: Travelling Light
14th May 2008
I made reference to my climbing song “Guide Me, O Thou
Great Redeemer” to the tune of Cwm Rhonnda. Today’s
theme song was undoubtedly Cliff Richard’s "Travelling
Light". Or something close to it.
got no bags or sack to slow me down
I'm travelling so fast my feet ain't touching the ground
Just want to finish the Central Fells Alfie Wainwright
flask or butties, I got nothing to haul
a mobile telephone,
a computer printed
they weigh nothing at all
I'm gonna see over the top of that rise
a hoot and a holler away from paradise
finished off another Alfie Wainwright
on that rise!
A tad O.T.T.!
true third time round
put another way, how to turn a problem into an advantage.
problem was that Stan and I had four Wainwrights left
to tick off to complete the Central Fells book. These
were all approachable from the Derwent Water area but
we wanted decent weather to justify the trip. However,
and perhaps inevitably, being the rump end of the list,
they did not fall conveniently into one tidy walk. There
was a way round them but it was long and potentially
very boggy and not too inviting. And then, just
when we had the ideal day, I discovered I had time constraints
at both ends that made the route impractical.
radical rethink produced an alternative strategy. Not
one but two walks. Turn the problem into an advantage
and use the car as a moveable base and split the targets
into two groups, travelling fast and light for each
and returning to the mobile base in between.
was a glorious morning as I dropped the cat off at the
vet’s and started on the pick up trail for Tony, Stan
and Bryan. It was still glorious as we drove past
Windermere, Rydal Water, Grasmere, the much improved
Thirlmere and finally Derwent Water and then headed
up the narrow lane to Watendlath.
Tarn with Great Crag to the left and Grange Fell to
number one was Great Crag and Grange Fell. We
nearly lost Tony at base camp. The only other
people in the car park at this still fairly early hour
were fishermen. The Tarn had just been restocked
with trout which they were anxious to remove from
the lake before the fish found the cunning hiding places. Tony,
however, is a coarse fisherman and opted to remain with
us. Trout, to him, are vermin!
rounded the lake and followed the signs to Dock Tarn,
nearly adopting a little black lamb on the way till
it discovered that it could in fact charge past us back
to its mother (half a mile back down the valley!).
back to Watendlath
encourage visitors to Great Crag to extend to Dock Tarn
so we did it the other way round.
panarama, particularly down Borrowdale, was excellent.
I would have
taken a team photo on the summit but at that moment
it clouded over and as we were fairly minimally dressed, it was briefly too cold to linger.
we partially retraced our steps and then crossed the
boggy area to find the path to Grange Fell.
view up Borrowdale from Great Crag
highest point of Grange Fell is Brund Crag. By
now it was rather sunnier and with Derwent
Water and Skiddaw both clearly in view, this time
a team picture was essential!.
Fell Team picture
Stage one almost complete,
all we now needed to do was the fast descent to Watendlath
and have a picnic by the side of the lake.
fishermen returned whilst we were there.
boats said life jackets must be worn but neither had
them on although one looked as if he might have put
it on inside his skin.
Fishing had been a near disaster
for a freshly restocked lake- only six nibbles.
lunch we moved base camp to Ashness Bridge, passing
two live and one dead Belted Galloways en route. Ashness
Bridge itself was predictably heaving but, as is so
often the case in the Lake District, by the time we
were fifty yards upstream all sign of other folk vanished.
We climbed up Ashness Gill for quite some distance,
past the waterfalls and one short certain death section,
before crossing the gill, and also a fence that is not
marked on the map (Tony nearly losing part of his tackle
in the process) before heading up the fell.
crowded Ashness Bridge
having a certain difficulty
back across Derwent Water
were now in rough heather country, which was quite hard
work, lifting the legs double height on every step.
All of a sudden, Stan shot off as if he had new
batteries in him. Travelling Light was not up
to supporting the effort now needed to keep him in sight.
Switch on Cwm Rhondda at maximum volume on the
internal speakers, lock the eyes onto his heels and
hope to retain visual contact until the madness had
after only a few refrains we reached the top of Bleaberry
Hill and could take refuge from the strong breeze in
the shelter on its summit where there is a fabulous
360 degree panarama.
Hill team photo
on photo for 360 degree panarama from Bleaberry Hill
there it was all down hill but there was one more peak
to pick up before completing the book- Walla Crag. We
rattled down the hill to its triple peak and congratulated
ourselves with a quite lengthy stay just out of the
breeze in a lovely sunny position with a stunning view
over Derwent Water.
view from Brown Knotts, a.k.a. Wally Cragg
Time being slightly tight,
we set off eventually to find the track back to Ashness
Bridge but could not find the required turning. Then
the reality dawned on us, confirmed when we did what
we should have done before settling down- consult the
map. We realised that Walla Crag was a good mile
further on and the admittedly more impressive spot
on which we had rested was actually Brown Knotts. Or
maybe it should be called Wally Cragg.
Hill as seen from Brown
Knotts, a.k.a. Wally Cragg
went to the real Walla Crag- only included by AW as
it was a pleasant stroll from Keswick (which is probably
a euphemism for his publisher saying “Alfie- we love
your new book but this one’s a bit light on pages, can’t
you put a few more in it?”). Stan and I congratulated
our selves for the second time on the completion of
the Central Fells and the anticipated presentation of
our Alfie award.
view from Walla Cragg
Hill and Brown Knotts from Walla Cragg
to the south end of Derwent Water
time we found the path back to Ashness Bridge, right
where it ought to be, but we could not find the Bob
Graham memorial. However driving down the road
we did spot a small but attractive monument by the side
of the road. Inspection proved it was that for which we had been searching.
A somewhat inappropriate place, we thought, for someone who was
so inspirational for fell runners.
memory of Robert Graham 1889 - 1966 of Keswick
on the 13 -14 June 1932 traversed 42 Lakeland Peaks
within 24 hours,
a record which stood for 28 years.
Bob Graham memorial
other than the drive home through the wonderful scenery,
should have been the end of the story but unfortunately
we witnessed a prang. The blue Fiat Panda three
cars in front slowed to turn right but the white car
immediately behind didn’t realise until too late. Bang!
Next car in line wasn’t hanging about to get involved
but we did the honourable thing. No one seriously
hurt but some young kids in shock and the white car
stuck in the middle of the road with front end rammed
into the wheels rendering it unmoveable by engine or
humans. No mobile phone signal so we drove on
to the King’s Head at Thirlspot
phone 999. The hotel receptionist seemed quite
unfazed as if this were a regular experience. After
returning to the scene to let everyone know that help
was on its way we made our way home. Safely achieved,
I am pleased to report!
finally, what a well dressed future BOOTboy
15th May 2008
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0817
tracklog. and BB0817
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
22nd May 2008
: The Northern Tip
29th May 2008
: The Bannisdale Horseshoe
Black, White or Grey Combe?
19th June 2008
: Thunder on the 555
3rd July 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