BB0924 : Little To Be Said In Favour?

Thursday 6th August 2009

“Little can be said in favour of the obvious route along the swampy ridge”

That’s what AW said about the ascent of Harter Fell from the top of Hardknott Pass, conveniently ignoring the fact that it saves you about 1,000 feet of climbing from the valley bottom.

On a normal day that might not have mattered but these things are important when one of your number has been laid low with food poisoning, another has been rendered less efficient than usual in the energy department due to a change in his medication that has not yet stabilised and two others have had knee problems.  


Harter Fell from  Cockley Beck

And I haven’t even mentioned yet that the fifth member of the quintet was making his comeback following the implantation of stents; so severe had his angina been on his previous outing (BB0914) that, not mentioned in these reports, we had not been confident of getting him off the hills alive.

Yes, it was Tony’s comeback walk and we had promised him a not too strenuous outing with options but with the added merit of completing one or more Wainwrights that we had not previously conquered.

Harter Fell to the right, the Coniston range to the left, swampy ridge in the foreground

Stan assails the unassailable

The old man was right about the swampiness but the climb up Harter Fell was otherwise unchallenging and good progress was made by all.  The challenge lay at the summit. Although not as formidable as the Howitzer (BB0922), the true top, as opposed to the trig-pointed top, is a miniature rock fortress.  

Stan, predictably, went for the supposedly “unassailable” ascent whereas I led the approach hinted at by AW using the “breach” on the eastern side.  In fact, that way was an easy scramble.  Not content with having also descended by the same unassailable route, Stan then found an even harder direct route to overcome.  He invited Bryan, who has been taking climbing lessons in the local gymnasium, to join him but Bryan explained that he was not yet licensed to climb outdoors.  I wish I had thought of that line!


Comitibus: Harter Fell

Hardknott Roman Fort

After looking down to Mediobogdum, the Roman Fort on Hardknott Pass, we took a long and very early lunch out of the breeze just below the summit and then offered Tony options.  To cut and run or to press on and add Green Crag, which we could see in the distance, to our achievements.  He chose the latter.

Green Crag across the swamp, Dow Crag to the right

There were two possible lines of attack.  The direct route across what looked a huge boggy area or what we hoped would be a firmer albeit slightly longer route up the slopes to the right.  We chose the latter.

But first we had to get down Harter Fell.  The latter stages took us knee deep in bracken on steep and very rocky terrain.  Good breeding ground for tics but fortunately we escaped tic-free and all bones intact.

Harter Fell with Scawfells behind from Dow Crag

Where the ascent of Dow Crag (not THE Dow Crag of last week’s walk BB0923 which we could see on the other side of Dunnerdale) was not through somewhat damp underfoot conditions in which the frogs were croaking with joy, it was via deep heather.  Hard going requiring feet to be picked up high like a Lippizaner Horse.  This led us just below the ridge line to another boggy area, on the other side of which lay the Green Crag summit.

Green Crag across the swamp

Tony ligging in the sun

Flushed with success, we lingered a long while here.  Probably too long. There were superb views in all directions. The sun was shining, and, as they say in Westmorland, we ligged out to take full advantage.  It was an idyllic three quarters of an hour!.  

360 panorama from Green Crag

We anticipated an easy return to the car. Wrong!

First, we had to cross the huge swampy plain to reach the forestry plantation.  

The way back across the swamp to the plantation

Next, we had to negotiate the plantation itself, which was in the process of conversion from coniferous to deciduous trees and as such there was much old fir debris to clamber over between the new plantings until we found the path.  Then the path climbed rather more than we had anticipated before turning into an easy track that led us down to just above the Birks farmhouse.

A welcome easy track....

..... then back to coniferous debris!

Things turned nasty again with a steep climb part way up the hill.  By now, Tony was really starting to feel the pain but, thank goodness, in his knees not his chest.  That’s ok, it is just lack of match fitness.  I don’t think he totally enjoyed the last couple of miles as we made our way back over to the car at the top of Hardknott Pass.  It had been a rather more strenuous outing than we had envisaged due to the poor conditions under foot but he had passed the test magnificently.

Tony's triumphant return to the car

Pat's ancestor woz 'ere

It was a long, albeit spectacular, drive home down Harknott Pass, over Wrynose Pass and through Little Langdale.  The roads are very narrow and winding, often extremely steep and there was a remarkable amount of traffic coming the other way causing regular pullings-in and occasional reverses.  We passed the Three Shires Inn where Tony's wife Pat's ancestor had been the first publican, his initials having been engraved in a commemorative stone.  It was too late to call in to pay our respects.  

In fact, for a relatively short walk, it was a very late return to Kendal but a grand, if surprisingly arduous, day out with a lot to be said in its favour, Alfred.

 Don, 6th August 2009

If you want to comment on this report, click on .




Thursday 6th August 2009


8.2 miles

Height climbed:

2,462 feet


Harter Fell, Green Crag

Other Key Features:

Hardknott Pass


Bryan, Don, Pete, Stan, Tony


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0924.

Steve G advises: "For those who like to look at your meanderings but use Tracklogs or other software then your logs can be converted using the freeware utility GPS Babel."

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!


E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by

 Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by
 Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!  



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!

If you want to contact us, click on



If you want to join
he BOOTboys Inter-continental
Fan Club
let us know and
you will receive
of new
BOOTboys reports.


Home Page









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