Sunday 29 May 2016

Coniston Old Man & friends

This was a walk we'd planned and were keen to do in good weather - having climbed up the Old Man too many times with no view.  We ended up walking 21.4km in a total time of just under 8 hours.  Here are the peaks:

Difficulty: 8
Walkers: Tim, Caroline
9:45, 0.0km 0h00 0m, Start (55)
11:29, 5.1km 1h43 736m, Coniston Old Man (803)
12:07, 6.9km 2h21 858m, Dow Crag (778)
12:50, 8.7km 3h04 1007m, Brim Fell (796)
13:53, 12.0km 4h07 1158m, Grey Friar (773)
14:22, 13.4km 4h36 1239m, Great Carrs (785)
14:33, 14.0km 4h47 1285m, Swirl How (802)
15:35, 16.0km 5h49 1426m, Wetherlam (763)
17:37, 21.4km 7h51 1433m, End (55)

We parked in Coniston, and wanted to buy lunch - to our (mainly my) disappointment the Duck has stopped making packed lunches.  We ended up buying some food in the petrol station, then going up via the car park at the bottom of Walna Scar road.  Predictably there were quite a few people going up, including many families.  We looked on with a mixture of relief and pity (me) and envy (Caroline) as parents alternated between encouraging and holding back children from bounding off the edge of cliffs.

We continued up to the top, I was relishing being able to climb a lot faster than with Evie, although we were both really glad of the little wind there was to take the edge off the heat.  
The top was fairly busy, but it quickly thinned out as we continued beyond the summit, and the people we met tended to have more expensive walking gear!  The next target was Dow Crag, which turns out had a very small piece of climbing to reach the very top.  Caroline was persuaded to make it up - the view was clearly much better than just slightly lower down!
We retraced our steps, and took the option of going back to Brim Fell. On the way we met a rather confused lady, who wasn't sure where we was - she at least had a postcard sized map, so we helped her understand which route she had taken to the top and which way to go next to find her way back to Coniston.  This is at Brim Fell, looking back towards the Old Man.

Grey Friar with the sharp peak of Dow Crag visible in the middle of the far ridge.
 Great Carrs, looking over the Tilberthwaite Fells to the Little Langdale Tarn just visible.

Swirl How, the cliff edge is Great Carrs.  From here we took the path down to Prison Band, and then onwards and upwards.

Wetherlam was our eventual reward with this great view back over to Lake Windermere in the distance.

We then walked back along the ridge, avoiding going down the lower path down the valley where Grace lost her boot many years before - both times I've gone that way I've not really found a path.  Coming back down the ridge made for better views of the mining scars of the Old Man, and this great view of a very luck sheep.

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