BB1214 : A Pleasant Morning Stroll.  Or What?

Wednesday 11th April 2012

The choice this week was to go with Bryan on Tuesday for a mountain marathon in terrible weather or to have a pleasant Wednesday morning stroll with Stan.  Well, which would you choose?

I didn’t want to travel far as Jamie was due home from Crete so we decided to visit Scout Scar and Helsington Barrow.  Not exactly new territory but a lovely area to walk apart from one aspect to which I will return later.

From home we crossed the canal, down to the River Kent.  I had never previously noticed Kendal Castle from here.  It must have looked quite intimidating in its day.  

Kendal Castle

Cutting up by Helsington Laithes, we crossed the Barrows and up to the trig point.  I don’t know how many times I have been on Scout Scar previously but until a few days ago, when I visited with Margaret, I had never even noticed the trig point which is just a little set back from the dramatic Scar edge.

Helsington Laithes

Comitibus :  Scout Scar

From here we progressed past the stone spiral to the mushroom shelter.  We had intended to stop for a brew but, although a much better than expected day with stunning views all round, it was colder than we anticipated.  

The stone spiral

Inside the Mushroom

The circular shelter is divided into four equal segments and on the inside of its dome are shown the names of the hills visible from that quarter.  It is a lovely place to linger except that apart from the cold, today some idiot(s) ..... well let’s just say a dog, a plastic bag and a boot had combined to make that section seriously uninviting.  Don't worry- no photographic evidence.

Who are these people and what do they think they are doing?  
Any volunteers for the firing squad?

Coniston Old Man and round from the Mushroom

Arnside Knott from Scout Scar

The surprise path

More lanes followed, this time down to Holeslack Farm.  I remember taking some Christmas goodies there many years ago,, probably for the Round Table or something like that, to a little old lady who lived in this remote run-down old building.  Rather different to what now a well-restored National Trust owned property.

Retracing our steps, we dropped down the cliff on the surprise path to Barrowfield then south along lanes and through woods to climb back up near Helsington Church.

No visit this time- to admire the inside and its remarkable wall painting see:

BB1203 : The Air's Like Wine .

Holeslack Farm

Another trail took us to Sizergh Castle, looking quite splendid in the sunshine.  

Sizergh Castle

Low Sizergh Farm had an old tractor that would have got Tony salivating and the friendliest hens ever.

A project for Tony?

Friendly Cockerel

Very friendly hen

Finally, a brief canter across the river and home where Jamie had just arrived.  
Excellent timing.

River Kent with angler

Not exactly a Bryan expedition but a good leg stretcher.  Here is Bryan's account of what we missed the previous day:

Got out yesterday. Weather was mixed – snow / hail / rain / sun – and the fresh overnight snow made conditions interesting.

I was able to check the snow conditions going over Sheffield Pike. It was balling up under my boots and making it slippery. I tried the microspikes but with similar results.

I had intended heading into Keppel Cove and going up Catstye Cam via the north ridge, but with no ice axe I decided against it, as a slip going that way could send me a long way down!

Swirral Edge

Anyway the weather improved a bit for the final stretch over Birkhouse Moor and I finished OK  -  10.2 miles and 3,687ft. Still leaves an awful lot of tops to do before the end of the month*.                          Bryan*

This refers to Bryan’s aim to complete all the Wainwright Eastern Fells during April, a month in which he has a number of other commitments limiting his time available.

Grim  on Catstye Cam

Instead I went via Red Tarn and on to the shoulder at the start of Swirral Edge.

I had lunch part way up the final slope and was surprised to see the number of people going up the Edge who didn’t appear to have an axe or crampons.

Judging by the snow conditions on Catstye Cam I would think that the final 50ft of the edge would have been manageable without crampons but the slightest slip would have been pretty serious.

Helvellyns and Catstye Cam from  Birkhouse Moor


So, for future reference, my peroration is that if you want to go out on the wildest days, pick Bryan, otherwise stick with Stan and me!

Don, 11th April 2012


A Major Triumph

BOOTboys does not normally carry photos of non-related items but when a very good friend enjoys the first major victory of his golfing career, an exception has to be made.

On the right, you can see Keith and his trophy with, in the background, a couple of disgruntled losers and an ecstatic group of supporters.

Well done, Keith.  Who was it said that golf was A Good Walk Spoiled?  

Well, me, amongst others, but I'll make an exception in this case!   Ed.

Champion Keith


The Sensible Wineglass

Nor does BOOTboys normally carry advertising on its website.  
But when one of our distinguished members comes up with a brilliant idea,
another exception has to be made.  


Introducing the coolest invention
since the Seebackroscope


The J. Shiels
Patent Wine Glass


"Sheer genius!"
 New Scientist

"At last, a sensible glass"
Catholic Herald


Take a couple
to your very next social event
and amaze your friends



When the Hair Turns Green 2

Dear Editor,

Why is there a palm tree coming out of my head at the end of your last article?
Not that I mind :-)

Confused in Crete

Dear Confused in Crete

Perhaps, if you were to visit one of our tonsorial specialists in the UK, we could return your pileous aspect to a more normal lustre?



A Call of Nature 2

Bryan has confessed to being the person mentioned on BB1211 as being responsible for the photo of Tony seemingly relieving himself .  He explains that the geological feature in front of which Tony was stood is known as a sink, hence what Tony was doing was .......!





Wednesday 11th April 2012

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:


Wainwrights :


Other Features:

Scout Scar, Helsington Barrow


Don, Stan



BB1214 Unofficial

Tuesday 10th April 2012

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:


Wainwrights :

Glenridding Dodd, Sheffield Pike
Catstye Cam, Birkhouse Moor,

Other Features:







BOOTboys routes are normally put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. But not today.  Route estimated by hand.

To see which Wainwright top (excluding Outlying Fells) 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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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 BOOT
boy in the"modern" era, i.e. since the advent
click on BB Log






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