: Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
20th August 2009
Wet Windy Monty Bothy was the description given
by Jamie (my son, currently at home on holiday)
when I asked him to sum up today's outing in five words.
Actually, he added a sixth word: Fun,
although that only applied to the first two sides of
what should have been a triangle.
idea was to take advantage of the awful weather and
pay a visit to Uncle Monty's cottage (see BB0907
for background information) given that the sale has
apparently fallen through as the purchaser at auction
was unable to get the bank support for his plans. The
property is believed to be back on the market.
Sleddale was living up to its name as we
parked by the reservoir but that did not
might have been more of a worry was the
warning signs about adders. However,
I have never seen one and today would be
was a worry was the sheer volume of water
around. Astonishing for midsummer.
The direct footpath to the cottage was impassable
where it crosses Sleddale Beck and we had
to press on to the bridge.
are at large!
were more warning signs at Sleddale Hall, a.k.a. Crow
Crag in the film Withnail and I, better known as Uncle
Monty's cottage. The protestations about asbestos
were rather half hearted, I thought.
examines the entrance
back entrance that we had used on BB0831
was securely boarded up but the dining room window was
open to the elements. Inside it was clear that
the property remains much visited. It was far
tidier than it had once been and the ouija board has
gone. Hanging on a wall was a print
of an old photograph of the house and there is now a
visitors book recording a steady stream of devotees
making their pilgrimage.
Hall in better days
with a view
entry made reference to YouTube postings. I do't
know if these are the ones they meant but you might
find some of them worth looking at:
Many photos of Sleddale Hall, to the accompaniment of
a David Craig song
Video of the auction- strange progress to the remarkable
(and presumably non appearing) £265,000.
will also find links on YouTube to various postings
by a group called the Crow Crags singing in and about
the house. E.g. The
did not linger but pressed on up Wet Sleddale. The
wind was approaching gale force at time and was in our
faces, sometime accompanied by driving rain, occasionally
by hail. We set a cracking pace and somehow I
really enjoyed the challenge. Dropping down into
Mosedale, the weather had eased a little but the stream
was in spate and it was quite a feat finding somewhere
narrow enough to jump across in order to gain the shelter
of the Mosedale Cottage bothy.
path is a river
is a good place to rest and eat on a foul day but why
is it we only ever go there on foul days?
because it is a good place to rest and eat on a foul
day- a self-fulfilling commendation.
thought the weather a little better after lunch and
I decided not to put my rain trousers back on (partly
because they were wetter inside than out).
But what is Stan holding?
back up Mosedale from near Forces Falls
sooner had we set off back down Mosedale than it hailed.
But, fortunately not for long and there were glimpses
of sun and even at times enough blue sky to make a pair
of sailor's trousers, as Stan put it.
than return the way we came, we continued down to Swindale,
past the impressive Forces Fall where Philip tumbled
not realising until a few days later that he had broken
surveys the falls
on the picture to see the falls in action
through a wooded area lower down, we saw a red squirrel
run up tree and managed to get a photo of him looking
down on us from a very high branch.
reaching Gouthercrag Gill, the map shows a distinct
path heading over the moors directly back to Sleddale
Hall. We thought it would be an easy return journey
along the third side of the triangle.
path disappeared. I put my navigational skill
to the test. I did what Bryan had taught me and
oriented the map in the direction of travel. I
took a bearing from the sun and headed directly for
it (when we could see it). On reaching the brow
of the hill we looked down into Wet Sleddale.
it wasn't. It was Mosedale.
a fool I had been. I looked at the map again,
northways up this time- real man style- and immediately
realised my mistake. We had been travelling south
west. We should have been travelling south east.
It just goes to show that if you hold the map
girly fashion there is the distinct risk of making a
girly left / right mistake.
that's cheap jibe. Sorry. I admit my incompetence.
Just look at the map below to see the dent made
into the final side of the triangle!
the error had been identified we had to traipse across
the very boggy, rainy, windy moors to get back on track.
It seemed endless. Eventually we dropped
down to Sleddale Grange above the reservoir and were
rewarded with a magnificent rainbow.
of rewards, one is being offered if you
can find Henry the African Grey parrot.
smile on the sparrowhawk's face suggested
that you might be too late.
a reward for those who have followed the
story all the way through: a new Big
Josie offering although be
warned, this is not a tale for those easily
S is a member of a Cheshire walking group who also go
by the name of BOOTboys
(having changed it from Foot Frothers).
As it happens,
I know Derek from my Provincial Insurance days, so when
he contacted me for information about walks in the Howgills,
I challenged him to prove that they were truly BOOTboys.
proof can be read at Memories
of the Cheshire BOOTboys.
20th August 2009
If you want to comment on this report, click on
20th August 2009
Monty's Cottage, Mosedale Cottage,
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0926.
Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your
meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs may be converted
using the freeware utility GPS Babel."
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!