BB0708 Seat Sandal

Thursday 1st March 2007

With Don suffering from French lurgy and Bryan sunning himself in Cyprus it was left to Tony and me to brave the elements and set forth for Seat Sandal from the A591.  The forecast was good compared to the earlier part of the week, being mainly dry albeit with some strong winds fading later in the day and occasional snow and sleet above 2000'.

 The first problem was where to park as SLDC have put a 2hr maximum on all the lay-byes between Grasmere and the summit of Dunmail Raise.  Given that only 2 cars were seen in the lay-byes Tony  suggested a letter to the Gazette was called for.  The residents of the estate opposite Our Lady of the Wayside, Catholic Church may well feel a letter is warranted too, as they have  placed hand made signs saying 'residents parking only' & 'no ball games' at the entrance, so we played safe and parked in the lane alongside the church.  On returning safely and seeing the car in one piece, Tony insisted on paying homage and inspected the church interior - very modern!

The next problem was what to wear as Tony had forgotten his cagoule and although  I proffered my spare fleece he thought it prudent to take his yellow Moby Dick oilskin as well - 'just in case'.   This proved to be a wise decision when we reached the snow line

We took the Patterdale bridleway just north of the Travellers Rest and followed the Little Tongue Gill old packhorse route to Grisedale Hause.  So far so good, or so we thought. Stopping to admire the super views back down the valley we realised we didn't have camera between us, Tony's having been left in the pocket of his cagoule.  Undaunted, we fiddled with my mobile 'phone and eventually worked out how to take a photo but not being designed for winter panorama shots the results are poor and not worth the effort of working out how to download them to a computer.   Great pity, as the views in all directions were great and enhanced by snow above 2000'.  By this time the wind was getting up and it was decidedly cold so we opted to take lunch behind the wall behind the Hause shelter which was decidedly good timing, as it was just noon as Tony demolished his first Hovis sandwich, (no I've not made a mistake, Tony was adamant that it's nothing but healthy eating from now on and 4 slices of white bread for lunch is now a thing of the past - pity about the generous cheese and ham fillings).

The short steep climb from the Hause to the top of Seat Sandal was achieved easily although at 2415' we were in swirling snow and it was bitterly cold so we didn't dally and set off briskly for the south ridge with Tony giving his impression of 'Bryan's run'.   Once below the snow line it became much warmer, the wind snow abated, and it was an easy stroll down to the intake wall adjoining Little Tongue Gill.  From here we retraced our tracks across the Gill and back to the car.  This was a first for both of us.  The first time I've ascended or descended Seat Sandal by these routes and a first all round for Tony. There are excellent views all the way round and its well worth another trip on a good day, but this time with a camera.  

Although we saw the odd person on the Fairfield ridge we did not actually see anyone at any point on the walk until we were walking past the Travellers Rest on our return.  The middle aged couple we passed were obviously well bred as there was not one insult nor even a snigger at our attire.  I had to take my hat off to them given that Tony was still wearing his bright yellow oilskin which displays all the consequences of numerous pond cleaning forays.

Estimated distance 6.5miles with 2400' of climbing.

Stan, 1st March 2007


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Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.

This page describes a 2007 adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the ageing process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear but is in memory of Big Josie, the erstwhile landlady of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!

If you want to contact us, click on BOOTboys