BB1406 :  Happy Birthday, Tony!

Thursday 6th February 2014

Five years ago on Tony's birthday we celebrated by nearly reaching the summit of Lang How followed by nearly reaching the summit of Silver How.  ( See BB0906 )

Today, it again being Tony's birthday, we intended to reach the summit of both.  The forecast for the higher tops was too wild and time was a little tight  Adding to that the fact that Silver How was a Wainwright that John needed, it seemed the logical place to celebrate.  The only problem was that Tony was not with us.  He had opted to go and see his granddaughter instead.

Nevertheless, we started as he would have wished with some splendid Linthwaite sausages, eaten at our parking place just outside Grasmere.

Comitibus :  Linthwaite sausages to celebrate Tony's birthday

Car park panorama

We made our way up to the Mini Matterhorn as I like to call Lang How.  It is a shame that Wainwright did not accord it the honour of being selected for his Central Fells book as not only does it look splendid from across the small tarn beneath, it provides a fun gentle climb to the summit and excellent panoramic views.  

Lang How

At least I thought they should be excellent but my eyes were watering up with the cold strong wind.

Fortunately, I had my secret weapon for such circumstances.

Others may deride my appearance (not for the first time) but I was warm, dry-eyed and happy in the golden glow provided by my goggles.

This happy bunny can confirm that the views are indeed excellent.

Why do they mock me?   

Langdales from Lang How

Bryan, whom I had consulted in advance about the route fearing that visibility might be poor, had advised that I should take a bearing from the tarn and follow this directly to the summit of Silver How.

In fact visibility was good but I felt that it should be used as a training exercise.

The Garmin I now have is much more reliable that the model I used on BB0906 so I had logged into the machine the OS coordinates for the summit.  

All we needed to do was to follow the arrow.  

And pretty accurate it was.

It brought us to about 10 foot from the Silver How summit cairn.

Following the arrow to Silver How

Grasmere and Rydal Water from Silver How

Incidentally, the name Silver How has nothing to do with precious metal (other than possibly Viking hordes).  According to Richard Wilkinson in his 1894 book A History of Westmorland, it derives from the "Wiking" Silvarl who may be resting beneath his "haugr" or tomb-mound.

Down the gully

The descent was via the long gully which has now been gentrfied with stone steps preventing erosion. It's understandable but sad, though it should be said that this set of stones was one of the better ones.

Once we had crossed the fell and dropped down to a rocky outcrop, we stopped for lunch, a little later than Tony would have liked.  

The view, particularly over Grasmere to Dunmail Raise is quite special.

Over Grasmere to Dunmail Raise

Looking back to Silver How and the gully

Martin spotted a RAF Typhoon as it wizzed up the pass followed by a rather slower (and therefore easier to photograph) Hercules.

It was then we received a call from James, who was flying in the Typhoon and had seen us.  

He has videoed his flight (he was the passenger, I add, not the pilot) and you can watch it by clicking on
Typhoon ... a ride with the best.

See if you can spot us waving.

Hercules over Grasmere village

The rest of the walk was gentle and less exciting.  We dropped down between Grasmere and Rydal Water then climbed past some old quarries to join the Coffin Route back to Grasmere and the car.

Feeling that we hadn't yet sufficiently celebrated Tony's birthday, Mike invited us back to the Linthwaite for the most delicious scones with Damson Jam and cream.

There was also a little candle-lit birthday cake over which we sang:

Happy Birthday, Dear Tony!

Happy Birthday to You!

Don, Thursday 6th February 2014

Bonus Picture for Margaret




Thursday 6th February 2014

Distance in miles

7.9 Garmin GPS

Height climbed in feet

1,715 Memory Map / OS


Lang How, Silver How


Don, John Hn, Martin C, Mike


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1406 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - see: Which Wainwright When?

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


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