: Companions of the BOOT
30th April 2009
And in the darkest hours of urban
depression I will sometimes take out that
dog's-eared map and dream awhile of more spacious days; and perhaps a dried
blade of grass will fall out of it to remind me that once I was a free man on
thanks to exiled Lancastrian Steve G for this quotation
from Arthur Hugh Sidgwick's Walking Essays, written
nearly 100 years ago and more of which, later.
a fine quote but was he dreaming of the sort of day
that we expected today with its gales and heavy rain?
And how true is it that we are "free men
on the hills"?
beauty of doing the Wainwrights is that they can take
you to places that you would not normally go.
trouble with doing the Wainwrights is that they can take
you to places you would not normally go.
walks. Not even walks- contrived outings. In
other words, the compulsion to complete the books renders
us no longer "free men" but slaves to an arbitrary
was certainly true today. I doubt whether any
of us, in our most outlandish moments, would otherwise
have proposed the outing that we undertook, especially
given the weather forecast!
to quote again from Sidgwick, it demonstrated how we
are "Companions of the Boot".
ought not be confused (as I was until Andrew Belsey
informed me of my error) with his father, Arthur Sidgwick
(1840-1924), who was a fellow of Corpus Christi College,
Oxford, and university reader in Greek. He published
many books on ancient Greek authors and other classical
subjects. Andrew informed me that:
Hugh Sidgwick (1882-1917) was always known to family
and friends as Hugh (because his father was Arthur),
and published his books as A H Sidgwick. After graduating
from Oxford University he was a civil servant at the
Board of Education from 1906 to 1915, when he joined
the army. As a Captain in the Royal Garrison Artillery
he died of wounds on the western front near Ypres on
17th September 1917. He can be found on the Commonwealth
War Graves Commission database on its website. He published
the following books (the last posthumously):
Essays (Edward Arnold, 1912)
Promenade Ticket (Edward Arnold, 1914)
Wedding (Edward Arnold, 1918)
like to think that were Hugh Sidgwick alive today, he would be blogging his walks, more or
less in the BOOTboys
fashion. But, limited by the technology of the
day, he resorted to prose and poetry. His Walking
Essays are introduced by a poetic dedication entitled
COMITIBUS. I have no Latin and no doubt someone
will enlighten me as to what comitibus means but I prefer
to call the poem by a name taken from one of its lines-
To the Companions of the Boot. A selection
of stanzas reads:
who walked the ways with me
On hill and plain and
I ask your pardon, frank and free,
all the things that follow.
me at least make one thing clear;
In these I know
no name for them
These dreary talks on futile themes,
visions from a dullard's dreams,
At least you take
no blame for them.
companions of the boot,
Joint-heirs of wind and weather,
kindness take this little fruit
Of all our walks
aught it has of wit or truth
I reckon you my creditors;
dullness, errors, want of taste
all be placed
To my account, the editor's.
how I feel but much more eruditely expressed!
can read the full poem at BB09index.
what was so odd about today’s outing? Well, at
long last we returned to the serious business of finishing
of Wainwright’s Northern Fells. Tony and Stan
needed Latrigg and Binsey. I only needed Binsey
and Pete, wisely, has opted out of this game but still
joined us. Bryan needs Latrigg but is saving it
for his last great round-up but nonetheless came along
on the trip.
and Latrigg are at opposite ends of the Skiddaw range,
too far apart to make a continuous walk and each only
a quick up and downer. So to make the day worthwhile
we added Sale Fell and Ling Fell, which are in North
Western Fells on the other side of Lake Bassenthwaite
and were needed by all bar Bryan. Three separate
walks with transport by car inbetween. The idea
was to travel fast and light with rucksacs and food
left in the car. Consequently the order was critical
if we were to satisfy Tony’s (and Pete’s) eating requirements.
Binsey first, then lunch. Next Sale and
Ling Fells and second lunch. Finally the short
gallop up Latrigg.
is only 1.5 miles up and down, 593 feet from the road.
However it was grey, cold and very windy on top.
and Ling Fells looked uninviting in the distance.
drove to the foot of Sale Fell where the sun came out
whilst we had a picnic amongst the gorse bushes which
were giving off a pleasant perfume, a bit like vanilla.
and Ling Fells from Binsey
from Sale Fell
setting off, we discovered St
Wythop. Very different to those we saw last week on
no false ceiling, open to the rafters and all the better
for it. We were surprised to learn it was built in 1866.
It looked much later Victorian with its steep
is no easy path up Sale Fell so we did it the hard way.
Direttissimo! It’s quite a while since we
have tackled such a steep slope.
At the top, we
were joined by a Scottish Hungarian chap who pulled
out a small device, looking a little like a gps. This
read the barometric pressure and the wind speed which
he dutifully noted for his diary.
I am not sure
if he was able to forecast what happened next but the
weather changed quite suddenly and as we walked along
the ridge towards Ling Fell, we were bombarded by nasty
cold heavy rain. Having left my waterproof trousers
in the car, my legs got quite soaked.
had been much more sensible!
Fell from Sale Fell
on reaching the valley bottom at Brumston Bridge the
weather had changed again and it turned into a beautiful
sunny afternoon. We ascended the appropriately
named Ling Fell by the Corpse Road and by the time we
reached the summit, I had quite dried out again.
Fell from Ling Fell
of Ling Fell
was a fine view over to Skiddaw, and no sign of the
intervening lake- it looked like the continuation of
the range on which we stood.
Sale Fell and Skiddaw
returned to the car using the road that ran past Wythop
Mill and, just before St Margaret’s Church, discovered
a strange little building that turned out to be Wythop
lunch was taken at the same picnic spot as the first
following which we drove to the car park on the shoulder
between Latrigg and Skiddaw.
This left us to perform
a round trip of 1.4 miles and only 254 feet of climbing.
Some might regard this as cheating, but that argument
can only be sustained by those who start all walks from
opting out to save Latrigg for later, was left at the car where
there was a great view of the Mells in the distance.
Mells from the Latrigg Car Park
wheelchair path on Latrigg; Skiddaw behind
We loosely followed the wheelchair
path to the surprise viewpoint- where Derwent Water
suddenly comes into view and panorama is superb, even
though it was starting to cloud over again.
Water from Latrigg
stroll to the top completed the Northern Fells for Stan
and Tony (I had been there on CW09 and had therefore
completed the book at Binsey).
home in Kendal we discovered the clag was down on even
the low fells- had it been like that up north it would
have been a very depressing day but as it turned out
we had had a somewhat unusual but unexpectedly satisfying
message for Bryan, Pete, Stan and Tony is that the test
of real Companions of the BOOT is that they turn
out in all sorts of weather, on walks that they would
not themselves have chosen and still cheerfully support
each other to the achievement of individual goals.
today you truly deserved the title!
30th April 2009
If you want to comment on this report, click on
30th April 2009
Sale Fell, Ling Fell, Latrigg
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0914a,
and BB0914c .
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!
E-mail addresses on this web site are protected
Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated
help fight spam e-mail!
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!