Thursday, September 30, 2010

A Coniston Round

Date : 30th September 2010
Start/End : Coniston Village
Wainwrights : Coniston Old Man, Brim Fell, Grey Friar, Great Carrs, Swirl How, Wetherlam
Distance : 10.5 Miles
Height Gained : 4214 feet

The route : clockwise from Coniston Village (bottom right)
This walk takes in 6 out of the 7 Wainwright fells in the Coniston region and could easily be extended in order to include the missing one (Dow Crag). The walk starts in Coniston village and heads off up the old miners track. It is the tourist route up but is never-the-less full of interest and pleasing scenery. The weather started with low cloud obscuring the fell tops but it did eventually lift for the latter half of the walk.

Lower part of the old miners track

Summits remain shrouded

Low Water from the summit path

 Despite the poor weather there was still a welcoming party at the summit who were sat around the cairn eating their sandwiches. This disappointingly familiar scene of summit hogging is unfortunately a common occurrence on popular Lakeland fells. I moved on, taking the straight path towards Brim Fell before bearing west 'off path' towards Grey Friar.

Levers Water from the path to Brim Fell

Looking back to Coniston Old Man

Goats Water from near Brim Fell

 It started raining on the way up to Grey Friar and the swirling cloud made for some dramatic scenery as surrounding fells came into and out of view. 

Grey Friar momentarily free of cloud

Looking towards Great Carrs from the flanks of Grey Friar

On Grey Friar summit the cloud descended again and despite stopping for lunch in the hope of glimpsing some views, it was not to be. I headed back and then onwards to Great Carrs, passing the wreckage and memorial for the Halifax Bomber which crashed in 1944 with the tragic loss of all 8 crew members. 

I continued on up to Great Carrs summit by which time the clouds were thinning and it had stopped raining. My route then continued on to Swirl How and then Wetherlam via the strangely named 'Prison Band' path. 

Swirl How from Great Carrs

Looking down the Greenburn valley from Great Carrs

Little Langdale Tarn

Wetherlam from Swirl How

Levers Water and Coniston Water from Swirl How

Looking back to Swirl How and Great Carrs from the Prison Band

Looking over Pike O'Blisco towards the Langdale Pikes

The Langdale Pikes

Wetherlam summit panorama east

Wetherlam summit panorama west

Lingmoor Fell from Wetherlam

Coniston Old Man, Brim Fell, Swirl How & Great Carrs from Wetherlam

Looking over Coniston Water towards Morecambe Bay

The views from Wetherlam summit were the best I'd seen all day and I lingered for 1/2 hour enjoying the panorama before reluctantly heading back.

The path down

Looking down to Coniston Water

Coniston Old Man & Brim Fell

The old Miners Bridge

Swirl How from the Sun Hotel

As I drove past Windermere the sun was setting over the Coniston Fells and I just had to pull over and admire the view for a few minutes before heading home.

Sun sets over the Coniston Fells climbed today

Bow fell and the Langdale Pikes over Windermere