BB1032 : And Then There Were Two

Thursday 26th August 2010

It seemed like the frustration caused by the inclement summer was going to continue again this week.  Monday’s mountain weather forecast for Thursday suggested a day best spent indoors.  But by Wednesday that had all changed and, for the first time in many weeks, it began to look like we had a meaningful chance of a day worth travelling west for the penultimate Wainwright bagging outing.

Indeed, at 6:30 .a.m. when I picked up Stan, it did seem as if a glorious day was in prospect.  It was a wonderful journey.  There was a temperature inversion over Little Langdale Tarn.  There were four rabbits playing in the road.  Two of them were normal wild rabbits but the other two were absolutely white.  Were they albinos or escaped domestic pets?  Would there be a mad hatter next?

White rabbit

Lakeland Dolomites

The hills to the east had cloud on the tops but those through which we were passing were clear.  In the pinkness of the early morning sun, they reminded me of the Dolomites.  The only hint that the weather might not be totally wonderful came when I stopped on Hardknott pass to take a photo of Eskdale only to discover a very strong wind blowing- but, to be fair, that had been in the forecast for the morning.

Eskdale in the morning sun

We parked just outside Boot for what would be a big day, the objective being to knock off four of the remaining six Wainwrights.  In order to fit the four into the round, it meant an unusual approach to Scafell.  I had intended to go via Eel Tarn but when I mentioned this to Bryan, his raised eyebrow indicated he thought I was off my rocker.  A lovely area, he said, but difficult to navigate.  I checked with the other oracle- Alf W himself.  He regarded it as difficult and time consuming terrain, which, if the objective was Scafell, should be left to the descent and then only if plenty of time remained.

As our route required a quite different descent, a change of plan was needed so once again we started with a long road slog, back up the valley to Wha House Farm where we picked up the track to the Ridge Route to Slight Side.

This was to be our first Wainright capture of the day and it loomed high in the distance for a long, long time.  

Slight Side with Scafell behind

Looking back over Quagrigg Moss

Eventually we crossed the boggy plateau and started the serious ascent.  It seemed like had work but the twin tops of Slight Side are both very satisfying short scrambles.

Five to go.

In the same way that Slight Side had earlier loomed before us, we were now faced with what seemed an equivalent climb up to Scafell but in reality, apart from some tricky moments on the bouldery ground, the main problem was that it was sunny and hot!  

Four left.

Stan on Slight Side

Scafell (left) from Slight Side

Whin Rigg and Illgill Head from Slight Side

Approaching Scafell, Scafell Pike to its right

Comitibus: Scafell

We took first lunch in the summit shelter.

There was no one else around although we could see people on Scafell Pike.  I put on some sun cream, which would have the inevitable result.  

Our next objective was Illgill Head, which meant heading west, down a route that was at first scree then latter boggy tufty grass, losing over 2,000 feet in the process.  

I would not want to go up Scafell by that approach.

Illgill Head between Burnmoor Tarn and Wast Water

In the distance we could see Windsacle or Seascale or Calder Hall or Sellafield or whatever the nuclear power plant is called these days.


We were both feeling strangely out of energy as we started the climb up Illgill Head but recovered somewhat on its upper reaches,  Perhaps the views up Wasdale had something to do with it, even though it was now rather cloudier than it had been.  

Only three more.

Climbing Illgill Head

Whin Rigg from Illgill Head

Upper Wasdale, Scafell to right from Illgill Head

From Ill Gill Head to Whin Rigg was yet another different type of terrain, basically a pleasant grassy ridge walk, ultimately offering some very scary views down from the top of the Wast Water screes, a near vertical drop of some 1,500 feet..

Wast Water from Whin Rigg

The 1,500 foot drop

Illgill Head (with Scafell behind) from Whin Rigg

Second lunch was taken at Whin Rigg


We hoped it would be an easy return to Boot but we were not sure about the short cut I had spotted on the map.  AW had dismissed this as a way up Whin Rigg for being too boggy but we figured we could save about three miles and a bit of bog would not hurt us on a descent.  We were half right.  The descent was not a great problem.  But then we had to climb up out of Miterdale on a path that proved non-existent and over ground that was very boggy.  

The route across Miterfdale

Then we had to negotiate our way around an even boggier area around Siney Tarn before discovering a tourist haven at Blea Tarn.  

Blea Tarn

Eskdale from near Blea Tarn

From here it should have been an easy drop down to Eskdale but my knees were starting to protest at all the work they had had to do.  Eventually we reached the bottom, in time to see the L’al Ratty train steam by.

It was not by chance that I had parked near Boot; it was time to pay our respects to the memory of Big Josie so we called in what had been the Burnmoor Inn, now called the Boot Inn.  Either my memory is playing me tricks or it has been extensively remodelled as, internally, I could not recognise it as the place we had visited 37 years before.  

L'al Ratty

Boot, with Scafell behind

Raising a glass to Big Josie

On engaging the attractive and amply proportioned lady behind the bar in conversation regarding Josie, she responded that “It’s much quieter now but just as good” which we took to be a euphemism for “Don’t go getting any ideas that I’m going to give you the same sort of entertainment”.

As if….!  

Or did we get that wrong? !! ???

We drank to Josie’s memory although I think she would have been appalled at being toasted in shandy!  

We drove home congratulating ourselves on the day’s achievements- not just four Wainwrights, achieved over all sorts of different terrain, but the successful ignoring of a road closed notice on Ulpha Fell that would otherwise have meant a horrific detour!

Road Closed.  Ignored!

And now, there are only two- Lingmell and Scafell Pike.

Don, 26th August 2010


Post Script for those who prefer a more psychedelic style of picture





26th August 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Slight Side, Scafell,
Illgill Head, Whin Rigg

Other Features:


Wainwright Countdown:

Don & Stan: 2, Bryan: 7


Don, Stan


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1032.

To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.



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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!

If you want to contact us, click on


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Home Page










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

BB1020 :
Red Screes and Sausages
Thursday 20th May

BB1021 :
The Mile High Club
Thursday 27th May

BB1022 :
What A Difference A Day Makes
Thursday 3rd June

BB1023 :
Something Brutal
Thursday 10th June

BB1024 :
Rendezvous on Haycock
Thursday 17th June

BB1025 :
The Men of Gragareth
Thursday 24th June

BB1026 :
The Smardale Round
Thursday 1st July

BB1027 :
Don't Shun The Shunner!
Thursday 8th July

BB1028 :
All Around the Edge
Thursday 29th July

BB1029 :
The Return of Uncle Jamie
Thursday 5th August

BB1030 :
The Examination Results
Thursday 12h August

BB1031 :
Nick by Haggis
Thursday 19th August

BB1032 :
And Then There Were Two
Thursday 26th August

BB1033 :
A Surplus of Sheepfolds
Thursday 2nd September


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

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



To see which Wainwright top was visited on which
BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?.

To download a log of heights and miles and which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys
click on BB Log.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!