BB1614 : Unfinished Business

Thursday 14th April 2016

Just over two years ago (BB1409) we discovered the Cathedral hidden in the heart of the English Lake District.  Today we came properly equipped to explore its darkest recesses.

First, however, as before, we had a traffic jam to negotiate and three rites to observe.

Traffic Jam

The first rite was to undertake the steep but relatively short ascent of Side Pike, the significant bump opposite the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel.

As normal, our team picture was taken at the top, a superb vantage point from which to view the panorama round from Pike o’Blisco, the Crinkles, Bowfell and the main Langdale Pike tops.

Unlike our first visits, (BB0606 & BB0912) we had no JPL to accompany us which is probably why we failed to encounter any TV personalities

Comitibus : 2006

Comitibus : 2009

Langdales from Side Pike

Comitibus : 2016

Crinkle Crags & Bowfel somewhere up there!

Rite number two was to pass through the Big Squeeze, which was a novel experience for our two Squeeze virgins, Terry and Robin.

Contemplating the Big Squeeze

Looking back to Side Pike

Rite number three was to conquer Lingmell Fell which, in contrast, is a fairly mundane climb but important for Terry as it was another entry on his Wainwright tally.  The descent was enlivened by the discovery of several old mining buildings.

Old mining buildings.....

..... and some more

The weather had been dry but dull although the sun shone as we stopped for lunch.  I remember this because Robin was scouring the skyline for the Howgills, Ingleborough and Blackpool Tower, pondering just how far we could see.

93 million miles was my estimate!

To reach the Cathedral we had to drop down and cross the valley (Little Langdale) by Slater Bridge.  

Naively, I had not given this much thought but supposed it was named after Mr Slater who one time owned the land.  

How stupid.  

Obviously it was because it is made of slate and was a principal means of the slaters crossing over from the village to get to work.

Slaters Bridge

The entrance to the Cathedral is via a fairly nondescript opening into a short tunnel.  When you emerge out at the other end however, it is a rather different matter.  You are presented with a huge cavern.  You can easily see how it got its name.

When preparing for the visit, I was researching whether it was possible to explore further the second tunnel into which Martin and I had ventured on our previous visit, BB1409. I regarded this as unfinished business. I found lots of websites dedicated to the Cathedral Cave tunnel system but unfortunately they were for sites situated in New Zealand, Australia and the USA.  To my surprise, I could only find one mention of a guide to the Langdale Cathedral Tunnels, that on Roger Hiley's Loweswatercam website.  He shows a link to the Mine Explorer website but sadly that page no longer works so no cave plan was available. However, I contacted Roger and he kindly provided me with guidance of how to get in and out of the second tunnel.  Here is what he told me:

Go into the main cave and admire the pillar.  Climb up to the open quarry behind it (do not go back out through your initial tunnel) in the left hand wall there is a tunnel leading off left (east).  I remember it as a full height tunnel once you clambered down over the entrance boulders.

It is a long and dark tunnel so a torch each is essential for safety.

Part way along there was a branch off to the right to an inner quarry cave, the entrance to which is gated.   Yellow paint marks dodgy rock that may be a risk ... don’t touch.  If you have explored then retrace your steps to the main tunnel.

Continue east in what I think was a straight line.  The roof dips slightly towards the end so mind your head.  The tunnel emerges directly onto the Tilberthwaite bridleway.

Take care, I accept no responsibility ... and I hate to lose web site viewers.

Thanks, Roger.  That was exactly what we needed to know.

We were all properly equipped with torches this time so were able to venture into what otherwise would have been perfect darkness.  We observed the large side cave with its strange yellow markings (without risking life and limb by going beyond the Danger sign).  Then we returned to the main tunnel and made our way out.  The taller members of us found this increasingly awkward as the roof height shrank considerably as we neared the exit.

This unfinished business now completed, all that remained was the pleasant stroll past the Three Shires (see BB1132) over to and up the Langdale Valley.

One for Tony

Restoration .....

One for Margaret

..... project?

Back at the ODG the further unfinished business was completed in the normal way.  Cheers!

Don, Thursday 14th April 2016

HELP !!!!

The Secrets of using 112 on a mobile phone in an emergency.

On a recent outing we were discussing how to contact the emergency services in case of an accident.  

Bryan has directed us to a must watch video recorded by Lyle Brotherton, author of the Ultimate Navigation Manual.

This provides straight forward information and advice that could prove invaluable in an emergency.


Clicking on HELP ! now could save lives in the future.  Maybe yours.




Thursday 14th April 2016

Distance in miles:

10.7 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

2,310 (Memory Map)


Side Pike, Lingmoor Fell, Cathedral Cave


Don, Martin, Robin, Terry


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1614 .

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.

You can navigate to the required report via the Home Page

Photos have been gleaned from many sources
although mostly from me and other
boys. Likewise written comment.

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.

Unless stated otherwise, please feel free to download the material if you wish.
A reference back to this website would be appreciated.


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 2016


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



 BOOTboys© is a Lakeland Enterprise production brought to you by
Comitibus Communications©