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.
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.
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.
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:
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.