: Two Men Went To Snow
2nd February 2012
was everybody on this glorious day?
after excuse- you know the sort of thing: "must
wash my hair", "need to get my beauty sleep",
"the wife wants me to go shopping". Wimps
(Stan exempted- see below)! Just because there's snow
on the ground and sub-zero temperatures, it is no excuse
not to get out in the wonderful sunshine.
least Bryan was of similar mind, if not even more so.
He suggested that we park up at Kentmere then
head up into the snow via the Garburn Pass. So
up lower Kentmere valley
down the valley from the Garburn Pass
have to confess that I was, as is usually the case,
over-well prepared. We both had poles, crampons
and ice axe. I also had five handwarmers, four
pairs of gloves, three warm hats, two sets of glasses
and, instead of the partridge in the pear tree, a space
blanket, an emergency bivvy tent, a torch and a great
big sac in which to carry them all. Be prepared! I
wasn't a wolf cub for nothing.
down into Upper Kentmere
view of the Conistons and much more!
scenery as we climbed up Yoke in the snow was nothing
short of spectacular. Photos don't do it justice (apart
from the horrendous "Fix The Fells" track
which was rightly disdained by the snow, leaving an
ugly scar on what used to be a lovely trail).
posing near Yoke
back to Yoke
the Fells? Really?
the time we approached Ill Bell there was a fair amount
of ice underfoot, especially on the descents so on went
the Kahtoola MicroSpike crampons. I have had mine
for a couple of years but this was first time for Bryan.
Magic Micro Spikes
Bield Pass dropping to Kentmere reservoirr
think he was as impressed with their performance as
I am. They won't get you up and down steep ice
fields but for general frozen patches, I think they
are superb and so easy to put on even with gloves or
near Ill Bell
and Ill Bell
Froswick we traversed round Bleathwaite Crag and Mardale
number two. I found this section hard work. The
snow was deep in parts and the slope ran away from left
to right whereas my legs run away from right to left.
At least that's my excuse.
Ill Bell and Froswick after climbing to Bleathwaite
from descent to Nan Bield Pass
Bield Shelter comes into view
was therefore somewhat fatigued by the time
we reached the Nan Bield Shelter for lunch
where we were joined by a game old lady
who was out solo. I don't mean this to be
sexist; it is just so rare to find an unaccompanied
female on the hills, doubly so at her age
and triply so in those conditions. But
she was well prepared and loving it.
I had had enough excitement. I voted
to descend from there into the valley and
Bryan kindly agreed that there was not enough
daylight left to warrant doing the full
withIll Bell and Froswick behind
is little else to report except that Tony would be shocked
to discover that we called in at the brewery in Staveley
and failed to have a drink. That was not the purpose.
I lost my favourite walking hat on a recent outing
and thought I might have left it there. If I did,
it never found its way into the lost property office.
Bryan was secretly glad as he thought it was insufficiently
sartorially elegant and lowered the image of the BOOTboys
I am not sure that he thought today's gaucho hat
leave you with a silly little ditty; not quite John
later) to be sung to the "Mow" song:
Men Went to Snow
Went to Snow, Two BOOTboys
Men, Ill Bell, Yoke and Froswick
Went to Snow, Two
Thursday 2nd February 2012
Sunday was the That's Lyth Challenge Walk. This has
been undertaken several times in the past as a BOOTboys
outing but this time Stan was flying solo. And
flying he was, completing the 24 mile course in a new
is what he had to say about the day:
event seemed to have been taken over to a large extent
by runners and joggers. After the off I was virtually
left standing and when I got to the end of Sandes Avenue
I looked back and there was no one to be seen. I
did have a few minutes wondering whether I'd bitten
off more than I could chew. In the event, by the
time I got onto the Golf Course I started to catch people
up and it became clear that a lot of the walkers had
set off early. I had passed most of them by the
time I got to Crosthwaite and was on my own from there
to Witherslack. The conditions were near perfect
and I was enjoying the day.
managed to jog most of the downhill and most of the
way from the top of Scout Scar, which as it turned out
was a good thing as Martin and his mate had decided
to wait and see what time I did - they clocked me in
at 6 hours 15 mins. If I'd been much slower I'd
have never heard the last of it. This was at least
30 minutes quicker than I had expected, particularly
given the extended route to 24 miles and my level of
unfitness. Had just over 30 minutes in stops at
the checkpoints so managed over 4 miles an hour. I
could probably have reduced the stops a bit, particularly
at Witherslack where I stopped for 20 mins, but
otherwise I was probably pushing my limit. Bryan
[who acted as pacemaker in the last section until burned
off by Stan. Ed.]
made the point as we came off the Scar that it was a
record whatever time I did as it is a 'new course'.
In any event I will not be trying to better it
but have set myself the target of doing the event every
year at least until I am 70! This seems to tie
in nicely with the saying that there's no fool like
an old fool!!
Sunday 29th January 2012
Ghostly Head of Helsington
asks whether anyone saw the "ghostly head"
appearing in the BB1203
you enlarge the snap of Stu, Tony and me
"striding out", you will see my
ghostly head, inverted, staring up from
the puddle closest to the camera !!
can this be? We three must be some seven
or eight yards from the puddle - surely
too far away for a reflection to appear?
there is no sign of my midriff which, judging
from the angles, should appear in the other
puddle, furthest from the camera.
S for Spectre?
did in fact notice the ghost when I first received the
photos but quite forgot to include it when compiling
the report! Did anyone else spot the spectre?
Click on the picture above to see it in context.
The West Wind:
quotation last week of The Air's Like Wine was, as he
correctly stated, by John Masefield. That part
of the quotation appears in a poem called The West Wind:
a warm wind, the west wind, full of birds' cries;
never hear the west wind but tears are in my eyes.
it comes from the west lands, the old brown hills.
April's in the west wind, and daffodils.
a fine land, the west land, for hearts as tired as mine,
orchards blossom there, and the air's like wine.
is cool green grass there, where men may lie at rest,
the thrushes are in song there, fluting from the nest.
ye not come home, brother? ye have been long away,
April, and blossom time, and white is the may;
bright is the sun brother, and warm is the rain,
ye not come home, brother, home to us again?
young corn is green, brother, where the rabbits run
blue sky, and white clouds, and warm rain and sun.
song to a man's soul, brother, fire to a man's brain,
hear the wild bees and see the merry spring again.
are singing in the west, brother, above the green wheat,
will ye not come home, brother, and rest your tired
I've a balm for bruised hearts, brother, sleep
for aching eyes,"
Says the warm wind, the west
wind, full of birds' cries.
the white road westwards is the road I must tread
the green grass, the cool grass, and rest for heart
To the violets, and the warm hearts, and
the thrushes' song,
In the fine land, the west land,
the land where I belong.
poem has been adapted and set to music by the Irish singer
Jake Walton on his 2001 album:
can read his lyrics at Emain
- The Unkown Land
and listen to the music at The
2nd February 2012
climbed in feet:
Ill Bell, Froswick
routes ares put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading BB1204.
see which Wainwright top (excluding Outlying Fells)
was visited on which BB outing
For the latest totals of the mileages and heights see: BB Log.
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