: Take a Mug With You
25th January 2009
a mug with you, said the instructions, so Bryan took
two: Stan and me. I am not sure if Ian took Martin
year, my previous day’s preparation for the event (the
Long Distance Walkers Association's That's Lyth challenge)
been to attend a Burns Supper in Lancaster, with big
meal, plenty of booze and bopping to a ceilidh so we
didn’t arrive home until 1 a.m. or thereabouts.
time, I thought I should be more professional. Again
we went to Lancaster but in the afternoon to attend
a Wedding Fayre. We followed this with a tea-time
visit to the cinema (the excellent Slumdog Millionaire)
and returned home mid-evening for a plate of pasta and
an early night. So far so good. Then I woke
at 3 a.m. and could not get back to sleep. My
mind was buzzing with weddings (wrote a chorus for Emma’s
wedding song), the walk (what to wear, would my new
shoes be a problem, drafting copy for this report) and
finished up planning my own funeral (not so morbid as
you might think- it’s your last party and you should
make sure it goes off as you want. That means
planning it whilst you are still compus mentus). I
gave up trying to sleep at 6 a.m. and got up.
we were all assembled at the Scout Hut we
compared mug sizes.
a novice, I had the smallest.
and Stan vied for who had the larger.
decision went in favour of Ian, not just
for the size but also the branding- Towers
Perrin, an actuarial firm of note- and for
the fact of it being the one memorable outcome
of a £1,200 Actuarial Conference.
of the pleasures of having Ian back in the
fold is his prodigious memory and his ability
to fill in large gaps in my vague recollections
of times now long passed.
and the prize mug
as the night we went up the Langdales, downed eight
pints in the bar afterwards, refused to be thrown out
by the landlord, ran across the car park thinking there
was a police car coming, ripped my new trousers vaulting
a barbed wire fence, camped briefly in a field before
a bout of tent letting down made us decamp to a colleague's
cottage in Ambleside where Ian made a grand entrance
after visiting the loo, head first down the stairs claiming
a tree had fallen on him. Ah, happy days! I
could just about remember which year it was: 1974. Once
upon a time, Ian could have told you not only the actual
date but what was top of the charts and who Manchester
United were playing that weekend. You see- he
does have his faults! However on this occasion
he was surprisingly vague- late March or early April,
he said. Come on Ian, its only 35 years ago!
to Kendal. Go!!!"!
today we didn’t see a lot of Ian or Martin.
mayor, Claire Feeney-Johnson, started the
event with a exemplary short speech: “Welcome
to Kendal. Go!” and promptly set off
the hordes trudging through Kendal we soon
lost contact with them. Bryan’s plan
was to start near the back, the psychology
being that that way you are always motivated
by overtaking people rather than being overtaken
and we did overtake quite a few in the first
was wearing my new shoes- Inov-8 Roclites- and these
seemed to be the footwear of choice used by a large
number of the participants. But this was their
first outing and how sensible was that? They seemed
to be going well. Even a white horse seemed impressed.
shoes (before) .....
impress the white horse!
year, Crosthwaite had been probably the best feeding
station so when we reached it today (7 miles in under
two hours) everyone was greatly disappointed to find
that only cold drinks were being served outside the
building. No-one had arrived to open the school
for the event so the organisers had to do their best
without any heating facilities. They did have
some fruity malt loaf, though, so I took two pieces
to eat on the hoof.
Witherslack stage passed quite smoothly despite a couple
of minor routing errors although Stan was struggling
a bit towards the summit but seemed to recover on the
descent. Just as we were going down the steep
drop to the Hall whom should we see coming up but Roger
and Denise out for a Sunday stroll wondering why 350
people were hurtling down in their direction. No
time to stop and chat, sorry!
feeding station (14 miles, 4 hours) was
a triumph in comparison. This year
I was tempted by the hot dog with onions
and ketchup and thoroughly enjoyed it.
weather deteriorated as we rounded the bottom
of the Scar and it was a close call whether
or not to stop to put on cagoules. Fortunately
the rain didn’t last long and it was again
a nice day as we trudged the tediously straight
roads across the valley to Cinderbarrow.
Stan had new batteries in his legs
on this stretch and it took a while to reel
photo at Whitherslack Parish Hall
third feeding station was at Cotes Corner (18¼
miles but I can’t remember the time). Just a brief stop
for a cuppa and for some (but not me, they’re too sickly)
a piece of doughnut then off up to Helsington.
Scar from Helsington
was now Bryan’s turn to set a relentless pace and Stan,
to a small extent, and me, to a great extent, had difficulty
keeping up as we went over Scout Scar and across to
the old racecourse.
and Stan spot Kendal and accelerate
was about shot as we descended into Kendal. I
remember thinking that it was now a beautiful day but
that I was taking no notice of the scenery; I was almost
in a trance. Then it struck me that due to my small
mug I had actually taken on less liquid than on a normal,
far shorter, BB outing and I could be dehydrating. A
quick slurp of water rectified the problem.
Castle across Aynam Road
on crossing the main road, I had to hurry
to avoid a car coming into the road from
a corner and cramped up in my left calf.
same thing happened again as I crossed Aynam
Road, this time in both calves so it was
a great relief there were only a few hundred
clocked in at the finish just inside 7 hours
from setting off; pretty much the same time
as last year despite the muddier conditions
and the extra year of age!
couldn’t be more precise as we had no gps with us. Mine
apparently needs a software update to cure a fault and
Bryan’s was inadvertently left at home due to reasons
too gross for delicate readers. The official distance
was 23½ miles.
round at the many folk who had done a quicker time was
initially depressing then we realised that age adjusted,
we had actually done pretty well and deserved the excellent
creamed rice and fruit that was on offer. Bryan
was particularly pleased that we had beaten by 12 minutes
the editor of the Long Distance Walkers Association
that he is competitive.
my new shoes had done pretty well also.
Just a minor problem with two lesser
toes rubbing on each other.
on, after I returned home, I phoned Martin
to ask how he and Ian had fared.
had completed the walk in a leisurely 9
hours stroll, accompanied for the final
seven miles or so by Ian’s two young sons.
were we mugs to put ourselves through this?
and I agreed that we had enjoyed much of the walk but
had found the last stretch difficult. Nevertheless
we had the satisfaction of completing the challenge.
So would we enter next year?
What was it
Steve Redgrave said after winning his fourth Olympic
medal? “If you see me anywhere near a boat you
have my permission to shoot me.” Or something
like that. And then he went on to win a fifth
when I got home and took what I hoped would be a relaxing
bath I had the worst cramp attack ever. Imagine
lying in a deep bath with your feet up on the wall and
you get a minor cramp in your right toes. As you
try to relieve it, you feel a massive cramp attack in
your left calf. You grab hold of your left foot
to try to pull it up to relieve the cramp and immediately
you get another in your right inside thigh. The
thought crossed my mind that a man could drown dealing
with these problems so I had to let the water out. Fortunately,
a few minutes later the cramp eased but my calf still
am I mug enough to do this again next year? Watch
this space. I am making no promises! But
if I do, I'll take a big mug with me!
25th January 2009
Scar (Outlying Fells)
Scar, Cunswick Scar, Lyth Valley
tracklog this time. For map see BB0803.
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, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
type of social group,
but is in memory of
the erstwhile landlady
the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale,
who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day
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.
: A Gordon Day Out
: Thank You,
Wednesday 14th January
: A Wicked Hike???
: Take a Mug With You
: Down in the Forest
: Not How But Where?
: Binsey Can Wait
(but Uncle Monty Can Not)
Thursday 12th February
: Badgers on the Line
: It's not a W!
: Up on the Roof
: Not the Blisco Dashers
Thursday 2nd April
: John's Comeback
Monday 6th April
: Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
: Companions of the BOOT
: The Gale Force Choice
: The Comeback Continues
28th May - 2nd June
: Has Anyone Seen Lily?
Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
- BB0921 :
The Tebay Fell Race Walk
: For England and St George
: The Coniston Outliers
Friday 31st July
: Little To Be Said In Favour?
: The Third Night of the Rescue
: Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
: Dear Mrs Scroggins
Friday 11th September
: An Ard Day's Hike
Thursday 17th September
A Canter of Convalescents?
International Autumnal Expedition
Sunday 27th September
- BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
Thursday 1st October
- BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
Thursday 8th October
: When Yorkshire Was Welsh
- BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
Thursday 22nd October
: A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
: Aye Up What?
: Where Eagles Wade
: After the Floods
: The Mystery of the Missing Glove
: A Too Short Walk
: One Hundred and Onesfell
: Back to the Beginning
: BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
- 21st March
: Los Chicos
y las Chicas de la Bota
11th - 14th May
: Peaked Too Soon
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!