BB0902 : Thank You, Aunty Ethel!

Wednesday 14th January 2009

A few catching up points first:

  • Any anoraks out there wanting to know how the last BOOTboy year compared statistically with earlier ones should turn to BB08 Afternote.
  • Stuart F identified the "interesting barn" in BB0901 as Henry's Castle, named after farmer Henry Willason.  As yet, I know no more.
  • The comments about He Who Must Not Be Named (well, I never promised not to discuss him, just not to mention to his name) produced interesting and mixed reactions.  Not all readers agreed with the sentiments expressed although more of those who proferred an opinion were of similar mind than not.  One is campaigning for the book mentioned in BB0901 to be made part of the national curriculum!  However, another thinks (and I agree) that the book lets itself down by being over the top and a general rant; it would have been better had it been more objective and stuck to the facts. A sage suggested that expressions of political views of this nature should be left on the fells and that to publish them risks damaging the BOOTboys brand image which, he considers, is of a slightly whimsical and idiosyncratic view of Lakeland (and elsewhere).  He concludes:  Brand Image is valuable- don't damage it.  So that is my final word on the subject.  Now, how can we best exploit that brand image value???!!!!!

Now for today's report.  We had hoped for a big turn out but, when Pete arrived from Cheshire, Ian wasnít with him due to his wife being ill.  

Get well soon, Roz, we want Ian out with us!  

Nonetheless, in addition to Pete (togged up in brand new Paramo anorak and trousers), we were augmented by Martin so two cars were needed.  The destination had been the subject of a lot of democratic consultation until Stan got bored with all the e-mails and demanded that someone make an autocratic decision.  So I did, after reference to Bryan. The forecast seemed quite promising- mist in the valleys but clear on the tops until the rain came in at dusk. Pete and Tony were not wanting to be too stretched so a trip round the Scandale Valley seemed just right.

We met up at a car park in Ambleside.  Last time we parked there it had cost a full £6 for the day but this time we had two cars.  These are financially difficult times.  ďIs there nowhere cheaper?Ē we asked.  ďWe could try Aunty Ethel,Ē said Tony.

Aunty Ethel was delighted to see Tony and seemed happy to have two more cars on her drive for the day.

We left Ambleside up by the college, over Low Sweden Bridge and up the well formed path for Low Pike.  

We hoped we might rise out of the mist but sadly it didnít happen.  

Several of us still had an excess of Christmas in our legs and found the climb up to High Pike quite hard work.  

My legs were certainly not "relentless climbing machines" today.  Even mentally switching on my climbing tune, Cwm Rhondda, for once didnít seem to help.

Scandale Beck at Low Sweden Bridge

For our lunch stop, Bryan picked a wall which provided a little shelter from the wind, much to Tonyís amazement as it was only 12:20 and although he had moaned, he had not yet got into serious I NEED MY FOOD whinge mode.  As we sat, the temperature had noticeably dropped and we realised from the frost all around us that we were above the freezing level.

GRABBER MYCOAL handwarmers

When we set off, I decided that hand warmers needed testing.  This time I tried Grabber MyCoal handwarmers that claimed instant heat that lasts 7+ hours.  They were very effective, quickly warming themselves and my fingers inside my mittens.  They didnít last anything like 7+ hours, though.  Maybe two hours.

Bryan displayed a remarkable feat (I nearly typed feet, which would not have been inappropriate) of navigation.

It was still very misty and we needed to find the track that went off right to High Bakestones.  Having found a wall junction, he consulted the map and calculated that the path would be found after 512 paces.  

He was only 20 paces short of his target.  

Very impressive.

Bryan computing the strides

High Bakestones Team  Photo

We were, therefore, quite forgiving when a few minutes later, near Scandale Tarn, he had us following a wrong wall in the wrong direction.  To his credit, he quickly realised the error and just as he redirected us, the mist cleared briefly giving a view of Scandale and confirmation of our new direction.

Scandale Valley briefly appears

Similarly, Brotherswater

When we reached the col at the top of the Scandale Pass, once again the mist cleared for a moment and we could see Brotherswater.  And then we couldnít.

The climb up to Red Screes was also steep and the party got separated.  Stan and Martin were romping up the hill, Pete was a one man middle group whilst Bryan, Tony and I brought up the rear.  We lost visual contact.  When we reached the point where the wall turned right and there were two or possibly three paths on the ground going in different directions we were relieved to see Pete waiting for us.  Not as relieved as Pete was to see us as he hadnít a clue which way to go and had lost visual and vocal contact with Stan and Martin.

We took the left hand path, which led directly to the Red Screes summit.

However, we could tell by the absence of footprints in the snow that Stan and Martin had not gone that way. We reckoned that they must have taken the straight-on path which leads to the ridge and they would go along the ridge to the summit.  

When we reached the top, there was no one to be seen.  Nor were they in the wall shelter.

What to do for the best?  

I tried to phone them but had no signal.

Depleted numbers at Red Screes summit cairn

We werenít worried about them as they are both very experienced and we knew they had a map, if not a compass!  Also they knew the hill well enough to avoid the steep drop to the Kirkstone Pass.

It was extremely cold so we pressed on down the hill till we came to a logical waiting place, lower and warmer although still with little visibility.  By now I could get a signal on my phone so I rang Stan.  After a few rings I was transferred to the answerphone so I left a polite message asking where he was.  Others thought I should have used rather fruitier language!  Two minutes later my phone rang and showed Stan as the caller.  ďHello StanĒ I said.  ďItís not Stan, itís JoanĒ came the reply.  Oh dear!  Stanís wife. Thank goodness I had not left a fruitier message!  Not wanting to worry her unduly, I explained that we had temporarily mislaid Stan and please could I have his number.  I was just about to phone that number when we heard voices and the two of them appeared out of the gloom so I phoned Joan back to tell her the good news.  I caught her checking the insurance policies but she told me that she had just found Stanís mobile in the front room!

They had indeed taken the straight-on path after the wall junction but had waited on it for some time.  When we didnít appear they returned to the wall junction but by that time we had moved on.  So from then onwards they were behind us, not in front as we had thought.  Stan said he wasnít worried for us but was worried that we might be worried for them.  Donít flatter yourself, I told him!

Grasmere and the ridge leading to Low Pike and Hig Pike; Nab Scar behind.

Thereafter it was an uneventful descent with a bit of a view opening up over Windermere and the Low Pike / High Pike route we had ascended earlier.  There were some pretty sheep- Jacobs?- when we reached The Struggle and on this occasion we avoided the temptation to stop off at the Golden Rule.

Windermere appears

Pretty (Jacobs???) Sheep

We returned instead to Aunty Ethelís.  She is a lovely lady and we really appreciated her kindness in letting us clutter up her drive for the day.  Thank you, Aunty Ethel!

Aunty Ethel.....

..... with the BOOTboys

And was there any mention of He Who Must Not Be Named on the fells today?  

You might think so.  I couldn't possibly comment.  

However, that book has now been passed to Tony!

Don, 14th January 2009



14th January 2009


 11.4 miles

Height climbed:

3,303 feet


Low Pike, High Pike, Red Screes

Other Key Features:

High Bakestones, Aunty Ethel

If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0902.

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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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, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
type of social group,
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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2009 Outings

  • BB0901 : A Gordon Day Out
    Thursday 8th January
  • BB0902 : Thank You,
    Aunty Ethel!
    Wednesday 14th January 
  • BB0903 : A Wicked Hike???
    Wednesday 21st January
  • BB0904 : Take a Mug With You
    Sunday 25th January
  • BB0905 : Down in the Forest
    Thursday 29th January
  • BB0906 : Not How But Where?
    Thursday 5th February
  • BB0907 : Binsey Can Wait
    (but Uncle Monty Can Not)
    Thursday 12th February
  • BB0908 : Badgers on the Line
    Thursday 5th March
  • BB0909 : It's not a W!
    Thursday 12th March
  • BB0910 : Up on the Roof
    Thursday 26th March
  • BB0911 : Not the Blisco Dashers
    Thursday 2nd April
  • BB0912 : John's Comeback
    Monday 6th April
  • BB0913 : Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
    Thursday, 23rd April
  • BB0914 : Companions of the BOOT
    Thursday 30th April
  • BB0915 : The Gale Force Choice
    Thursday 7th May
  • BB0916 : The Comeback Continues
    Thursday 21st May
  • BB0917 : BOOTboys Encore !
    28th May - 2nd June
  • BB0918 : Hello Dollywagon
    Thursday 11th June
  • BB0919 : Has Anyone Seen Lily?
    Thursday 18th June
  • BB0920 : Ancient Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
    Thursday 25th June
  • BB0921 : The Tebay Fell Race Walk
    Thursday 2nd July
  • BB0922 : For England and St George 
    Thursday 9th July
  • BB0923 : The Coniston Outliers
    Friday 31st July
  • BB0924 : Little To Be Said In Favour?
    Thursday 6th August
  • BB0925 : The Third Night of the Rescue 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BB0926 : Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
    Thursday 20th August
  • BB0927 : Dear Mrs Scroggins
    Friday 11th September
  • BB0928 : An Ard Day's Hike
    Thursday 17th September
  • BB0929 : A Canter of Convalescents?
    Thursday 24th September
  • BB0930 : BOOTboys International Autumnal Expedition
    Wednesday 23rd to
    Sunday 27th September
  • BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
    Thursday 1st October
  • BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
    Thursday 8th October
  • BB0933 : When Yorkshire Was Welsh
    Wednesday 14th October
  • BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
    Thursday 22nd October
  • BB0935 : A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
    hursday 5th November
  • BB0936 : Aye Up What?
    hursday 12th November
  • BB0937 : Where Eagles Wade
    Tuesday 17th November
  • BB0938 : After the Floods
    Thursday 26th November
  • BB0939 : The Mystery of the Missing Glove
    Thursday 10th December
  • BB0940 : A Too Short Walk
    Thursday 17th December
  • BB0941 : One Hundred and Onesfell
    Tuesday 29th December



  • BH0901 : Back to the Beginning 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BSKIB09 : BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
    14th - 21st March
  • BB09XX : Los Chicos y las Chicas de la Bota
    11th - 14th May
  • BB09Bav01 : Peaked Too Soon
    1st September



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



To download a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys 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