BB0911 : Not the Blisco Dashers

Thursday 2nd April 2009

The trouble with computers isÖ well, perhaps I should say that one of the many troubles with computers is that because you can do things with them, you do do things with them. It doesnít always give you a better result but it doesnít half take up a lot of time.

I learnt this at work.  Prior to me having my first personal computer, back in 1977, we actuaries would calculate premiums on life insurance policies using some rather elegant Victorian mathematics that gave good approximations on a single set of assumptions.

The PC changed all that.  Because you could test different assumptions, you did test different assumptions.  I am not sure that we ended up any the wiser or set better premium rates but we certainly spent a lot of time running different calculations through the machine.  Because we could.

Later on, computers became even more powerful and rather than several sets of assumptions, thousands of different risk iterations could be run to determine the probability of ruin.  Did we worry too much about the reality of ruin?  Not really, but the sums were run because we could.

Itís no different now that I am retired.  The computer lets me do complicated things with photographs like stitching two, three or more together to make a panorama.  I think my record is fourteen.  Why?  Because I can.  But it takes time and, once done, normally a big cleaning up exercise has to be performed because the stitching isnít that perfect- there are feature and colour mismatches that need to be sorted out but I do this because I can.

Panorama: Pike o'Blisco and Crinkle Crags from Langdale Valley bottom

The trouble with digital cameras is that what we used to regard as "film" is essentially free and so you can snap away to your heart's content because you can.

The trouble with the Lake District is that the views are often so big that they donít fit on one photo and cry out for two, three, four or more pictures to be stitched together so I take multiple panorama shots because I can.

Panorama: Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Pike o'Stickle and Harrison Stickle from  the Blea Tarn road

The trouble with a day like to day is that it was so glorious that the Lake District was looking at its springtime best and demanding to be photographed at almost every turn and of course I obliged.  Because I could.

Itís only when I got home and downloaded the photos and discovered that I had taken 72, thatís two full rolls of film in old speak, and that about two thirds of them formed part of 12 different panoramas that I started to curse the fact that I can do these things and harked back to the old days when a dayís walk might give rise to three or four photos that would not emerge from the camera for a couple of months and then another few weeks before they were developed by which time you had forgotten what they were.  No pressure to produce a photo-illustrated blog the same night.  Because you couldnít.

But I can and so I will.  

Panorama: Pike o'Stickle, Harrison Stickle and Castle How from  Wrynose Fell

It was a cracking day.  As good as we could remember for a long, long time.  With Stan away, we thought we would help Tony pick up a couple of Ws that he needed and, at the same time, revisit one of my all time favourite hills- Pike oíBlisco.

Bryan informed us that the fell race up this hill is known as the Blisco Dash- because it is short and steep.  Would we be the Blisco Dashers?

Panorama: Red Tarn, Cold Pike, Crinkle Crags and Bowfell from  Pike o'Blisco

We set off up the road that leads from the Old Dungeon Ghyll Hotel to Blea Tarn but soon cut off up Wrynose Fell.  I would describe the route up by the stream as steadily quite steep.  Bryan, fresh from his Moroccan 4,000 metre adventures (see Morocco), was definitely in Dasher condition.  However the hill was taking its toll on Tony who had been out of action for some time thanks to the aftermath of his domestic incendiary incident (see BB0909 "Carnage").  Pete was also suffering with the onset of a cold that was slowing him down.  No; today, the Blisco Dashers we were not to be.

It is a grand climb, however, with stunning views of the upper Langdale Valley.  The last couple of hundred feet or so to the summit is good fun.  Some interesting scrambling but no exposure and fortunately this time, unlike BB0506, no ice with which to contend.  And the views from the summit are magnificent.  Not just the panorama but the fact that this is one of the few hills where from the summit you can look down and actually see your starting point.  And it was a W for Tony.

Panorama: Pike o'Blisco and Red Tarn from Cold Pike

Lunch was taken near the summit shortly after noon- Tony has an ally in Pete in demanding an early lunch but he has an excuse as he has to travel 90 miles before he even reaches Kendal.  

The sun was shining and it was one of those recently very rare days where we could actually enjoy lingering over a long lunch break.

Next, we descended to Red Tarn (so called because of all the iron ore in the rock) and climbed the path for the Crinkles.  

However, rather than following the herd, we struck off south to the less frequented peak of Cold Pike, another W for Tony.


Cold Pike Team Photo

Panorama: Wetherlam and the Coniston Fells from  near Cold Pike

Our route from here was a pioneering one crossing below Long Scar where a group of youths were enjoying a rock climbing lesson and contouring round, past some small, frog-spawned tarns, to take a second lengthy break looking down Wrynose Pass and over to Loughrigg Tarn and beyond.

Long Scar climbing lesson

Frog spawn tarns

Wrynose Pass to Loughrigg Tarn

Blea Tarn

We dropped down to the Wrynose pass road but once round Holly Crag we turned north to Blea Tarn, a stunning location nestling below Side Pike (next Mondayís objective for Johnís comeback).

Panorama: Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Pike o'Stickle and Harrison Stickle from  the Blea Tarn road again!

After the inevitable photo shoot, we continued on down to the Old Dungeon Ghyll where Tony, on seeing a motor bike arrived, said ďWhoís that plonker without a helmet?Ē  One minute later Tony had disappeared.  That plonker, it turned out, was his mate Fingers so off he went for some biker talk.

The journey back ought to have been an added delight but it wasnít.  Road works on the A591 meant that Ambleside to Windermere took over half an hour.  Still, it didnít detract too much from what had been a stunning day out, even if we hadnít lived up to the challenge of being Blisco Dashers!

Don 2nd April 2009


Thursday 2nd April 2009


8.1 miles

Height climbed:

2,969 feet


Pike o'Blisco, Cold Pike

Other Key Features:



 If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0911.

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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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, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
type of social group,
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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2009 Outings

  • BB0901 : A Gordon Day Out
    Thursday 8th January
  • BB0902 : Thank You,
    Aunty Ethel!
    Wednesday 14th January 
  • BB0903 : A Wicked Hike???
    Wednesday 21st January
  • BB0904 : Take a Mug With You
    Sunday 25th January
  • BB0905 : Down in the Forest
    Thursday 29th January
  • BB0906 : Not How But Where?
    Thursday 5th February
  • BB0907 : Binsey Can Wait
    (but Uncle Monty Can Not)
    Thursday 12th February
  • BB0908 : Badgers on the Line
    Thursday 5th March
  • BB0909 : It's not a W!
    Thursday 12th March
  • BB0910 : Up on the Roof
    Thursday 26th March
  • BB0911 : Not the Blisco Dashers
    Thursday 2nd April
  • BB0912 : John's Comeback
    Monday 6th April
  • BB0913 : Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
    Thursday, 23rd April
  • BB0914 : Companions of the BOOT
    Thursday 30th April
  • BB0915 : The Gale Force Choice
    Thursday 7th May
  • BB0916 : The Comeback Continues
    Thursday 21st May
  • BB0917 : BOOTboys Encore !
    28th May - 2nd June
  • BB0918 : Hello Dollywagon
    Thursday 11th June
  • BB0919 : Has Anyone Seen Lily?
    Thursday 18th June
  • BB0920 : Ancient Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
    Thursday 25th June
  • BB0921 : The Tebay Fell Race Walk
    Thursday 2nd July
  • BB0922 : For England and St George 
    Thursday 9th July
  • BB0923 : The Coniston Outliers
    Friday 31st July
  • BB0924 : Little To Be Said In Favour?
    Thursday 6th August
  • BB0925 : The Third Night of the Rescue 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BB0926 : Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
    Thursday 20th August
  • BB0927 : Dear Mrs Scroggins
    Friday 11th September
  • BB0928 : An Ard Day's Hike
    Thursday 17th September
  • BB0929 : A Canter of Convalescents?
    Thursday 24th September
  • BB0930 : BOOTboys International Autumnal Expedition
    Wednesday 23rd to
    Sunday 27th September
  • BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
    Thursday 1st October
  • BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
    Thursday 8th October
  • BB0933 : When Yorkshire Was Welsh
    Wednesday 14th October
  • BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
    Thursday 22nd October
  • BB0935 : A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
    hursday 5th November
  • BB0936 : Aye Up What?
    hursday 12th November
  • BB0937 : Where Eagles Wade
    Tuesday 17th November
  • BB0938 : After the Floods
    Thursday 26th November
  • BB0939 : The Mystery of the Missing Glove
    Thursday 10th December
  • BB0940 : A Too Short Walk
    Thursday 17th December
  • BB0941 : One Hundred and Onesfell
    Tuesday 29th December



  • BH0901 : Back to the Beginning 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BSKIB09 : BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
    14th - 21st March
  • BB09XX : Los Chicos y las Chicas de la Bota
    11th - 14th May
  • BB09Bav01 : Peaked Too Soon
    1st September



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



To download a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys 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