Hills: Dow Crag, Brim Fell and Coniston Old Man
Date: Wednesday 13th November 2013
Company: Just myself
Distance: 11km, Ascent: 805m
Time: 3Hrs 45Mins

I set out this morning to ascend Coniston Old Man. After driving to Coniston, I drove up Walna Scar Road. I parked just beyond a gate at the end of the public road where there is parking for numerous cars and no parking charges.

Click here to see a map of the route undertaken

Coniston Fells sign at start of walk:

After getting suited and booted, I set off walking along Walna Scar Road.

Walna Scar Road:

Motorised vehicles are now apparently banned from driving to Seathwaite via Walna Scar Road - the road is a restricted by-way. Despite this ban, there were a couple of youths driving along Walna Scar road today.

Walking along Walna Scar Road:

After walking circa 2km I crossed over Torver bridge.

Torver Bridge:

The excellent road made for fast progress towards Brown Pike.

Walna Scar Road winding up Brown Pike:

During the initial few kilometres the hills were covered in low cloud. Fortunately, the cloud began to lift as I progressed along the track. It was nice to get a fleeting glimpse of Dow Crag’s crags during the walk along the road.

Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag:

Dow Crag buttresses (zoom):

As I gained height I got increasingly good views down to Coniston Water.

Looking back towards Coniston Water:

A short distance below the road high-point there is a small stone hut.

Small hut below Brown Pike:

On a good day this walk must provide excellent views across to Scafell and Scafell Pike. Today they were mostly capped in cloud.

Looking towards Harter Fell, Scafell and Scafell Pike:

From the road high-point I could also see Sellafield in the distance.

Sellafield (zoom):

I didn’t stop at all during the walk today. After touching the summit cairn of Brown Pike, I continued on towards Buck Pike. Both Brown Pike and Buck Pike are Birketts but are not Wainwrights. By the time I reached the summit of Brown Pike the cloud had lifted above the summits of Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man .

Summit cairn and shelter on Brown Pike:

Coniston Old Man from summit of Brown Pike:

Coniston Water from summit of Brown Pike:

Looking back to Brown Pike and Blind Tarn:

It didn’t take long to walk from Brown Pike to Buck Pike.

Looking towards Dow Crag from the summit of Buck Pike:

The walk along the cliff-edge from Buck Pike to Dow Crag was quite interesting. The crags on Dow Crag are impressive. There was a large raptor standing on the crag. It was too far away to identify but I guess it was a Buzzard.

Heading for Dow Crag:

A Dow Crag buttress:

The final ascent to the summit of Dow Crag was an easy scramble albeit the rocks were quite wet and slippery.

Approaching the summit of Dow Crag:

Summit rocks of Dow Crag:

From Dow Crag, I continued on to reach the col between Dow Crag and Coniston Old Man.

Descent from Dow Crag:

Looking towards Coniston Old Man from col:

During the ascent I took a small diversion to reach the summit of Brim Fell. On reaching the summit of Brim Fell, and for the remainder of the walk, I was blasted by gale force winds. The wind speed increased quite substantially and quite suddenly.

At the summit of Brim Fell:

The walk across to Coniston Old Man was hard work in the wind.

Heading from Brim Fell towards Coniston Old Man:

Coniston (zoom):

Looking towards the summit of Coniston Old Man:

Coniston Old Man provides excellent views across to Dow Crag.

Looking across to Dow Crag:

Approaching the summit of Coniston Old Man:

On reaching the summit I visited the trig point and then the summit cairn.

View from trig point:

Coniston Water from the summit cairn:

From the summit, I followed the main wide track for circa 100m before taking a much smaller path down the wide South East ridge.

Looking towards Low Water:

During the descent I passed numerous sheep.


It was nice to follow an infrequently used track down the hill. This track provided good views down to the disused quarries.

Disused quarry (zoom):

Descent via South East ridge of Coniston Old Man:


However, I managed to lose the faint track during the descent, either that or it disappeared, and instead used a number of sheep tracks to wind my way down through the crags of Little Arrow Moor.

Looking back at descent:

Another nice day out in the Lakes .