Coniston Old Man to Dow Crag in Snow

Name of walk Coniston Old Man to Dow Crag in Snow
Date of walk 2012-11-05
Distance walked (miles) 8
Duration of walk 7 hours 0 minutes
Weather Blue skies and snow
Peaks on walk Coniston Old Man, Dow Crag, Brown Pike, Buck Pike
Yesterday Ged, Kas and I drove to Torver to climb Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag. A walk of about eight miles.

Blue skies and sunshine…….and snow on the tops! What could be better?

06

It is quite a long walk in from Torver before you get the views of Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag on the left and Coniston Old Man on the right. We planned to walk up to the climbing hut in The Cove and then have a look around the quarry before heading up the steep slope to reach the South Ridge path of Coniston Old Man.

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First we passed Banishead Quarry

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The way ahead.

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When the hut came on to view we just headed up the slope towards it. It is the Jack Diamond Memorial Hut belonging to the White Spider Climbing Club. Jack Diamond, was a school teacher from Coniston, and a one time member of the climbing club the Coniston Tigers, whose story is immortalised in Harry Griffin's book of the same name "The Coniston Tigers". Sadly Jack Diamond died at the very early age of 45 in February 1956. The south ridge path is now called the Jack Diamond Path and takes a wonderfully graded route up the southeast flank of Coniston Old Man in a series of cairn marked zigzags. The climbing hut looks a bit run down. Dow Crag behind

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Wide angle view.

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One of the old buildings.

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The quarry extended up the hillside, but we only had time for a brief visit.....we had mountains to climb! So we headed back out and looked for the easiest route to gain the ridge path. Looking back down on the climbing hut.

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Looking down on the area we explored from the climb up to the ridge.

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Kas and me.

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Kas finds a friend.

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Looking over to Coniston Village and Coniston Water.

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The snow was quite deep in places.

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The large top cairn comes in to view. Kas leads the way. There were a few people on the summit.

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Looking out to Brim Fell.

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Looking down on Low Water with Levers Water above it with Wetherlam behind

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It is not often you can get away with wearing a T-shirt on Coniston Old Man in summer! Today, even in snow, it was very warm, there was no wind, I wished I wasn`t wearing my thermal trousers, that climb up the ridge was hot work!

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Brown Pike with Blind Tarn below it, Buck Pike and Dow Crag in panorama.

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Looking back at Coniston Old Man summit. Ged is wearing his ruck sack on his front to dry off the back of his shirt!

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Heading down to Goat's Hawes from the lower narrow path

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The view down to Goats Water from the narrow path. Not a place to slip! I am wearing my trusty Microspikes!

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View to Scafell and Scafell Pike.

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View back to our route off Coniston Old Man from our route up to Dow Crag.

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Dow Crag summit ahead.

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Ged took this photo of me while I was taking the next photo of Goats Water.

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My Goats Water photo.

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It is a climb to reach the very summit of Dow Crag. Kas goes on a lead for safety. We don`t stay for long as there is not much room! I head down first.

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Ged and Kas can give the summit photo some perspective.

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The way ahead to Buck Pike.

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Ged still has to catch me up.

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Looking down one of the gullies.

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View back to Dow Crag from Buck Pike summit......Me and my shadow.

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Brown Pike ahead with Blind Tarn below. We did look at visiting Blind Tarn from the ridge, but the snow was too unstable to risk a descent so we decided to visit via the Walna Scar path.

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Looking back across to the quarry we visited this morning. We gained the ridge from near the right edge of the photo.

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View out to Walney Island from Brown Pike summit.

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We walked down to the Walna Scar path and around to Blind Tarn. There were two routes, I took the higher one, Ged the lower. Reflections of Buck Pike taken from the higher path. The snow made it easy to walk down the rocks to the tarn.

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Ged's camera has a wider angle lens than mine so he took this one after walking a bit of the way up. I am below on the right by the water.

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It was prettier than I thought it would be. It always looks dull and shaded from the ridge. The altitude of Blind Tarn is 1,834ft. It is 23ft deep and contains trout and char.

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Looking across the tarn and back up to Brown Pike.

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We head back to the Walna Scar path. Ged stops to take a photo of the ridge

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The newly improved Walna Scar road. I took this just before we were passed by two guys on motorbikes! Soon we will have 4x4`s!

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An excellent walk in the snow!

The walk took us under seven hours, but we did dawdle in quarries and by tarns!

 

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