Coniston Fells

Monday, 2 January 2017 TBA miles/TBA km TBA ft/TBA m ascent 4 hours 19 minutes As you descend the Whinlatter Pass in the direction of Lorton you catch glimpses of a beautiful pointed peak – this is Ladyside Pike (2,306ft/703m), our first hill of 2017 on a route over Hopegill Head (2,526ft/770m), Hobcarton Crag (2,425ft/739m), […]

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Coniston Fells

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Wednesday, 4 January 2017
8.20 miles/13.2 km
3,091 ft/942 m ascent
5 hours 40 minutes

… more photos on Flickr


Ascending The Old Man of Coniston (2,635ft/803m) up a quiet scenic route away from the quarries, appearing right at the summit.  Another sunny day as the sun rose over Coniston Water, we discovered later that it was the 50th anniversary of Donald Campbell’s fateful attempt to beat the world water speed record.

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Scafell from the slopes of Wetherlam

 

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On Summit of Wetherlam

A brisk walk across Brim Fell (2,612ft/796m) and then to Swirl How (2,631ft/802m) in a bitter cold north wind.  Superb views of everything!!
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Adrian using new walking poles on the steep decent to Swirl Hause, before climbing Wetherlam (2,503ft/763m).  Descent back to Swirl Hause and then Levers Water and down the easy Boulder Valley path to the car park.


coniston

 

Wetherlam

Tuesday, 15 April 2014
7.70 miles/12.4km
3380ft/1030m ascent
Trail 100 #30
Wainwright #136

I love the names of these hills, Wetherlam (2,503ft/763m), Swirl How (2,631ft/802m), Grey Friar (2,536ft/773m); makes me wonder who named them and why.

Wetherlam

Starting at the foot of the Wrynose Pass we forded the River Brathay and crossed to the track running to the disused mine near Greenburn Beck.  The path shown on the map turned out to be a series of sheep tracks running across the rocky fell-side, and as we climbed the views of Pike O’Blisco (2,313ft/705m), Cold Pike (2,300ft/701m) and Crinkle Crags (2,818ft/859m) opened up; and the sun got hotter.

Waterfall

Once we reached the col we joined the obvious path over the crags to the top of Wetherlam. Despite the sunshine there was a strong breeze blowing and the air was cold.  Here you can see Lake Windermere, the Helvellyn range across the Langdale valley and the black cliffs of Swirl How, Brim Fell (2,612ft/796m) and The Old Man of Coniston (2,635ft/803m).

Wetherlam SummitSwirl How from Wetherlam

Our second climb of the day is the ascent of the craggy Prison Band to the summit of Swirl How, and the view changes to reveal Levers Water nestling at the foot of Brim Fell with Coniston Water and Morecambe Bay beyond.

Prison BandLevers Water, Coniston and Morecambe BaySwirl How

From Swirl How an expanse of grass drops away and then rises to the rock covered top of Grey Friar.  The view of Scafell (3163ft/964m), Scafell Pike (3,209ft/978m) and Dow Crag (2,552ft/778m), and down into Eskdale and Dunnerdale is spectacular and one of the best in the Lake District.

Scafell Pikes from Grey Friar We paused at the memorial for the crew of a Halifax bomber who died in a crash on Great Carrs (2,575ft/785m) during World War II, and then followed the ridge down, before the steep decent to the Wrynose Pass.

Plane Crash MemorialCloud

We sat in the warm sunshine and ate some food, watching a film crew recording a small part of a hill walking documentary film, the two presenters wearing full winter gear (for continuity) in the glorious afternoon sunshine.  We walked back down the road, stopping to photograph the Three Shires Stone, an old boundary marker showing where Lancashire used to extend far North before the county lines were re-drawn in the 1970s.

Three Shires Stone


Route

From the Wrynose Pass outside Little Langdale (NY292032)

Wetherlam Route

Dodds

Monday, 14 April 2014
11.4 miles/18.3km
2730ft/831m ascent
Wainwright #131, #132, #133, #134 & #135

A rounded grass covered hill in the Lake District is called a Dodd, and the Northern end of the Helvellyn range is a series of this type of hill.  The start of the walk follows a track with views of Great Mell Fell (2,480ft/756m) and the huge sculpted mass of Blencathra (2,848ft/868m).

Great Mell FellBlencathra

The Northern-most hill of the ridge is Clough Head (2,382ft/726m) which has a stunning view of the Northern, Central and North Western fells, from the top it is possible to see Bassenthwaite Lake, Derwent Water and Thirlmere, and the distant Coniston fells and Scafell Pikes, while to the North, Blencathra and Skiddaw (3,054ft/931m) dominate.

SkiddawBlencathra 2

The most amazing view is the stacked tiers of mountains to the West.

Clough Head Summit

From Clough Head we followed the ridge South across Great Dodd (2,812ft/857m), Watson’s Dodd (2,589ft/789m) and Stybarrow Dodd (2,766ft/843m) before turning East to Hart Side (2,480ft/756m).

Great Dodd

DoddsHart Side

There is a distinctly different feeling to the rounded gentle grass covered slopes of the Dodds, compared to the craggy ridges of Helvellyn where we were walking yesterday.

Helvellyn

The final stretch of the route is a decent through increasingly wet and boggy ground and then a disheartening uphill walk along the road back to the car.


 Route

From the car park at High Row (NY380219)

Great Dodd Route

Langdale Pikes

Sunday, 23 March 2014
7.2miles/11.6km
2575ft/785m ascent
Trail 100 #26
Wainwright #126 & #127


A splendid day walking in the Langdales in the sunshine and snow.

From the New Dungeon Ghyll Hotel we walked up the steep fellside to Loft Crag (2231ft/680m) and all the time the views open up, first Crinkle Crags (2818ft/859m), then Bowfell (2959ft/902m) and the Coniston group in the distance.

Langdale Pikes - Crinkle Crags 
Langdale

Looking down the Great Langdale valley towards Lingmoor Fell (1539ft/469m) and Skelwith Bridge.

 

 

 

Loft CragLoft Crag

The first mountain on the route is Loft Crag where the rest of the route can be seen for the first time. The photo shows the rocky summit of Loft Crag with the spectacular crags of Pike of Stickle (2326ft/709m) appearing over the cairn in the background.

Pike of Stickle

This is the Trail 100 hill on this walk and the reason we chose this route. A truely spectaular mountain with a tricky scramble to the top when the rocks are covered with compacted snow.

Pike of Stickle 3Pike of Stickle 2

These two photos show the view of Loft Crag and Harrison Stickle (2415ft/736m); and celebrating reaching the top with the snow filled Harrison Combe behind.

Pike of Stickle - Loft Crag and Harrison Stickle Pike of Stickle 1

Harrison StickleHarrison Stickle

We scrambled down Pike of Stickle and crossed back to Harrison Stickle on the other corner of the Langdale Pikes. This gave us the first view of Stickle Tarn and our planned route down.

The photo also shows a heavy snow flurry which completely hid the summit of Helvellyn (3117ft/950m) but missed us completely.

 

Pavey ArkPavey Ark
The snow made finding the route from Harrison Stickle to Pavey Ark (2297ft/700m) a challenge. The top of Pavey Ark is not very impressive – it’s much better from Stickle Tarn. We ate lunch sitting on the rocks before setting off over the snow covered rocks and peat towards Thunacar Knott (2372ft/723m).

Thunacar KnottThunacar Knott

The summit of this mountain looks like a lunar landscape – rock strewn and windswept. The view to the West includes Glaramara (2569ft/783m) and Great Gable (2949ft/899m). The photo shows the snow topped Helvellyn ridge and Fairfield (2864ft/873m) to the East.

We followed the well worn path towards High Raise (2500ft/762m) which was covered in deep snow. My leg disappeared through the snow into a peat bog hidden beneath. Thank goodness for gaiters!

Sergeant ManSergeant Man 2

Sergeant Man (2415ft/736m)  is a prominent and easy to identify mountain with a very distinctive shape, and was the last mountain on our walk.

From the top we followed the ridge down towards Blea Rigg (1175ft/541m) before turning South West and descending to Stickle Tarn where the huge cliff of Pavey Ark casts a dark shadow over the lake.

 

Stickle Tarn

Pavey Ark from Stickle Tarn

Last resting point before descending the steep rocky staircase back to the Dungeon Ghyll and a nice cup of coffee.

Resting at Stickle Tarn 1Resting at Stickle Tarn 2


Route

Starting at the New Dungeon Ghyll car park  (NY296064).

Langdale Pikes Route

 

Black Combe

Saturday, 8 March 2014
8.6miles/13.8km
2470ft/750m ascent
Trail 100 #25


Black Combe (1969ft/600m) is the last big mountain in the South West Lakes District before the Irish Sea. It’s a long drive across the peninsulas past Barrow and Ulverston to reach Millom.

We decided to walk around the back of the hill and then walk back over the top. The walk starts with a gentle route along the Western edge of the hill which rises gradually and gets more rugged as you cross the streams.

The route took us through a pretty hidden rock strewn valley.

Black Combe - Rocky Valley 1Black Combe - Rocky Valley 3

Black Combe - Rocky Valley 2

After stopping for lunch we decided to leave the main path and just follow the stream up the valley to the top. Off the path the ground was a mix of bog and deep heather which made the ascent slow and arduous – it would probably have been quicker to stay on the path.

On a clear day the view from the summit would be spectacular. In the North the Scafell and Coniston groups of hills are prominent, while looking South or West the open expanse of Morecambe Bay and the Irish Sea beyond.

Black Combe - Irish Sea

 

Black Combe - Summit 2 Black Combe - Summit 1


Route

Starting at the layby  (SD132822).

 

Black Combe Route