13th July 2016
we walked along the side of the lake, we
discussed the tale of the Fair Maid
of Buttermere, Mary
who in 1792, as a 15 year old, was discovered
by Joseph Budworh, an early precursor
of Alfred Wainwright.
taken was he with her beauty “.....with
full eyes and lips as sweet as vermilion”,
she became a tourist attraction following
his publications plus a mention by Wordsworth.
years later Colonel Alexamder Hope M.P.
came along, wooed and married her.
thought she had touched lucky and that he was the brother
of Lord Hopetoun. Sadly that was not the case.
The charlatan, properly named James Hatfield,
had a trail of unpaid bills and when caught was hanged
for Mary and her child, the tale ends happily with
her marriage to Richard Harrison with whom she ran the local
centuries later, The Maid of Buttermere became the subject of a novel by
Buttermere to Rannerdale Knotts.....
and to Fleetwith Pike
now we, the BOOTiful BOOTboys
of Buttermere. had neared the end of the lake and were glad
that we were not attempting what looked like a terrifying
ascent of Fleetwith Pike (though its descent is magnificent-
Instead we were heading right,
up the Scarth Gap Pass with the intent of completing
the High Stile range.
climb up to High Crag from the col was brutal though
not quite as bad as it first seemed. You could
see a path zigzagging along a steep scree slope and
there was nothing to suggest that the path itself wasn’t
ascent of .....
it soon became clear that the zig zag path comprised
rocks laid to make a safe staircase. I have previously
been critical of some of the Fix-the-Fells efforts but
in this instance they have done a magnificent job, turning
what would otherwise have been an energy and possibly
motivation sapping, climb into something manageable,
albeit still requiring a high degree of effort.
High Crag onwards was comparatively easy, with magnificent
views, but unfortunately
on reaching HIgh Stile the weather deteriorated. Cloud
swirled around us, sometimes offering tantalising glimpses
of the Lakeland panorama, sometimes reducing visibility
to a hundred yards or so. Never dangerous but
disappointing. What was worse was the cold. The
wind was quite strong and I have never been as chilled
on the Lakeland hills in mid-summer(?) than today.
back to High Crag
of Crummock Water and Buttermere
was in charge so, although navigation was little tricky
at times, we were safely led along the tops.
between High Stile and Red Pike!
checks his compass
we had the option to abort or continue to Starling Dodd.
The weather had improved so onward we pressed
which was important as it would be Terry’s 100th Wainwright.
again we had a decision to make. Do we abort or
continue to Great Borne? I have to confess that
had it been solely down to me (and I suspect Stan also)
I would have copped out. It looked a long way
off and quite a steep climb but again John, Terry and
Robin were keen to press on, so we did.
fact, it had been an illusion and it was nowhere near
as far or as big a climb as I had feared.
to Starling Dodd, Great Borne behind
I had a little problem. My camera also disliked
the weather and at critical moments, the lens misted
up internally, hence the lack of clarity in some of
the shots, especially the Comitibus photo on Great Borne.
come off by the northerly route. Although it is
a steep descent to Flouten Pass, there was no real difficulty
but it did involve a long, long passage across the considerably
boggy area that is the source of Mosedale Beck. On
the other hand we had a good look at Hen Comb and Melbreak,
anticipating the joy of having to cross that bog on
a future occasion when those two tops are added to the
the distance we could see the Mosedale Holly Tree. This
is, as far as I am aware, the only tree marked on the
whole of the UK 1:25k set of maps
you see the Mosedale Holly Tree?
out of the bog, it was a pleasant descent to Buttermere
in a now sunny afternoon offering fine views of Crummock
Water, Buttermere and beyond.
Water, Buttermere and up to Fleetwith Pike
local inn that the Fair Maid of Buttermere had run was the Fish but
the BOOTiful BOOTboys had opted to stay at the Bridge Hotel instead
we received a very warm welcome from all the staff.
Sadly Stan and Bryan had only got a one day pass
so after a pint they left us to our own devices.
involved an excellent bar meal (I do like belly pork)
and a modest number more of drinks. Then Robin
persuaded us to hit the whisky.
to his disappointment, we wisely concluded
that more than one would jeopardise Day 2 so the BOOTiful BOOTboys
of Buttermere retired
to our virtuous pits.
I have to say that mine
was rather fine with a most comfortable double bed which
I look forward to sharing with my own fair maid,
Margaret, one day in the not too distant future- possibly
at bluebell time when the nearby Rannerdale is said
to put on a spectacular display.
Wednesday 13th July 2016
to be continued in our next: BB1627
13th July 2016
climbed in feet:
Crag, High Stile, Red Pike, Starling
Dodd, Great Borne
Bryan, Don, John, Robin, Stan, Terry
routes are put online in gpx format which
should work with most mapping software. You can follow
our route in detail by downloading bb1626 .
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.
can navigate to the required report via the Home
have been gleaned from many sources
from me and other BOOTboys. Likewise written comment.
I apologise if I have
failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed
copyright. Please let me
know and I will do my best to put things right.
otherwise, please feel free to download the material
if you wish.
A reference back to this website
would be appreciated.
see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing
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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