: The Hidden Mountain
22nd April 2008
my experience (long and hard earned) there are three
types of hangover:
there is the eleven o’clock variety (the time by
which it clears); these are actually quite useful
if you have a difficult morning meeting as they
enable you to be even more grumpy than normal.
there is the two o’clock type where it is better
to lie low through the morning in the sincere hope
and belief that all will be well after some food
inside you at lunch.
there is the all-day-oh-god-I’m-never-going-to-touch-another-drop
sort about which nothing more needs to be said.
advantage, or so it seemed, of this week’s outing having
an afternoon start was that I could indulge in a bit
of Tony-type training the previous evening and, provided
things didn’t get out of hand, recover from an eleven
o’clocker in time to set off. So, Jamie (who is
home for a few days from Crete) and I settled down to
a convivial evening of
bottles of Stella Artois chased by fingers of Laphroaig.
seven-thirty this morning when the alarm went off for
me to inject the cat (Bob is diabetic and needs twice
daily shots of insulin) I was pleasantly surprised not
to have incurred any of the above states from the Stella
and ‘Froggy session, just a general slowness, although
that itself was a bit worrying. Slowness can linger
on, especially when exercise is involved and today there
would be some exercise.
Tony away on one of his continental biking jaunts (of
which no doubt we will hear more) and Stan on his knees
praying to the bathroom tiling god, there was an opportunity
for me to pull back the deficit on the Wainwright count.
Along with Bryan, they had visited Grey Friar,
Great Carrs and Swirl How on BB0721
(and had extended to Wetherlam). This was my opportunity
not only to put my ticks alongside theirs but also to
draw level with Stan at 68 remaining. Not that
we are competitive about these things, of course! At
first, I thought I would overtake him but detailed scrutiny
showed that I had wrongly attributed one W to me that
was really his and I would never have got that past
at the Harveys map, I was surprised at the height of Swirl How.
At 2,638 feet it is higher than all the surrounding
peaks including Wetherlam and Coniston Old Man (just).
OS and Wainwright disagree and put Swirl How at 2,630
feet, three foot lower than the Old Man. I suppose
it depends whether you measure to the top or bottom
of the cairn as it certainly has a big one! Anyway,
the point is that I could not recall seeing it. And that is
exactly why- it is surrounded by hills of about the
same height. It is a hidden mountain.
had our guide for the afternoon as Bryan wisely thought
that an opportunity to get out into the hills was better
than painting his hallway. Especially as it was,
in Kendal at least, a bright warm almost summerish day,
although still rather cool for Jamie- he is used to
Cretan temperatures; in Heraklion today it was 36 degrees
path to Levers Water
we set off, my main concern was not of the self-inflicted
slowness but the fact that I had spent a large part
of the morning crouched planting onions and my leg hurt.
Would I be able to walk it off? Fortunately
I did and we reached Levers Water at what Bryan called
Water, Swirl How still hidden
Cclimbing up to Levers Hawse was a different matter.
Jamie romped up, showing the advantage of legs
that are almost exactly half the age of mine. However,
the slowness I had feared started to set in. I
kept thinking of an old Donovan song, “Hey Gyp, dig
the slowness” but that was all I could remember of it!
No tune, no words, so I mentally switched on my
normal climbing song that has got me up many a steep
a very slow speed.
was very good and tried to keep me motivated with talk
about Ann Bowker’s website Mad
About Mountains (see
and how that had kept him from going mad during his
latter days at work- he would turn to her almost daily
photo postings to remind him of that to which he could
look forward after retirement.
he reminded me that last time I had gone up Levers Hawse
I had attempted to reel in a group of kids.
checked the BB0607
write-up later; Bryan was right of course.
I had found it hard work.
that was when I was younger.
an old man now.
Tarn and Grey Friar from Levers Hawse
on the shoulder, things started to improve and it was
a pleasant curve round to climb the remaining bit to
Grey Friar. It was still a nice day but rather
windy so we got down between some rocks for afternoon
tea plus a navigation lesson from Bryan for Jamie. This
was needed as he is taking a party round the 3 Yorkshire
peaks on Saturday and it might be a little misty!
Tea Team Picture on Grey Friar
panoramic views were spectacular.
in the distance with Crinkles in the foreground
navigated us successfully across to Great Carrs and
then around the curved ridge with its killer steep
drop should he get it wrong, to Swirl How, both of which
we could see perfectly but that is not the point.
How from Great Carrs
Carrs from Swirl How
route had taken us past the crashed plane memorial where
we paid our respects to the eight Canadians who died
in 1944 when their Halifax failed to clear the Great
1944 Crashed Plane on Great Carrs
past the plane back to Grey Friar
Swirl How, from which there are scant views to the east
and south beyond Wetherlam, Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man and Dow
Crag, thereby confirming its hidden status, we dropped
down Prison Band (how did it get that name?) and took
the track to Levers Water where we had another drink
stop. We then crossed the dam and had a look at
the fenced-off old mine workings. From there,
it was a simple trail back to the car and a pleasant
drive home in the evening sunshine.
Water with The Old Man from Prison
a special place the Lake District is. It is so accessible.
Big enough for variety and challenge, small enough
that anywhere can be done in the day and lots of truly
rewarding expeditions in an afternoon. Even on
a slow one!
I got my three ticks!
Water looking across to Levers Hawse
now the crystal fountain
the healing stream doth flow;
the fire and cloudy pillar
me all my journey through:
deliverer, strong deliverer;
thou still my strength and shield;
thou - still -
- strength - and - shield.
of songs, did the Happy
Hippo in BB0813
sing for you?
If not, have another go!
22nd April 2008
Swirl How, there is discussion concerning doubt
about its height at Wikipedia.
These two 360 degree panorama photo links showing
the size of the cairn and limited view are worth looking
About Mountains and Andrew
Leaney's Lakeland Fells
and Tony's completion of the Far Eastern Fells,
special edition of the book has just
appeared to celebrate his achievements:
Friar, Great Carrs, Swirl How
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0814
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!
If you want to contact us, click on