Yuletide Legs

No, not something to warm the fire.  Legs, not Logs.

I had my Yuletide Legs on today. Or, perhaps more accurately, post-Christmas legs. Bryan seemed to have no such problem as he charged up Ashstead Fell on the way to his favourite bad-weather range- Whinfell.  Other BOOTboys then abed would have thought themselves accursed had they been with us.  But they weren’t; the lazy lummocks.

Borrowdale Valley (Westmorland version) with Ashstead Fell to the right

Fortunately, as usual, I had my camera with me and, has been known before, used it as a pretext as to why I kept falling behind.

Huck's Bridge from  Ashstead Fell

Ashstead Fell summit

To be fair, no pun intended, it wasn’t quite raining but it was blowing a nasty gale, one that worsened as we reached the tops.  The forecast warned of gusts up to 70 mph but we didn't experience that degree of buffeting.  Not quite!

We toyed with the idea of a coffee stop at the forester's stone shelter on Mabbin Crag but decided to press on.  The forestry plantation is presenting an increasingly difficult problem- that of finding the way through.

The forester's shelter


The plantation barrier

..... and thicker

Looking back, however, we think we have cracked it, having spotted a cunning detour. Too late for today but ready for next time Bryan drags me out in foul conditions.

The cunning route revealed

Once we reached Castle Fell, I thought I heard wonderful words- a strange sort of echo of what was going round my brain.

On regaining my senses I realised it was Bryan saying that he felt it was too bad to continue and that we should drop down Eelman Sike to Borrowdale.  

Whether he was saying that out of kindness to me or because he genuinely had such feelings, I am not sure but I was in no mood to argue or to give him time to change his mind.

Bryan waits patiently

Heading down Eelman Sike into Borrowdale

Inevitably, it was much more sheltered as we descended; sufficiently so to allow a team picture at the bridge.  However, as we walked along the track, north-west up the valley, the wind and dampness became more oppressive and what should have been a pleasant stroll became a slog.

Comitibus :  Borrowdale Bridge

Borrow Beck

Huck's Bridge

Stepping Stones

Just before reaching base camp, we had a look at the stepping stones that have been put into the river.  

No doubt inserted at great cost, they are of a stupid design, built into a drop that ensures that once the river is in spate, they are not just unusable but positively dangerous.

This was all rather different from the promotional photograph we found near our parking place.

Drowning Stones

By this time even Bryan was admitting to having Yuletide Legs which is, I suppose, a suitably seasonal note on which to end another BOOTboys year.  

It has been a good year.  Not as challenging as some that we have had but given the weather in the later months, we did pretty well, really.

The total number of BOOTboys in action over the course of the year was a little down at 19 (22 in 2011).  Likewise, average numbers per outing were down at 3.8 (4.7).

In total the 44 reports covered 40 (39) outings with a total mileage of 372 (348) miles and heightage of 77,672 (52,814) feet, making an average of 9.3 (8.9) and 1,942 (1,320) respectively, increases but not back to the standards of earlier days.  But then that goes for a lot of aspects of some of us!  

And on that note, the BOOTboys blog closes on another year.  Let’s hope that 2013 is kind to all of us

 Don, 30th December 2012





Sunday 30th December

Distance in miles:

7.4 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

1,620 (OS / Memory Map)



Other Features:

Ashtead Fell,  Mabbin Crag, Castle Fell


Bryan, Don

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1244

To discover 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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