BB0941 : One Hundred and Onesfell

Tuesday 29th December 2009

With only one hundred and forty two feet needed to achieve my hundred thousand feet ambition for the BOOTboys year and two outings left to get them, things were looking good.

But then the erstwhile penultimate expedition had to be cancelled due to the biggest snowfall in many years causing chaos on the streets of Kendal and elsewhere in the Lake District.  For a photo record of the snow locally see Natland.info .

Today was the last chance.  The snow remained compacted on the side roads.  Tony and Stan were still more or less blocked in and opted out.  Bryan and Martin could just about get out.  Ian had come up from Cheshire to stay with his in-laws in Windermere but, without his Landrover, might not have made it.

Yesterday had been glorious.  Very cold and hardly a cloud in the sky.  We had a dream, were the day to be repeated, of a snowfest on Helvellyn, repeating much of the route of BB0908. Sadly, however, the forecast deteriorated and there were predictions of gales exceeding 65 mph on the fell tops and warnings of extreme difficulty in walking on frozen ice in such conditions.  

Commonsense prevailed and we sought a lower and less exposed target.  We contemplated the Kentmere hills but doubted that we would be able to drive up the valley so selected Wansfell.  The road to Ambleside would be open and a short walk could be rewarded with an end of year celebration.

We had a bit of luck in the car park.  There was a man opening the ticket machine (seemingly legitimately as he had a key) and although I had five shiny one pound coins in my hand, he said parking was free today.  Donít know why but I wasnít going to argue.

Wansfell from Ambleside

Off we set, up the back roads of Ambleside and out into the snow covered fields. It was a grey day but not too cold and good visibility.  

Looking back to Silver How and beyond

The ground became steeper and icier and we decided to stop to put on crampons- Martin and Ian were using the wonderful Grivel Spider instep crampons.  Bryan and I had opted for full crampons- indeed I was giving the first outing to the winter boots and crampons I had bought on e-bay as reported back in BB0909.  

Ian fits his Grivel Spiders

My wicked crampons

Although something of an experiment, I was full of confidence that I would romp up the hill.  

Wrong!

I can't blame the crampons.  They worked fine.  I donít know what was the matter but my performance on the climb was the worst of the year.  I expected Bryan to go well and I knew that Martin was very fit from his mountain biking but I was confident that I would leave Ian in my wake.  After all, I was at least ninety thousand feet ahead of him this year.  But the sneaky man had been in training on a rowing machine and he showed none of the lack of fitness that we had seen last time he was out.

On the other had, I was struggling.  It felt like the hundred thousand feet had been climbed just this morning and I was out of energy and suffering from altitude sickness.  In reality, I think it was the combination of Wansfell being quite a steep little hill (see BB0703 for previous comments on its steepness), the effort of kicking steps in snow plus the after-effects of Christmas.  I least I hope that is what it was.

No one else seemed to have any problems.  The hill was busy with lots of folk making a quick ascent and then returning back down to the pub for lunch.  But they were young!!

Things didnít get much better on top.  Whilst the day trippers were retreating directly to Ambleside, we were on a mission and left the crowds in order carry on along the ridge. Good King Wenceslas would not have liked it.  Deep it was, but not crisp and even. One step would hold firm.  The next might sink three or four inches and the one after - you could be in up to your knee.  Add to this the evidence that the forecast 65 mph gales was not inaccurate- a very cold and strong north easterly head wind whipping up snow- and making progress, or at least my progress, became very difficult.  I was relieved when Bryan called a very early lunch stop, partially sheltered in a dip and by a wall.

Comitibus: Wansfell Pike

Lunch stop view of Windermere

Descending to the southeast was also a challenge, due to the uneven texture of the snow on steep ground but eventually we reached the relative evenness of the Hundreds Road. We rejoined the human race at Robin Lane and followed the crowds along the bridle path that traverses the hill, stopping for a coffee break at the Jenkins Crag viewpoint.

Windermere from  near Jenkins Crag

Crampons removed perhaps a tad too early, we picked our way through the ice down to Ambleside and the car park.  I was relieved to see that there was no parking ticket on the car.  Thank you Ambleside for a freebie!

The last part of our objective was achieved at the Sun Inn at Troutbeck Bridge.  I had some doubts as to whether it would be open as an overflowing beck had invaded it during the recent floods.  However, normal service had been resumed and we ended the year in traditional style.  I was celebrating my 101,428 feet even though part of me was still distressed by my worst physical performance for a long time.  Must get back into shape for next year!

Don, 29th December 2009

 

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STATISTCS

BB0941

Tuesday 29th December 2009

Distance:

5.7 miles

Height climbed:

1,570 feet

Wainwrights:

 

Other Features:

Wansfell Pike

Comitibus:

Bryan, Don, Ian, Martin

 

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0941.

Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs can 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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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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Archive

 

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
    T
    hursday 5th November
  • BB0936 : Aye Up What?
    T
    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.

 

Wainwrights

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!

 

 

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