BB1317 : CU on the C2C

Tuesday 7th May 2013

Once you have climbed Kilimanjaro and reached Everest base camp, what do you do for your next great challenge?

Well, in Tim's case you do Wainwright's Coast to Coast expedition from St Bees to Robin Hood's Bay.

Tim, you may recall, is an old university friend of mine who has occasionally ventured north from Dorset to join in our much more modest adventures.

Tim circa 1976

Don circa 1976

Some weeks ago, he contacted me to let me know what they were doing and I said that we would see them on the C2C.

Today, was his (and ten companions') third day- a relatively short hop from Rosthwaite in Borrowdale to Grasmere.

Despite the need for an uncommonly early start, Bryan and I arranged to meet the party at Greenup Edge and accompany them down to their day's destination.

Once we had established the route they planned to take (basically up Greenup Gill to Greenup Edge then down Far Easedale Gill) we could plan which way to go to meet them. We discounted the Easedale / Codale Tarns route as taking too long.  The Gibson Knott ridge route was rejected as we might be able to persuade them that this valid alternative was rather more interesting than the valley route. I favoured starting from Wythburn and climbing up the burn especially as when I had been there previously on BB0705 the mist was so bad that we saw little of the scenery .

Then Bryan dropped the bombshell that I had been dreading.  

"Let's go from Dunmail Raise via Steel Fell" he suggested.

This has the merit of being a wee bit shorter and a wee bit less climbing.  On the other hand, the climbing that has to be done is of the severely steep kind. Just see the BB1222 title picture above and you will immediately understand.

True enough, once you have completed the first half mile, the rest of the day is relatively easy.


Steel Fell ascent


Fortunately Bryan took the hint and suggested, and I rapidly accepted, the alternative of the Green Burn valley. So this was the route that we took out of Grasmere, spotting a red squirrel on the Ghyll Foot bridge before climbing onto Calf Crag, across Flour Gill  and up to Greenup Edge.  The forecast had improved from the weekend's prediction of a dire day to that of a warm sunny day and so it proved to be.

The red squizzer

Green Burn

Greenburn Bottom

We were well ahead of the anticipated meeting time so were a little surprised to see what I presumed was Tim's group approaching over the lip of Lining Crag.

The Stroke walkers

Initially I thought that the man with the flag was Tim's team leader, requiring that his group follow this identifier as if they were exploring the sights of a crowded London street.  

But then we noticed that his three colleagues were also carrying flags.

They explained that they were doing the Coast to Coast as a sponsored walk for the Stroke Association.  

Good on you, Steve, Mike, Alison and Martin.  I hope you make lots of money.

Another C2C group passed but no Tim although they had met a Tim but not the right one.

Bryan got out his stove and settled down for a brew.  However, I could see a large group having a breather on Lining Crag so climbed down to see if Tim were amongst them.  It turned out to be two groups, both Timless.  I hadn't realised that the Coast to Coast was that popular.


Shortly afterwards, Tim and his cohorts did appear and, having climbed up from Rosthwaite, decided that this would be a good place to stop.  I thought they meant for lunch so I devoured most of my sandwiches which was rather a mistake. It was only eleven o'clock.  Yes, Tony, lunch at eleven, not way after noon.  But then we had been up since some unearthly hour.

As I was lining (geddit?) everyone up for the Comitibus picture, Tim insisted that, for a group of this size, it should be retitled Comiticoach !

Comiticoach :  Lining Crag

We all climbed up to Greenup Edge then debated whether to go down Far Easedale, which was their plan, or to take the legitimate alternative that Bryan and I recommended of the ridge from Calf Crag to Gibson Knott and Helm Crag.  It was such a lovely day that it would be a shame to be locked in the valley.  Fortunately they all agreed.

Lower Far Easedale

Upper Far Easedale

On the way we saw something that none of us had ever seen on the fells: the naked rambler.  Naked swimmers we have seen, e.g. Graham on BB0407.

But a naked rambler?  That is certainly different.

The sight, coupled with the name of the charity the earlier walkers were supporting, brought to mind the joke with which Morecambe & Wise used, unfinished, to round off their show.  There were two old ladies sitting in a deck chair when a naked man walked by.  They were so shocked that one of them had a stroke.  The other couldn't reach.

The funny thing was that, later in the pub, when the various photos were being examined at maximum enlargement, the main item of discussion was the very practical one of whether or not he had anything on his feet.  Regular readers may recall that earlier this year ( BB1302 ) we met the barefoot rambler. However I can confirm that the naked rambler cheated.  He was beshodded.

What amused me was the fact that his bum was not suntanned which obviously means that sometimes he puts it away.  Wouldn't you have thought that he would rub in some tanning lotion to complete the illusion?

At Helm Crag was a small group of people watching a man, encouraged by his son (of adult age), trying to outdo Wainwright and reach the summit of Helm Crag. The is the more northerly of the two features each generally known as the Lion and the Lamb, although, when seen from the ridge, this one is also known as the Howitzer  It is quite a challenge, requiring some rock climbing ability, and we thought he was not tackling it from the most sensible side.  Somewhat to our relief he gave up but then his son proved us wrong; he agilely and confidently climbed the Crag by the route that had defeated his father.

Steve, of Tim's group, felt that a gauntlet had been thrown down and immediately set off climbing the crag by the "sensible" route.  The real challenge, however, is the descent which is quite tricky.  Fortunately Bryan was on hand to provide guidance.

Approaching Helm Crag

Steve defeats the Lion

The Comiticoach returned to the valley and the Traveller's Rest without further incident.

Descennding to the Travellers Rest

Crossing Little Tongue Gill

It had been a great day to be out on the hills.  I am just glad that I was returning to a nice warm house in which I can remain through day four whilst some evil weather passes by.  I don't envy them passing over to Patterdale.  In those conditions, they certainly won't be seeing me on the C2C.

Stage Four- up the gill to Grisedale Tarn

Tim & co- it was good to meet up with you and we wish you well for the rest of your expedition.

Don, 7th May 2013


Day 4 to Patterdale - I'm sure the St Sunday Crag or even the Helvellyn alternative would have been better, but we have no evidence that they even existed, the weather was that bad (wind and rain and low cloud).

Off to Shap tomorrow and I'm not expecting much improvement in the weather!

Tim, 8th May 2013

Naked Rambler Update

I thought we had tracked down the identity of the naked rambler.  

He looks remarkably like Stephen Gough, as featured on the BBC website on 22nd April.  

The puzzling aspect is that Gough was reportedly remanded in custody in Winchester until 19th June.  

It seems a rather extreme measure to bang somebody up for going nude in public places.

Stephen Gough
Click on picture for link to BBC story

Given that the jails are full to bursting, this strikes me as unnecessary expense falling upon us poor taxpayers.

Maybe he appealed and was released, although it is a long naked ramble from Winchester!  Or maybe he has started a trend and now has his emulators.

Planespotter's Corner

Our aeronautic correspondent, James, advises that the plane we saw hiding in a shed on BB1316 features:

>   a Rotax engine 100 hp,

>   two seats,

>   speed of about 100 mph,

>   fuel consumption 6 litres per hour

>   LSP light sports.

Unfortunately he says that there are too many makers of this type to identify it from that distance.

However, my brother Alan has discovered references to this very plane on a website named Jetphotos . It is an Ikarus C42.




Tuseday 7th May

Distance in miles:

11.4 (Garmin gps)

Height climbed in feet:

2,988   (Memory Map / OS)


Calf Crag (twice) Gibson Knott, Helm Crag

Other Features:

Greenup Edge


Bryan , Don, Tim and his ten pals


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1317

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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