More Action, Less Slacking

By Phil on 2014.09.09 In Lake District

With just over a month to go before we head off to Morocco for the Toubkal Two Valley trek, we thought we’d beter get some practice in by heading over to the Lake District for the weekend.


Although there are 6 of us going to Morocco, only my regular hiking mates Joe and Jason could make this weekend, so it was the reunion of the Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) 3 as we are famously known following last year’s adventure.

Joe now works over in the North West, so he drove there straight from work, while Jason picked up Terri, who had packed Joe’s hiking gear for him, before heading to mine so we could travel over together to meet Joe.

We had booked our B&B at one of our favourite places in the Lake District, Ambleside. We like Ambleside due to it’s great choice of good restaurants and bars such as The Lilly Bar, which often has great live music. We arrived around 7pm, as we’d already missed a few hours drinking, we headed straight to The Lilly bar and settled in for the nights entertainment while discussing our chosen hike for Saturday.

Jason and myself were first ones down for breakfast at 8am, before Joe and Teri joined us 15 minutes later. As we all sat having breakfast Joe told us that Terri had packed the wrong trousers and in fact packed his “Action Slacks”. Yes you read correctly. “Action Slacks”.

action slacks

Slacks is a common term used to reference pants or trousers. This term is generally restricted to dress pants, usually of the pleated variety. “Slacks” in reference to loose-fitting trousers is a term that has been used at least as long as its first recorded use in 1824.

But Joe’s were different. These were Action Slacks! Action Slacks are worn by gentlemen of a certain age who still have a bit of life left in them and like the outdoors. They have an elasticated expanding waistband, a leg pocket for a glasses case, hand pockets are located high so you don’t have to stretch far and come in raw leg length so can be easily adjusted to fit for those who may have shrank over the years.

After the laughing at Joe’s new pants had calmed down, we packed the car and headed off to do the Kentmere 7 hike, while Terri went shopping for the day, we were hoping her shopping trip included buying Joe some new outdoor pants.

The Kentmere 7 is a horseshoe walk taking in 7 of the Wainwright fells in York (706m), Ill Bell (757m), Froswick (720m), Thornthwaite Crag (784m), Mardale Ill Bell (780m), Harter Fell (788m) and Kentmere Pike (733m). It was the TMB 3 vs The Kentmere 7. Bring it on!


We arrived at our starting destination of Kentmere Church, where Jason’s instructions had told us to start from. We looked around for sign’s to help us on our way, but none were to be seen. So instead of our usual practice of heading off on a path we think we should take, we decided to get the map out from the start and make sure we didn’t start off in the wrong direction. We didn’t want a repeat of the Courmayeur stage on the TMB last year, where we wandered around for 2 hours in the 30 degree heat with large rucksacks, before finally finding our starting point which was only 5 minutes from where we had initially started from. It seems we are learning from our past mistakes.



It had been a while since I had seen Joe and Jason, so I told them about what I had been up to recently, like last weekend when Melanie came to visit from Germany and how I managed to guide Melanie, Ian, two lost strangers in Leanne and Kirsty and another group of 3 people who were also lost, to the top of Scafell Pike. I also told them about my recent hike on the Fjallraven Classic in Sweden last month. Joe was particularly interested in the stage where we had a Swedish sauna. I think this has made him consider doing the Classic with me next year.

It was a beautiful sunny day as we tackled the Kentmere 7 and it wasn’t long before I was unzipping the bottom and opening up the side vents of my Fjällräven Keb Gaiter trousers, while Jason also unzipped the vents on his trousers. Unfortunately for Joe, his Action Slacks didn’t have such luxuries as zipped vents and certainly didn’t have zip-off legs. Apparently they stopped making the zip-off leg versions of the Action Slacks a long time ago, due to the number of calls they recieved from customers asking for spare zip-off legs, having forgotten where they had left the leg part of the slacks after zipping them off. They probably would have more calls, if some of the customers could remember where they had actually bought their slacks from in the first place. So Joe had to put up with the very warm conditions in his Action Slacks.

Jason suggested that I ask my friends at Fjällräven if they would consider making a pair of beige coloured Action Slacks in their trademark G-1000 material aimed at the more adventurous folk of the Saga community (pre-waxed inside and out). Though I doubt Fjallraven need to bother with a UN Blue colour option, as this would confuse the Saga community who are still old enough to remember The League of Nations.

I informed Joe and Jason that Fjällräven make clothing for people of all ages and ability and that he should have invested in a pair of timeless classic Fjällräven Greenland Jeans as seen below here:


The Kentmere 7 was a stunning walk. Despite the height you get to during the hike, the ascent is not a severe one, which makes the hike more enjoyable. The views from each of the 7 Wainwright summits we visited were spectacular. Having such great weather for the hike also helped. Looking back on the first half of the horeseshoe we could really appreciate the beautiful shadwoed hills we had already passed over. We all agreed this was by far the best hike we have ever done in the Lakes. We have done quite a few together over the last 3 years, but none as stunning as this one.





Apart from using the map at the very start of the walk, we had done quite well in sticking to the planned route which Jason had planned. I had also uploaded the route to my iPhone as well as tracking the route with my Suunto Ambit2 GPS watch. All was going well. However, with only 3km to go until the finish, I had noticed we had gone off the route I had on my iPhone. We hadn’t strayed too far away and we certainly weren’t lost, but we wanted to try and stick to the route.

So we decided to try and get back on the route we should have been on. In doing so, we decided to go off-piste and headed through the woods in the direction of the stream. It wasn’t long before we hit our first obstacle. A barbed wire fence, just in front of the stream we needed to cross. It looked like that wasn’t a viable option and maybe we should just head back to the main road and continue back to car that way. But oh no, that would be too easy. As Joe, feeling adventurous in his Action Slacks, forced his way past me and Jason and climbed over the barbed wire fence to investigate our options. Me and Jason were stunned with Joe’s sudden Action Man prowess, but we weren’t wearing Action Slacks. However, once Joe had hurdled the barbed wired fence, he knew he’d come into the field for something but could not remember why. He looked round for a bit then decided to climb back over.


We headed back to the main road making our way back the car. We wound through the country roads back to Ambleside to meet Terri who had bagged us a great table in the sun looking out over the shores of Lake Windermere. Time for a well-deserved beer, before heading back to B&B for a quick shower and change before hitting Ambleside for more drink and food.




In the past we have been known to sometimes “slack-off” from doing a hike on a Sunday (usually caused by the amount of alcohol consumed the previous night following an epic hike on the Saturday) and spend the day trawling outdoor shops before heading home. However this weekend Jason and myself decided to not slack-off the hike and instead make the most of the glorious sunshine and combine both outdoor gear shopping and a hike by taking in Wansfell Pike from Ambleside, while Joe and Terri headed off on a boat somewhere. I think it was too hot for Joe to do another hike in his Action Slacks.

Jason and myself had both done this hike a few times now, and feeling fairly confident in our ever improving navigation skills, we decided to the reverse route from our previous times. This of course meant the steep ascent came at the start within the first 2km. I’m not sure if it was the heat or the alcohol from the night before, but it felt a lot harder than it should have done, considering what we had done the day before. There were also plenty of elderly gentlemen doing the hike (wearing their Action Slacks), as we slowly strolled up to Wansfell Pike. Once at the top, the views across Lake Windermere were stunning and made the struggle up to Wansfell worthwhile.








It was another cracking weekend in the Lake District and pleased with our performance doing the Kentmere 7 on Saturday, though think we need to improve a little on Sunday’s performance in the coming weeks, as Morocco is going to be a hell of a lot hotter, steeper and well over 3600m higher than Wansfell Pike, that’s for sure!

Routes recorded by Suunto Ambit2 GPS watch:
You can view the Kentmere 7 hike here

You can view the Wansfell Pike hike here

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Welcome to my blog about hiking, trekking, Fjällräven Polar 2014, in fact anything where you require boots and the outdoors.

My name is Phil, and following my outdoor epiphany which started in the summer of 2012 I’m now hooked on everything outdoors. So far my biggest treks have included the 250km Cathar Way, the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc and best of all, winning 1st place to take part in the Fjällräven Polar in April 2014.

I plan to use this blog to write about all my adventures, which will include my personal goal of becoming a Munroist (completing all 282 Scottish Munro mountains), summer treks, weekends in the Lakes and many more.

I like to try and make my blog posts humorous so I hope you enjoy reading and that I can put a smile on people’s faces while showing you some amazing places.

If you have any questions about the blog or the places I'm writing about, don't hesitate to contact me on: phil@philyourboots.com

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