BB1308 : Valentine Postponed

Thursday 14th February 2013

With hindsight, given that this is St Valentine's Day, it might have been a good idea to have invited the BOOTbeauties to join us. Given the state of the weather, I doubt if any would have contemplated it for more than five minutes but brownie points would have been earned rather than forfeited through the request for exemption from romantic duties until the evening.  Still, the postponement was authorised.

River Kent, Gooseholme and Kendal Castle (where???)

It was a cold and misty morning when Stan, Tony and I left Kendal on the (free) 555 to meet up with Mike and Martin at Staveley; outside the Beer Hall (inevitably).  As we crossed the Millennium Bridge, I thought we had better take the team photo as, if conditions deteriorated, there might not be another opportunity.  The first attempt failed when the camera nearly fell into the river. The second attempt appeared to work but on subsequent examination it seems that the camera focused on the wall, not the group so, sorry boys, not exactly the best Comitibus picture I have ever taken.

Comitibus : Staveley

Child's toys or shrine?

Near to Barley Bridge we found a garden wall with a number of dolls in the hedge.  Either a little girl has been having some fun there or it is a sad memorial to a lost child.  We had no way of knowing.

Climbing up the fields towards Brunt Knott it seemed we might be in danger of having a decent day.  The cloud was lifting and there were sailor’s breeches to be seen. Unfortunately that was to be short lived and the cloud gathered again, albeit without precipitation.


A bit of sun from near Brunt Knott

Sheep.  Now there's a surprise!

The snow underfoot was very soft; no icy patches to catch you unawares; the greatest risk of slipping was from the soft ground.

We climbed up the bridle path, contemplating a detour to the Brunt Knott summit but we knew that time was tight for Stan so opted against the climb.  Similarly, the opportunity to visit the featureless top of Potter Fell was declined, preferring instead to descend along Black Beck (once we found it in the mist) then Dockernook Gill, taking lunch at the remains of a small sheep fold on the way.  Once again, there was the danger of the sun emerging.

Mike was excused sausage duty today.  This time the provider was Stan who offered genuine Valencian chorizo.  I am not a great fan of continental sausages but this was tasty.  However, it was no surprise that Tony refused to eat foreign rubbish.  It was reminiscent of when we got him to eat couscous in a Moroccan restaurant by telling it was a sort of rice.  But this time he was not to be kidded.

Stan offers.....

Meg & Mog's farmhouse

Longsleddale comes into view

Lower Longsleddale

After passing high above the Meg & Mog farmhouse that had been owned by the late Helen Nicoll, we followed the bridle path above the River Sprint, encountering on the way a lot of large slates standing by the side of the path like tombstones. Some of them indeed seemed to have writing on them although indecipherable.  Can anyone throw any light on these items?

Tombstones or what?

Etching or not?

Once past Garnett Bridge we headed west, above the unnamed and unusual circular mound, to pick up the track followed on BB1241.

A moraine or a barrow?  Or maybe a flying saucer?

It might be a repeat but it was not unwelcome as Gurnal Dubbs and Potter Tarn are always good places to visit, whatever the weather.  Well almost whatever.  Fortunately this time, the weather was considerably better than last December although, once again, it was threatening to deteriorate.

Gurnal Dubbs, looking west

The tarn was partly frozen with some strange starfish like markings

 Strange creatures on the lake

Potter Tarn

Distant Langdales

The descent was tricky with a number of tumbles.  Unfortunately, I was too slow to get my camera out to capture them but after his third such meeting with the ground, Mike kindly held his inelegant position long enough to record the event!

Mike holding position

Tony and friend

At Frost Hole, there was a friendly horse and a grumpy old farmer who seemed really cross at us exercising our right to follow the waymarked bridle path through his farmyard. Perhaps we were disturbing his Valentine assignment in a hayrick?

By this stage we were way behind schedule so Stan had to take emergency action to catch the bus back to Kendal in order to be home before severe disapproval time. He pretended it was something to do with packing for holiday but I just wonder, given the day and the way that he sprinted off at impressive speed, whether there was another reason?

As he caught the bus (presumably) and we didn't (certainly), it made sense to wait for the next in a warm and welcoming place, a description that conveniently fits the Brewery.  We fully intended to leave on time for the next but some friends of Martin chanced upon us and it would have been rude to refuse the proffered drink.  Accordingly, the next bus passed us by.

Fortunately Martin came to our rescue and delivered us to our loved ones not so late as to be in very bad books.  At this point, St Valentine's Day was resumed but I shall draw a veil over any further Valentinous adventures of the BOOTboys&beauties.  Unless anyone has some really scandalous gossip, of course!

Don, 14th February 2013





Thursday 14th February 2013

Distance in miles:

10.0 (Garming gps)

Height climbed in feet:

1,883 (Memory Map / O.S.)-



Other Features:

Potter Fell, Gurnal Dubbs


Don, Martin C, Mike, 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 bb1308

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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