BB1414 : Seven in a Day

Wednesday 16th April 2014

Well – The BOOTboys were both Don and Tonyless today.  What could we do and how would we cope without the usual necessary input of transport and route micro-organisational skills and reminders of when to stop for lunch?

A small group of Stan, James, John Hn and Martin met at Staveley just before 9 a.m. and bravely travelled over Kirkstone to park in the (surprisingly free) LDNP Cow Bridge car park on the main road at Hartsop.  The forecast was for a bright and sunny day with reasonable temperatures but with an increasingly gusty wind.  Stan was prepared – knees exposed but with a fleece and gilet on the top half.  James took the cautious and wise option of sartorial elegance in his tweed breeches.

The plan, finalised on the way over Kirkstone, was to increase John’s tally of Wainwright’s by seven, yes, seven in one day!  We were walking at a brisk pace by 9.30 a.m. partly in enthusiasm for the day ahead and partly to get warm in the fresh breeze already blowing in our faces at low level.  Stan thought we could manage High Hartsop Dodd and Little Hart Crag by 11 a.m. but James, who early in the ascent had changed his name by deed poll to Tony, was showing signs of not being "match fit".   Despite this he still managed to regale us with tales of his exploits in California the week before whilst pulling himself up the steep slope.  From this we immediately understood his difficulties and we were only minutes past the target time for Little Hart Crag.

High Hartsopp Dodd.

Little Hart Cragg

By the time we made the path round the anticlockwise Fairfield Horseshoe summit there were quite a few parties out on the slopes, some displaying un-called for athleticism as our group of seniors made steady progress towards the summit shelter and lunch. Here hats and an extra layer were put on to counter the chilling effects of the stiff breeze. The views were excellent despite the fact that the skies had not cleared as forecast and the sun glinted off Morecambe Bay and Windermere to the south.  We had a feeling of really being in the heart of the hills with well lit summits and crags all around to marvel at as we ate.




From the summit we struck off north and descended the steep, rocky scramble towards the hause leading to the spectacular Cofa Pike.  A rocky pinnacle appearing much more intimidating than it actually is.  

Why is such a peak not on the Wainwright list when something as modest as Little Hart Crag makes it?  

A few patches of snow remained in the north facing gullies as we glanced into the rocky coves of Fairfield.

Ullswater from between St Sunday Crag and Birks

At this point James (WORLD President elect of the Flying Rotarians no less) found his second wind.  Interestingly this coincided with an almost continuous descent for the rest of the day, once the stroll up the St Sunday Crag ridge had been accomplished.  He even commented that he was having to hold back for the rest of us to keep in touch!  We were, by now, having thoughts as to whether there would be time for a post walk refresher at the Brotherswater Inn as Stan had to be home in time to get scrubbed up, prepared and be out for an evening meeting by 6.30 p.m..


Borls summit surveyor's mark?

The pace increased but our long, steep, pathless descent off the seventh ‘W’, Birks, began to take its toll on knees.  Undeterred and at almost a jog we returned along the valley floor for the final ¾ mile to the car.  Needless to say this created sufficient time for a pint of Jennings’ best, purchased by John who has now bagged 51 "W’"s, whilst we congratulated ourselves on the achievement of a ‘good day out’ and raised a glass to the two absentees mentioned at the top of the report.

We don’t know whether Stan was in time for his meeting!

Martin, 16th April 2014

Bonus Pictures for Tony:




Wednesday 16th April 2014

Distance in miles


Height climbed in feet



High Hartsop Dodd, Little Hart Crag, Dove Crag, Hart Crag, Fairfield, St Sunday Crag, Birks


James, John, Martinc C, Stant


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1414 .

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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