BB1217 : Introducing the new WAGs

Thursday 3rd May 2012

Do you remember the WAGs?  

The Wives and Girl Friends who arguably adversely affected the success of England football teams, particularly in the Sven era?

It remains to be seen whether the Woy wegime will be WAGfwee or not but we are assuming that he will retain his predecessor's policy of restricting any such involvement in respect of on or near pitch activity, thereby leaving the acronym free for new usage.

Accordingly BOOTboys has lain claim to it.

Meet the new WAGs:

The Wainwright Assistance Guys

Our mission
is to help those seeking
to complete the Wainwrights
achieve their objective

Today we were out with our first client, Steve G- a long time BOOTboys follower (and Big Josie contributor, see Roll Up, Roll Up, Come and see the Fat Girl) - who was supported by his pal, Richard, from Hawes.



Steve and I have a lot in common.  Both of us hail from an unfashionable area of Greater Manchester- he from Gorton, me from nearby Reddish.  Both of us (and Richard) went to Leeds University albeit not at the same time- they as engineers, me a little earlier and as a maths-and-statistician.  Both of us support Manchester City.  

But he hasn’t finished the Wainwrights, whereas I have (he said smugly).  

In fact, Steve is bidding for the record of the longest period over which to complete them, forty four years so far and still counting. A bit like City, really!  To be fair, as he now lives dahn sarf in Norfhampton, he has found it difficult to arrange the time to get up here and knock off the rather disparate remaining eight.

Until today.

Bring on the WAGs.

Our challenge was to help Steve (and Richard) conquer Shipman Knotts- the last peak of the Kentmere round when undertaken clockwise.

The WAGs selected for the mission were Stan and Bryan- navigational experts in their contrasting styles, Tony with a dual role: firstly to act as Mr Motivator and ensure that clients of lesser ability can be made to feel athletic on the hills and, secondly, selecting the appropriate venue in which to celebrate the day's achievements .  Plus, of course, Yours Truly to act as chief witness and scribe of the event.

The weather was just about perfect for the attempt; a whisper of cloud reducing the heat of the sun and a gentle if at times slightly chilly, northerly breeze blowing.  Good long distance views.  No danger of rain or other impediments to success.

Sadgill bridge

Looking across Longsleddale

The initial idea was to park at Sadgill and approach the target from the south via the pass over to Longsleddale.  Bryan, however, had a different plan to test out our clients’ mettle. As we began to climb gently up the pass, near Sadgill Wood he instructed that we should take the more direct route up the fell to Wray Crag- clearly he was trying to assess the capabilities of our clients before reaching the potentially serious section.  

They passed the test.

The route to Shipman Knotts

Climbing gently by the side of the ridge wall, we came across a fenced off hole. More like a small, water filled pit, really. When Tony explored its depth with his pole, you could understand the need for the fencing.  Falling in on a misty day would be something of a calamity!

Tony and the pit

Mission accomplished

Before long Shipman Knotts succumbed.  Mission accomplished.  What next?  

The other side of the Kentmere horseshoe

As Steve’s outstanding objectives were well out of reach for today, we decided to escort them along the tops, arriving at Kentmere Pike just on the stroke of twelve. This fact was confirmed by the contiguous chiming of Tony's body clock demanding food and then rest.

Comitibus :  Kentmere Pike

A distant Great Gable

After a decent break, we continued along to Harter Fell.  There was an ulterior motive, we had to admit to our clients but first we admired the views over Small Water to Mardale Ill Bell plus the length of Haweswater

Small Water and Mardale Ill Bell


Our objective was to explore the remains of the Wrengill Quarry. Accordingly we descended by the gill to discover a remarkably large area of defunct quarries surrounding (and making exciting) the stream with a combination of man made and natural gorges and caverns.

Although there was a mass of slate all around, we were not sure whether it had been a slate quarry or the source of something rarer.  However, it seems the former was the case.  The Cumbria Industries website confirms the fact.

After a detailed examination of the various excavations and some old machinery that excited Tony, we continued to the long Sadgill track and back to the car.

Return to Sadgill

Tony’s research had concluded that the most appropriate place for the day’s debrief was the Hawkshead Beer Hall at Staveley, to which our clients, real ale addicts, did not object. There we were greeted by the lass who, on the last visit, did not want her photo taken so on this occasion, respectful of her wish for privacy, I did not embarrass her by repeating the request.  The camera was kept securely out of sight.  

The beer passed the test and as we were such good and loyal clients, we were awarded a bonus pint. For the purpose of clarity I mean one pint to be shared between the six of us, not one each- that would be too much to expect!

In summary, the first assignment of the WAGs was concluded to the satisfaction of our clients. One down, seven to go.   Thank you, gentlemen, for the commission and we hope you accomplish your mission in the near future- with or with our help although we look forward to new assignments from you in the future.

Meanwhile, we are now in the market for new clients.  Satisfaction guaranteed.  

Any volunteers?

Don, 3rd May 2012



Steve subsequently reported that the following day they knocked off Birkhouse Moor - without any assitance from us so we must have trained them well!

Congratulations- only six left now.




Thursday 3rd May 2012

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Shipman Knotts, Kentmere Pike, Harter Fell

Other Features:

Wrengill Quarry


Bryan, Don, Stan, Tony + Steve & Richard

BOOTboys routes ares now being put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1217.

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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