Some Outlying Fells: Boat How

Boat How ā€“ The Outlying Fells 1,105′

Date: Unknown

From: Boot

I’m not sure we actually did climb the Boat How ridge, not to its summit, and the more I think of it I very much doubt we did. It was a walk that long-pre-dated The Outlying Fells, that was done out of curiosity, and may indeed have belonged to one of those two holidays we took without Dad’s elder brother. We’d started walking, and we’d had our ill-fated expedition to Burnmoor Tarn, but trips on the Ratty were still a mandatory part of a holiday and there weren’t that many options between trains. Most of our walks out of Boot, the ‘Capitol’ of Eskdale, were up the Whillan Beck, but over the bridge, where the path to Burnmoor Tarn bore right at an angle, another route between stone walls went directly up the fellside, green and steep, and this one time we took it. It was slow going, because it was so steep, and we didn’t expend any energy on urgency, stopping frequently to survey the valley below, in which I was delighted to see clearly the abandoned stretch of the Ratty line, bypassing Dalegarth to rise to Boot and the old mines, a section abandoned because of the excessive steepness of that final climb for trains. The path disappeared once we reached the green ridge, wide and sprawling. Boat How’s summit lay to our right, overlooking Miterdale and Burnmoor, but if my memory serves me we wandered around to the left, gradually declining, until we could pick a pathless but safe route off the ridge and down to Eskdale Green. From there, rather than the road, we walked back to Dalegarth beside the railway lines, where there were verges wide enough for us to have no worries if an unfortunately timed train approached us. My pleas to divert onto the old green spur to Boot and walk that were spurned.


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