BB1808 : The How, When, Who, Why and The Way

Wednesday 21st March 2018

It’s confession time.  I had an ulterior motive for choosing today’s route.  Thoughts of a more adventurous outing were ruled out by a weather forecast that said it would be unpleasantly wet in the afternoon, the higher the more so.  As it happens, that proved not to be accurate but we weren’t going to take that risk.

So I proposed a lowish level expedition that would involve arriving at Gummer’s How from the north, an unusual direction for this gem of a hill at the south end of Windermere.  

Why?  Because of The Way.

What Way?  The Windermere Way.

Margaret and I are undertaking this long distance walk in manageable sized chucks along with friends Cynthia and Ian.

We have progressed from Ambleside, past Bowness and finished our most recent leg at Ludderburn Hill, near the Ghyll Head Reservoir.

The next target is Gummer’s How but it is not entirely clear from the OS map how to pass through Blake Holme Plantation and any other route would be much longer. Surely the BOOTboys could solve this problem?

Well, yes.  We, i.e. Terry, Tony and I, did.  We parked at the Mason’s Arms at Strawberry Bank.  Tony was all for staying there for a second breakfast but we were a bit too early.  Instead we set off north along old trails as far as the Fox Crag Plantation then took the road left to the Ludderburn Hill junction- the start point of the next stage of The Windermere Way.

A farm track led to a cluster of buildings from which we headed southish across fields then onto the open fell of Moor How Park.  The path into Blake Holme Plantation was clear enough and so was its junction with an east-west path. However we had to search for the vehicle track, clearly marked on the OS map, heading south.  We did find it but to my surprise it was well grassed over- it didn’t look as if it had been used in years- either by vehicles or humans.  Nonetheless we followed it until it vanished in a rather boggy area.

We pressed on south and suddenly we met up with a well-trodden path that had come from a little to the east of us.  I must remember that for The Way.  All was now straightforward.  This path led to a ladder stile and then up to Gummer’s How, providing an open panorama of the Lakeland Hills.  Unfortunately, the air quality wasn’t that great so the photos don’t do it justice but at least it wasn’t raining.

The summit cairn is in quite a bad way, whether thanks to weather or people, I can’t say, but if it has no attention is could well collapse soon.

I had targeted to reach there by noon so that Tony could celebrate with his lunch. It didn’t stop him moaning.  As he had had to get up sooner than normal for our earlyish start, he complained he should have eaten an hour ago.  Anyway we climbed down behind some rocks to let him enjoy his butties out of what was now a cold wind.  Terry and I were saving ourselves for delights yet to come.

We left the hill on its south side, using what is the normal approach- the sharp 400 feet climb from the car park favoured by the Hardy Laing cattle.  We, however, still had a long way to go back to our car.  

After passing Sow How Farm we turned northeast up to its lovely tarn.....

..... and then by the smaller Middle Tarn,.....

..... working our way over to the Monument on Raven’s Barrow.  

This stone structure is also reaching a dangerous state and it was with some trepidation that I sat on its stone seat with the crumbling beam over my head.

We now had a decision to make: whether to head straight back to the pub along the road or to take the short detour to Cartmel Fell Church.  Although we have been there several times before, it is too much of a gem to miss.

In fact we spent so long there that we nearly left it too late to get back to the Mason’s Arms in time lunch.  And what a burger!

Inches thick.  How Tony resisted the temptation, I don’t know.  Terry and I had no such problem.

So that was it.  Job done.  You now know the Why, the Way, the How and the Who. What I don’t yet know is the When.  Which When?  Why, the one for those Who do the How on the Way.  Which Way?  The Windermere Way!

Don, Wednesday 21st March 2018

The Manchester Ski Jump

You may find this hard to believe.

People have scoffed but it is fact.

In March 1960, long before Snowdomes and the like, there was an international ski-jumping competition in England.

And I was there.  Watching, not jumping, I hasten to add.

It took place in Reddish Vale, near where I used to live.  It was inspired by a couple of Norwegian students, Erik Hoff and Lari Eie at Manchester University and was a fund-raising event in aid of World Refugee Year.  

Scaffolding was erected, a ramp built and snow imported from the Devil's Elbow in Scotland. Competitors included the Norwegian Ski Jumping Team.

My memories of the event were first revived when I digitised my old photos and found this picture taken on my old Kodak Brownie.

Then very recently I discovered a remarkable film posted on a Facebook site called Growing Up In Reddish.  Click on The Ski Jump to see a short video showing the snow being put into place on the structure followed by the event itself.

What would " elf 'n'safety " today make of the crowds being allowed so close to the landing zone?

Watch out for the man with the umbrella!


There are more reports and photos of the event at The Reddish Vale Ski Jump

Steve K:

I was amazed to see the article about the ski jump! Dad took me and Ken that day and we were extremely impressed – it was surreal!  I too have also often marvelled at this barmy project!

Tony R:

The only safety equipment on the video was a bobble hat!




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Map : Anquet 1:25k


BB1808 : The How, When, Who, Why and The Way


Wednesday 21st March 2018


Gummer's How, Raven's Barrow

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:


GPX track

BB1808 GPX


Don, Terry, Tony

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