees have a less challenging way of returning to the clubhouse.  Probably in their buggies.


John stops for the view of Kendal

Stan reiterated the fact that the golf course is actually, technically Kendal Village Green and as such, even though the golfers might wish it were otherwise, the public has the right to roam wherever it wishes.  So we did.

We passed over The Heights towards Helsfell Nab but before reaching it, crossed over the by-pass by the footbridge onto Cunswick Fell, heading for the cairn.  The rain kept threatening, punishing and then easing.

Team picture on Cunswick Fell

Cunswick Fell Cairn

After a brief pause by the cairn for a team picture we set off back again.  John pleaded to return the way we had come but Stan insisted he knew a better route so we went south along the fell, eventually misssing then finding the footpath, the existence of which I had previously been unaware, that crosses over the bypass at road level (fortunately quiet at this time) and then into the woods (unfortunately dark by this time).  

On reaching Boundary Bank, Stan took us through by the cottages and back up onto the golf course, where, in the deepening gloom we seemed to visit every hole except the first until, by a rather circuitous route, we found our way out where we had entered.

The route map below, particularly the last mile or so, should be considered as no more than a crude approximation.  In reality I haven’t a clue where we went, it just seemed a long way round!  I had feared for John on the uneven ground in the dark but he coped with it gamely although was feeling the distance by the end.

We then repaired to the Rifleman’s Arms.  Why is that pubs insist on having a television set talking to nobody but in conflict with a radio perched the bar? It was just the same last week at the Station Inn.  Background music is one (but not necessarily a good) thing but conflicting cacophony kills conversation.  How’s that for alliteration?

Don, 29th September 2008




4.5 miles approximately

Height climbed:

727 feet



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The Comback Trail

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

Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.


The Comeback Trail records the efforts of John in returning from one unsuccessful and one successful knee replacement, accompanied by others either providing Sherpa support or simply trying to regain their fitness with the possible intention of progressing to full BOOTboys status in due course!


BOOT boys

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BOOTboys is 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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