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Coniston Old Man

Coniston Old Man


Postby colgregg » Sun Apr 04, 2010 10:15 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man, Swirl How, Wetherlam

Hewitts included on this walk: Swirl How, The Old Man of Coniston, Wetherlam

Date walked: 04/04/2010

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Easter Sunday. I decided I wanted to do a Lakeland fell I'd never been to before so headed to Coniston. I parked up at the car park where the untarmaced Walna Scar road starts. I didn't want to do the "tourist route" to the summit so I opted to head off along the Walna Scar road before cutting up the well defined path to Goat's water which lies beneath the impressive Dow Crag. The intention was to bag Dow crag by the path up the scree but by now I was being hit by every kind of weather the Lakes has to offer. Rain followed by snow and hail all accompanied by heavy mist and the coldest, strongest winds I'd walked in. I gave Dow Crag a miss and headed ditecly to the Old Man. As usual there was quite a crowd on the summit all trying to find a bit of shelter. By this time my hands were so cold I could hardly hold my Sarnies!!
With the exception of the unrelenting wind, things began to look up weatherwise and as I walked the ridge over Brim Fell and onwards to Swirl HowI was treated to spectacular views down to Low water, Levers Tarn and Coniston. There were fleeting views in all other directions as and when the rolling cloud permitted. While the may have been brief views the provided great panoramas of The Scafells, Bowfell and the Langdale peaks accross to Helvellyn. Swirl How was a turning point in more ways than one. a: My walk turned from North to East. b: The weather turned, too. As I was on Swirl fell it seemed apt that suddenly the clouds swirled away and in a short space of time was heading down Prison band to the col in sunshine that I thought would never appear, oh and the wind dropped too!! So it was with a renewed vigour that I ascended my last summit of the day, Wetherlam. It was a worthy climax to the day with superb all round views. I could have sat here for hours surveying the scene but unfotunatels had to do with 10 minutes as time was getting on.
It was an easy descent to the track that leads to the mines. then it was simply follow the path across the fields to the minor road and back to the car.
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Goats Tarn and Dow crag

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The summit ridge fro Coniston old Man to Swirl How

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Wetherlam from SWirl How

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Great Carrs from Swirl How. Pike o Blisco, the langdales and a mist covered Bowfell in the background

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Helvellyn and Fairfield ranges in bathed in sun but still snow covered.

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From the last to the first. the Old Man looks more appealing than it was three hours earlier. Taken from Wetherlam
Attachments
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The sun breaks through over the Langdale Pikes.
colgregg
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2182
Munros:15   Corbetts:5
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:182
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 25, 2009
Location: Richmond North Yorkshire

Re: Coniston Old Man

Postby mellowmark » Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:55 am

Thanks for the report. Thought there would have been a lot more snow than there was in your pics after reading this from last Wednesday! "Snow continues to fall and more is forecast. There was a metre of new snow at 500m this morning and by the time I got to Red Tarn, it was very deep in places."
http://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2010/04/01/experts-warn-walkers-its-still-winter-on-the-hills

The weather forecast was quite good for Sunday too - seems they were wrong again! :)

Coniston Old Man is one I have never done either - always tend to end up in my "favourite areas of Buttermere, Borrowdale and Langdale.
mellowmark
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 53
Joined: Apr 1, 2010

Re: Coniston Old Man

Postby colgregg » Mon Apr 05, 2010 8:50 am

Thanks. The Coniston area has been long on the radar, and is well worth visiting, but I too have ended up re-doing walks, especially ones I've done previously in bad weather. There is the added bonus of the village itself for food and drink at the end of the day.
A re-run of Coniston is definintely on the cards for a long dry summers day as I also want to inculde Dow Crag, Great Carrs and Grey Friar in my itinery. Re the snow. It seems to have kept itself to around the 900m mark, Helvellyn especially looked to be well covered.
colgregg
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2182
Munros:15   Corbetts:5
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:182
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 25, 2009
Location: Richmond North Yorkshire

Re: Coniston Old Man

Postby mountain coward » Tue Apr 06, 2010 1:54 am

The Connies are great - a must do! That round especially (although I usually go up the 'tourist'/Miners' Track for it). The Miners' Track is okay really - very interesting if you find old mine workings interesting (I do) - plus you go up past Low Water which is worth a visit.

You're very brave driving up to that carpark though - I've never dared - it's about 1 in 4 all the way, goes up for ages, and doesn't have much in the way of passing places for a very narrow road! Eeek!
mountain coward
 

Re: Coniston Old Man

Postby colgregg » Tue Apr 06, 2010 6:33 pm

Even braver once through the gate to try and find a parking spot, a 4x4 would be more suitable. I will probably do the tourist route as I do have interest in mines, having scoured Swaledale.
colgregg
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 2182
Munros:15   Corbetts:5
Grahams:5   
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:182
Wainwrights:214   
Joined: Aug 25, 2009
Location: Richmond North Yorkshire


Re: Coniston Old Man

Postby mountain coward » Tue Apr 06, 2010 10:24 pm

Just don't go too far into the adits! :o Especially if you go to Red Dell valley - a greatly interesting place mine-wise (between Wetherlam's Lad Hows and Black Sails ridges) - some of the drops inside them are over 1000 feet deep! :o
mountain coward
 

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