BB0813 :  What's It All About, Tony?

Wednesday 16th April 2008        

BOOTboys fame is slowly spreading!  

Two folk have contacted me in the last week. Steve, an exiled Lancastrian in Northampton, read the BB0812 Wet Wet Wet report about ten seconds after I had uploaded it and sent me some interesting information about Sleddale Hall being used as Monty's Holiday Home.  To find out more see Sleddale Hall.  

Steve was able to provide another Big Josie story:
Roll Up, Roll Up, Come and see the Fat Girl!

He also reminded me of the delights of Uncle Joe's Mint Balls. Further research revealed that Uncle Joe now has his own dedicated website, complete with lyrics.

Keep you all aglow!

Then Ann from Keswick contacted me, not in connection with BOOTboys but in relation to an article on about Natlanders accept the Wainwright Challenge to which Ann had put a link on her website Mad About Mountains following her ascent of Potter Fell.  I sent her the links to the two BOOTboys blogs of Potter Fell, BB0510 and BB0633

Ann's website contains many splendid photos and an admirably catalogued cross reference of her Wainwright walks and much, much more.  This motivated me to cross reference the Ws on our Wainwrights spreadsheet to the BOOTboys outings, a process which I started and then managed to lose all my input! I have now completed it for the 214 peaks in the main listings (being utterly confused in the process by Wansfell having been listed under its other name of Baystones) and will, in due course, cross reference our other outings.

I can now announce that the total number of Wainwrights not yet visited by BOOTboys is:


And the name of the BOOTboys most visited peak.

In joint second place, with four visits each are:  

Fairfield, Hart Crag, Harter Fell and Thornthwaite Crag.  

But the clear winner, with six visits is.......

High Street!  

Were you right?

The Nab, on the other hand has only been visited once (BB0734) and that enabled Stan and me to claim our first Alfie (Stan, of course, had done them all several times before but this is was his first time round since the formation of BOOTboys).  An Alfie, perhaps I should explain, is our name for the hypothetical award for completing one of AW's books. A bit like an Oscar without the dreary speech.  

And, today, to revert to the title, what it's all about is Tony's Alfie! We decided to revisit the area so that Tony could claim his first Alfie!  As on our previous visit, he too also needed Beda Fell and Brock Crags.  Route choices are limited as there is only one legitimate way onto the Nab (from Rest Dodd) but Bryan came up with a route that incorporated all three but in a very different way.

We made one significant change to our normal approach to Pooley Bridge.  On leaving Askham previously we had noted a sign to Celleron. I was convinced it was a short cut but had always been talked out of it.  Today I cast aside my abulia and took the chance. Celleron turned out to be the point at which the Roman Road disappeared on our epic along the length of High Street BB0617 and where the road slog to Tirril began. However, for today's purposes it served to knock a few miles off the journey, totally avoiding Tirril and provided a spectacular approach to the top end of Ullswater.


Old Martindale Cottage


First view of The Nab

As we drove through Howtown and up to Martindale, with its interesting buildings- some lived in, many derelict- it was crawling with young folk from the Outward Bound centre, canoeing, rock climbing or setting off on expeditions. However we did not see them, or hardly anyone else, on the fells.

The Nab and upper Martindale

We parked at Dale Head, just before the farm gates, and headed up the valley.  The path followed a wall, a little above it and as it got steeper there was a degree of exposure. Not the Grade A certain death type, more a Grade C, bad bruising sort.  

Looking back down Martindale, Beda Fell to the left, The Nab to the right

Anyway, focus was needed but we made good progress and soon reached the top and the sudden, magnificent view of Angle Tarn with the Helvellyn range behind, its ridges etched with snow.

Although the weather was fine and at times sunny with the clearest visibility, when the wind blew, as it often did, it was ferociously cold.  Our first objective was Brock Crags and this was easily reached.  


Hayeswater and Gray Crag


Brotherswater from Brock Crags

Next the Nab.  To get onto the Nab you have to climb the shoulder of Rest Dodd, which would actually be the highest point of the day.  We had lunch in the lee of the hill and wall.  For a while it was the most pleasant break we have had this year- in full sun and quite warm.  Then the wind got up again.

Next, you cross the wall and approach the Nab from the south across a big peat bog. We met a lone traveller here who muttered something about there being no deer.  The Nab is, you may recall, allegedly a deer sanctuary which is why there is only one permitted way in.  But I find it strange that a deer sanctuary not only has no deer, it has no means of keeping in the deer and nothing to attract them to stay there.  If you were a deer would you want to be on a windswept mountain or down in a valley with lusher vegetation?  Quite.  I can't help but feel that someone has put one over on the CROW people!


The Nab from the Rest Dodd wall


The route back to the Rest Dodd across the bog

Had I paid more attention to the lone traveller I would have noticed he crossed the peat bog on its eastern side.  I was leading at the time and made the mistake of tending to the west.  If anyone is using this report as a prototype route finder, then keep to the east side- as we proved on our return, it is much better.

Incidentally, Bryan thinks that someone is using BOOTboys as inspiration for walks.  It has been pointed out to him the remarkable number of times that one of our more unusual walks has appeared a couple of months later in one of the leading walking magazines. Well, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so they say.  But if you are out there, Mr "What did the BOOTboys do this week?",  why not get in touch with us?

Looking across to Beda Fell from The Nab

So now you know that after nabbing the Nab, we retraced our steps. After the bog, we traversed west a bit to try and minimise the amount of climbing we had to do to get over the shoulder but it still seemed hard work- I resented having to do it; it was a means to an end and not part of achieving anything.


Place Fell, not Beda Fell!


Angle Tarn Pikes


The route to the real Beda Fell

Back above Angle Tarns we caused Tony to panic momentarily by pointing out Place Fell and telling him it was Beda Fell!  

We picked out our route across to the real Beda Fell and along to Beda Head where Tony, who only a few minutes before had actually been running in his excitement, celebrated the completion of the Far Eastern book and was awarded his Alfie.

Actually I had hoped to get a chocolate Oscar for him but the best I could find was a Happy Hippo.  But if you want to hear a Happy Hippo sing, click on the link.

The Nab and the Martindale horseshoe


A triumphant Tony


Team  picture on Beda Head

By now we were starting to lose the sun (but definitely not the wind) so we descended rapidly down to the valley and reached the car at Dale Head just as the rain set in.  


Losing the sun


Dale Head Farm

We stopped at Askham on the way back for an excellent celebratory glass of Hawkshead bitter in the Punch Bowl.  We were nearly tempted to stay longer but common sense sadly prevailed!

Don, 17th April 2008




11.3 miles

Height climbed:

2,824 feet


Brock Crags, The Nab, Beda Fell


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0813 tracklog.

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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Home Page








2008 Outings

BB0801 : Avoiding the Graupel;  
16 January

BB0802 : Lyth in the Old Dogs; 22 January

BB0803 : That's Lyth;
27 January

BB0804 : Tony's Memory Lane;
30th January

BB0805 : Fell's Belles!  Thank You Mells?  
6th February

BB0806 : The Langdale Skyline and a Fell Race!
13th February

BB0807a: An Outbreak of Common Sense;
21st February 2008

BB0807b: Askham Fell and  the Lowther Estate;   
13th March 2008

BB0808 : Thanks to the MWIS
19th March 2008

BB0809 :  High Street and Kidsty Pike but no Fairy
28th March 2008

BB0810 :  Prelude to Spring
2nd April 2008

BB0811 :  Spring in Lakeland
6th April 2008

BB0812 :  Wet, Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
Thursday 10th April 2008 

BB0813 :  What's It All About, Tony?
Thursday 17th April 2008 

BB0814 :  The Hidden Mountain
Tuesday 22nd April 2008 

BB0815 :  The Bowland CROW
Thursday 1st May 2008

BB0816 :  High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
Wednesday 7th May 2008

BB0817 :  Travelling Light
Wednesday 14th May 2008


BskiB08 : Bootski Boys in the Sella Ronda  
23rd February - 1st March



Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.



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 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!

If you want to contact us, click on