Dow Crag in Snow

Name of walk Dow Crag in Snow
Date of walk 2021-01-02

Our first hill walk of the New Year was going to be a local walk in the snow. Dow Crag is in the Constituency of Barrow and Furness, I look out at it every day from my window, and it is currently covered in snow! From Torver it is a quiet and relatively easy walk. The car park is only a 35 minute drive from my house, along a main road and bus route, so road ice won’t be an issue, and neither will social distancing on the fell! The walk was just under 9 miles.

01

Coniston Water at dawn.

02

03

We were the first car in the small car park. We then turned right then first left for the road that leads to the bridle path. First view of Coniston Old Man from the bridle path from Torver

04

The sun rises above the hills.

05

On the left is Walna Scar, Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag. Coniston Old Man on the right. The paths are icy so we both put on our Microspikes.

06

Tranearth Climbers' Hut.

07

We approach the slate heaps.

08

Crossing the footbridge.

09

The moon.

10

Banishead Quarry.

11

We head up the path through the bracken to join the Walna Scar Road.

12

Cove Bridge.

13

Looking into The Cove and across at Cove Quarry on the west of Coniston Old Man. I am planning to detour to Blind Tarn Quarry for the view to Blind Tarn, so I leave Brendan and head up at a faster pace.

14

View back to Brendan.

15

Icy path. Wearing Microspikes means that I can just stride out over it.

16

View back to Coniston Water. I head off to the quarry track.

17

The path up through the quarry. Buck Pike ahead.

18

Goats Water is to the left of the dip.

19

I look down on Blind Tarn. I've arrived just a bit too late for it to be in full sun. I don't bother nipping down to the edge this time.

20

I head back to the Walna Scar Road to meet Brendan

21

We pass the small shelter.

22

Nearly at the top of the pass.

23

At the top of the pass the sun is just going behind cloud leaving Slight Side, Scafell and Scafell Pike in the shade. Broad Crag Ill Crag, Great End, Esk Pike and Bowfell are still in sunshine.

24

I wait for Brendan to catch up again and we turn right for Brown Pike.

25

Brendan below, and looking over to Walna Scar, the Duddon Estuary and Blackcombe.

26

View from Brown Pike summit shelter over to Buck Pike and Coniston Old Man.

27

It is far too cold on the summit ridge for me to keep standing around while Brendan catches up. The sensible choice is for me to continue on at my own pace while Brendan enjoys the views then heads back down, and I'll catch him up later. He was more than happy not to have to trudge all the way to Dow Crag and back.

28

View back to Brown Pike. The sun is now totally behind the clouds.

29

The weather is still good to the north.

30

Buck Pike.

31

I skirt the edge for the view down to Goats Water.

32

Wonderful!

33

The ever darkening southern skies.

34

View down one of the gullies to Goats Water.

35

Dow Crag summit. One of the few summits that actually requires a rock climb to get to. Not as easy in snow and ice! I locate the route up that doesn't need too much knee contortion and stand in the summit dip surrounded by rock.

36

View across Calf Cove, Levers Hause and Goats Hause to Swirl How. Beyond, in the sunshine, is the Helvellyn range and Fairfield.

37

View across to the summits of Brim Fell and Coniston Old Man.

38

Coniston Water.

39

View back down the ridge towards Brown Pike. The darkening skies and orange glow make it hard to believe that it is only midday.

40

View out to sea with Harter Fell on the right. I can see the Isle of Man too.

41

I try and take a panorama, but the wind makes it difficult to keep the camera steady. So it is just a small one! Left click to enlarge, click again to return.

43

Part two of my panorama. Left click to enlarge, click again to return.

44

I take a selfie. I am wearing both my hat and balaclava as it is really cold, especially with the wind chill. The grimace is due to the fact that I needed to take off my right glove to take the summit photos, despite wearing touch screen gloves, which were being temperamental, and I could no longer feel my fingers!

45

One last photo of Goats Water before having to climb off the summit and head back along the ridge.

46

It had a sunset feel.

47

View down to Blind Tarn, you can see the track I walked up above it. You can also see the Duddon Estuary and Walney Island. I can almost see my house!

Once I had returned to Brown Pike, I jogged back down the paths and caught up with Brendan before he had reached Banishead Quarry. The walk was just under 9 miles and took me five and a half hours. There were a few people out on the fells, mostly locals. We met a man and his young son twice, they were fell runners from Ulverston. I met them when I was coming down off Brown Pike, then again on the Bridle Path back to Torver. They had run the whole route over Dow Crag and run over Coniston Old Man too, now that’s fast!

Jo.

 

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