BB1005 : That's A Lyth Record

Sunday 31st January 2010

It was still dark, with the temperature a few degrees below freezing, as I set off to walk the mile or so to the Scout Hut for the start of the 2010 "That’s Lyth" Challenge Walk. For some reason it seemed much further than I expected and I found myself jogging to try and get there for 7:45. Along the way I started passing people who were clearly doing the event and had opted to start a bit early!

The hut was jam packed when I arrived, as people delayed going out into the cold as long as possible. After registering, I sought out Stan. We quickly decided that the cold was preferable to the crush and so went outside.

Stan met his son, Martin, and his mates, who were dressed for speed rather than warmth. Martin was posing in his bright yellow Jungfrau tee shirt. He asked us what our target time was and I said we were hoping we might break 4 hours. He looked astonished, but wasn’t going to challenge two Bob Graham men! Clearly the thought of being passed by two old men must have made them push on as they eventually finished in 3hours 58mins.

Gathering for the start

Making our way out of Kendal

Dawn was breaking as we set off and by the time we had completed the first half-mile the lead runners were out of sight. The route climbs over Kendal Golf Course when the first views of the snow covered Lakeland tops come into sight.

I was designated photographer for the day and quickly began to find that each time I stopped to take a photo the gap between Stan and myself grew rapidly and I had to jog each time to catch him up.

Crossing the golf Course
3 miles (and runners!) gone

After 3 miles or so we dropped off Cunswick Scar into the Lyth valley via Gamblesmire Lane.

We tried to jog the downhill stretches where possible, but this track was quite icy in places and slowing up more cautious walkers.

Stan was in competitive mode and burst past a group of 4 people. It took me a little longer to get past and by the time I did Stan was well out of sight.  I eventually caught up 2 or 3 miles later near Underbarrow.  

By this time positions for the day are more or less established. You pass people only for them to appear in front of you again an hour later. They must have passed but you can’t for the life of you remember when!

Checkpoint 1 was at 7 miles. The venue had changed following the disaster with the school last year. (BB0904)  This time it was at Crosthwaite Village Hall and there was  plenty of hot tea and refreshments – I particularly enjoyed the jam doughnut.  

It was here that Stan first became aware of a middle aged couple (this is Stan’s optimistic description. Personally I thought they were more our age – elderly!). One of them had a yellow cagoule and the other a sore toe apparently. They were to feature prominently later.

10 miles done – where is everybody?

Stan reaches Lords Seat – top of Whitbarrow Scar

The next few miles passed without incident. It’s a steady pull up from the Lyth valley on to Whitbarrow Scar, but once on top the views to the Lakeland Fells, the Dales, and out over Morecambe Bay were superb. The weather had been near perfect so far for the event. The mud of previous years was frozen hard and all that was missing was the sun. This duly arrived as we descended through the woods to Witherslack Hall.

Sun comes out at the half way point

Closing in on a doughnut at Witherslack (CP2)

The next stretch seemed to drag a bit before we reached the road and could smell the tea brewing at Checkpoint 2 in Witherslack Hall. This was manned by my next door neighbours, so it seemed only polite of me to have a sit down here, drink a second cup of tea, and have extra cake and biscuits – after all it’s not a race - is it?

Kent Estuary – Ingleborough in the distance

The next 4 miles involve a lot of road and track walking and our feet were beginning to feel the battering a bit. But the sun was out and we made good progress to Levens and the final checkpoint in the garage of a house at Cotes Corner. They are so nice to you at this stop, but the down side is that there are usually some seats and I am always tempted to sit in one. No problem until it’s time to get up again, when your legs immediately let you know that you’ve just walked 18 miles!

Our stop was a relatively short one as Stan had noted “yellow cag and sore toe” set off. We were on home ground now as we headed up through Brigsteer Park, but complacency is a dangerous thing when you’re tired. We were wandering along putting the world to rights (over the course of 23 miles an awful lot of things get “sorted”!) when we absent-mindedly followed the main bridleway towards Sizergh for a few hundred yards before realising our mistake.  

To rectify this we took a direct line towards Helsington Church, keeping to the trees as much as possible (well it just wouldn’t do for people to think that Kendal folk could go wrong on their own ground!). When we regained the route, we waited for a following walker to take a team photo.

19 miles done – Comitibus photo time

View across the Lyth valley to the Lakeland fells

The views at this stage were stunning as the afternoon sun was just starting to set. A quick look at the watch suggested we could possibly beat 7 hours so we put a bit of a spurt on. Our diversion meant we had lost sight of our yellow cagoule marker and Stan was beginning to wonder if we had somehow passed them as he couldn't believe they could be in front if they were only walking.  

However as we set off into Kendal down Brigsteer Road we could see two people, one of whom was wearing a yellow cagoule, jogging down the hill in front of us.

This was what Stan had been wanting all day – proof that he wasn’t being beaten by two people (one of whom was a woman for goodness sake) who had only walked the route.

Stan has form in this regard. His pursuit of the large lady on BB0803 has become part of BOOTboys folklore!

Kendal comes into sight – 21 miles

The fact that they were jogging spurred him on and we eventually caught them and exchanged some banter about the tactics they had used to stay in front. Stan pushed on. He wanted to put some distance between himself and yellow cag. Presumably memories of "BB0803 large lady" staging a comeback still haunt him!


 A final burst to pass another walker who we had not seen since before Cinderbarrow (this is not a race!) got us to the finish in 6 hours 40 minutes – a new BOOTboys record. I was fairly pleased with the time. I wasn’t as fit as I had been in previous years so anything under 7 hours would have been a good one for me.

Stan’s personal aim had been not to be any slower than last year (despite being a year older), so finishing 20 mins inside last year's time was a satisfying result for him.

As we sat eating our soup we were joined by “yellow cag and sore toe”. We discovered they were from Southport/Preston and had been doing the event so long they could recount when Fred Hodgson's house at the foot of the Scout Scar road had been a checkpoint and they used to stop there for tea and buns. In those days I used to run it and remembered that the route had changed that year and used Frank’s house because of the snow that prevented road access to some of the checkpoints.   

An excellent day. Now all we need is a hard year’s training and that sub 4 hour might just be possible!

Bryan, 31st January 2010


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31st January 2010


23.5 miles

Height climbed:

3,200 feet


Whitbarrow Scar (Outlying Fells)

Other Key Features:

Scout Scar, Cunswick Scar, Lyth Valley


Bryan, Stan,


No tracklog this time.  For map see BB0803.


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




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





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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!