Lyth in the Old Dogs
22nd January 2008
split in the ranks??
who due to man-flu had not been able to get out this
year, wanted to do a recce for Sunday's big one (That’s
Lyth: 23.5 miles around the Lyth Valley). Bryan
most decidedly did not and would not be part of it,
preferring the spontaneity of navigation on the big
day. Tony did not want the punishment of a training
session and asked to be left out until the madness had
passed. Stan started making other arrangements
to get his recce with his son, Martin the doctor and
his dogs who has also entered for Sunday, despite the
fact that said son would want to travel twice as fast
as him! Meanwhile I was trying to thread a way
through all this to keep the team united.
weather, or at least the forecast, helped. The
only time that could reasonably be relied upon to be
rain, snow or gale free was Tuesday morning. Bryan
was away on the Tuesday. And a morning was not too long
to deter Tony, especially if we tempted him with the
possibility of ending at a local hostelry where a car
had previously been delivered. Problem seemingly
then Tony announced that he had to go to Otley to make
good some plumbing he had seemingly cocked up whilst
also being in bad books for giving away valuable household
contents to passing gypsies but was OK for Thursday.
And Martin the architect who had been unfortunately
temporarily omitted from the loop announced he too was
OK for Thursday. However when he saw the forecast he
declared himself a fair weather Bootboy!
in the end it was arranged that I would meet Stan, son
Martin the doctor and his dogs, Harvey and Axl, at 8:45
a.m. on Tuesday at the Underbarrow Punchbowl. Unfortunately
none of us realised that this location is not covered
for mobile telephone signals, or at least not for O2.
Consequently when things did not go to plan, Stan
was unable to contact me.
Eventually he turned
up, minus Martin and dogs, explaining that he had tried
a dozen times to contact me to let me know that Martin
had been delayed. The revised plan was that Martin
would park at Scout Scar and would run the route so
we would be caught up very quickly.
as seen from Scout Scar
should mention that I was trying out my new Salamon
X-mountain shoes with their kindergarten “Quicklace”
lacing system (no knots- just pull on the toggle) and
my new Nora Batty styled Sealskinz waterproof socks. Stan was trying
out his new Innov8 running shoes that Martin (son) had
rejected because they rubbed his heels.
day was grey and dry but only just above freezing.
and I set off across the fields past some moorhens to Kirkby House and
Blakebank then down to Crosthwaite School where the
first check point would be.
Already the recce
was proving useful as two places had been found where
the descriptions were weak and time was lost trying
to find the right way through.
we dropped down to Esp Ford and over to the A5074 Lyth
Valley Road and then up to Dunham Bridge Wood and the
top of the Row road. As we turned into his field,
we met a farmer who kindly adjusted his sheep pen to
let us through. He was not too impressed to learn
that 300 people were heading that way on Sunday!
back from Township Allotment
lost a bit of time not identifying the quickest route
across the Township Allotment. We lost more time
because Stan was having problems with his shoes rubbing
his heel! He put on my spare socks over his so
now he had greater protection but not enough room in
the shoes for his toes! These delays enabled Martin
and dogs to catch us up just in time for the team picture
at Lord’s seat.
with foot trouble
picture at Lord's Seat, Whitbarrow Scart
We galloped down Whitbarrow scar
to the Hall- this is going to be a dangerous pinch point
on Sunday- there are some steep drops that overtaking
runners could be pushed down!
the Hall Farm and on to Lawns House and Yewbarrow where
there was an interesting conundrum. Facing us
were horses, sheep and bullocks. For sheep, dogs
should be on a lead. For bullocks they should
be off the lead as bullocks are attracted by dogs but
dogs can run faster. “On or off the lead?” was the question.
They are pretty well behaved dogs and not sheep
worriers so they remained off the lead. No problem
with sheep. Bullocks had a look but decided not
to bother. Then the smallest of the horses came
over and tried to take on two hefty retrievers! Fortunately
no harm to anyone or thing. Shortly afterwards
Martin decided that the old dogs (Stan and I) were not
moving fast enough and ran off with his own.
came down through the woods and round to the second
check point, Witherslack Parish Hall.
section was a bit of a puzzle because the guidance notes
gave no indication of distance between instructions
and they turned out to be literally miles apart, which
led to us wondering if we had gone wrong.
We rounded the lower end of Whitbarrow Scar,
along to the Gilpin Bridge Inn where the path is marked
by a totem pole!
followed were the tediously
straight roads across the Lyth Valley bottom and up
Pole marks the path!
may have noted, Tony certainly will, that so far there
has been no mention of food. As the route passed
by Robert and Diane’s house in Cinderbarrow, we half
hoped that after 13.5 miles, someone might be in, that
they might take pity on us, that we might find ourselves
having our butties in front of a roaring fire and that
we might even be offered a lift back to the car at Underbarrow.
It was not to be. No one there! We decided to
press on and take lunch at Helsington Church. It
was a mercifully gentle climb up to Helsington, bar
one short steepish bit which was extremely slippery
due to the sodden ground. It will be virtually
impossible after 300 people go up it on Sunday. But
then that applies to several places on route.
Scar from Helsington
John's Church, Helsington we found a bench in the graveyard
and some five hours and fifteen miles after setting
off we had our first stop proper and our lunch.
John's Church interior
view from our lunch stop
twenty minute stop left us both stiff and it took some
time to walk it off- Stan still suffering with his shoe
problems. We crossed on to Scout Scar where we
left the Sunday route and dropped down to Barrowfield
and then back past Tullythwaite House to Underbarrow
where it started to rain.
the recce worthwhile? Yes.
did we learn?
if ever a meet is arranged at a location that has no
mobile phone signal, there is merit in the first arrivee
checking this out and then seeking a suitable signal
receiving place from which to warn the others!
that the recce has potentially saved us about half an
hour wasted on wrong route interpretations.
that the 23 miles on Sunday is achievable if the weather
is decent and we can keep the same pace- 18 miles in
6 hours travelling. The main worries are pinch
points (queuing for people to get over stiles) and the
paths deteriorating into slippery mudbaths.
that Stan will have to go back to his PBs but that my
Salomon / Sealskinz footwear should be OK.
Finally, as they say again on the reinstated News at
Ten, we need to brief Robert and Diane at what time
to have the reception committee on their garden wall
to clap and cheer us as we burst by on Sunday. 18
miles from the start so it should be around 2:15 p.m.
give or take 15 minutes, all being well!
climbed: 2,572 feet (estimated- Anquet)
Whitbarrow Scar (Outlying Fells)
For the latest totals
of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books 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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Avoiding the Graupel;
Lyth in the Old Dogs; 22 January
: That's Lyth;
: Tony's Memory Lane;
: Fell's Belles! Thank You Mells?
: The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!
An Outbreak of Common Sense;
Askham Fell and the Lowther Estate;
: Thanks to the MWIS
19th March 2008
: High Street and Kidsty Pike but no Fairy
: Prelude to Spring
2nd April 2008
: Spring in Lakeland
6th April 2008
Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
10th April 2008
: What's It All About, Tony?
17th April 2008
: The Hidden Mountain
22nd April 2008
: The Bowland CROW
1st May 2008
: High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
7th May 2008
: Travelling Light
14th May 2008
BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda
23rd February - 1st March
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 an 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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