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Coniston fells Wild Camp

Coniston fells Wild Camp


Postby L-Hiking » Mon Aug 20, 2012 11:57 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man, Dow Crag, Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Swirl How

Hewitts included on this walk: Dow Crag, Grey Friar, Swirl How, The Old Man of Coniston

Date walked: 11/08/2012

Distance: 30 km

Ascent: 1220m

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Wild camping at my age, you are mad exclaimed Carol (my wife) you spend too much time on that mountain website!, after a lengthy debate I was able to reassure her I was not traversing the Cullin ridge and simply wanted a taste of the outdoors and the freedom it gives. The fact that I wanted to rekindle a lost youth and watch a fantastic meteor shower did not do anything at all to convince her.

Any way after agreeing to disagree lol, I left home for the Lake District around mid-day and hoped to be parked up in Coniston about 3 give or take 30 minutes. That was my first mistake, I had not allowed for school holiday traffic and an accident on the A66 meant that I did not arrive at Coniston until 4.30pm. I eventually found a car park at the local school (only £2 for the day) using an honesty box.

Left the car park around 5ish after a quick sandwich and a coffee and had to fight my way through the hordes of tourists, who all seemed to be wearing superb kit and looked remarkably new too, much tidier than my shabby togs.

The sun was shining the sky was clear and I looked forward to a pleasant hike, I took the road which is sign posted the Old Man of Coniston on towards the Walna Scar Road.
P1010984.JPG
Dow Cragg appears
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Torver Bridge
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Hang Glider Kamikazeeee


There was plenty of walkers up here to but all travelling in the opposite direction to me and watch out for all those Kamikaze low flying hang gliders, who appeared to be coming off the top of the old Man.

My walk today was to include Buck Pike, Brown Pike and Dow Crag, before descending towards Goats Hawse and a decent pitch for the night and a midnight meteorite firework show. The track is very good and after passing an old pack horse bridge there is a wonderful view of Dow Crag, although still some way to go yet. It was at this moment I realised this bag was much heavier than what I was used to and was wishing I had not brought my copy of War and Peace with me, an instant flash of Carol and the comments stating that I was mad made me smile.
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Buck Pike from Brown Pike
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Blind Tarn
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Dow Crag from Buck Pike
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Goats Water


The assent of Brown Pike was made fairly swiftly and followed a pleasant traverse to Buck Pike where there is a wonderful view of my next objective and across the valley to the Old Man which seemed to be quite busy. The views further afield were blurred due to haze. The walk towards Dow Crag involves traversing over some boulders and a delightful little scramble to the top. The summit is quite small and you certainly get the feeling that you are perched on top of a mountain here, the drop to Goats water is scary, but obviously not to the two climbers down below…Not for me, they can’t have any nerves those guys!
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Scary drop
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Old Man from Dow Crag
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Buck Pike from Dow Crag


The hard work done for the day it was just a matter of dropping to the hawse and making my camp, unfortunately the wind had now lifted quite considerably and I considered it unwise to pitch where planned, I therefore dropped down to Goats Water and made camp there, pitched on a very slight slope as there was no other suitable place, the wind was still stronger than forecast, but this was going to be my home for the night underneath the mighty Dow Crag.
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Home for the night
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Had a decent night’s kip apart from my sleeping back sliding on my sleeping mat and finding myself hunched up at the bottom of the tent! Oh by the way there was no meteor shower here only low cloud and sheep!

Awake at 6am and made a great cup of tea and had one of those pre packed breakfasts, which I must say actually did what it said on the tin. All wonderful stuff and it reminded me of the last time I did this type of thing almost 30 years ago (maybe I am mad)

The weather had deteriorated the cloud was down and no tops were visible the wind had increased and I had to put an extra skin on to pack my gear. It is very frustrating to look upwards and imagine the view behind and beyond the mist; I was wishing all the while that this wind would blow the mist away. Onwards and upwards the back pack seemed lighter today I think one of them sheep must have had my War and Peace for breakfast.
P1020004.JPG
Clag on the Old Man early morning

I reached the summit of the Old Man at 0745 all alone and in thick mist, I took a photograph at the top, don’t know why really, on towards Brim Fell and a similar scene of clag and nothing else.
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Summit Pano OMofC
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Brim Fell
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Levers water peeping through below


I wanted to traverse the ridge and then branch of towards Grey Friar then Great Carrs and Swirl How, but I decided it would be safer to follow a direct route to Swirl How and then to Great Carrs, I did get a fleeting glimpse of Levers Water below on the way.

The memorial to the Halifax Bomber Crew is here and I can imagine that those poor young men had become victims of this mist.. a few moments was spent here as a mark of respect.
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Halifax Bomber wreckage
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Memorial


I now had to somehow find Grey Friar and followed a bearing which should pick up a path leading from Little Carrs. The trusty compass lead me the way and there in a break in the mist was my next objective, still some way ahead, the path leading from the ridge was now clear but I was satisfied I had played safe. I dumped the bag and made the summit and was able to take a picture with a glimpse of Harter Fell beyond.
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Summit Grey Friar
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Strang marked rocks

Just a return route now to Swirl How and then back to Coniston. I did take a picture of some strangely marked rocks on Prison Band just before turning into Levers Hawse. It was now 11.30 and I had not seen a sole all day and although the mist prevented any views from the tops, I was able to see where I had been on the way down..As is sods law the mist and cloud lifted.
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L-Hiking
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Re: Coniston fells Wild Camp

Postby SusieThePensioner » Mon Aug 20, 2012 12:36 pm

L-Hiking wrote:Wild camping at my age
Told you before, you're still young, Geoff :lol:
Well done on doing your wild camping but think you should've taken Anna Karenina to read as well seeing there was no meteor display :lol:
Enjoyed reading your report and some great photos :thumbup: I know that area like the back of my hand so good to see your photos :D
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Re: Coniston fells Wild Camp

Postby ChrisW » Mon Aug 20, 2012 3:40 pm

Great stuff LH, oddly enough I was considering a wild camp just recently as there are some incredible sights to be seen deeper into the mountains around here. I love your comment about the sheep eating your copy of war and peace :lol: It's a damn shame you missed the Perseids and then the clag curtailed your morning views but all in all a great time rekindling your youth, not sure if you've sold me on the idea entirely though :lol:
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Re: Coniston fells Wild Camp

Postby morag1 » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:13 pm

Oh, it's great that you have rediscovered your love of wild camping and I hope you manage a few more, maybe persuade your wife to try it out too :D

Lovely photos of an impressive walk, well done to you :clap:
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Re: Coniston fells Wild Camp

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Mon Aug 20, 2012 6:21 pm

You are never to old to have an adventure LH. Great report and pics :D
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Re: Coniston fells Wild Camp

Postby garyhortop » Tue Aug 21, 2012 4:52 pm

Great report LH and as others have said...you're never too old!! The pic of the crash site was very atmospheric...funny there is a site on Dartmoor not far from Belstone where a B17 crashed and I always linger there to pay my respects when passing something I just have to do! That area is really nice as I walked there a few years ago when staying in Hawkshead and di the Wertherlam/Consiton round so brought back some nice memories!! :D
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Re: Coniston fells Wild Camp

Postby L-Hiking » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:51 pm

Lovely photos of an impressive walk, well done to you :clap:[/quote]
SusieThePensioner wrote:
L-Hiking wrote:Wild camping at my age
Told you before, you're still young, Geoff :lol:
Well done on doing your wild camping but think you should've taken Anna Karenina to read as well seeing there was no meteor display :lol:
Enjoyed reading your report and some great photos :thumbup: I know that area like the back of my hand so good to see your photos :D


Thanks Susie, great fun, i will do it again soon :lol:

Wot about that coffee

ChrisW wrote:Great stuff LH, oddly enough I was considering a wild camp just recently as there are some incredible sights to be seen deeper into the mountains around here. I love your comment about the sheep eating your copy of war and peace :lol: It's a damn shame you missed the Perseids and then the clag curtailed your morning views but all in all a great time rekindling your youth, not sure if you've sold me on the idea entirely though :lol:


Chris, I was looking forward to the meteorite show, however the experience was fab, I am now looking forward to reading about youre wild camp in the Rockies!!


morag1 wrote:Oh, it's great that you have rediscovered your love of wild camping and I hope you manage a few more, maybe persuade your wife to try it out too :D

Lovely photos of an impressive walk, well done to you :clap:


Thank you Morag, but dont think Carol would be up for it really :D


johnkaysleftleg wrote:You are never to old to have an adventure LH. Great report and pics :D


You are right there JK, thanks pal

garyhortop wrote:Great report LH and as others have said...you're never too old!! The pic of the crash site was very atmospheric...funny there is a site on Dartmoor not far from Belstone where a B17 crashed and I always linger there to pay my respects when passing something I just have to do! That area is really nice as I walked there a few years ago when staying in Hawkshead and di the Wertherlam/Consiton round so brought back some nice memories!! :D


It is a strange feeling up on the hills when close to a disaster like this, the ages of the pilot and crew were so very young. I like yourself have to have that quite moment to respect them. Not been to Dartmoor yet but who knows?

Thanks Gary
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