BB0721  -  Levers Water Circuit

Thursday 19th July 2007

Over the years when I have been out on the hills in really bad weather I have justified it to myself, and others, with the view that such days turn hills into real mountains and makes you appreciate the good weather days all the more. This approach is being severely put to the test this year!

A look back at the Bootboys report BB0620 for the same day last year offered no comfort. It starts with….

"Do you think you are wise to do this on the hottest day of the year?"

However the report from a week earlier BB0619 was a reminder that every year has its share of bad weather. This begins….

I confess, I tried to get out of going up Coniston Old Man today.  
The MWIS weather forecast put me off with tales of drizzle and high winds

With Don in France getting some warm weather training in, it was left to Stan, Tony and myself to head off for Coniston. We parked at the start of the Walna Scar track and began the process of getting ready to go. There was some debate on my decision to wear shorts. Stan too thought this was a good idea and changed into his. Unfortunately Tony had thought it was going to rain so had opted to wear his waterproof trousers and had not brought any others. So for him a very sweaty day was to follow!

Thick clouds covered the tops as we headed off towards Levers Water. We went past the tarn and headed on up towards Levers Hause.  

There were a couple of people in front of us and we reminisced about the last time we came up here (BB0607) when Don had done one of his infamous “they shall not pass” challenge races up to the pass.

The mist was swirling around on the pass. One minute you could see right across to Langdale and the next you could barely see each other.

Levers Water from track to Levers Hause

As a treat I offered Tony a coffee stop on the pass but surprisingly he declined, preferring a "lunch or nothing" approach to things.

So we carried on in the mist over Swirl How and on to Great Carrs. By this time the mist had turned to black clouds and it was starting to drizzle so we decided to have a Tony-time (12 o’clock) lunch in the shelter of the rocks in case the drizzle turned into heavy rain.

Stan disappears into the mist near Swirl How

Plane wreckage and memorial

After lunch we headed for Grey Friar. On the way we passed the remains of the Halifax bomber plane that had crashed here in 1944, killing all of its Canadian crew. According to Wainwright the plane had misjudged the height of the pass and the undercarriage had ripped off, with the rest of the plane going over the edge of the cliff and crashing hundreds of feet below.

We retraced our steps back over Great Carrs and on to Swirl How. The sun had come out now and we stopped for a coffee break. Stan had got his map out and suggested that as the weather was improving we could carry on to Wetherlam.

As we descended the Prison Band to Swirl Hause we stopped a few times to look at the  stunning views over to Bowfell, Crinkle Crags and the Scafells. The subsequent climb up to Wetherlam seemed quite painless

Wetherlam summit with four old men

From there we had decided to descend down a ridge which neither myself or Stan had previously tried. This was the one on the west side of Red Dell Beck and proved to be a delight. There were occasional faint traces of a path but generally it was a case of weaving a way down through the broken crags until reaching a point just above the outflow from Levers Water where we cut down and crossed the dam to rejoin our outward route from the car park.

It was then a pleasant, leisurely stroll back to the car - for me anyway. Tony and Stan were finding it quite hard on their feet.

We were late back home, but with the summer we’ve been having it would have been a shame to cut the walk short on such a glorious afternoon.

Bryan, 19 July 2007

Distance: 9.7 Miles

Height climbed: 2,767 feet (Anquet / Harveys)

Wainwrights:  Swirl How, Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Wetherlam


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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 aging 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!

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