BB1338 : Half Term Report

Thursday 31st October 2013

It’s the Half-term holidays this week for Cumbria schools, an occasion that had little relevance for me until recently.

But now it means that our child-minding responsibilities reduce from three children to just one, so a day out with the BOOTboys is possible.

Don tells me he’s in Crete and then informs everyone that I’ll be leading. Only John takes up the offer to join me. Did my reputation for doing hard walks precede me? If so could I take this opportunity to reassure you all that I can, and do, tailor walks to suit the fitness and ability of all customers - Honest – just ask Tony if you don’t believe me!

Anyway today the trip was arranged so that John could add to his Wainwright total and get him into a new area. The forecast was for heavy showers through the day, with cloud base at 600 metres and strongish winds. So we headed for Coniston. Seeing the cloud on the Old Man, I opted to park at Tilberthwaite.

Instead of going up Tilberthwaite Gill I opted to head towards Birk Fell and the foot of Wetherlam Edge. It’s a really nice route up and reaches a sheltered little col with stunning views to the Langdales and beyond

View from col on Birk Fell

We then wound our way through a lovely area of small knolls and valleys to reach the foot of Wetherlam Edge. The ground became rockier and steeper with some stretches of scrambly ground that had become quite greasy with the rain.

Looking to Birk Fell from start of Wetherlam Edge 

John scrambling on Wetherlam Edge 

Comitibus :  Summit of Wetherlam

Eventually the ground began to level out and we reached the summit. We quickly got out of the very strong wind and had lunch – at 11:30 !

A chap from Leeds stopped for a chat and we compared experiences of being blown off hills.

My worst had been many years ago on Skiddaw when the wind got in behind my haversack turning it into a parachute and lifted me a foot off the ground before being deposited about 10 feet down the hill.

I offered John a choice of a quick descent or a longer route (note the excellent customer service!). He opted for the longer route so we headed off towards the Black Sail ridge. This is another delightful ridge that isn’t used very often. It took us down into the Coppermines valley where we had a look in one or two of the old mine caves.

Out of the cloud

Descending Black Sail ridge

We had an afternoon coffee stop above the valley (more excellent service) before continuing towards Mouldry Bank. I had it in mind to return to Tilberthwaite via the tops of the Yewdale fells, but John found the pull up to the ridge quite hard work so, rather than press on along it, we headed straight down to Tilberthwaite (another example of the caring leader!).

Coniston from Mouldry bank

John on the last climb of the day

The worst of the weather had held off and we had a good day out. I’ll hope to see more of you when the next holidays come round!

Bryan, 31st October 2013

The Alternative Half Term Report

Cretan weather conditions were atrocious.  The relentless sun forced us to postpone our adventure until late afternoon.  Jamie lives in a small coastal village a few miles east of Heraklion.  Behind it lies a hill that he had never climbed, one relatively modest in height but with steep cliffs on the seaward side.  Unfortunately we never discovered its name.

Finding the track was a bit of a challenge with two hazards.  The first was a local who seemed to object to us climbing up what appeared to be a road, albeit unmade.

Perhaps he was the owner of the ramshackled hut and goat farm that we had to pass?  Fortunately his mean looking dogs were behind a wire fence.

Perhaps it was his habit to abuse anyone whom he thought was associated with the relative wealth above him?

Nestling below a cliff is a small group of houses- smart modern ones, one with the Olympic sign made from coloured tyres.

Neither Olympus nor Olympic

Anyway, outside the final house was another large dog, this time an untethered Alsatian who seemed to take an interest in us and Jamie's dog, Poppy.  We gave it a wide berth, following the track further up the hill, then turned directly upwards across scrubland to reach the top where two features awaited us.

The first was evidence that goats had been having a rave up there- a wide area of flattened shrub.

The second was the huge cross marking the summit.  

Looking down to the coast with eyes squinted and a vivid imagination, we could just see Margaret enjoying the remains of the day beside the swimming pool, a glass of white wine in her hand.

Jamie and the summit cross

Sunset over Heraklion

Objective achieved, we reversed our tracks, experiencing no threats from animals or humans, returning just after sundown to the calling of the tavernas.

Don, Wednesday 30th October 2013

Correction:  Actually Margaret was not lazing beside the pool, she was in granny mode, helping look after Luca, Alexis and Ellie.  Here is the Comitibus in the acquarium:





Thursday 31st October 2013

Distance in miles:

8.1 (Garmin GPS)

Height climbed in feet:

2,898 (Memory Map / OS)




Bryan, John Hn

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1338 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see: BB Log.


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