BB1413 : More of a Challenge than a Ramble

Saturday 5th April 2014

The Kentmere Challenge (see BB1216 ) has become the Rotary Ramble. Unfortunately this year it was much more of a challenge than a ramble.

Organised by South Westmorland Rotary Club, there were four options

The Valley Trot

5 miles, with a Family Treasure Hunt along the way

The Kentmere Canter

10 miles including 466m of ascent

The Garburn Gallop

13 miles and includes 765m of ascent

The Horseshoe Hack

20 miles and includes 1,440m of ascent

Titles inspired, no doubt, due to it being Grand National Day?

Unfortunately, it was also a rather grey and wet day in which the hills were shrouded in mist.  

On the red route, which John and I were undertaking, visibility would be at times challenging.

Bryan and his friend Tony had (naturally) opted for the black.  Conditions would be far worse on the tops.


Latest pony fashion

It's been a good year for moss

Comitibus :  Ullthwaite bridge

It wasn’t too bad as we all set off from Staveley and up Browfoot Lane on the west side of the Kent valley.

Ostriches on their nests?

However, after we passed the first check point below Kentmere Park, things became more difficult.  Visibility was limited and although Rotary had planted route markers, they were often distanced beyond the limits of being seen by even the keenest eyes, never mind those of us whose vision was challenged thanks to water clinging to the spectacle lenses.

First check point

The fateful stream crossing

I can’t blame the visibility for my other adventure with water.  My foot slipped off a stepping stone and I fell into the stream, emerging rather bedraggled.  Fortunately no one had a camera out in time to embarrass me further!  Once recovered, I whipped out my camera but no one obliged me with a similar tumble to record.

The mist worsened as we climbed. Inevitably, we missed a marker and pursued a somewhat off-piste trail.  This wasn’t a disaster as we were well equipped with maps and gps and were able to negotiate a way to the next check point, taking in tow a couple who were not so used to these sort of conditions.

We parted company with Bryan and Tony at the Garburn Pass checkpoint, never to see them again. Not today at least.  I have heard no more of them but have every confidence that they negotiated the horrid (Bryan would have said “interesting”) conditions successfully.

Second check point

Meanwhile, whilst they were climbing into the clag, we were enjoying tea and biscuits at Kentmere Community Hall.  

We arrived just in time to be served before a large party of youths arrived having travelled on the blue route.

It would have been a long wait for a cuppa had we been two minutes later.

The organisers were now getting worried about inexperienced people vanishing on the black or even the red route.

The couple who had joined us earlier sensibly decided to stay in the valley.

Third checkpoint, Kentmere Community Hall

John and I pressed on to the puzzlement of two sheep.  It was no problem climbing to the next and final check point at the top of the Tetherer Pass to Kentmere

Those men must be baaaarmy!

Fourth checkpoint

Nor initially was the ascent of Cocklaw Fell challenging as we had a wall to follow.  Then there was a section of Green Quarter Fell where way-markers disappeared completely and we had to get the map and compass out.  Distances always seem much longer in such conditions but we eventually dropped down to the track along Hall Beck and the road to Park House, Hall Lane.

We had a bit of fun here.  We saw the blue route youth party ahead so changed gear and turned our pace up to ramming speed, as Jamie calls it.  Woosh, we went through them like the proverbial dose of salts.  What was particularly enjoyable was one youth saying to his palls "Watch out, here come some fast walkers”.  

Yes!  And fifty years older as well!!

River Kent weir, Staveley

Nothing much else to report.  Safely returned to the start, we picked up our certificates, dried ourselves as best we could and set off for home.  Tired and, in my case, a little bruised from my stream mishap, but in good spirits.  Smug?  Of course not.


The proof!

Our thanks go to South Westmorland Rotary for organising the event.  Let’s hope that next year's has better weather so that it is more of a ramble than a challenge.  

But if not, more waymarkers please!

Don, 5th April 2014

Later That Day:
Arriving back at the Brewery in the early evening, for Jules' stag night, who should be standing at the bar?  

Bryan and Tony, celebrating safe completion of the black route.  Bryan confirmed it had indeed been "interesting".




Saturday 5th April 2014

Distance in miles

14.4  Garmin GPS

Height climbed in feet

2,368  Memory Map / OS


Kentmere Rotary Ramble


Don, John Hn plus Bryan and Tony M for part


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1413 .

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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