BB1508 : Not A Nice Place To Be

Thursday 5th March 2015

At the top of Dunmail Raise is a sight that is rare these days- an AA sentry box in pristine condition.  This was our start point.

Had it been left to Tony and me, I suspect the outcome would have been a quick trip up Raise Beck to Grisedale Tarn and back down Tongue Gill to the pub. However, having mountain men Bryan and Stan with us plus Wainwright chasers John and Terry, such an easy day was never going to be on the cards.

The problem was that Stan wanted to go up Helvellyn but Bryan wanted Fairfield.  We agreed to go up to the tarn and decide.  Somehow, dread of dreads, Seat Sandal (far from being my favourite hill) got thrown into the equation but would not, I was relieved to learn, be by the diretissimo route suffered on BB1240.

We found a track that Bryan said was not on the map and he hadn’t seen before.  He thought it would skirt round to Raise Beck and then up to the tarn. The path had other ideas.  Yes, it turned round and went straight up.  Just like last time.  Only on this occasion time my specs vanished from my pocket. Fortunately Bryan found them before they were missed.

Raise Beck


The descent to Grisedale Hause is steep and was covered in softish snow.

Dollywagon, Grisedale Tarn, St Sunday's Crag & Fairfield from Seat Sandal

Bryan decided to get his axe out and go down diretissimo.  As I had my shiny new axe I thought this was a good time to test it (and me) out alongside my mentor.  I soon got the hang of the descent technique.  Instead of marching, you move in waltz time. It felt very secure but I found the going very slow. Bryan kindly reassured me that it was because I was new to the game and that speed would come with confidence.  The problem is that, just as I found when learning to ski, slowness is very hard on the legs.  Short steps and long standings in deep snow really test the muscles.  Well, that is my excuse for the difficulty I subsequently had in climbing the relatively snow-free track up Fairfield, to which we were now committed.  

Langdales with Easedale Tarn in the foreground

I could blame the onset of a nasty bug picked up from our highly efficient germ distributing agents (grandchildren) and certainly would blame in part the near gale force winds that at times made movement almost impossible.  But really my legs were shot.

With its serious wind-chill effect, the summit was not a nice place to be.  

Looking over to Great Rigg with Windermere and Coniston Water in the background

After a short while searching for a lunch shelter, we decided, thankfully, to get down. Even Tony wasn’t complaining about the delay in eating, which we did above Stone Cove where a hungry Raven sat by John's feet hoping for either a peck at his butty or maybe even at John.

John and the Raven

Grasmere from Stone Arthur

Having bypassed Great Rigg summit, Terry missed out on that W but he did pick up the otherwise awkward to reach Stone Arthur just above Grasmere.

Thirlmere Pipeline crossing Greenhead Gill

Comitibus :  Almost back

We celebrated our survival at the Travellers Rest.  This Traveller certainly needed the rest.  It was a nice place to be.

Don, Thursday 6th March 2015




Thursday 5th March 2015

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Seat Sandal, Fairfield, Stone Arthur


Bryan, Don, John H, Stan, Terry, Tony

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1508 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel file: BB Log.

You can navigate to the required report via the Home Page

Photos have been gleaned from many sources although mostly from me!
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To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When?
This may or may not be up to date!

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
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BOOTboys 2015


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