Coniston Old Man with Tom, in snow

Name of walk Coniston Old Man with Tom, in snow
Date of walk 2014-12-29
Distance walked (miles) 7
Duration of walk 4 hours 55 minutes
Weather Blue skies, mist and snow!
Peaks on walk Coniston Old Man
Walked with Tom
Parking Torver

Today, son, Tom and I went for a walk to find some snow. We decided on Coniston Old Man from Torver, climbing up the south ridge (Jack Diamond path) and back via Goats Water. A walk of just over 7 miles. Torver and the Coniston Valley was shrouded in mist and fog. We parked at the bottom of the road that leads to Scar Head.

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Once we had gained some height we could look back at the thermal inversion of mist in the valley.

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Dow Crag in cloud on the left with Coniston Old Man on the right.

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Banishead Quarry.

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Dramatic clouds on Dow Crag. Unfortunately they would stay most of the day.

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Rising mist in the valley.

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We gain the ridge and look back along where Coniston Water should be.

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Looking down on the Climbing Hut and across to Dow Crag.

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The Jack Diamond Memorial Hut belongs 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 we are on is now called the Jack Diamond Path and takes a wonderfully graded route up the southeast flank of Coniston Old Man.

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The Windermere Valley is also below the mist. No doubt there would be thermal inversions in all valleys today

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Our Microspikes are now on as it is quite slippery underfoot.

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We head up in to the clouds.

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As Tom makes for the summit cairn the cloud temporarily passes and we can see it ahead.

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The next moment the cloud is back and there is no longer a view. Tom at the cairn.

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Me at the summit cairn.

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We hang around for some views.

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We get a view of the ridge route to Brim Fell.

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Plus a view down to Low Water.

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Conditions are ideal for the formation of a Brocken Spectre, where your shadow is reflected on to clouds below you, creating a halo effect, provided the sun is directly behind you. Quite a rare occurrence!

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Others make the most of the brief view.

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I take a couple more Brocken Spectre pix just to be sure that it is in focus.

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Tom poses by the main cairn. It is very cold (-2C), and my hands are starting to feel it, as I have to take off my gloves to take photos.

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We head along the ridge.

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At this point we make a left to descend down to Goats Water Hause.

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I take a quick detour right, as a view has reappeared.

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On our left as we descend, is Goats Water.....not a good place to slip!

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We have lunch at the hause looking back up at our rocky route down. There are a few people above in the photo.

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Our lunch spot out of the wind.

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A close up of Goats Water with views out to the hills and mist in the valleys.

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There is ice on the pitched path so we keep our Microspikes on.

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A close up of the hills and mist.

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Walking beside Goats Water, our way down is on the right.

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The cloud has finally started to leave Dow Crag.

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The Hoad in Ulverston can be seen on the centre horizon.

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View back to Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man from the long route back to Torver.

A good little walk! It is great to be up in the snow again. I think Tom enjoyed it too!

Jo

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