BB2117 : The Rule of Six

Thursday 22nd April 2021

I canít recall exactly when the Coronavirus Rule of Six was reintroduced but throughout the pandemic we have been pretty good at respecting the Government's rules and recommendations of the day; splitting into two groups or groups of two when necessary.  This week we had exactly six volunteers so that wasnít a problem.

Today our objective was Wansfell which would put it back into the clear lead as the most visited BOOTboys Wainwright; total 18.  It is not a surprise that it holds that position.  It is close to us, has splendid views and a variety of accesses.  Indeed I donít think I have ever repeated a route and the same was true today.

Starting from Troutbeck we opted to ascend by the route to the west that Stan and I had discovered when descending on BB2023 The Three Meanings Of Chai.  This meant one of the gentlest of starts as we meandered along Robin Lane until we reached Skelghyll Wood. 

Here a minor path leads diagonally up through the trees, emerging at a rather unusual structure, presumably associated with the Thirlmere Pipeline.

Thereafter it is open fell with superb views ranging from the Kent Estuary, to the Coniston Fells and onwards past the Crinkles, Bowfell and the Langdales.  The Scafells and Great Gable also came into view as we climbed.

Nearing the summit I ventured off to the left to climb the gully on the Ambleside route, this being the most interesting final approach, or so I thought.  Stan berated me, saying that the best way was up the gully he had just climbed on our new route.  I went down to look at it and started the ascent, claiming that there was no comparison.  "No," he shouted.  "You have to climb up the slab without using your hands".  I saw what he meant.  It was a bit of a challenge.

Wansfell Pike summit was busy which was no surprise given the magnificence of the day.  We set off for the true summit of Baystones. 

Normally this is very quiet.  However today, as we walked along the ridge, a very large group gradually overtook us.  No concept of the Rule of 6, I counted at least 15.  I got talking to one of them, not in a provocative way, just the normal chit chat of a chance encounter.  Out of this I learned that they were from all over the country on a walk organised by the Ramblers Association. 

Later on, whilst descending to Troutbeck, we saw them clustered together having their lunch.  An old couple (probably younger than me but I didnít ask) passed by.  The man was beside himself with rage.  I explained to him that the Ramblers had special dispensation to be able to walk in groups of 30.  ďYes,Ē he spat.  ďAnd do you know why that is?  It is because they demanded parity with grouse shooting parties.  Itís a disgrace.Ē  I have to say that I rather agree with him.  I am sure they are all nice people who respect the fells and leave no litter.  However what example does it set to other walkers who are unaware of their dispensation?  And why should they have dispensation when we BOOTboys donít?  Either six is a good idea to restrict the spread of coronavirus or it is not.  I believe that some Ramblers affiliated groups, the Kendal Fellwalkers for example, have decided to respect the Rule and all credit to them.  Rant over.

This otherwise glorious day finished in a manner in which we have not managed for Locked-down months.  The recently revised Rule of Six meant we were able to sit at an outside table and drink beer, in this case at the Mortal Man.  However Tonyís Rule of Six was not observed.  We only had two.

Don, Thursday 22nd April 2021

PS A further Rant about the Ramblers.  A group of 15 means an awful lot of cars at a time when parking space is limited.  Fortunately we had outwitted them and arrived first!

Relive: Wansfell Baystones

Click on the picture to Relive our outing, although the route shown from Baystones to Troutbeck is not entirely accurate as something went wrong and it straightlined us.  


Map: OS 1:50k


Comitibus:  Tony, Stan, John, Martin, Mike, Don




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BB2117 : The Rule Of Six


Thursday 22nd April 2021


Wansfell Pike, Baystones


Don, John Hn, Martin, Mike B, Tony, Stan

Distance in miles (Garmin):


Height climbed in feet (OMN):


GPX track



Down in the ZOOMbar


John PL




Mike B

TV Mike



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