BB1645 : Amused?  Frustrated?  Lost?  Read On!

Friday 30th December 2016

Believe or not, there are actually 6 BOOTboys in the picture above; if you look closely between the third and fourth you can just about spot the next two.  That gives you a good idea of what it was like today.  Consequently there are few pictures and little to report other than:

1.  An Amusing Start to the Day

2.  A Frustrating Start to the Walk

3.  How Not to Get Lost in the Cloud

4.  A Repeat Performance

5.  A Frustrating End to the Walk

6.  An Amusing End to the Day

1.  An Amusing Start to the Day

I drove to Stan's, expecting to pick him up along with Tony who would have walked a quarter of a mile or so from his neighbouring estate.  He wasn't there but Stan explained that he always waits at the end of the street.  True enough, there he was standing by the side of the road but with a troubled look on his face.

"What's up?" we asked. 

"I've forgotten my rucksac" he sobbed.  What he really meant was that he had forgotten his lunch and had walked barebacked to the pickup point before he realised.

Poor Tony.  Back he had to go to collect.  He doesn't get any credit for this extra mileage incurred.


2.  A Frustrating Start to the Walk

We drove to Staveley then on to the end of Browfoot Lane.  Someway along the bridle path is a detour to an ancient British Settlement (or more accurately the remains thereof).  This is described in Wainwright's Outlying Fells book.  AW leads you not to expect too much but includes a diagram of how it was laid out.  We had hoped to explore it.  It is on private land but AW thought the farmer wouldn't mind.

Unfortunately that was written 40 years ago and now the access gate is locked.  We were able to get alongside it in the adjacent field but couldn't get too good a look at the mounds and layout. As it was cold, damp with poor visibility we decided not to waste anymore time so returned to the main path that would lead to Kentmere if we stayed on it long enough.


3.  How Not to Get Lost in the Cloud

We didn't stay on the Kentmere path.  Our initial target was Capple Howe and then on to Sour Howse.  Visibility was very poor and on checking the gps I realised we were drifting too far to the west.  Time for an experiment.  

If you are not interested in the techie stuff, just click here to skip the rest of this section.

Some of us have Garmins, in my case a rugged 62s.

Others have smartphones with mapping software on them.

I happened to have both on me.

I have always been a bit sniffy about smartphone mapping, mainly because my supplier has always been a bit sniffy about smartphone mapping, even though he does sell the tough Memory Map Android phone / gps / camera.

For serious work, you need the Garmin, he would argue.

I decided to run the two in tandem, both showing OS maps.

The first thing I noticed was how much easier it was on the smartphone to see where we were and where we wanted to go.

On the other hand if you want to follow a bearing, the Garmin is superior.

There was very little difference in the co-ordinates shown for the current location. They differed by only about 3 points in the fifth digit.  Negligible really.

When you think you have reached your chosen target, both made it difficult to see if you are right as the marker obscures that part of the map.  

Of course if you know the location co-ordinates, both show if you have arrived, the Garmin having the better numeric display.  Also you can add them to the Garmin in advance as a waymark and navigate straight to them.

Both give you your mileage but the smartphone ceased doing that when we stopped for lunch.  And I know from others that smartphone mapping can do strange things like flying in straight lines from time to time.  Garmin wins comfortably.

Both give you height climbed but both, today, gave a significantly higher reading than importing the Garmin gpx trail into Memory Map on my computer once back home. Garmin, I believe ,works on air pressure so is adversely affected by barometric changes. I don't know about my phone.

So which is the winner?  

On its own for general use, the smartphone wins comfortably, mainly because of its clarity of screen and ease of general navigation.  However because it is touchscreen, it does have a tendency accidently to change to other pages.  On the other hand, in really difficult conditions I would prefer to rely on the Garmin provided it has the 1:25k mapping and not, like mine, only the 1:50k maps.

Today, I used them both side-by-side and our navigation was absolutely spot on.


4.  A Repeat Performance

There were actually two repeat performances.  The first will be no surprise to regular readers.  Spot on the stroke of noon, Tony, without consulting his watch, said "Are we stopping for lunch or what?".  Was it uncanny or was it a happy coincidence that we had just reached the only small bit of shelter on the whole of the hill- a strange little triangle of conifers?

The second was after we had dropped out of the cloud and descended in now almost pleasant weather and brightly rusted bracken.

We reached Ullthwaite Bridge where for the umpteenth repeat, we took the Comitibus picture.


5.  A Frustrating End to the Walk

Rather than return directly to the car, we were keen to see the Williamson Memorial which several had not previously visited or indeed knew anything about.  Its plaque, which had lain in the farmyard for thirty years, reads:

In Memory of Thomas Williamson, of Height in Hugil, Gent. who died Feb. 13. 1797. Aged 66 years.

Unfortunately the route described by Wainwright is now blocked off by signs that the farmer has erected, warning of dire consequence for anyone trying to access his land.  

Our learned friend assured us that such treatment would run contrary to the law of the land provided we did no damage and were willing to pay six old pence but we weren't prepared to take that risk with walls and barbed wire.

Consequently we saw but did not reach the Memorial

Later, we were told by a local that the farmer didn't actually mind the Memorial being visited.   But not by that route.


6.  An Amusing End to the Day

Inevitably we finished up at the Hawkshead Brewery in Staveley where we amused ourselves with a pint or two to celebrate not just the end of the day but the end of another BOOTboys year.  Cheers!  Thank you for reading our reports and have a great 2017.

Don, Friday 30th December 2016

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End Of Year Report

Someone asked me the other day, "How big is the Comitibus ?"  

My answer, about 50, surprised him.  And subsequently me because I got it wrong.  The fact is that there are 40 names on the current Comitibus distribution list, over 30 of whom have been out with us, the remainder having expressed some form of interest at one time or another but are yet to venture forth.  In addition, off the top of my head, I can think of at least 15 people who have joined us on the odd occasion but are not on the current list.  So with those added in, I wasn't so far off my original guess after all.

Of course, there is a "hard core".  This varies in personnel and number from year to year for a variety of reasons.  This year the hard core was 9 but with a total number of participants of 16.

The number of outings was 45 which ties in third place with 2013, only one behind the 2010 and 2014 records.

The mileage for the year totals 439 and the height climbed 98,375 feet which, is very similar to the previous two years.  Not to my surprise, this is well behind the Glory Year of 2010 when Stan and I were completing the Wainwrights.

Inevitably the average mileage per outing (Casterton days excluded) of 10.2 and the average height climbed , 2,288 feet, are close to the previous two years.

The average turn-out was a fraction up at a record 4.93 BBs

In aggregate we walked 2,092 miles and climbed 476,780 feet.  Not bad for a group of old men.

Make of that what you will !

Here's to next year:




Friday 30th December 2016

Distance in miles:

8.9 miles (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

1,659 (Anquet Harvey's)


Capple Howe, Sour Howes, Sallows
Settlement, Williamson Monument


Don, Ian, Martin C, Martin S,
Robin, Stan, Tony


Map shown: Anquet Harvey's 1:25

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1645 .

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.

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A reference back to this website would be appreciated.


To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing click on
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!

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BOOTboys 2016



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