BB1022 : What A Difference A Day Makes

Thursday 3rd June 2010

Itís an old cliché but true.  What a difference a day makes.  Had we been eighteen hours earlier we would, literally, have been in mortal danger as we travelled the road on which Birdy, the Whitehaven cabbie, concluded his shooting spree.  However at 7:30 this morning, as we drove past the site of his demise and the briefly barricaded Woolpack Inn in Eskdale, peace had returned- superficially, at least, as no doubt there are many families in the area who will be long distraught as a result of what happened.  Boot is now notorious for something rather more serious than the frivolity of Big Josie.

It had been another early start for Stan and me to go Wainwright bagging.  We parked at Overbeck Bridge on Wast Water and set off up the nose of Yewbarrow.  

Wast Water

The nose of Yewbarrow

It was a tough start to the day, though Stan kept telling me that it was much easier than the way he went up on the Bob Graham round.  

Illgill Head and the Wast Water screes from Yewbarrow

The depressing thought was that once we had completed the ascent we had to lose a big chunk of the height before tackling Red Pike (the Wasdale one, not to be confused with BB1021's Buttermere Red Pike), which was looming menacingly over us.  

Red Pike with Pillar behind

Looking back to Yewbarrow

Strangely, the ascent of Red Pike proved to be much more gentle.  Stan hunted out The Chair- literally a throne-like stone seat constructed many years ago so that the view over Wastwater could be enjoyed.

Comitibus: The Chair, Red Pike

Wast Water and Low Tarn from The Chair

Scoat Scar to the left, Pillar across the gap from Red Pike

The route to Scoat Fell was similarly straightforward although just before the summit Stan asked me ďHow are you with heights these days?Ē

Fortunately, I had been half expecting something of the sort and knew what was coming.  Some weeks ago I had been talking to a lady in the village who is also doing the Wainwrights and she told me how much she had disliked the path to Steeple.  

I should have said to Stan ďI have no problem with heights; itís drops I donít like.Ē  Instead I asked him if he was referring to the path to Steeple to which he responded that he was but itís not that bad.

In which case, Stan, why mention it? ??

Steeple from Scoat Scar

Scoat Fell and Steeple must be the two Wainwrights with the least distance between them.  Maybe a quarter of a mile, as long as you stick to the path.  If you donít, then it is a long way back, assuming you survive.  I took it very gently but, to be fair to Stan, it wasnít that bad.  Ditto on the return to Scoat Fell.

Pillar from Scoat Fell

The ascent of Pillar proved to be a bit more strenuous but we arrived at the summit shortly before noon having completed five Wainwrights (one of them twice).  A good morningís work so time for lunch. How about that Tony?

Red Pike and Scoat Scar from Pillar

Last week's hills, Great Borne to High Stile, BB1021, from Pillar

Next, a substantial drop to Black Sail Pass before the climb up Kirk Fell.  

By now I was tiring but it was still an enjoyable scramble.  I was wondering how my legs would hold up on the descent.  The amount of climbing was only just a bit less than last week although we had not covered the same distance.

Great Gable and the Scafells from Kirk Fell


The beginning of the descent from Kirk Fell

I need not have worried.  Going down the nose to Wasdale is not the greatest thrill- certainly not as dramatic as Fleetwith Pike.  First it is bouldery, then scree and finally steep grass.  It wasnít until the very end that my legs began to protest.

Half way down Kirk Fell

The bridge in the valley

Stan rewarded me with an ice cream from the pub and after consuming it we visited the tiny St Olafís Church where there is a memorial to Margaretís cousin Ian who perished on Lingmell in 1997.

Inside St Olaf's

Ian's memorial

 Yewbarrow, Pillar, Kirkfel and Great Gable from St Olaf's

The walk back to the car was a bit of a slog.  By now, the sun had burned off the remaining haze and it was getting seriously warm.  The car parks and camp sites were full but where were all the people?  We hadnít seen many on the fells.  They could still be in hiding but Wasdale was the wrong valley.  Very strange.

For us, it had been another big and satisfying day.  The difference for us it that now there are only eleven left!

Don, 3rd June 2010


PS Yet again, a problem arising from such a long, scenic walk is the processing of the multitude of photographs.  Here are some that didn't make the final selection:


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



Guy, who lives in the village and has followed BOOTboys reports for some time, is on his own mission to complete the Wainwrights.  By coincidence, he was in the same area when all the action was taking place.  Not that he knew it.  He told me:

I went over to Wasdale the day before you, and did the first half of the same walk. But I was completely unaware of the eventful happenings during the course of the day.

I was planning a "big day" so set off early, driving over Hardknott and down Eskdale, past Boot. Turned off at Santon Bridge and up to Wasdale. Parked in the same car park as you. Was there by 7.00 am so no sign of anything alarming at that time of the day. In fact I remember thinking how idyllic the area is with the early morning mists still rising off the woods and fields.

I set off up Yewbarrow. Wow! that was harder than it looks on the map.  But I was very glad to be going up it and not down. I think coming down Yewbarrow would be extremely tricky and not good for the knees!

Wednesday was a good deal cooler than Thursday, I think. In fact it was a good day for the hills and only began to get really hot in the afternoon.  My tally for the day (in sequence): Yewbarrow, Red Pike, Pillar, Scoat Fell, Steeple, (well named!) Haycock, Caw Fell, Seatallan (tough that one - it is VERY big!), Middle Fell and Buckbarrow.  Back to the car by about 5.30 so although I spent the day in the area I had been completely unaware of anything happening. There had been a bit of helicopter activity in the afternoon but nothing especially unusual about that.

I had taken a small tent with me with the intention of staying "out west" and having a second day of it. But the campsite at Wasdale was full so I drove around towards Ennerdale area, passing through Gosforth and Egremont. In Egremont there was a police van and about 5 police cars and some blue and white tape in front of a pub. I assumed there had been a road accident.  I drove up over the Cold Fell road. Parked the car and walked about half a mile over the bridleway towards Lank Rigg where I "wild" camped beside the Calder.  Got up early, took the camping gear back  to the car and then did a quick "round" of Lank Rigg, Crag Fell and Grike.

It was still only 10 a.m. so I decided to add Fellbarrow and Low Fell to my score. - I didn't have the energy for anything more and certainly chickened out at attempting Mellbreak, my legs just refused at the sight of it!

On the drive around I went through Lamplugh.  Still completely unaware of the previous day's events as I don't have a radio in the car. Going through Lamplugh there were press-types running around with cameras - cars just abandoned all over the road wherever they happened to come to a halt. They even just left the doors open. I did wonder what that was all about!

So I was somewhat astounded when I got home yesterday afternoon and caught up with the news that I had missed!  But I did manage over the 2 days to knock another 15 off my dwindling list. 25 left now.


Crazy Horse

Another person to get in touch was Ci.  He said:

I came across your web site this morning, when memories had been working overtime, with all the news frenzy about the gunman shooting himself at Boot, which he didn't, because it was further up Eskdale, at the river, near Penny Hill Farm, near the Woolpack.

Interesting web site--- and very restrained really.

We used to call Josie--- Crazy Horse

You might like this photo I took at the Burnmoor Inn, with Josie and two friends of mine, Don and Madge.

Madge was another landlady with a lot of character.

We had gone to help Josie out a bit, when her husband, John died.

To read more about what Ci has to say about Josie, see Crazy Horse.

Josie, Don & Madge




3rd June 2010

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Yewbarrow, Red Pike (Wasdale), Scoat Scar (x2) , Steeple, Pillar, Kirk Fell

Other Features:


Wainwright Countdown:

Don & Stan: 11 (-6)     
Bryan: 7


Don, Stan


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1022.

To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?

For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.



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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 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










2010 Outings

BB1001 :
The Most Perfect
 Winter Day
Thursday 7th January

BB1002 :
 Potter Fell
Thursday 14th January

BB1003 :
A Snowy Equipment Test

Thursday 21st January

BB1004 :
Leave It To The Professionals

Thursday 28th January

BB1005 :
That's A Lyth Record
Sunday 31st January 

BB1006 :
Reasons To Be Cheerful
One, Two, Three
Thursday 11th February

BB1007 :
Can You See Clearly Now?
Thursday 18th February

BB1008 :
In Memory Of
Thomas Williamson
Thursday 25th February

BB1009 :
Almost a Mountaineer!
Wednessday 3rd March

BB1010 :
The Beginning Of The End
Thursday 11th March

BB1011 :
The Free Men on Tuesday
Tuesday 16th March

BB1012 :
We'll Get Them In Singles,
Thursday 25th March

BB1013 :
The Fools on the Hill
Thursday 1st April

BB1014 :
The Windmills on the Moor
Wednesday 7th April

BB1015 :
By Lake, Ridge and Wainwright
Sunday 11th April

BB1016 :
The Ten Lake Tour (+5Ws)
Thursday 15th April

BB1017 :
The BessyBOOT
Thursday 22nd April

BB1018 :
The Kentmere Challenge
Saturday 24th April

BB1019 :
Winter in Springtime
Thursday 14th May

BB1020 :
Red Screes and Sausages
Thursday 20th May

BB1021 :
The Mile High Club
Thursday 27th May

BB1022 :
What A Difference A Day Makes
Thursday 3rd June

BB1023 :
Something Brutal
Thursday 10th June

BB1024 :
Rendezvous on Haycock
Thursday 17th June

BB1025 :
The Men of Gragareth
Thursday 24th June





BSB2010 :
boys in Zillertal
Saturday 30th January
to Saturday 6th February

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







To see which Wainwright top was visited on which
BB outing see
Which Wainwright When?.

To download a log of heights and miles and which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys
click on BB Log.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!