BB1517 : Things I Have Learned

Wednesday 13th May 2015

One thing I have learned over the BOOTboys years is that going up the nose of a hill, intimidating though it might seem, is often the best way to approach the summit and seldom is as daunting once on it than it appears from the bottom.

Another thing I have learned is that if Stan or Bryan is with you, there is every chance that they will find an even more exciting (or should that be exacting) way up.

Today was to be a Wainwright bagging day for John, who by the close of play would have completed all the Far Eastern Fells apart from The Nab.  We parked at the lovely little church of St Peter in Martindale with the intention of skirting the hill to tackle Steel End, the nose of Steel Knotts.  Then Stan, spotting a path on the ground, suggested (or should that read "insisted") that we should go diretissimo.  So we did.  And steep it was.  

Nose to the left, Stan's diretissimo straight ahead

St Peter's Church, Martindale

The boys on the climb

The motivating factor for me was that I could see a couple, not exactly young but much younger than me, some distance up and ahead.  It was like the good old days.  They had to be reeled in.  So they were.  I learned that I can still do that.  Yeah!  Silly old man.

We regrouped at the Steel Knotts summit, the wonderfully named Pikeawassa, where John had his celebratory picture taken.  

The photo is a little misleading.

Despite what you might think, in his right hand he is holding his walking poles whilst his left hand is reaching for the summit.  

Meanwhile James is the one who, despite the fine view, has his mind on other matters. 

Not quite what you think!

Necessities completed, we made our way downwards past Gowk Hill before the climb to find the High Street Roman Road.  Then, blow me, Stan was at it again.  Off we go boys.  Don't worry about trying to find a path.  He had a point,  Paths were not to be seen so straight up we went.  Although steep, it did feel safe with the deep moss underfoot.

Soon we were on the Roman Road and debating where the actual summit of Wether Hill is- it is quite flat up there and the computer didn't seem to agree with the OS map.

Comitibus : Loadpot Hill

Once this was resolved, we continued along the ridge to Loadpot Hill, the summit of which is easier to find thanks to both a Boundary Stone and a Trig Point.

Now it was time to leave the High Street Roman Road and drop down to Bonscale Pike and, a wee bit further along, Bonscale Tower, a splendid view point over Ullswater to the fells to the west.

The final Wainwright for the day was Arthur's Pike, another fine viewpoint.

The Helvellyns

The length (almost) and breadth of Ullswater

We met a couple there who came up from Cornwall every year, knocking off Ws. They were doing pretty much the same round as us except that they were reversing Arthur's Pike and Bonscale to return to Howtown by a route described by AW but not shown on the map.  I subsequently learned on referring to the Far Eastern Fells book that he regarded none of the descents as easy to find and that they are positively dangerous in mist.  Although not misty, I was glad we were travelling the longer but safer route to the north then back along a regular track to Howtown before climbing back up to the church.

Wave patterns on Ullswater

Return to St Peter's Church, Martindale

The celebrations were held in the Greyhound at Shap.  Here I might have been able to impress the boys with another set of useless information I had leaned about the symbolic relevance of the animal but I had forgotten it.  Later ensconced in front of my computer I was able to consult Uncle Google who reminded me about my essay on the subject (BB1301 : The Greyhound Track) and the fact that the greyhound was the symbol of the Sleddale family.

Unfortunately, the pub's website gives a somewhat different slant on its origin, although Sleddale Hall (as featured in our Uncle Monty visits) did come into it.

So, what did I learn?  That's easy. Not to believe everything that is written on the BOOTboys website.  But then, you already knew that didn't you? !!

Don, 13th May 2015




Wednesday 13th May 2015

Distance in miles:

11.0 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

2,556 (Garmin)


Steel Knotts, Wether Hill, Loadpots,
Bonscale, Arthur's Pike


Don, James, John, Martin, Stan


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1517  .

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 and other
boys. Likewise written comment.

I apologise if I have failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed
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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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