BB1024 : Rendezvous on Haycock

Thursday 17th June 2010

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to rendezvous on Haycock at eleven hundred hours where you will be given further information.

Of 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 passes.

Buckbarrow and Middle Fell

After 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!

Middle Fell panorama to the North

Middle Fell panorama to the North

My 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.

Climbing Seatallan, Middle Fell behind

Seatallan summit, Windscale behind

Scafell Skyline

Haycock from Seatallan

We 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 Bryan.  

Bryan approaching the rendezvous

That's 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.  

Here is his story:

Another 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.

So 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.

The 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.

The 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!

I 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?

Finally I set off across the fields towards Scarth Gap. The views down Buttermere and across to Fleetwith Pike were superb

High Stile and Burtness Comb from Gatesg

Fleetwith Pike

Haystacks and Scarth Gap

I found a good steady pace up the thousand foot climb to Scarth Gap, satisfyingly passing quite a few day walkers as I did so.

From Scarth Gap I had to lose all the height I had gained and drop down into Ennerdale.

I 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.

Pillar and Ennerdale from Scarth Gap

The 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.

Eventually I reached Low Beck and began what seemed an interminable climb through the forest on a small path.

Several 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!

At 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.

 Out of the forest and on the path at last!

The 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!

From 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.

 Approaching the top of Steeple

Taking a well earned rest on top of Steeple

A rest was called for on the summit to take in the views

 The view to the Pillar ridge from Steeple

After 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.

As 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.

Descending towards Scoat Tarn

Getting a brew on!

Whilst 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.

Late evening view to Scafells

I retraced my steps to the small dot of my tent below, looking forward to getting the stove lit and dinner on.

It 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 the traffic.

The yellow arrow points to my home for the night

 Sunrise over the Red Pike ridge

Eventually 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 even earlier.


Indeed we had.  We rendezvoused in Haycock's large nest shaped shelter where Brian got his stove out and brewed up.

Comitibus: Haycock

Ennerdale Water from Haycock

Our next objective was to tackle Caw Fell, which proved almost effortless- the climbing was gentle and it had clouded over.  Seven.

Looking back from  Caw Fell to Haycock, Seatallan to the right

The 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 the horizon.

Rounding Cat Bields, Caw Fell and the Bleng Valley behind

We 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.  

Not that 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.

The Wast Water panorama from Buckbarrow

A quick descent down Gill Beck took us back to the car so that we could fulfil our mission and take Bryan home.

The car from Buckbarrow

Buckbarrow from the car

What 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 Fells book.

Don, 17th June 2010

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17th June 2010

Distance in miles:

Don, Stan: 11.8
Bryan 15.5

Height climbed in feet:

Don, Stan: 4,210

Bryan: 4,958    


Middle Fell, Seatallan, Haycock, Caw Fell, Buckbarrow, Steeple, Scoat Fell

Other Features:


Wainwright Countdown:

Don & Stan: 6 (-5)
Bryan: 7


Bryan, Don, Stan


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB1024.

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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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

BB1026 :
The Smardale Round
Thursday 1st July

BB1027 :
Don't Shun The Shunner!
Thursday 8th July



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

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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!