On The Buses
the first time in many weeks the weather forecast showed
2 consecutive days of sunshine, so a splendid BootBoys
day was in prospect. But it was not to be. Don was in
Wales, Stan cried off early, and finally Tony too admitted
defeat. So what to do?
had a plan for a 2 day ‘expedition’ which involved an
overnight stay at the remote Black Sail Youth Hostel
(6 miles from the nearest road) so this seemed the ideal
opportunity, particularly when I managed to get a space
at the Hostel due to a last minute cancellation.
plan also involved using public transport and so it
was that I was stood at the end of the road waiting
to catch the 8 a.m. 555 bus to Keswick. This ran to
time and I arrived with 5 minutes to spare for the connecting
bus which took me down the Newlands valley and to the
top of Honister Pass.
Gable from tarn on Fleetwith Pike
glorious day then followed. I went over to Fleetwith
Pike first before retracing my steps through the quarry
workings (as seen recently on the Griff Rhys Jones program
on BBC) and cutting up to Grey Knotts.
met a couple there who told me they were heading for
Scafell Pike. I was impressed until he pointed out the
direction he was heading – he was indicating the Pillar
group! I explained where Scafell was, suggested an alternative,
then headed off to Brandreth.
there I contoured around the head of Gillercomb to pick
up Base Brown then joined to masses for the climb over
Green Gable and Windy Gap to the summit of Great Gable.
group and Ennerdale from Green Gable
to Langdale Pikes from Great Gable
sun was out and I sat and had lunch. It was an interesting
half hour. It never ceases to amaze me how people get
up hills like Gable and, more importantly, get down
again in one piece.
particular group of 4 adults and 5 kids (youngest no
more than 5 or 6 years old) were sat discussing how
to get down to Wasdale. They decided that heading straight
for it was the obvious way – straight over the crags!
They set off and, sure enough 10 minutes later re-appeared
with one of the mothers demanding that her husband “ask
someone that knows what they’re doing”!
in the space of a couple of minutes the sun disappeared
and mist rolled in. Visibility went down to 10 metres
or so. Moments later I was visited by the man I had
met on Grey Knotts (the one going to Scafell). He wanted
to know how to get back to Honister. I sent him off
to Windy Gap and down on to the Moses Trod route back.
Whether he ever got there I’ll never know!
for me I headed off to Beck Head down the loose boulder
and scree. Last time I went down there it was reasonable,
but the scree is now run out and it was very steep and
loose. I did a bit more ‘guiding’ as I helped a young
couple get down this stretch (the girl was very unnerved
by the way that the whole boulder field kept moving).
it was on over Kirkfell in glorious sunshine
again and on down Black Sail pass to the
had a splendid night there. It’s a smashing
place at the head of Ennerdale with a ‘kitchen/diner’
and 3 ‘bedrooms’. It’s so popular that one
couple were staying there for 2 nights on
wardens provided an excellent 3 course meal
(wine and beer was also available) and a
cooked breakfast the following morning.
This, and my bed for the night, cost me
the princely sum of £27.
at Black Sail Hostel
following day dawned sunny and clear as I set off up
Scarth Gap and on over Haystacks. I continued past the
summit and sat by the side of Inominate Tarn, the location
for the scattering of Wainwright’s ashes.
Haystacks and Gable from near summit of
photo on High Stile summit
it was back to Scarth Gap before the big
climb to the top of High Crag.
ridge walk from there along High Crag to
Red Pike is a great trip, particularly on
a day such as this with superb views all
an early lunch on Red Pike I descended to
join the sunbathers at Bleaberry Tarn and
finally completing the descent to Buttermere
in time for a pint at the Fish Hotel before
catching the bus back to Keswick and finally
9th August 2007
Grey Knotts, Brandreth
Green Gable, Great Gable, Kirkfell
High Stile, Red Pike
For the latest totals see: Wainwrights.
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Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which Bootboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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!
If you want to contact us, click on