BB1001 : The Most Perfect Winter Day

Thursday 7th January 2010

New Year.  Out with the old and in with.......?  

Well, actually, more of the same. Magnificent wintry weather, that is. Those BOOTboys still at home (as opposed to those who, like me, were experiencing the joys of foreign travel) understandably grabbed every opportunity they could to take advantage of the finest snow that the Lake District has seen for many a year.

Steel Fell across Dunmail Raise from Raise Beck

Grizedale Tarn from the slopes of Dollywagon

Bryan went solo up Helvellyn on Monday 4th January.  He reported:

Had a cracking day on Helvellyn today 4th. Went up from Dunmail Raise. Rang Stan the night before to see if he fancied it but he had other arrangements. I couldn't go too early so it needed to be a brisk one - I didn't set off from Dunmail until 11:30 and was back at the car by 3:00.

Striding Edge.....

..... plus Bryan

You will have recognised Striding Edge in full winter conditions with an alpine looking Catstye Cam in the background.  Spot the person on the ridge (double click on the picture to enlarge).  The photo with me on it was taken by this bloke who'd just done the Edge from the summit down to Red Tarn. He'd intended to return via Swirral Edge but said the conditions on Striding were so good he turned round and went back along it!

I thought I might have a crack myself but by the time I got to the top of the gully where it starts, the mist had closed in. Also, time was limited so I decided against it. A bit like the Leeds game (versus Manchester United), by deciding not to invest £45 in a ticket, I might have missed the chance of a lifetime!

Helvellyn summit shelter

The weather closes in

Martin was up there the next day.

Did Helvellyn from Thirlspot and back via Wythburn last Tuesday (5th) just after the last snowfall - wonderful. Climbed Dollywagon from Dunmail on Sunday and skied down, Jamie and his mate boarded it. Great fun, but tricky standing up near the top. Used crampons on skiboots which worked fine but the weight made it hard work - still, burnt off some calories. It reminded me why you spend £200 on a week's skipass!

The first official BB outing was on Thursday 7th and had easyJet managed to fly us back from Nice to Liverpool on schedule the previous day, I would have joined the team. However, amidst all the chaos, the best they could offer us was Gatwick, maybe, and then we would be on our own somehow to get back to the north or alternatively they would fly us back to Liverpool in a week's time!  Yes, that's right: a week!

Instead, whilst the boys were out in the sun, we returned to hang around Nice airport flirting with British Airways before eventually flying with the very nice Swiss Air people, firstly to Zurich and then on to Manchester.  Somehow, we got upgraded to business class and Margaret, normally a nervous flyer, enjoyed the experience so much that Swiss is now her carrier of choice!

Central Lakeland from Kendal Golf Course

Stan told me that he and Bryan crossed Kendal Fell to go out to Cunswick Scar then walked south, the full length of Cunswick and Scout Scars, before dropping down to Brigsteer, climbing back up via Barrowfield,and finally passing over the old racecourse back to Kendal.

Brigsteer Road


He continued:

To call it a glorious day is an understatement.  It was the most perfect winter day I can ever remember on the Scars with outstanding snow covered views in all directions, but particularly of the lakeland fells - sod's law that we didn't have a camera with us, but no doubt if we had the results would have been a disapointment.  

The Scout Scar Mushroom

We saw a runner and two or three walkers on Cunswick Scar and then no one else till we got to the Mushroom.

Apart from two girls out jogging the only other person we saw was the farmer feeding his sheep at Barrowfield who was surprisingly talkative for a farmer asking us "Is it slippy underfoot?"  

We replied that it wasn't too bad but we didn't envy him having to negotiate the icy Barrowfield access road.

Lakeland panorama from Kendal Golf Course

Bryan added:

The road stretch down Brigsteer hill was treacherous for walking. The previous day's fresh snow had covered the sheet ice underneath. Part way down we saw a set of car tracks which veered off the straight line and went straight into the embankment. Close to them was a set of tractor tyres from the vehicle which had obviously been used to pull it out. We were speculating on how anyone could possibly think this was driveable only to see a white van man come tootling up the hill. Minutes later a Nissan Micra came tootling down. Either very good drivers or, as we thought, very lucky ones!

Fortunately Bryan had been on the scars a day or two before with Liz in similar conditions and had remembered his camera on that occasion so those are pictures we have used.

Bryan was out again in the snow on 11th January with a warning for those going on BB1002:

Got out with Steve V on Whinfell today. Conditions are a lot different to when we were up there on the 10th December (see BB0939). Generally it's pretty hard going. Snow is still pretty deep and unconsolidated. The second big fall we had is sitting on top of the first lot and has not consolidated due to the lack of a thaw / freeze. Consequently small slabs were breaking off and sliding away on the steeper ground going up form the road. Classic avalanche conditions, particularly as it warms up. Be careful on route choice this week.

Steve V practicing with crampons on Castle Fell

Steve V wading through snow on Ashtead Fell

We heeded the warning.  See BB1002.

I concluded report BB0901 with this comment on New Year Resolutions:

    I hereby undertake not to mention the name of James Gordon Brown again in these columns during 2009 or for such time as he remains The Great Leader if that period (fingers crossed) proves to be shorter.

Those of you (if any) who remain of the faith will be pleased to know that I intend to repeat that pledge for this year.

My other resolution is to complete the Wainwrights.  Having only 38 left to do, it could be a close call as to whether this resolution will be fulfilled before events release me from the first resolution!!  

Don, 17th January 2010


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Thursday 7th January 2010


10.1 miles

Height climbed:

1,551 feet



Other Features:

Cuswick Scar, Scout's Scar


Bryan, Stan


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1001.

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 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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2010 Outings

BB1001 :
The Most Perfect
 Winter Day
Thursday 7th January

BB1002 :
 Potter Fell
Thursday 14th January

BB1003 :
A Snowy Equipment Test

Thursday 21st January

BB1004 :
Leave It To The Professionals

Thursday 28th January

BB1005 :
That's A Lyth Record
Sunday 31st January 

BB1006 :
Reasons To Be Cheerful
One, Two, Three
Thursday 11th February

BB1007 :
Can You See Clearly Now?
Thursday 18th February

BB1008 :
In Memory Of
Thomas Williamson
Thursday 25th February

BB1009 :
Almost a Mountaineer!
Wednessday 3rd March

BB1010 :
The Beginning Of The End
Thursday 11th March

BB1011 :
The Free Men on Tuesday
Tuesday 16th March

BB1012 :
We'll Get Them In Singles,
Thursday 25th March

BB1013 :
The Fools on the Hill
Thursday 1st April

BB1014 :
The Windmills on the Moor
Wednesday 7th April

BB1015 :
By Lake, Ridge and Wainwright
Sunday 11th April

BB1016 :
The Ten Lake Tour (+5Ws)
Thursday 15th April

BB1017 :
The BessyBOOT
Thursday 22nd April

BB1018 :
The Kentmere Challenge
Saturday 24th April

BB1019 :
Winter in Springtime
Thursday 14th May



BSB2010 :
boys in Zillertal
Saturday 30th January
to Saturday 6th February

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





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!