BB1636: Solvitur Ambulando Et Al

Wednesday 19th October 2016

"I've got a problem, boys" said Tony.  "I was out last night and too much drinking has left me shattered."

Mike immediately said something quite unexpected.

"Simple" said Mike, "take Diogenes' advice."

"Eh?" we all said in unison.

"Solvitur Ambulando"

"Eh?" we repeated.

"Diogenes of Sinope said 'Solvitur Ambulando'.  It is solved by walking."

That's the benefit of a decent education.  A phrase for every circumstance.  A plaster for every sore and no one else knows if it is facta vel ficta.

In the absence of our Wainwright bagging chums, Martin suggested that as he had missed out on the recent Langdale excursion we might like to accompany him there.

Langdale Pikes

Meanwhile Bryan was on a mission. He had discovered a tiny tarn in a remote location.  It is called Sprinkling Head Tarn, which you won't find named on a map.  

You could find the much larger Sprinkling Tarn but this, as you might have guessed, is upstream from it on Seathwaite Fell.

What you probably won't have guessed is that Bryan wanted to camp there for the night.

That's where it is.  Approximately.

His Ambulando suggestion was that he accompany us over the Langdales and that we part company at Stake Pass.

Tony gave a sigh of relief when he learned that Bryan would have a 70lb sac on his back to slow him down. Tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, chair, table, portable television; they alllll would add to the burden.  That should slow him down.

He, Bryan, did offer to take a bigger (and heavier) tent in case anyone wanted to join him for the night. It was amazing how many urgent tasks were suddenly needing to be done. Each of us would have loved to have overnighted with him but regrettably told him:

Sorry but I.....
..... am washing my hair
..... am cutting my toe nails
....  am visiting my mother-in-law
..... have a library book I must return
..... snore and wouldn't want to keep you awake

Rowan Tree by Stickle Ghyll

The weather fooled us into thinking it would provide a bright sunny day as we, and loads of other oldies plus a few of tenderer years, ascended by Stickle Ghyll to the Tarn.

Where they then went, I don't know as few followed us up North Rake and there were only two people tackling Jack's Rake.  Robin was definitely not going to repeat his heroic BB1625 performance.

Crossing Stickle Ghyll

Stickle Tarn with Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark

Comitibus :  North Rake

Nor was anyone else moved to go and say hello to Jack.  

No doubt Bryan would have done had he not been so weighed down.

We found a spectacular lunch spot, near the top of the rake*, where we were able to get out of the cold north-easterly wind and enjoy the stunning view down to the tarn and south to.... could that possibly be Blackpool Tower?

Can you spot Blackpool Tower?

* Bryan thinks (and I suspect he is right) that this was at the junction of North Rake and "Easy Gully" - a Wainwwright route to the summit

Pavey Ark Summit

The Pavey Ark summit was not far away and after topping out we eschewed going directly to Harrison Stickle but first, as proposed by Robin, visited Thunacar Knott.  This is a bit of a non-entity, possibly only designated a top by Wainwright in order to have the requisite number required by the publishers for the Central Fells book.  "Come on Alf, pull yer finger out.  We need at least one more."

Harrison Stickle from Thunacar Knott

We then returned to the classics and climbed Harrison Stickle.  The descent proved rather tricky.  The rocks were very greasy and we had a few non-dangerous slips on the way down that dissuaded us from going up what looked to be even slippier Pike Ostriches*.  I suspect Bryan thought us wimps but he was kind enough not say it.

* It was supposed to be "o'Stickle" but the spell-checker changed it. I rather like Pike Ostriches!!

Stickle Tarn, Great Langdale and Windermere beyond

Don't jump!

Little Langdale

Instead, he lead us across Martcrag Moor. This time Bryan managed the descent to the Stake Pass without breaking any ribs.  Well, he didn't have any teenage youths to race, unlike BB806, and we weren't likely to give chase, even with his 70lb sac.

Moraines at the top of Stake Pass

At Langdale Combe we said our farewells.  We saw him climbing the path up Black Crags at a rather faster pace than our descent of the Coast to Coast path, despite his heavy load.

Great and Green Gable

.... and off he goes

It seemed a long way back to where we started, our progress being checked at one stage by a huge flock of sheep charging up the valley.

The charge of the sheep

As we reached neared civilisation, Tony said "I've got a problem, boys.  I've been out all day and too much walking has left me shattered."

Mike immediately said something quite unexpected.

"Simple" said Mike, "take Diogenes' advice."

"Eh?" we all said in unison.

"Solvitur Bibendum

"Eh?" we repeated.

"Diogenes of Sinope said 'Solvitur Bibendum'.  It is solved by drinking."

That is our excuse as to why we bibended up at the Sticklebarn Inn.

Don, Wednesday 19th October 2016

Meanwhile, Bryan pressed on alone. Here's the story of the rest of his trip:

Solvitur Ambulando Solus

Said goodbye to the BBs at 3:15 and headed up the climb to Rossett Pike.

It took longer than I thought to do the remaining 3 miles and 1,500 feet to Sprinkling Head Tarn and the sun was already dipping below the mountains as I arrived at 5 o'clock.

The tent was soon up and the last rays of the sun lit up the tarn. I got the camera out only to find the battery was flat.

My £12 pay-as-you-go mobile has a camera so I used that, but with no memory card I was limited to 7 photos of poor quality.

The cloud closed in and the breeze got up so it was in to the tent to start dinner. Freeze dried chile-con-carne followed by rice and strawberries and a few cups of tea. Grand.

It was dark and cold by now and there was little prospect of a moonlit night. So it was into the sleeping bag to read and listen to the ipod until 10 p.m..

I slept well and woke up at 6:30. I got the stove on and had breakfast then looked outside. I could barely see the tarn through the mist.

I packed up and headed off into the clag at 8:30. Nearing Esk Hause I glimpsed a small patch of blue sky. So rather than head off down the valley I headed off up Esk Pike.

As I reached the top the mist cleared to the west and I got 5 minutes of superb views into Eskdale and the Scafells.

It soon closed in and I continued over Bowfell and down to Three Tarns where I popped out of the mist again to a clear sunny day.

I never saw anyone until Three Tarns but from there on I passed a succession of people on their way up the Band in sunny weather, all with no idea what conditions were like 2 hours earlier!

I was down at the ODG for the 12:30 bus home after a smashing couple of days in the hills.

Bryan, Thursday 20th October 2016

Day 1 : 7.9 miles / 4,148ft         Day 2 : 5.9 miles / 1,468ft

Photo Competition Results

Correctly identified by Tony as the wrapper from a Swiss Roll that John gave to each of us on his birthday walk.

However, as Tony was there, Emma's suggestion of a wrapper for a sausage roll was pretty good.

Well done Emma for identifying the shadow of the tail of my hat blowing in the wind.

Not a bird's footprint nor a Santiago pilgrimage route marker - we were on the Coniston hills, not in Spain!

It's a surveyor's mark at the top of Coniston Old Man.

So the award for the best entry goes to Emma.  Well, there's nothing wrong with nepotism as long as you keep it in the family.

Well done, my darling daughter!  Your $64,000 prize awaits you.  That will teach the others to try harder. 




Wednesday 19th October 2016

Distance in miles:

9.2 miles (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

2,643 (Anquet Harvey's)


Pavey Ark, Thunacar Knott, Pike o'Stickle


Bryan, Don, Martin, Mike, Robin, Tony

Map shown: Anquet Harvey's

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1636 .

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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BOOTboys 2016


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