BB1818 : Fear of Frogs and Other Phobias

Wednesday 6th June 2018

A few days ago I came across a new word, or to be more precise, a word that was new to me.  It was described as a fear of drops.  That’s good I thought. People often talk about vertigo (erroneously) and fear of heights.  I have no fear of heights.  It’s drops that I fear.  The word was acrophobia.

As I started preparing this report I came across another word that was new to me. Basophobia.  This was described as the fear of falling.  Yes, I thought, that’s good.

Next to be discovered was bathophobia which is nothing to do with not wanting to wash but is the fear of falling from a high place.  Even better.

This was swiftly followed by batrachophobia which is the fear of frogs and toads.  That one I do not have!

Anyway, all this seemed totally irrelevant as I planned today’s outing.  Up The Old Man of Coniston. Round to Swirl How.  Down Prison Band. Back past Levers Water to the car at Walna Road.  Finish up at the Sun in Coniston.  

I reckoned without Stan.  Why don’t we go up Dow Crag first? he queried in a voice that suggested argument would not be a good idea.  So we did.  

Now for those unfamiliar with Dow Crag, there is a short section, indeed a very short section, where to the side of the path is an 800 feet drop down to Goat’s Water.  I don’t like drops especially when there are no handrails.  I have one or more of those things mentioned above (but not batrachophobia).

On our way to the Walna Scar Road car park, we had seen the Old Man from across Windermere.  That was a surprise.  The Met Office suggested that it should be shrouded at that time of the day.  However there was hardly a cloud to be seen.  

This would mean that, unlike my first visit to Dow Crag, the 800 foot drop would be highly visible, as indeed it had been on my second visit.

We made good progress and the summit rocks came into sight.  

Should I be brave and face my demons by following the path or should I pioneer a new route directly up the rocks and well away from the drop.  Well, actually it was not a new route.  It was more or less the same way that I went up on the third and last time I tackled Dow Crag.  It was slightly awkward negotiating the large boulders but much less challenging for those with verti-acro-baso-batho-phobia and totally secure for those with batrachophobia as there are no frogs or toads up there.

Stan, of course, Mike T, Brian and Tony had no such problems and from my safe haven on the other side of the summit I watched them nervelessly negotiate the drop .

The plan now was to merge into my original proposal so we made our way round to The Old Man of Coniston.

The Old Man on the left, Dow Crag on the right

Considering the time pressure that Mike was under (he needed to be home by 5) we spent too long lunching and sunning ourselves.  Should we go down to the car or should we stick with the plan to go to Swirl How, a much better walk but now challenging on time?  We decided on the latter despite another of my phobias- allegrophobia (the fear of being late) so pressed on along the ridge, over Brim Fell and up to Swirl How where there is one of the best panoramas in the Lake District.

In front:  Great Carrs, Greenburn Valley and Wetherlam from Swirl How
Behind: Scafells, Crinkles, Bowfell, High Spy range, Skiddaw, Langdales, Helvellyns, Fairfields

Time was tight.  When we reached the col at the bottom of Prison Band it was very tight.  We decided it was no longer sensible to stay as a team.  Mike and I would make our way down as fast as we could back to the car leaving the others to..… well, I don’t know what, I haven’t yet heard!

It was an easy descent as far as the rather low Levers Water though Mike went at a relentless pace which is perhaps no great surprise as he is so young.  He’s not yet 60!  We then took a minor path just visible on the map which went down a ravine.....

..... with an impressive waterfall.....

..... then circled the top of the quarry and led eventually to a cruel stone staircase going up and up and then up.  Not what we expected or wanted for tiring legs.

However once that was out of the way it was an easy return to the car. The traffic was light and Mike reached home just before 5.  Job done.  No reason for allegrophobia. Nor batrachophobia!  Come on you frogs!  And toads.

Don, Wednesday 6th June 2018



If you want to follow
he BOOTboys
let us know and
you will receive
of new
BOOTboys reports

          Click on
to contact us.

are now on Facebook


For the Index pages
of our various outings
click on the relevant
link below:

Home Page




















We came back on the left side of Levers Water, crossed over just before the quarry climbing to the top footpath back to the car. My Fitbit registered 12 effin miles!! Had a couple of pints in the Sun, got home at 6.45!


We crossed immediately below the waterfalls and followed a scree type traverse on the right side of the stream and then linked up with the path that climbs to the higher bridge which leads to the main route back to Walna Scar. Sounds like the same route as you?

We arrived back at the car about 4.30.  We had a couple of pints in The Sun and Tony became embroiled with his relatives so it was about 6.30 when we eventually arrived home! Tony thought we had done about 12 miles and was less than happy but had chilled out a lot after a couple of pints! He said if he hadn't of been driving we would have had to drag him out!


I think your route was slightly different.  We went across the weir and down the ravine on the west side of the stream alongside the waterfalls.  I think I know where your path joined ours- we also went across the screes - one rather slippery point on it!

At most your way can only be ½ mile longer than our 10.1 measured on my Garmin.  Tony's "Fitbit", whoever she is, exaggerates.  I presume she tells him the time also!

Guy (regarding phobias ):

Cremnophobia is more apt in your case.

I wonder why there are so many words for basically the same fear? Maybe it’s like Eskimos and words for snow.

Actually that Phobia–wiki site I linked to is pretty poor. Most of the “phobias” seem to be completely made up, many as jokes. And the descriptions of genuine words like acrophobia and cremnophobia are poorly worded and badly described.

Anyway, acrophobia is surely a builders’ term for the fear of a wall collapsing because the Acro prop is badly positioned!


Cremnophobia is a new word to me.  I would have thought it the fear of being burned alive but the fear of steep cliffs (precipices) is a very apt description.

Your interpetation of Acrophobia reminds me of the wealthiest animal in the world, the Rhinosaurus whose name couples "rhino", meaning money, and "saurus" which is of course another name for piles. Hence Piles of Money.

Would you like to add a comment to this report?

If so, please click on . We look forward to hearing from you.

If you do NOT want your comments to appear on this website, please say otherwise we will assume that we have your permission for publication in whatever responsible manner we consider appropriate.

If you want to follow us via Facebook or leave a comment there, click on

Comitibus: Stan, Mike, Tony, Brian, Don


Map : Harvey's 1:25k


BB1818 : Fear of Frogs and other Phobias


Wednesday 6th June


Dow Crag, The Old Man of Coniston, Brim Fell, Swirl How

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:


GPX track



Brian, Don, Mike T, Stan, Tony

 Photos have been gleaned from many sources although mostly 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.
Unless stated otherwise, please feel free to download the material if you wish.
A reference back to this website would be appreciated.

BOOTboys 2018

E-mail addresses on this web site are protected by Email Riddler

Spam Trawlers will be further frustrated by  Spam Blocker: help fight spam e-mail!

 BOOTboys© is a Lakeland Enterprise production brought to you by

Comitibus Communications©