BB1903 : Oh, Aye, Ever!

Thursday 17th January

Air temperature sub-zero.  Winds gusting up to 50 miles per hour.  Wind chill factor of -14 degrees.  And that was just when we stepped out of the car.  Never have we known such an unwelcoming start to a gloriously cloudless day.  It would only have taken one or two to utter negative thoughts and we might all have jumped back in and headed off to Ambleside for coffee and cakes.  However, seeing the doubts in the eyes of his comrades, Robin stepped forward and, to the tune of The Wild Rover, burst into song:

    I've been a Tarnbagger for many a year,
    And I've spent all my money on fell walking gear.
    I’ve Berghaus, Lowe Alpine and Rohans galore,
    And new boots so light that they float out the door.
    And it's Oh, Aye, Ever!
    Oh, Aye, Ever! we roar
    Will we go a Tarnbagging
    ‘Til our spirits soar!

Across the road from the car park was Blea Tarn.  How could we resist his words of encouragement? The sun was shining on the Langdales and its light beginning to creep across the tarn towards us.  My, it felt cold, though.

We rounded the tarn then, with considerable trepidation, began the ascent of Side Pike.  It's a wonderful little hill.  It was actually the first one that Tony climbed with the BOOTboys, BB0606, and the last serious one that John PL managed, thanks to the encouragement of Julia Bradbury, on BB0912.  Today though, we expected the conditions to be vicious.  Strangely they weren't.  The evil wind that had battered us around the tarn eased.  The air quality was excellent and the views superb.

Passing through the Big Squeeze is mandatory but all managed it, though with perhaps not as much room to spare as a decade ago.

 

The col on the other side had been designated as a decision point.  A place for a fast descent to the car and cafe or to continue up Lingmoor.  

We pressed on, stopping just after noon and just before the summit, having found a sheltered, sunny place.  A long, straggling line of folk came by- it turned out they were the Kendal University of the Third Age walking group. Sensing their eruditeness, Robin burst into song again:

    Tarnbagging means swimming or dipping the hand
    In the teardrops and high ponds that dot our Lakeland.
    Some of ‘ems hidden but they’re all very fine pools,
    When the sunlight does catch ‘em they sparkle like jewels.
    And it's Oh, Aye, Ever!
    Oh, Aye, Ever! we roar
    Will we go a Tarnbagging
    ‘Til we can no more!

I'm not sure if they thought he was urging them to leap into the high pond that is Lingmoor Tarn or if they didn't find his poetry quite up to Wordsworthian standards but they hastened away.  

We decided to make our way down through the remains of the quarry buildings to Little Langdale.  We knew that The Three Shires was closed as we had tried to park there earlier but were shooed away because some filming was taking place.  Just what, we didn't find out.  

However on getting a glimpse of Little Langdale Tarn, once more, Robin was at it:

    Now there’s Angle and Stickle and Lanty Tarn too,
    And Tarn Hows near Hawkshead for the tourists to view
    Ol’ Alfred Wainwright Innominate praised,
    And chose for to dip there the rest of his days
    And it's Oh, Aye, Ever!
    Oh, Aye, Ever! we roar
    Will we go a Tarnbagging
    ‘Til our feet are sore!

As the weather was now much kinder, we asked Terry if he would like to resume his skinny dipping escapades.  We didn't expect a positive response but he did inform us that he has bought some shoes that are specially designed for skinny-dippers so watch this space.

We lost the sun as we climbed back up to Blea Tarn and the car park.  Robin resisted the temptation to serenade us here.  Instead he saved his final verse for when we were sat, beer in hand, in the Old Dungeon Ghyll.

    Now hear this you BOOTboys who Tarnbagging go,
    Come clap on yer gaiters and spikes for the snow,
    Brave chill winds and cold rain, you’ll come to no harm
    If you get all your kit off and jump in the tarn!
    And it's Oh, Aye, Ever!
    Oh, Aye, Ever! we roar
    Will we go a Tarnbagging
    ‘Til we can no more!

Don, Thursday 17th January 2019

Robin's verses were originally composed as his entry for the competition contained in BB1838 Tarn Baggin' for which he won first prize.

 

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 Comitibus:

 

Comitibus:  Don, Tony, Martin, Terry, Robin, John, Stan

 

Map: OS 1:25k

STATISTICS

BB1903 : Oh, Aye, Ever!

Date:

Thursday 17th January 2019

Features:

Side Pike, Lingmoor

Comitibus:

Don, John Hn, Martin, Robin, Stan, Terry, Tony

Distance in miles (Garmin):

6.6

Height climbed in feet (OMN):

1,663

GPX track

BB1903.gpx    

 

If you want to know which BOOTboys reports refer to having visited any particular Wainwright or certain other hills, see BOOTboys Hill Log.  Warning- it might not be fully up-to-date!

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