BB0940 : A Too Short Walk!

Thursday 17th December 2009

Avid readers of this blog may recall that one reason that Philip has not been seen out with us on the fells lately is that he was in training for a 10 kilometre charity run.

In fact, it was the Great Langdale Christmas Pudding race for which he had entered, a real road race with real runners that took place last Saturday.

Philip proved that he is no Christmas Pudding, posting a very creditable time of just under one hour.  

Not at all bad for someone of his age.

Philip romps home

It pains me to say, but he did the 10K quicker than I could have done it twenty five years ago, never mind in my sixties!

His chosen charity is the Lancaster Royal Grammar School scholarship fund, which he is helping to establish in order to assist able and gifted boys at the School from families with restricted means, where they are successful in securing places at Exeter College, Oxford.

Perhaps he is still recovering from the effort as he wasn't with us again today!

Destination planning was quite a challenge.  Short days mean no great distance can be travelled (especially as Pete is driving up from Cheshire first).  The weather forecast was predicting easterly winds of 50 mph on the tops with a wind chill factor of -18o C, plus snow and potentially blizzards on the eastern hills.  I was therefore quietly congratulating myself that despite the constraints I had found an area only 12 miles away that neither Stan or Bryan had climbed before.  I was also even more quietly congratulating myself that it would secure another objective, the 1,671 feet of ascent that I needed to top 100k BOOTboys feet of ascent for the year.

Our target was Bethecar Moor, the lowish hills that guard the southern end of the eastern flank of Coniston Water.

It was a lovely day as we drove to Oxen Park but we could see heavy clouds doing some serious business over the central Lake District.  

We passed a charmingly different Christmas decoration near Bouth.  Perhaps it was inspired by the floods?  There was also a cycling flowerpot man!

Christmas decoration, Bouth style

The cycling flowerpot man

Oxen Park Post Box

Once on foot, we noticed something that Tony would have loved to have seen- a very different post box.

Our route lay across tracks and paths to Low Bethecar. We were having a little difficulty identifying the right path to Arnsbarrow Hill.  

Pete was relieved that it had gone dark- he reckons Bryan can only navigate accurately in bad visibility- but the reason for the darkness was that it was starting to snow.  Lightly at first and then it began to stick.  That was not in the plan! The snow was supposed to be thirty miles to the west of us.  Fortunately it didn't last long.  

Looking back to to Morecambe Bay

Arnsborrow Hill

Arnsbarrow Hill and then Tarn successfully negotiated, we reached the high point of the day- Top o'Selside, a lofty 1,099 feet with excellent views over the Coniston Fells.

Top o'Selside from Arnsbarrow Hill, Coniston Water and Coniston Fells behind

Arnsbarrow Tarn

Comitibus: Top o'Selside

It was now bright sunshine so we found a rock behind which to shelter from the bitter wind and take lunch just after noon.  However, another flurry set in and Stan was anxious to be off.  It was too cold to linger. The Coniston Fells temporarily vanished in a white out. We headed north east to join the track that dropped into Grizedale Forest.

Looking north from Top o'Selside, Grizedale Forest to the right

Coniston Fells after their dusting

Navigation in forestly land is often a challenge as the wooded areas don't necessarily any longer correspond to what is shown on the map, nor do the forest trails.  However we achieved the intended route south to emerge two miles later into increasingly brilliant sunshine near Force Forge.

Emerging from Grizedale Forest

Theodolite Man checks his wires aren't crossed

On Corker Lane we saw a man leaning over his theodolite for no apparent reason.  It was, he told us, because the overhead electricity cable was thought to be dangerously near to the telephone wires and he had been sent to check it out.  

Soon afterwards, we found the track that led us all the way back to Oxen Park.

Evening Sun over Bethecar Moor

This was an interesting, lowish walk with new scenery and excellent views; it more or less achieved the objective of keeping us away from the worst of the weather.  

But I failed in my 100k objective.

I remain 142 feet short of the target.

I couldn't understand where the missing feet had gone.  Then I checked the planned route against the actual recorded track and realised it was mostly due to the short cut that Bryan had advocated to by-pass High Bethecar.  

Aaaaagggghhhhh! It was a too short walk! A miserly one hundred and forty two vertical feet too short!  If the weather is bad next week, we might just have to go up and down our stairs a few times!

Meanwhile, John S, whose roots are in Donegal, would like you to see this video of the Duxford Dads and their The Ballad of Donegal. He suggests this is an example of how BOOTboys blog really ought to be done.

Strangely, for such a magnificent compilation, I couldn't find any other reference to the Duxford Dads on Google except for one bloke who mentioned he was a member of the Duxford Dads Extreme Sports Club.  Guiness drinking, presumably.

Don, 17th December 2009


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Thursday 17th December 2009


9.8 miles

Height climbed:

1,532 feet



Other Features:

Arnsbarrow Hill, Top o'Selside


Bryan, Don, Pete, Stan


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0940.

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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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