BB0711 Eagle Crag and Sergeant's Crag

Wednesday 28th March 2007

Last night, I had watched the Wainwright's Walks television programme with the annoying presentress who seems to need to stop every 100 yards.  "Ooh!" she cooed, whilst pointing to a tumbling stream "It's the most wonderful sound in the world" but all I could hear on the was the chlunk ticka ticka ticka of the mindlessly awful and totally unnecesary muzak soundtrack.  However the camera work was superb and Castle Crag, in Borrowdale, looked splendid even though it seemed even more of a SlipperStroll than BB0710.

But there again, we weren't headed for Castle Crag.  I had the wrong Borrowdale Crag and this certainly was not to be a SlipperStroll!

Mindful of the fact that it was rather a long drive, I made sure that I was prompt away to do the pickups.  Tony, however, thought normal time keeping rules applied which is why he was still in his dressing gown when I arrived at his house only five minutes early.  Stan was nearly as bad, still in mid shave.  No such problems with Bryan nor with Philip, who was eagerly waiting for us at the end of his road for his first BB outing for some time.

It was a beautiful calm day, if somewhat misty, as we drove up to Keswick and then down to Rosthwaite where my National Trust membership was rewarded with £5.50's worth of free car parking.

I was still expecting a fairly easy day, even though I now knew our targets were Eagle Crag, Sergeant's Crag and, if time permitted, Great Crag.  The easy path along Greenup Gill lulled us into a false sense of security as we passed the field at Stonethwaite where I had spent many a happy Whit at School Camp.  Then Bryan pulled out his Wainwright and announced that he wanted to follow the direct route (surprise, surprise) up the north face.

The start of the climb was reminiscent of BB0705- the ascent of Steel Fell except this time we could see where we were going.  As we got higher and the going got steeper, the sweat was pouring off my forehead and into my eyes which stung with salt and I could hardly see what I was doing.  At least that was my excuse for the slow progress I was making and I did improve albeit only marginally once my buff was in position.

Having reached the shoulder it was clear that this route involved a certain degree of exposure.  Or put another way, one false step could invite certain death!  Tony and I clung onto the hill and inched our way around the offending bits.  Thereafter it was a steep but not too problematic scramble up to the top.

Eagle Crag from Greenup Gill

Eagle Crag Summit team  picture

Despite the time, lunch was denied Tony; he was forced to wait until we had walked across the easy ground to Sergeant's Crag.  It was then explained to him that in GMT it was actually noon so he had nothing to complain about.  However we found a very pleasant spot for a longer than it really should have been rest- the first LOTSW period we have had in ages.

The plan was to drop down from Sergeant's Crag to the other side of the valley and contour around below Ullscarf until we reached Great Crag.  However we did not pay sufficient attention to navigation and in reality headed too far south east and climbed too high up (another steepish climb) towards Low White Stones before realising that we were a bit off track.  Subseqeunt analysis of Bryan's GPS data proved that the scramble we had just come up was actually Low White Stones.  What we had thought to be Low White Stones must have been either High White Stones or possibly High Raise.

Sergeant's Crag and Eagle Crag from Greenup Edge

We then passed very close to the rocks behind which we had sheltered on Greenup Edge on BB0705 and on reaching the footpath that led off to Lining Crag, we decided to cut and run.

The descent from Lining Crag

The weather seemed to be closing in and Great Crag was still a long way off, visibility was not too clever and the ground was boggy in parts.  

So we descended down a very steep path that some kind volunteers had laid with rocks (although they would have been lethal on a wet day), had a second stop once well down into the valley, and the continued on our way down to Rosthwaite where an inviting looking hotel was calling to us.

We settled ourselves in the bar only to be kicked out because we weren't residents. Or maybe it was because of Tony's pink shirt that he dare not wear in the Kendal pubs. However there was no such problem in the bar round the back.  For the first time in quite a while we felt as if we had been on a proper walk, hence justifying a second round of drinks.

Despite our fears, the weather had not closed in and apart from a few drops of rain it was a plesant evening's drive back to Kendal.

Don, 28th March 2007

Distance: 9.0 miles (GPS); 8.4 miles (Harveys)

Height climbed: 2,933 feet

Wainwrights:  Eagle Crag, Sergeant's Crag



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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