|Name of walk||Coniston Old Man & Brim Fell|
|Date of walk||2020-12-09|
With lockdown number two, Ged and I have not walked together for over two months, so we decided on a walk up to Coniston Old Man. Not too far to travel, and always plenty to go and look at if the weather is not so good.
Our path from the Fell Gate car park on the Walna Scar Road. Unfortunately the blue skies were only temporary, there would be low cloud today.
View back to the car park and a glimpse of Coniston Water.
View down on Coppermines Valley and across to Wetherlam.
We head up through the old slate quarries.
The path we had taken.
We take a small detour into a quarry.
One of the shafts. There is subsidence on the path leading to the shaft which wasn't here the last time I visited. The cracks and holes in the path are quite visible and indicate there must be an opening beneath, so best avoid walking on it!
Mist in the valleys.
We now head up towards Low Water.
Low Water, the cloud level is just above us.
We walk to the far end.
We continue on up the zig zags. You can see that there is ice on the paths, but this is easily avoided. It is now raining.
Some more quarry workings. Soon we are in the cloud.
An empty Coniston Old Man summit. Not much snow left now. There are no views at all.
We have a selfie at the trig point. It took us one hour and fifty minutes to reach the summit.
The visibility is reasonable for route finding so we head for Brim Fell. We keep hoping that maybe the cloud will lift while we are on the ridge.
Still nothing to see!
Brim Fell summit, still nothing to look at beyond 25m.
We take an off path route directly down the fell side heading south west for Goats Hause. Once below the cloud we can see the path leading up to Dow Crag. It has started to snow!
Goats Hause, and our lunch spot with a view, when the cloud lifts! After lunch we would have continued on over Dow Crag, but there was little point in the low cloud.
We always lunch here on a ready made rock seat with a bit of shelter from the wind.
This is a pitched path, but totally iced up, so I put on my microspikes and soon overtake the people below who are slipping and sliding in their boots.
Serene Goats Water.
Looking up to Dow Crag. The cloud is slowly lifting.
View back from the far end of Goats Water.
The Walna Scar path that goes all the way back to the car park. We would detour up the grass just past the last slate heap to the climbing hut and disused quarry.
We visit the Jack Diamond Memorial Climbing Hut (1976). The hut for The White Spider Climbing Club. Brown Pike and Buck Pike behind.
Then we head up to the quarries.
I have a look in one of the levels.
I use my head torch to see that it has been blocked off.
Ged looking down from above.
We work our way around to the far right and head up the grassy bank on the edge of the quarry. At the top is a large quarry cavern.
The entrance with its waterfalls.
View out from the first cavern.
I use my head torch to illuminate the entrance to the second cavern
It is a massive cavern, totally dark, but dry. Ged uses my head torch to illuminate the view.
There is another tunnel ahead, but with only one torch, among other safety considerations, it means that this is as far as we go.
The tracks leading out of the 2nd cavern.
We head back out.
View to Dow Crag, now out of the cloud, from the cavern entrance.
We head back down to the Walna Scar Road. A sheep showing the direction of the prevailing winds!
Not far to go now.
Looking to the eastern fells. The mist is back in the valleys. Did it ever leave?
Despite the lack of any summit views this walk always has something interesting to make it worthwhile. Our route was 7.1 miles and took us five and a half hours.