: Escape from the Madness
9th October 2008
new day seems to bring another escalation of the crisis
in the financial markets, reaching a point where even
us laid-back pensioners begin to take notice.
we gathered at Kendal Bus Station, Stan regaled Tony
and I with his sure-fire strategy to restrict the losses
on his bank shares – buy some more at the “bottom” of
the market! When he said it this seemed a pretty sound
idea; after all the Government had only hours later
put billions into the banks to shore them up and the
price had risen, so – good plan.
as I write this, the story looks a lot different. Bank
shares hammered down again. Sit tight and hope now seems
to be the solution.
as always, the good part of being a pensioner is that
you can forget all about it and get out into the hills.
Even better (for Stan and Tony anyway) you can get there
on the bus for free! So today’s plan was to catch the
09:50 service 505 bus to Coniston and walk back along
the Cumbria Way to Skelwith Bridge and then on the Ambleside
for the bus home.
Coniston area is a subject of much discussion on BOOTboys
walks as it has played a major part in Tony’s life.
His courting days took place there, and he knew many
of the local residents. So our first stop on arrival
was to visit the grave of one of them - James
who was awarded the Victoria Cross for capturing one
German and killing sixteen.
forecast had suggested high cloud and some sunshine
but the hills were shrouded in mist as we set off. Tony’s
memories of the area are also often related to drinking
escapades (similarly enshrouded? Editor.), with
the Crown Inn retaining particularly fond memories (which
I agreed not to disclose in today’s notes!)
shrouded tops above the Crown Inn
long after leaving the village and starting our climb
we passed the old kennels on the Monk Coniston Estate.
A splendid building which has been nicely restored by
the National Trust and now has information boards inside
as well as seats for a rest or escape from the rain
should it be necessary.
it was too early for us and we pressed on with the sun
even appearing for 10 minutes – the only time we would
see it that day.
passed a couple of Americans who asked us for directions
for their afternoon walk on to Holme Fell. They were
from Maine; New England and said that their winter’s
were in snow of up to 20 feet deep and lasted all winter.
We told them we’d be lucky if we got 20 inches that
lasted all day!
path wound steadily upwards and my mind began to ponder
on what song Don would be thinking about today to keep
him going had he been with us. I alighted upon the old
classic from the Clash – London Calling. The chorus
seemed particularly apt today…….
ice age is coming, the sun's zooming in
expected, the wheat is growing thin
running, but I have no fear
Cause London is drowning
and I, live by the river
I was pondering this we arrived at the very busy car
park at Tarn Hows and joined the masses as we walked
along the lake shore. Although it is an artificial lake,
encircled by very artificial paths, and very busy with
tourists, it is still a very nice place. The designer
did a good job.
we set off along the lake shore the first bleatings
of “I want to stop for my dinner now” began. Stan and
I ignored it for a while then, as you would with a young
child, coerced him to keep going “until the next bench”.
On reaching that we said we couldn’t see the lake and
perhaps we should continue to the next one. Eventually
we ran out of reasons and stopped at the next bench
where we had lunch and took the team photo.
route now took us down to the Ambleside/Coniston
road where we crossed over and headed up
towards High Oxen Fell. We should have turned
off this track after a few hundred yards
but we were chatting and not looking at
the map and overshot by quite a bit before
realising. So we opted to continue to Hodge
Close and use the path that passes Great
How on the West side. We then took the optional
diversion to take in Colwith Force – quite
spectacular after the heavy rain we’ve been
there it was a steady walk downhill to Skelwith Bridge,
passing the many farm tracks that had caused us counting
problems on BB0811.
It was now decision time. Should we go to Ambleside
via a route over Loughrigg, or should we take on the
traffic and hope there was a path alongside the main
road (there wasn’t one shown on the map).
was beginning to look like rain, Stan needed to get
back earlyish, and Tony was tiring so the road was the
choice. It started OK. There was a footpath; then a
track; which were safe and gave nice views over the
River Brathay. At one point we passed a field with a
couple of llamas in it
next mile or so however was much more serious. The road
is narrow, with overhanging trees and bends with limited
visibility. It felt quite intimidating at times as we
squeezed in to the wall.
in field near Skelwith Bridge
battles the traffic
we reached Clappersgate in one piece and from there
a nice pavement led us into Ambleside in time for the
bus back to Kendal (but, sadly, with insufficient time
for a pint) before arriving home in time for another
dose of depression on the news.
9th October 2008
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB0832.
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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- BB0801 :
Avoiding the Graupel;
- BB0802 :
Lyth in the Old Dogs;
Tuesday 22 January
Sunday 27 January
Tony's Memory Lane;
Wednesday 30th January
Thank You Mells
The Langdale Skyline
and a Fell Race!
An Outbreak of Common Sense;
Thursday 21st February
Askham Fell and
the Lowther Estate;
Thanks to the MWIS
Wednesday 19th March
High Street and Kidsty Pike
but no Fairy
Prelude to Spring
Wednesday 2nd April
Spring in Lakeland
Wet, Wet Sleddale to Mosedale Cottage
What's It All About, Tony?
The Hidden Mountain
The Bowland CROW
High Cup Nick:
The Gurt La'al Canyon
The Northern Tip
The Bannisdale Horseshoe
Black, White or Grey Combe?
Thunder on the 555
We'll Give It Five
Thursday 10th July
Shelters from the Storm
The Big Wind-Up
Third (and wettest) Alfie
A Visit to Mud Hall
- BB0828 :
The Tale of Randy Gill
: Mosedale Cottage Revisited
: Mist Over Pendle
: Luncheon Chez Monty
Thursday 2nd October
: Escape from the Madness
: Only on a Thursday
: Reflections on Thirlmere
: Reet Grand Randonnées
- 18th November
: Helm, direttissimo
: Cunswick Fell and back in the dark!
- 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