BB1606 : In the Navy ?

Thursday 11th February 2016

I wondered what Bryan was going on about. Why did he keep saying to me "In the navy; in the navy"?   

Had he been seduced by the Village People?

Had he become their recruiting sergeant?

We want you.  We want you.  We want you as a new recruit?

Then it dawned on me.  He wasn't referring to the navy at all.  It was the Névé that he was telling me about.

Unable to join us himself, he was very kindly trying to inform me about the kind of conditions that we might encounter on the top of Red Screes today.

Névé is the name given to a young, granular type of snow which has been partially melted, refrozen and compacted, yet precedes the forming of ice.

It hurts to park at Ambleside- the charges are outrageous  Not exactly encouraging people to visit mid-winter and support the Lake District post-floods.

Red Screes was the target because, with John away, it was a chance for Terry to do a bit of catch-up on the Wainwright count.

The ascent via the Struggle is unrelenting

Must we?

But it's worth it for the views

Fortunately we had an unexpected reason to stop when we met a couple of mountain rescue guys and their search dog.  Someone had gone missing from near the Kirkstone Inn and whilst they didn't expect the individual to be on our route, they had to check it out just the same.  

Tony with his new friends

Mountain Rescuers

In fact they were right.  We saw the helicopter buzzing around and the message came through that the search was over.  Just what had happened we didn't find out but Tony did discover that one of the searchers had been on a search & rescue dog course in Scotland run by Tony's niece.  Small world.

Wetherlam round to Langdales plus Rydal water

It was a surprisingly long time before we hit frozen ground and so donned the microspikes.  As we neared the summit the snow got deeper, typically up to 6 inches and with a crusty top.  Is that Névé?  It seemed young and granular that had been partially melted, refrozen and compacted, so I guess it was.

Robin tries his new microspikes

Testing the spikes

Here the weather closed in and it almost started to snow.  In fact I think one tiny flake did hit me.

The final stretch, looking back across from the Red Screes summit, cloud forming on the hills opposite

It had been our intention to take in another Wainwright- Middle Dodd.  However, it disappeared so we decided it would be more prudent to retreat.  But as we reached the stone wall, the mist vanished and the Dodd reappeared so we reverted to the original plan.

Middle Dodd before it vanished

The view from Middle Dodd after it reappeared

It was slightly frustrating.  The area to the north, including Brothers Water and the distant Ullswater, was in sunshine whilst we were just on the edge of the cloud.

Red Screes sparkles from Middle Dodd

Comitibus : Middle Dodd

We dropped down to Scandale pass which was clear of snow.  On the way down, Tony decided to try a different shape of walking pole.  He strategically threw his weight on it and constructed a dog-legged version.  However, he didn't think it a design worth patenting so a convenient rock was used in order that he could lever it back to its original shape.  Approximately.

Looking down Scandale

Sheepfold soon to be hidden by trees

This is one of those valleys where some authority has decided to take it on itself to plant thousands of trees on the argument that they were returning the land to what it was like centuries ago.  I am far from convinced that it is appropriate, especially if it is being done with taxpayer's money- i.e. mine!

On reaching Ambleside we asked ourselves had we really been in the Névé?  We weren't absolutely sure but we did know that we had not been in the navy but that the Ethic of Responsibility had led us unerringly into The Golden Rule.

Don, Thursday 11th February 2016

PS If you want to know more about The Golden Rule and the Ethic of Reciprocity, see BB1433.




Thursday 11th February 2016

Distance in miles:

9.7 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

2,735 (OS / Memory Map)


Red Screes, Middle Dodd


Don, Martin, Robin, 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 bb1606 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel file: BB Log.

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

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BOOTboys 2016


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