Thursday 12 April 2012

Grace conquers the Old Man

So two years earlier, when we stayed at Bank Ground (Holly Howe of Swallows and Amazon's fame), I had set off with Isabelle and Grace to walk up the Old Man of Coniston.  Grace was feeling under the weather, but was determined to try - however after an hour or so of walking it was clear that she wasn't able to complete the walk.  We had to return, take Grace back, and then I set off with just Isabelle and did manage to climb to the top.  So this time, Grace was determined...

Difficulty: 6
Walkers: Tim, Isabelle (9), Grace (7)
9:24, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (57)
12:00, 4.5km 2h36 738m, Coniston Old Man (803)
12:20, 5.4km 2h55 761m, Brim Fell (796)
13:28, 7.6km 4h03 887m, Swirl How (802)
14:53, 9.5km 5h28 1025m, Wetherlam (763)
16:54, 14.9km 7h29 1056m, End (56)

We parked at the large car park at the bottom of Coniston, then walked up through the town before taking the traditional route up the Old Man.  

Two brave explorers, keen to get started.

Taking a small break and (by the look of things) some extra calories.  Grace knew well that when Isabelle did the walk two years before I'd needed some strong encouragement to get all the way to the top.  She was very determined to complain less than Isabelle had done, and was frequently asking me to compare the two ascents...

Investigating some of the workings on the way to the top.

And made it to the tarn, still fairly sheltered and hot on the climb, 

And finally at the top!  At this point with Isabelle we'd already done a couple of extra hours, so we had taken the path down to Goat's Water.  However this time things were looking a lot better, so we set off from here to the north, along the ridge towards Brim Fell.  

Now at Brim Fell, we found our first snow!  Grace was delighted, and spent most of the rest of the walk searching out patches of snow to make snowballs.  The girls even invented a song, I seem to remember the words were mainly around snow...

I think Isabelle had realised my plan at this point, to do a circuit and pick up Swirl How and Wetherlam, since Caroline and I on our honeymoon had done a similar walk.  However she was happy to not let Grace to just yet what we'd got planned.

Grace, on the other hand, was showing off her split personality, occasionally manic (more often when walking on snow) and occasionally morose.

Still, there were more patches of snow to conquer.  On the path from Swirl How to Wetherlam there is a fairly obvious place where you can turn right and head back down the hills, or continue on and up to Wetherlam.  To their credit the girls, having come this far, consented to carry on and climb back up for a last peak.

Now at the top of Wetherlam, the last peak on a walk well done.

We decided to head down the valley path.  The valley itself was easy to fine, the path less so.  The bogs more so.  I have a feeling that it was on this stretch that Grace lost a shoe in a bog and ended up getting mud everywhere on her foot & sock.

Finally back down at Consiton, to admire the new lambs and find the car.

No comments:

Post a Comment