BB1037 : This Is The Way The Wainwrights End

Thursday 7th October 2010

At last.  A favourable weather forecast for us to finish off the Wainwrights.  Just Lingmell and Scafell Pike needed.  Actually, Stan had climbed Scafell Pike not that long ago with his son but had kindly chosen not to register the fact so that we could finish the Wainwrights together.  Bryan, fresh from his own completion epic (BB1035) was keeping us company.

It was a lovely morning in Kendal but we were expecting morning cloud and strong winds. As usual, I had a dilemma as to what to wear.  As usual, I decided to take more than I needed.  And then to stick an extra fleece in, just in case.

Turning down into Borrowdale we could see the cloud over the higher tops.  It was no better when we parked at Seathwaite.  But we had every confidence that this was the day.

Mist on the tops beyond Seathwaite

Taylorgill Force

Our plan was to go up the right hand side of Taylorgill Force- thatís the slightly scary side- to Sty Head Tarn then pick up the Corridor Route up to Lingmell Fell.  

As we passed Sty Head Tarn, I wondered if that was where Jamie and I had camped along with Mike and Sam on our previous assault on the Pike, twenty years ago? It was either there or Sprinkling Tarn.  Or just possibly Angle Tarn.  What I do remember is having to put our little Westie, Biggles, into the rucksac as we returned via the Corridor Route, fearful that otherwise he might be lost down a ravine.

Sty Head Tarn

Looking back at Sty Head Tarn

Mountain Rescue Stretcher Box

We passed the Mountain Rescue stretcher box and then made our way over to the Corridor Route.  Bryan seemed to have recovered from his ankle stain incurred whilst running.  Stan, having started slowly, as is the norm, was going like stink.  Or was I just going slowly?  I certainly didnít feel on top climbing form.  We could see Lingmell clearly cloud free but the Pike remained covered.

The corridor route climbs left to right to Lingmell Col

Great Gable from  near the top of Greta Gill

Great Gable across tarn at Middleboots Knotts

Lingmell across the col

We duly reached the col and turned right for the brief climb to the summit of Lingmell. This was a poignant moment for me for it was here that Margaretís cousin Ian had his tragic accident.  I donít know exactly where it happened but the cliffs are sheer and anyone going over has no chance.  I kept well away from the edge, even though it is an exellent viewpoint.

Great Gable round to Scafell Pike from Lingmell

Ill Gill Head round to Great Gable from Lingmell

Retracing our steps we returned to the col and started the final assault.  As the forecasters had promised, the cloud was clearing.  I didnít exactly find it hard going, but I could not keep up with the flying Stanley.  The steepness was just beyond my optimum pitch and even though I tried a blast of Cwm Rhondda and my other climbing songs, today I was not the relentless climbing machine that I sometimes feel myself to be.  It was only when the gradient eased and I realised that the top that I could see must be the real and not a false summit, that I found an extra spurt of energy.

At the top, congratulations were exchanged and I couldnít help thinking of a plagiarisation of T S Elliotís The Hollow Men:

This is the way the Wainwrights end
This is the way the Wainwrights end
This is the was the Wainwrights end
Not with a bang
Not with a Whymper (!)

Well then, with what?

Well actually, with a Wainwright.  

To be more precise, with a bottle of Thwaiteís ďexquisitely lovelyĒ Wainwright golden ale that Bryan had thoughtfully carried in his rucksac to present to us to mark our achievement. And whatís more, he had remembered his Swiss Army Knife with which to open it.

I must say, it did taste exquisitely lovely.

Comitibus: Scafell Pike

Scafell from the Pike

As befits Englandís highest point, it was quite busy up there, despite being cold, albeit now sunny, and there was a ferocious wind blowing.  We were comfortable in the shelter where we took lunch but on emerging felt the full blast.  Visibility, however, was very good.

The Duddon Estuary

This area is littered with millions of boulders of all size and you have to be careful to avoid spraining an ankle.  

Crossing the boulder field

What afflicted me was rather different.  On our way over to Broad Crag, I suddenly seized with cramp in the front and back of my upper thigh.  Not too painful until I tried to walk.  I must admit I was half worried  and half looking forward to travelling in a helicopter but Bryan, whose motto is that no matter what happens you should get yourself off the mountain, taught me a cramp relieving technique that was counter intuitive but actually worked- one he had worked out for himself when similarly afflicted on a mountain marathon fell run.  To my amazement, five minutes later, I was going better than at anytime in the day.

Great Gable and Great End from Broad Crag

Scafell Pike and Broad Crag from Ill Crag

We took in the minor summit of Ill Crag and then, in conditions rather different to our previous visit, BB1010, when we were knee deep in snow, added another Wainwright- Great End.

To some, the name could signify a logical place to conclude their cycle.  

To us, it presents a dilemma.

Should it be the first of a new round (only 213 more to go)?  

Or should it just be regarded as having visited an interesting viewpoint after the main event?  

Time will tell!

Esk Pike, Bowfell and the Crinkles from near Great End

Ill Crag, Scafell Pike, and Lingmell from Great End

Our way back was down Ruddy Gill in glorious afternoon sun.

Great Gable and Sprinkling Tarn from Esk Hause

Riddy Gill with Skiddaw behind

I was going well but could feel a tightening in my left calf.  I was confident it would not materialise into anything more serious.  But then I leapt from a bridge up onto a rock and realised I was wrong.  Another cramp attack.  

Fortunately it quickly cleared and I could once again set off at a decent pace, too fast according to Stan, back down to the rather fine Stockley Bridge.

Stockley Beck Bridge

Looking back up Stockley Beck

Back at Seathwaite there was a present for Margaret- a fine display of washing.

Seathwaite washing

It had been a superb way to finish our mission.

But what now for the BOOTboys?  

Don, 7th October 2010


Afternote:  The Mountain Rescue Stretcher Box

Stan, or maybe it was Bryan, mentioned as we approached the box that he had seen people bivouacing underneath it.

Guy, who lives in the village and is rapidly approaching his completion of the Wainwrights, related a story told to him by a friend that goes rather further:

Two members of Ambleside Mountain Rescue team were, allegedly, out walking one wild and stormy evening and as the weather rapidly worsened they decided to climb into the Sty Head box for shelter.  In those days the box just had the words "Mountain Rescue" on the side..  Snug inside their box they slept fitfully until 5 a.m. when there was a loud banging on the lid.  Outside, two bedraggled walkers had been struggling through atrocious conditions all night until coming on the box labelled Mountain Rescue they hoped to find some food, torches and emergency blankets inside. Instead, the lid was opened up just a wee crack and a voice from the dark inside said "Go away, the Mountain Rescue doesn't open 'til 9am!"





7th October 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Lingmell, Scafell Pike, Great End-

Other Features:


Wainwright Countdown:

Bryan, Don & Stan: 0

Bryan, Don & Stan: 213!


Bryan, Don, Stan

Click on the map for an enlargement.

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow the route in detail by downloading BB1037

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!

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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

BB1034 :
A Good One For Tony
Thursday 23rd September

BB1035 :
The Wainwright Triathlon
Tuesday 21st - Thursday 23rd

BB1036 :
The Nine Standards
or The Battle Of Birkett Hills
Thursday 30th September

BB1037 :
This Is The Way
The Wainwrights End
Thursday 7th October

BB1038 :
A Return To Sanity?
Thursday 14th October

BB1039 :
A Succesion of Scars
Thursday 21st October


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!