BB1241 : Tough As Old BOOTboys

Thursday 6th December

Pete asked me if our Christmas outing this year would have different teams for different abilities to which I replied, cryptically:


When he asked what the heck I was going on about, I reminded him of the famous Three Musketeers slogan at which point the penny symbolically dropped.  

All for one, one for all

I almost slipped into the trap of thinking that this was a palindrome but, of course, it is not unless measured by word rather than by letter.  

However, being a mathematician at heart, I realised that if you substituted x, the unknown, for 411 (this number being its solution for the particular Dumastic problem), then the equation becomes:

x + 4 + 1 = 1 + 4 + x

A palindrome.

Tony's new friend.

I mentally filed away that useless piece information and thought no more about it until it dawned on me where we were meeting today for this year's Christmas Party outing.

The start point was the top of Hollins Lane near Burneside, adjacent to a very friendly Shetland pony.

Close by is a monument.  

Due to it standing in a private field, I have never visited it despite a request that fell on deaf ears.

The monument was intended to celebrate Napoleon's incarceration but due to his escape from the island where he had been imprisoned, the inscription was not engraved until a century later.  The monument, appropriately, is called the Elba monument.  It is dedicated to the erstwhile prime minister, William Pitt, "the pilot that weathered the storm". One wag amongst us referred to him being Pitt the Elba, although in fact he was Pitt the Younga.

The Elba monument .........

..... inspected by Tony

What immediately comes to my mind at the mention of Elba is saying:

Able was I when I saw Elba

Another palindrome!

The forecast was for a challenging day although, at congregation, it was still quite pleasant. We took the team picture at the gates of Tolson Hall, fearing, rightly as it turned out, that it might be our last external opportunity.

Tolson Hall gates .....

..... and Comitibus

Looking ove Burnesider to Potter Fell

Dropping down into Burneside, passing the paperworks and up the River Sprint was no challenge.

The Burneside Flyer

Cropper's Paper Mills

Burneside Hall Gate House

River Sprint

Christmas dinner no. 1

..... and Pele Tower

Tony explains his new project to Philip

As we started to climb towards the fell, the ground beneath our feet became increasingly snowy, as did the weather.  

Christmas dinner no 2

Approaching Potter Fell Road

Gurnal Dubbs Dam

By the time we reached and crossed the Potter Fell Road, conditions became steadily worse with the snow now turning to sleet and, once on the Birk Rig bridle path, conditions underfoot were quite treacherous with sheet ice obscured under a blanket of snow.  

Reaching Potter Fell Road

Various tumbles were experienced.  Smug me was deliberating whether to put on my slip-on crampons.  I thought it would be un-comradely as no-one else had brought any.  

An undignified upending changed all such fine thoughts and on they went.

Had the weather been any better we might have spent some time exploring the Low Taggleshaw area awarded to the parish of Strickland Roger by the Enclosures Act of 1838 for the inhabitants of that and neighbouring parishes for recreation and exercise. However, conditions dictated otherwise.

Moans were a-plenty as certain members wanted coffee or food stops but I drove them on, knowing that the only place we could get any shelter would be round the back of the boathouse at Gurnal Dubbs.

Gurnal Dubbs boathouse

Back view

..... and coffee stop

Fortunately the trail over to Potter Tarn and down to the valley remained mostly identifiable by the absence of tufts through the snow so we were able to make our way without too much difficulty, albeit that hands were getting cold and jackets starting to yield water.

Potter Tarn dam

Christmas dinner no: 3

Once we reached the river, conditions were rather better- at least we were out of the wind. What the management of the Brewery in Staveley made of eight drowned rats dripping water all over their fine wooden floor, I don't know but they did provide fine ale (belated happy birthday, Mike, and thanks for the beer) plus a Lakeland interpretation of tapas.

Boxing Day dinner

Comitibus :  The Brewery, Stavely

The 555 bus southward was the next victim of excess interior water, as we dripped over the floor.  There was a severe risk of an addition of the warm kind as the bus stopped for ten minutes to change drivers at the Kendal bus station.

When Miller Bridge was reached, certain members of the group made a mad uncomfortable dash to the deserted K Village complex, which fortunately remains open for such emergencies.

In the evening, we were joined by Stuart and Graham plus most of the associated BOOTgirls for a very enjoyable Christmas celebration at Infusion.  My apologies, I forgot to take team pictures.

Pete, reminiscing on the challenge of the day, subsequently remarked that:

Mr Owl ate my metal worm

I wondered what on earth he was talking about, presuming him drunk.  He then explained that he thought I would appreciate the evening ending with another palindrome,

More appropriately, he went on to observe that a team with a combined age of over 500 had triumphed over such harsh conditions. This led him to coin a phrase which will no doubt pass into English folklaw.  People who overcome such conditions must be as

Tough as old BOOTboys

Don, 6th December 2012

PS Did you know that the medical term for a fear of palindromes is Aibohphobia?




Thursday 6th December 2012r

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:




Other Features:

Gurndal Dubbs, Potter Tarn


Don, John Hn, Mike, Pete
Philip, Roger, Stan, Tony



BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1241

To discover 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.


  E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  



BOOT boys

If you want to join
he BOOTboys
Fan Club
let us know and
you will receive
of new
BOOTboys reports.

Click on
to contact us.


For the index pages
of our various outings
click on the relevant
link below:

Home Page












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 BOOT
boy in the"modern" era, i.e. since the advent
click on BB Log