BB0728:  Shipman Knotts and Half a Horseshoe.

Thursday 20th September 2007

Stanís suggestion for the eastern side of the Kentmere Horseshoe hit three buttons- it seemed short enough to ease us back in after a bit of a lay off (for some at least), it fitted in with the weather conditions- rain and wind coming in- and it picked up a Wainwright that we had missed last time we were up there (BB0618).  Unfortunately, due to my early morning inefficiency compounded by Netherfield Bridge being closed yet again causing big tail backs, the window of opportunity for the weather got rather shrunk.

So, rather later than we should have done, we drove up Kentmere, one of the loveliest valleys in my opinion, and parked by what must surely be Lakelandís ugliest church.

As I set off walking, I shrieked ďOh! No! Squeaky Boots!Ē as my Berghauses really sounded as if they needed a good spray of WD40.  A bystander laughed and predicted they would drive me mad all day.  They were indeed annoying me as we marched along the tarmac over to Green Quarter.  How does one get rid of squeaks these days?  Is soaking the boots in a bucket of water the answer?  However, once on the fell, the squeak seemed to vanish.  

Kentmere Valley with Shipman Knotts to the right

We made our way up to cross the track from Stile End to Sadgill at its zenith and on upwards to Shipman Knotts.  How did it get the name we wondered? Obviously nothing to do with the notorious Harold.  And where exactly is the top?  And ďis the top necessarily the named point that one is seeking?Ē suggested Stan, outlining an unexpected theory (probably so he wouldnít have to climb the wall to cover both options).  Wainwright certainly thought the summit was on the eastern side (i.e. over the wall).

Mounting Shipman Knotts on the wrong side

Longsleddale from Shipman Knotts

Next, Kentmere Pike and as we reached the top the weather was starting to close in. This didnít stop Tony suggesting that we should hop over the wall to shelter and have lunch.  I asked him what the time was and he rolled back layers of clothing to inspect his watch.  Totally unnecessary- his body clock was unerringly accurate.  Bang on noon.

We persuaded him it would be much more pleasant to wait until we were at the Nan Bield shelter which with good grace in the worsening weather he accepted.

It was now raining, nasty, driving, hard, cold, spitty rain.  The sort that cries out for protection by face mask and goggles.  I donít really know why I didnít get them out.

The cloud rolled in and we couldnít see Harter Fell and then suddenly and dramatically it rushed away again and we could.

The summit marker is much changed. The weird concoction of discarded old iron fencing has been filled in with stones over the years and rather lost its identity in the process.

Harter Fell Summit

This was not a place to linger; the wind was getting fiercer.  As we reached the top of the descent to Nan Bield, it reached gale force and it was at times virtually impossible to remain standing. I was worried one or more of us might be blown down to Small Water! In between gusts, we eased our way down and duly took lunch as planned at the shelter.

Small Water and Haweswater

Nan Bield Shelter Team Picture

I had thought, now being much lower, that it would be a doddle going down the pass back into the valley.  Far from it.  The wind got up again and was screaming in our faces so hard that I could hardly see.  I thought this is no time for vanity.  Out came the mask and goggles and the transformation was immediate.  All the pain was gone.  I could see again and everywhere had a lovely summery pink tinge.  Itís all very well Bryan making fun of me suggesting that oxygen tanks would be out next.  I was warm and I could see!

A happy, smiling Don

Cap'n Tony surveys Kentmere Reservoir

As we got down nearer to the reservoir, the wind eased so off came the controversial trappings!  

We decided to divert down to the dam in order to look at the building work taking place at the old cottages.  It looks as if they are being converted to holiday cottages- a fairly isolated position a long way back from the nearest pub.

Despite the attractiveness of the valley, the road back seemed long, rather longer than a gentle easing back in. Legs were getting tired and, yes, my boot was squeaking again. How do you stop boots squeaking?

Don, 20th September 2007


Distance: 9.7 miles  (Harveys / Anquet) and 23,000steps for Bryan.

Height climbed: 2,592 feet.

Wainwrights:  Shipman Knotts, Kentmere Pike, Harter Fell

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fell Book Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!




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Bryan has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which Bootboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of Bootboys.  

To download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.  

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


BOOT boys

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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