: Leave It To The Professionals!
28th January 2010
should have been a beautiful winter’s day spent on Mellbreak
reducing the Wainwright count. However, Bryan
opted saying that it was a long drive to do a hill that
he had done three times in the last twelve months. What
he really meant was that he wanted to get into the snow
and made arrangements with his running pal, Steve, to
go up Fairfield.
as the forecasters rapidly back-pedalled on their predictions,
now alluding to ferocious winds and snow closing in
the mid afternoon, Tony opted out, preferring the warmth
of a pub crawl. Stan and I thought maybe Bryan
was right and decided to join him and Steve.
Stan nor Bryan wanted a long walk, anyway, as they are
both entered for the Long Distance Walkers' Association's
24 mile That’s Lyth epic (see BB1005)
on Sunday. This was just to be a little loosener.
parked at the top of Dunmail Raise and I remembered
my own advice from last week (and from BB0908
when we had been in similar territory and conditions)
to open the hand warmers before I set off. I was
a little surprised that the ones that came out of the
bag were not the excellent Karrimor hand warmers as
used on BB1003
but the White Rock Hand Hot pack similar to those I
had used but not enthused on BB0908.
with warm hands, the pack was not easy to open and as
we set off up Raise Beck, I had to keep telling myself
how wise I had been to open them early as they would
eventually warm up.
was still bright at this stage and there was a good
view of the ridiculously steep path up to Steel Fell.
a while, I was in the lead but then I discovered that
I had lost a glove. Stan arrived and I asked him
what was holding up Bryan and Steve. He said that
they had found a glove and were lodging in a prominent
place so that if the owner passed back that way he could
find it. I passed back that way and did indeed
find it just where they had placed it. Thanks, guys.
That disproves my theory on BB0939
: The Mystery of the Missing Glove,
that you only lose gloves when you stop!
should add that the reason I lost the glove is that
I had taken them off in order to knead the hand warmers
to try and get them to work. They were still not
long, a man with his dogs caught us up and passed us.
On another day, I might have given chase but this
was supposed to be an easy, relaxed outing so I never
gave it a thought. Good job! “You know who
that was?” said Bryan, reverently. “Haven’t a
clue,” I replied. “It’s the legendary Phil Clark-
mountain marathon fell runner extraordinaire; the man
who once held the record for completing more Munros
in a day than anyone.”
who briefly engaged him in conversation, asked if he
was doing “That’s Lyth” this year. “No,” he replied
“I have a problem with my Achilles tendon” and so saying,
shot off into the distance. Stan added that “That
man can walk faster than I can run.”
it’s a good job that I didn’t offer a challenge, even
with his bad foot!
across Grisedale Tarn
was less snow than expected, a lot had thawed in the
last few days, but we soon ran into patches of it. By
the time we reached Grisedale Tarn, it was quite extensive.
Pike across Grisedale Tarn
briefly paused to consider the options, then decided
to stick with Plan A and attack Fairfield. As
we climbed, it was bitterly cold and the hand warmers
still refused to generate more than a minor trickle
of heat. There was an Arctic wind and occasional
gusts could seriously affect your balance. Crampons
were donned and they made a huge difference on the frozen
we reached the top, we were amazed to find four people
up there without crampons but not amazed that they were
having extreme difficulty keeping upright!
examines Cofa Pike
searched the summit area for somewhere out of the wind
to have lunch but failed. There was some talk of descending
by Cofa Pike but I was relieved when it was ruled to
be too dangerous- it scares me even in good weather.
Instead, we decided to retreat back to Grisedale
Tarn from Fairfield
descent was fun. My Microspikes were providing
good grip on quite steep slopes so, with the ice axe
providing a third point of contact, remarkable progress
could be made. If only the hand warmers had been
living up to their name, everything would have been
at Grisedale Tarn
at the Hause we ran into two men who had decided to
turn back. “We’re not equipped for those sort
of conditions”, they said wisely, “We’ll leave it to
the professionals!” with which they gave us a look full
It’s amazing what an ice axe in your hand can
do for your image!!!
the wall, snow holes were dug for seats and we enjoyed
lunch out of the wind.
was a brief discussion as to what to do
Sandal was mentioned as a possibility but
we opted to finish early, returning down
by Raise Beck where there were some pretty
snow bridges, and back to the car.
had only been just over five miles but felt
rather more- tough conditions!
am just glad I am not doing That’s Lyth.
am leaving it to the professionals!
28th January 2010
Rock Hand Warmers:
Absolute rubbish. Next
to no heat generated. Waste of money.
Excellent- nearly as good
as full crampons in today’s conditions and so easy to
put on and off, even with cold hands.
If you want to comment on this report, click on
28th January 2010
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB1004.
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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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
If you want to join
let us know and
of new BOOTboys reports.
Thursday 14th January
A Snowy Equipment Test
Thursday 21st January
Leave It To The Professionals
Thursday 28th January
That's A Lyth Record
Reasons To Be Cheerful
One, Two, Three
Thursday 11th February
Can You See Clearly Now?
Thursday 18th February
In Memory Of
Almost a Mountaineer!
The Beginning Of The End
Thursday 11th March
The Free Men on Tuesday
We'll Get Them In Singles,
The Fools on the Hill
Saturday 30th January
Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
download a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which BOOTboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!