BB1507 : Bry's Got An Ology

Wednesday 25th February 2015

There is a website that might amuse those with an interest in the English language and particularly the meaning and derivation of words.  Its name is Wordsmith and one of its features is "A Word A Day".  If you subscribe to this (it's free) you will receive every weekday an email with an unusual word, its uses and origins.  I must confess to having inserted the odd sample into these reports from time to time to demonstrate (falsely) how erudite I am.

Imagine then my delight in discovering firstly that Bryan would be joining us this week and secondly that, as a result of the theme of the week being Words Made With Combining Forms, the Word of the Day was Bryology.  What a coincidence, I thought.  Bryan, of course, was familiar with the term.

We were expecting a fine morning provided we didn't go too high so opted for Loughrigg, Silver How and Lang How, the first two being Ws for Terry and the third being one of my favourite smaller peaks.  Just why it is not a Wainwright defeats me as it is higher than Lang How.  However, unlike the Munros or the Marilyns, Alf had no structured way of defining what would or would not qualify for his guide books.  Typical of the man, it was just his idiosyncratic determination of what he considered worthy.

The route we chose for the first was a new one for all of us which surprised me as I had determined it from the map to be the most logical way up from Rydal Cave.  

I thought Stan and Bryan must surely have trod or run up or down it at least once but not so.

After the Comitibus photo at the cave, we took the path up by the side (actually either side will do) and reached the summit in surprisingly quick time.

Comitibus :  Rydal Cave

Sun streaks over Windermere

Climbing away from Rydal Wwater

Snow topped Langdales

Having rejected the unofficial traverse of the YHA grounds at High Close, we dropped down to the Loughrigg Terrace.  The short track to the road has a moss covered wall with a rare and distinctive way of fixing fencing- protruding stones with holes for posts.  


Moss and Posts

After crossing the road, we picked up the familiar path up by Hammerscar Plantation.  From there, I had chosen the direct route to Silver How, partly because, if the clag did come down, it is easy to navigate thanks to the proximity of a wall (although you do have to leave it for a while to circumnavigate the boggy, mossy area).

The other reason is that it is my favourite way up as there is a 400 foot gully to climb before reaching the top.  That sounds dramatic but it isn't.  It is not so steep to be dangerous and there is zero exposure to unprotected drops.

Approaching Silver How gully

Top of the gully

We lunched near the summit only to find that, whereas we thought there were seven of us, there were actually eight.  Or at least the remains of the eighth.  A pile of his or her glutinous freeze-thawed ashes were heaped below a rock.  I can understand ashes being taken to a favourite view point, as indeed has happened on one BOOTboys outing- Farewell Dave Daw.  But why were they not scattered, as Tony did (or tried to), rather than being left in one unsightly, unsavoury pile?

Don on Silver How

The visit to Lang How was, for me, spoiled by the fact that I chose the wrong tarn from which to photograph it.  I ignored the first one thinking that it was the second higher tarn that gave it the impression of a mini Matterhorn. Wrong. Silly me.  Unimpressive profile from that angle.  Still, the short steep climb to the top was enjoyable.


Lang How as seen from the correct tarn on BB1406

All this time the weather had been surprisingly warm but the clouds were gathering on the higher hills and the decision to stay low was proved right.

The steep descent to Grasmere was grassy and with some soft snow still lying near the top which made things a little awkward for a while.  

Tony found a shop with two of his interests- post boxes and food.

RIP Terry

Cakes and Mail

Now we had to return to Rydal Mount where we had left the cars.

This we chose to do via the Coffin Route which I assure you was not influenced by the findings on Silver How

Nevertheless Terry did demonstrate how the resting point slabs would have been used in days of yore.

En-route Bryan met a man whom he had seen earlier on Loughrigg where they had discussed the merits of finishing at the Badger Bar, which was our intention. On this occasion the man was with his wife, who was introduced to us.  It turned out that it was their 24th wedding anniversary that day and so, rather than Badger her, he had treated her to a sandwich from Greggs.  Tony was impressed.

It was in the Badger Bar where Bryan was moved to explain to all the meaning of Bryology.  First, however, you must see the photos of the ancient fireplace and the remarkable gent's lavatory ante-chamber.

1679 style fireplace

2015 style ante-chamber

Now, are you ready for this?  Bryology concerns the life cycle of a dioecious bryophyte as can be clearly demonstrated by the diagram that Bryan pulled from his pocket:

It took a couple of pints for the detail to sink in but then we realised.  It was the study of mosses- of which we had seen plenty.

It reminded me of that Maureen Lipman advert for BT:  Bry's got an ology!

We returned home much the wiser.

Don, Wednesday 25th February 2015

with thanks to Bryan for several of the photos




Wednesday 25th February 2015

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Loughrigg, Silver How, Lang How


Bryan, Don, John H, Martin, Stan, Terry, 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 bb1507 .

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

Photos have been gleaned from many sources although mostly from me!
Likewise written comment.  
Unless stated otherwise, please feel free to download the material if you wish.
A reference back to this website would be appreciated.
I apologise if I have failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed
copyright.  Please let me know and I will do my best to put things right.


To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When?
This may or may not be up to date!

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
Ditto warning!

   E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

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


BOOTboys 2015


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















The photos
on these pages will normally retain reasonable quality if you expand
your screen
to view them.


BOOTboys © is a Lakeland Enterprise production