BB1304 : At Your Own Risk

Thursday 24th January 2013

Having taken legal advice, future BOOTboys participants will be required to accept the following disclaimer:

BOOTboys is the collective name of a group of individuals who enjoy meeting for walks and other social activities.

Each participates at his own risk, is totally responsible for his own actions and takes part only on the understanding that no liability whatsoever shall be construed against any other participant or organiser for actions (or lack of actions) undertaken in good faith.


Well, largely, in this increasingly litigious society, to avoid liability in the event of adverse consequences following the sort of incompetence shown by today's "leader".

I cannot take too much responsibility for the first hiccup.  I carefully checked the bus timetable and it clearly showed that the 555 would arrive in Kendal at 9:30 and depart at 9:40.  I was completely taken by surprise when a bus, operated by a different to normal operator and with a suspicious R after the number, pulled in and the driver announced he was leaving at 9:30.  He seemed quite confused when I pointed out the difference between his timetable and the one deemed to be official.

Would my colleagues be here in time?  Fortunately Tony and Roger T arrived just in the nick thereof.  Fortunately, also, Mike was waiting as suggested, at Staveley although events will prove that the organiser could (should) have nominated a different place for him to leave his car and catch the bus.

Nor can I take responsibility for the next hiccup.  The driver, a very kindly man, took an age trying to explain to three Japanese youths with limited English (theirs, not his) just where they could and could not go by his bus

The consequence for us was that we were getting seriously behind schedule/

Eventually off we set but, in Ambleside, we were overtaken by a bus carrying the same number but minus the R.  "What was going on?", I enquired of our driver.  "It would take too long to tell you", was the response.

 The 555

The 555R

Conjecture is that two rival firms are running the route on competing time tables,  Good for customers in a way providing they are not too utterly confused!  

The later than anticipated start meant that a more direct route was required to our target, Wansfell Pike.  The path is steep and had a lot of compacted snow and ice.  Those without crampons could struggle.  The potential for mishap was not inconsiderable. Should I have pre-warned participants?  Perhaps I should, as the conditions were not a surprise to me. Fortunately no mishap occurred and Mike in particular seemed to have no problem as he stormed up the hill.

Looking back over Ambleside to Coniston range round to Fairfield

Comitibus :  Bridge before the climb

Roger in the gully

Tony on the climb

The hills are alive with .....?

When we reached the summit, it was by then noon and regular readers will know what that means regarding Tony's digestive system.  "It's too cold up here," I said, with good reason, "Let's wait until we are down in Troutbeck, by the Church".

Without too much protestation he accepted the proposal and down we went, in quite deep snow, to find Nanny Lane, the direct route to Troutbeck.  We found the old cart track which we followed for some distance.

Comitibus :  Wansfell Pike

Tony and the Pillar

Wansfell Pike

I was a wee bit confused when we passed the Pillar.  I didn't remember it being on this parth. For once, Tony was not interested in such structures; food was top priority.  It was taking much longer than expected to reach Troutbeck so when, at one o'clock, we found a bench with a commanding view over Windermere and the Coniston fells, we stopped to allow him to refuel.


Once accomplished, I took out my GPS to check the distance.  To my surprise, it was not switched on.  Stupid boy. Corrected.  We continued down the track to Troutbeck emerging by the village hall, which again confused me somewhat.  We did a quick left and right, to head down to the A592.

 Looking up the Troutbeck Valley

It was only then that I realised that something had gone seriously wrong.  The church could be seen a field or two over to the left.  It should have been on our right.

After a great degree of puzzlement, I deduced that, far from coming down Nanny Lane, we had come down far from Nanny Lane.  We had been on the Hundreds Road followed by Robin Lane, a rather longer route.

I could have tried to blame the snow but the truth is that it was my lack of attention to detail that caused the error.

We were now seriously behind schedule, which normally might not have been a problem but today Mike had a business meeting for which he had to return by 4 p.m.. Consequently, we decided to abort the rest of the cross-country route to Staveley, heading, instead,straight down to the A591.  That would allow him the fastest way back to his car at Staveley.  We, on the other hand, were able to end our journey at the Watermill Inn at Ings.

Fortunately, Mike had been going strongly all day but I can just imagine him, as he stormed along the A591 to Staveley, asking why that idiot organiser had not arranged Ings to be the place to catch the bus? Quite right,  Mea Culpa.

Sitting in the pub we were debating how far we had been.  Now, bear in mind that I did not turn on my GPS until we were well past Wansfell summit but we had taken a long way round.  The reading was 11 miles.  I found that hard to believe as the original plan had been for around 9 miles and it should have read rather less.  Tony and Roger were, however, quite happy to accept the figure as it corresponded with how they were feeling.

On the other hand, I was baffled, Perhaps I had switched on at the outset.  But it just didn't seem right.  It was only later that the truth dawned on me.  I thought I had cleared the GPS memory before I set off but it would seem that I had failed so to do.  It was adding to today's curtailed score the distance that Margaret and I had covered on Monday. 11 should have read 4.8.  Our true distance, once adjusted for the late activation today, was only 8.  Sorry boys!

Fortunately, as they supped their in-house-brewed beer in the Watermill, my colleagues were blissfully unaware of most of my incompetences today or were too polite (unlikely) to mention them.  By the time they have read this they will know the truth.

Come back Bryan, they will plead.

Come back Stan, they will implore.

So now you know, gentle reader, why all future BOOTboys invitations will be clearly marked that if you want to be with us, there are strict conditions.  

As previously stated:

Each participates at his own risk,
is totally responsible for his own actions
and takes part only on the understanding
that no liability whatsoever shall be construed
against any other participant or organiser for actions
(or lack of actions) undertaken in good faith.

Don, 24th January 2013




Thursday 24th January 2013

Distance in miles:

8.0 (Garmin OS / Memory Map)

Height climbed in feet:

1,953 (OS / Memory Map)


Wansfell Pike

Other Features:



Don, Mike, Roger T, 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 bb1304

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.


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