BB0925 : The Third Night of the Rescue 

Thursday 13th August 2009

Have you ever "Googled" your own name?  The last time I did I picked up the following, rather disturbing message:

    The funeral of Mr Donald Shore will take place at Putnoe Heights Church
    on Monday at 12 noon.

Fortunately, for me at least, the item referred to a namesake but it is an inevitable consequence of our advancing years that increasingly the chat on our walks relates to colleagues who are no longer with us.  

In that vein, it is with sadness that I have to record the passing of a BOOTboys afficianado, David Griffin.

David was a lovely man with a great sense of humour. He used to live in Kendal but moved to the Cotswolds many years ago, following which, distance and subsequent ill health prevented him from getting out into the Lakeland hills.  The blog of our exploits reminded him of happy days long gone and he was a keen virtual companion.

The last time I saw David, he told me he was planning to write a play about the BOOTboys.  I laughed when he told me the opening line:

It was the third night of the rescue.

David Griffin

Sadly, we will never know the rest of the story.  

David, those who knew you will miss you and this blog is dedicated to your memory.

In fact rescue was something, the need thereof we were anxious to avoid today.  Tony had found last week's outing BB0924 a little more challenging than he would have preferred for his comeback and requested a softer excursion.  I checked the spreadsheet and noted that neither he nor Pete had been up Holme Fell and Black Fell whch together would make a relatively easy but worthwhile round trip incorporating Tarn Hows.  The forecast was much better than when Bryan and I had been there on a foul day with limited visibility.  My closing comment in BB0602 was "Bryan assures me that, in the right conditions, the views are superb.  I certainly intend to try it again one sunny day."  

Today was to be that day.  Indeed, it threatened to be a glorious day.

We parked near Glen Mary Bridge and crossed over to the picturesque Yew Tree Farm, once owned by Beatrix Potter and used as Hill Top in the film.  

Home Fell

Yew Tree Farm

The climb up to Uskdale Gap is quite steep but relatively short and then there is a pleasant scramble over heather and rock firstly to the false summit with its large cairn followed by the true summit where there were a lot of pesky flying ants.

Langdales appear at Uskdale Gap

The heathered approach to the false summit

Comitibus: Holme Fell


Holme Fell true summit with Wetherlam behind

We headed north to the Hodge Close quarries and, en-route, Stan couldn't believe his luck- he found a tenner on the footpath!

The 200 year old slate quarry with its lake is scary.  There are lots of warning notices about steep drops.  Memory Map shows the sheer drop as being around 120 feet and it would not surprise me if it were more.  

The Hodge Close quarry

The Hodge Close quarry with cave

You can see a cave with a bit of old railway tipping into the lake.  Wainwright suggested that this was accessible from the next quarry, further to the north.  My first attempt at finding it took us in a circle back to the quarry top so we stopped for lunch and a better perusal of the map.

The second attempt took us down a path that reminded me of a Cretan Gorge, tree lined but rocky, steep and narrow with towering cliff walls.  

At the bottom was an arched cutting through the rock and through it could be seen the lake of the other quarry.  

We scrambled around here for a while; Stan watched the climbers and reminisced about his first abseiling experience down the quarry face.

The "Cretan Gorge" arch

the reailway remnants

reflections of rock climbers

Inisde the arch

looking along the quaary pool

back into the "gorge"

Back up to the track, we then passed High Oxen Fell with washing then another cottage with washing.  The boys insisted I photographed them for Margaret!

Washing 1

Across the fields to Bowfell

Washing 2

Fallen tree

There was a good view of Bowfell from the road and also of the root system of a large fallen tree.  After crossing the Coniston Road,we and joined a bridle path that eventually offered us the ascent of Black Fell.

It is an excellent viewpoint.  It was not the day it had been but the air quality was superb enabling even Blackpool Tower to be glimpsed.  I think!  

Black Fell 360 degree panorama

Comitibus: Black Fell pepperpot cairn

We could see a nearby pepperpot of a cairn on a slightly lower bump which needed investigating.  It provided a good resting place for a second lunch and a long relaxing stop, discussing funerals and other uplifting topics.  

Some twenty five minutes later we retraced our steps to the bridle path then made our way round to Tarn Hows.  It might be man made, it might be untypical of the Lake District but it is a magnificent achievement and no wonder it is always busy.

Tarn Hows with Black Fell just in sight behind

We sat down by the tarn and lay out in the sun. Stan was worried that we were going to be there for the duration so cracked the whip to force us down the waterfalls path to the car.  Slave driver!

Although the statistics suggest that this was almost the same length as last week and rather more climbing, it felt a much easier walk- mainly because the ground underfoot was much less challenging. Tony was, indeed all of us were, in good shape and we had enjoyed the varied scenery.  

The drive home was enlivened by being behind a very strange vehicle for several miles.  It look amphibious with its chamfered cab and high body line.  Being the size of a small lorry, it had great problems in getting past oncoming vehicles in the narrow lanes.  There were three sets of wheels and no apparent means of steering other than making the outside wheels spin faster than those on the inside.  When it finally turned off at a tight roundabout, it seemed as if its front two sets of wheels were turning slightly in one direction whilst the rear wheels turned in opposition to create a curve.

Strange vehicle.....

.... for the rescue?????

Was this the vehicle David had commissioned for the rescue in the BOOTboys film?  

It looked as if it could prove useful for plunging into otherwise inaccessible lakes.

Thank goodness it wasn't needed.

 Don, 13th August 2009

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Thursday 13th August 2009


8.0 miles

Height climbed:

2,733 feet


Holme Fell, Black Fell

Other Key Features:

Tarn Hows


Don, Pete, Stan, Tony


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0925.

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!


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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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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