: A Snowy Equipment Test
21st January 2010
still comes as a surprise to open the curtains in the
morning and see green rather than white. It came
as an even bigger surprise this morning to find out
that it wasn't pouring down. For days the forecast
had predicted heavy rain all day for today. Accordingly,
we had planned an outing to Claife Heights where we
could hide in the forests above Windermere and satisfy
Stan's desire for some decent distance training in preparation
for this year's That's Lyth long distance walk.
everything had changed. It was to be a dry, possibly
sunny at times but bitterly cold day. Consequently,
after the pick-up, there was a hurried consultation
and a total change of plan, which caught Stan, a little
the worse for wear from the previous evening's festivities,
parked at the end of the Dubbs Lane on the back road
to Troutbeck with the intention of heading up to the
Garburn Pass then returning over Sallows and Sour Howes.
was a lot of traffic up the unmade road to the Dubbs
Reservoir where clearly some major reconstruction was
there, it was empty. As we climbed up the Garburn
Pass, there was a surprising amount of snow still lying
on stretches of trail. On reaching the top, a decision
back to Sallows or carry on to Yoke?
was in mist but also in snow so we thought we would
go at least part of the way but, if and when it got
too bad, we could turn back. In fact we didn't
we climbed, the drifted snow by the wall was still deep
but in better condition than last week on BB1002.
It was generally much firmer but we still got
caught out by the odd step that led to the leg disappearing
up to the waist!
finds a big hole!
took in Yoke and, as the mist wasn't too bad, decided
to continue, past the dramatic views to the Kentmere valley,
on to Ill Bell.
eyes the steep drop to Kentmere
from Ill Bell
Bell from Froswick
was more ice about so we decided to put on crampons.
Bryan put on his Grivel Spiders and Stan was hoping
to put on my Grivel Spiders but sadly due to a misunderstanding
between us, I had left them in my bootbag in the car.
Why wasn't I planning to wear them, having raved
about them so much?
because I have invested in a pair of Kahtoola
from Rock + Run. These are like snow
chains for shoes, secured by a big red elastic
band and providing 10 spikes for digging
to put on and off than Grivel Spiders, they
provide most of the grip under the ball
of the foot plus a couple of spikes under
the heel whereas the Spider's grip is entirely
under the instep.
makes going up in Microspikes more secure
and leads to a more natural walking action.
weren't severely tested today. Nevertheless, it was
very noticeable how much easier I found the steep ground
than the normally very surefooted Stan who of course
was unfortunately cramponless. First impressions
are very favourable.
............. the combination of taking my gloves off
to fit the crampons and repeated taking my gloves off
to try and capture the dramatic light on camera (and
largely failing) meant that my hands had got very cold.
for the second equipment test of the day. Field &
Trek had had a special offer on Karrimor handwarmers
and I had bought a job lot of them at a remarkable 99p
are they any good?
the basis of today's test, the verdict is: definitely.
The packet opened easily, they warmed up reasonably
quickly, didn't get too hot and, as I type this eight
hours later, they are still glowing gently in my pocket.
the price, these are certainly the best value handwarmers
I have had.
course, I had forgotten the golden rule of handwarmers
which is to open them before you need them but even
so I was very happy with the result.
Ill Bell with its unusual cairns, we pressed on to Froswick
with the sun making an appearance. So, however,
also did the wind. It was strong and bitterly
from Froswick to the motorway up to Thornthwaite Crag
dropped down out of the worst of the wind to pick up
the Roman Road back down to Troutbeck, stopping for
lunch once out of the snow.
back up the long valley
is a long valley and provided plenty of
opportunity for three grumpy old men to
put the world to rights before we cut back
up at Limefitt to pick up the Longmire Road
track back to the car.
there was a distinct difference in the distance
shown on our GPSs.
said 13.2 miles whilst mine was showing
a miserly 12.1 miles- a figure confirmed
by Memory Map.
way round, this plus the 2,706 feet of climbing
made it significantly good training for
Stan (and Bryan)'s big walk.
(!!!!) I will be away this time, on skiing duty with
21st January 2010
If you want to comment on this report, click on
21st January 2010
Ill Bell, Froswick
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB1003.
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!
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 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!
If you want to contact us, click on
If you want to join
let us know and
of new BOOTboys reports.
Thursday 14th January
A Snowy Equipment Test
Thursday 21st January
Leave It To The Professionals
Thursday 28th January
That's A Lyth Record
Reasons To Be Cheerful
One, Two, Three
Thursday 11th February
Can You See Clearly Now?
Thursday 18th February
In Memory Of
Almost a Mountaineer!
The Beginning Of The End
Thursday 11th March
The Free Men on Tuesday
We'll Get Them In Singles,
The Fools on the Hill
Saturday 30th January
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!