: Rendezvous on Haycock
17th June 2010
mission, should you choose to accept it, is to rendezvous
on Haycock at eleven hundred hours where you will be
given further information.
course, Stan and I chose to accept and set off at the
increasingly familiar time of 6:30, on yet another beautiful
morning, in order to cross
over to the west coast fells before traffic clogs the
and Middle Fell
parking below the Buckbarrow crags, our
first objective was Middle Fell, which proved rather
easier than some first climbs lately. That brought
our outstanding Wainwright count down to ten. Not
a bad viewing spot!
Fell panorama to the North
Fell panorama to the North
plan thereafter had been to go directly to Haycock but
Stan had other ideas. He thought my return route
from Caw to Seatallan was too ambitious and that we
should pick up the latter on the way out. Would that affect
our rendezvous timings? I thought not but it was
challengingly steep going directly up the side of Seatallan.
The Scafells made a dramatic backdrop to hot and
sweaty work. Nine.
Seatallan, Middle Fell behind
summit, Windscale behind
descended by the nose and took the direct route up Haycock
arriving 15 minutes before the rendezvous. Eight.
Very shortly, whom should we see approaching but
approaching the rendezvous
where I camped
He had been camping overnight at Scoat
Tarn. The second part of our mission was to take
him home- he had arrived yesterday by public transport
weighed down by a huge rucksack with tent, sleeping
back and stove, and he was hoping for a lift.
is his story:
Thursday on the western fells lay ahead for Don and
Stan as their quest to complete the Wainwrights nears
completion. Rather than drag myself out of bed at 5:30
a.m. to join them on their drive around to Wasdale,
I opted for a different strategy that would allow me
to have a lie in until 7:30 and still join up with them.
it was that I caught the 555 bus to Keswick – on Wednesday.
My plan was to use the buses to get me to Buttermere,
then walk over into (and then out of) Ennerdale before
camping within range of Haycock where I would meet them
the following day.
555 was busy as usual, predominantly with free bus pass
customers. At Grasmere a man got on and asked for 25
tickets to Keswick. Money exchanged hands with the bus
driver for three of them! As a paying customer (£7-50
to Keswick) it’s a difficult one for me. On the one
hand, it’s great to see the buses being used and helping
protect the services in the rural areas. On the other,
it must be costing a lot of money.
single decker to Buttermere was standing room only from
Keswick. Again mainly ‘bus pass’ people, so my conscience
was in no way troubled as I sat down all the way whilst
much older people had to stand!
got off at Gatesgarth and decided to have a cup of tea
from the ice cream van parked there. The young lad who
seemed to be the owner commented on how hot it was and
how he didn’t like hot weather. Wrong job?
I set off across the fields towards Scarth Gap. The
views down Buttermere and across to Fleetwith Pike were
Stile and Burtness Comb from Gatesg
and Scarth Gap
found a good steady pace up the thousand
foot climb to Scarth Gap, satisfyingly passing
quite a few day walkers as I did so.
Scarth Gap I had to lose all the height
I had gained and drop down into Ennerdale.
expected the valley to be pretty quiet as
it’s a long way from any road, but I had
forgotten that the Coast-to-Coast comes
along the valley and I met a number of people
doing the route.
and Ennerdale from Scarth Gap
walk down the valley through the forest provided some
shade and every now and then it would open up and give
tremendous views into the steep ground containing Pillar
Rock and my target for the day – Steeple.
I reached Low Beck and began what seemed
an interminable climb through the forest
on a small path.
times I encountered path junctions not shown
on the map and chose my route by listening
for the sound of the stream – if I couldn’t
hear it I was on the wrong one!
last I broke out of the forest and the path
on the ground disappeared. After a bit of
a flog through the heather I eventually
found it again and headed for the rocky
ridge a few hundred feet above me.
of the forest and on the path at last!
sack was beginning to feel heavy and sweat was pouring
out of me. Stan asked me the following day how heavy
it was. I hadn’t weighed it but thought it was probably
15 or 16 pounds. When I got home I did weigh it – 26
pounds. No wonder I was sweating!
the rocky stretch onwards the ridge to the top of Steeple
was a delight. The views into Pillar and Windy Gap were
dramatic and the ridge itself was good fun.
the top of Steeple
a well earned rest on top of Steeple
rest was called for on the summit to take in the views
The view to the Pillar ridge from Steeple
a few minutes break I set off cautiously from the summit.
Although needing care placing my feet with the heavy
sack I traversed the pinnacles surprisingly easily to
reach the main ridge and the top of Scoat Fell. There
I met the first people I’d seen since leaving Ennerdale
valley. I left two of them debating taking the dog on
the ridge to Steeple whilst I headed off in search of
my camp for the night somewhere near Scoat Tarn.
is the way with wild camping I wandered around a fair
bit searching out a good spot to pitch the tent and
eventually found the perfect place between two large
boulders next to the tarn and a short distance from
a stream. One of the boulders had a small overhang which
provided the ideal spot for the ‘kitchen’. I pitched
the tent and got a brew on.
towards Scoat Tarn
a brew on!
I had a cuppa I looked at the map and noticed that the
ridge above me was likely to provide excellent late
evening views across to Wasdale and the Scafells so
I picked up the camera and headed upwards. It was worth
the effort. The views were tremendous in all directions.
evening view to Scafells
retraced my steps to the small dot of my tent below,
looking forward to getting the stove lit and dinner
was a nice warm evening and I was able to sit out until
after 9:30 before eventually retiring for the night.
I slept well. I was woken by the first light streaming
in at 4:30 but drifted off again until 7:30. The sun
rose above the ridge and I sat outside and had a leisurely
breakfast, whilst thinking of Don and Stan battling
yellow arrow points to my home for the night
over the Red Pike ridge
it was time to pack up and head off to meet the lads.
We had arranged a rendevous at 11am at the top of Haycock
so I contoured around heading for the col between Scoat
Fell and Haycock aiming to reach the top 15 minutes
or so early so I could get a brew on for them. As I
climbed up the last hundred feet or so I realised someone
was monitoring my progress – Don. They had got there
we had. We rendezvoused in Haycock's large nest shaped
shelter where Brian got his stove out and brewed up.
Water from Haycock
next objective was to tackle Caw Fell, which proved
almost effortless- the climbing was gentle and it had
clouded over. Seven.
back from Caw Fell to Haycock, Seatallan to the right
route to Buckbarrow was more of a problem. Where
to descend to the valley? Bryan and I thought
it better to drop down sooner. Stan opted to stay
high. The dilemma that gave him was how to cross
the River Bleng, which was some six feet deep by the time
he reached the valley? Nonetheless, he survived
the leap and after a lunch break we gently made our
way round Cat Bields, slowly gaining height in the returned
sunshine with the Isle of Man hills just visible on
Cat Bields, Caw
Fell and the Bleng Valley behind
had a last hurrah of a climb to Glade How, Bryan noticeably
slowed down by his heavy pack (he ought to carry it more often),
then dropped down to Buckbarrow.
Six for Stan
and me and it would have been six for Bryan also but
you may recall that he has saved one top from each Wainwright
book for his final round and Buckbarrow is the chosen
one from the Western Fells book. So Bryan waited
whilst we overtook him in the standings.
it is a race, of course!
Not that Buckbarrow is
a real summit either- essentially it is a view point
on the crags overlooking Wast Water. Very impressive
as such but hardly a hill in its own right other than
for the fact that AW says it is.
Wast Water panorama from Buckbarrow
quick descent down Gill Beck took us back to the car
so that we could fulfil our mission and take Bryan home.
car from Buckbarrow
from the car
I hadn't realised until I updated the stats was today's
outing actually completed the Western Fells for Stan
and me. All six remainders are from the Southern
17th June 2010
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climbed in feet:
Fell, Seatallan, Haycock, Caw Fell,
Buckbarrow, Steeple, Scoat Fell
& Stan: 6 (-5)
Bryan, Don, Stan
you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB1024.
see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
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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!
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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
The Windmills on the Moor
By Lake, Ridge and Wainwright
The Ten Lake Tour (+5Ws)
The Kentmere Challenge
Saturday 24th April
Winter in Springtime
Thursday 14th May
Red Screes and Sausages
The Mile High Club
What A Difference A Day Makes
Rendezvous on Haycock
The Men of Gragareth
The Smardale Round
Don't Shun The Shunner!
Saturday 30th January
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see which Wainwright top was visited on which
outing see Which
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
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!