Lakes August 2018

Weds 15th

I got to Monk Coniston early enough to settle in to my room in the cottage and plan my walk for the next day.

HF had sent me a voucher for a free bottle of wine so I made a start on it. Dinner of chicken with Parma ham, a bit tough and then ice cream.

The HF inter house quiz was on and the team I was in won in this house. We each got a cloth bag prize!

Thurs 16th

Breakfast of poached egg and sausage and a croissant.

I drove to the end of Langdale and parked off the road. Rain was on and off. Walked up to Pike of Blisco. Some short scrambling sections. Very windy at the top. Started to go to Cold Pike but retreated because the weather was so unpleasant I wasn’t enjoying myself and it was a long detour. Down via Oxendale, last walked with Chris when we did the ruddy Crinkle Crags.

Back to a hot shower and a local produce dinner. More wine (same bottle). A vegetable soup, a mini Cumberland sausage, salt marsh lamb, very tender, with creamed potato and half a parsnip, a dessert trio of sticky toffee pudding, cold, not my favourite at best of times, Kendal mint cake cheesecake which was nicer than it sounded and a lemon torte which was delicious and which I wished had been my entire dessert.

Chatted with Sally while we nibbled cheese and biscuits.

Went to bed early and fell asleep straight away.

This woman is in the garden at Monk Coniston and I had to keep walking past her. Something seems to have slipped a bit…

Fri 17th

Breakfast, surprisingly hungry. Fruit, yoghurt and granola, hash browns, poached egg and beans and toast.

Parked up on road in Coniston. Had no change or inclination to pay £7 in car park.

2.5 hours to reach the summit of Old Man of Coniston. This is another hill I’d done with Chris. Stayed mainly dry on the way up but hideous weather at the top. V poor visibility. Went to Brim Fell but abandoned the idea of a circuit because I couldn’t see enough. Returned to the Old Man for a bit of shelter and met Sally and her 2 friends. They decided to return the way I and they had come up so I tagged along.

Not far down Jenny twisted her knee. She kept going but very slowly. One of the HF groups passed us and advised that we call Mountain Rescue. Sally and I were reaching that view also. I rang 999 and asked for Police Mountain Rescue, a very calm woman took our grid reference and description of where we were. We kept going. After a while the Coniston MR team rang us and said they were on the way, another calm chap who said they could drive up quite a way and they would ring from Crowberry Haws. We kept on. Then hooray, heard a siren. Before long the team of 8 arrived and stretchered Jenny down to their Land Rovers. Sally, Abi and I walked to the Land Rovers. Once the team arrived with Jenny, they unstrapped her and got her into the warm van. Then they all pitched in did fiddly weaving with all the stretcher straps. The team gave the 3 of us a lift down a very bumpy mine track. It was all done extremely efficiently and kindly. An ambulance was waiting for Jenny on arrival at the MR base in Coniston, she was whizzed off for x-rays at Barrow in Furness hospital. Abi went to her home in Coniston. Sally and I were given hot drinks and Mars bars in the MR base.

The weather had deteriorated from about midday. Certainly all my gear (summer showers rating only) was soaked by the time we got back so there had been a real risk of hypothermia at the speed we were going. Fab HF drying room sorting out the wet gear.

Finished off my bottle of wine. Dinner of fresh tomato soup, home made pizza with potato wedges and coleslaw, raspberry creme brul√©. I’d originally asked for small portions but after our adventures I was very hungry. I had a half of beer watching a game of skittles! Yes indeed!! I did 10 pin bowling when I was 16 but was terrible at it then so didn’t even try it.

Mine workings

Low Water, not visible at all on our way back down
Cairn on Brim Fell
Hats off to these people

Sat 18th

Sally updated me that Jenny had no broken bones or torn ligaments, muscle damage so that should heal more quickly. She also got a lift home with the doctor who treated her!

After breakfast I went to Windermere and looked at an exhibition about the Windermere Boys (and girls) who were housed briefly in Windermere after leaving the Nazi concentration camps as orphans. An impressive exhibition in the library.

The rain had dropped off and I did think about walking up Lingmoor Fell but decided to go home.

Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map and use a compass with me and my navigation partner, Cath.

Old Man of Coniston and Dow Crag 12th November

Got up at the crack of dawn and whizzed off to Chris’ house. We set off smartly and stopped at Lancaster services for so C could buy out M&S and get coffee. I’d had a coffee at her house and it was very strong so I held off any more caffeine.
We took the top route to Coniston, via Windermere and Ambleside. The road to the Old Man is very steep but there is plenty of free parking once you get to the vehicle end of the Walna Scar Road.
There was a group of young lads carrying a very large log. More later.
It was 11.15 and not raining by the time we set off but the tops were in mist. We went along Walna Scar Road for a short distance. A girl appeared for a chat just as we were about to commence the climb. She seemed quite nice but clearly was going to be going much faster than us so we emphasised this as I don’t think either Chris or I wanted her to tag along.
A slow, steady climb past some old quarries, but the spoil heap higher than us so we couldn’t see inside it. Then we were in the cloud and stayed in it with some brief bursts of light and even some sun at times until we reached the top. The path we were on took us directly to the Old Man but on the map we should have reached a path across and then turned left so this was a path on the ground and not on the map.
It was still very misty on top of the Old Man so we sat to eat our lunches. Chris on falafel and hummous wrap and me on hummous and tomato pittas. We’d been very warm climbing up but now it was cold in the wind and we were glad of our layers and hats and gloves.
The boys with log appeared out of the mist. They all had Eddie Stobart shirts on and were doing “team building”. I am now considering instituting log bearing up steep hills for my team at work! We thought they were probably being rehabilitated. Then some mountain bikes came past and then another team of log bearers, so after a very quiet walk up only seeing 3 people, it was suddenly very busy.
I took a bearing and we headed off for Goat’s Hause. This is the col between the Old Man and Dow Crag. Just when we needed it the clouds parted and we got a view down to the col. Then up a bit more ascent with good views to Goat’s Tarn and onto Dow Crag, this has great gullies which were all in mist. On the ridge and along to Buck Pike and Brown Pike. It stayed misty but we had occasional openings to see a wider vista.
Down from Brown Pike and onto the Walna Scar Road where we turned left and headed back down and along and back to the car at 4.15 where we finished off our supplies and then drove home, stopping again at M&S for various future meal supplies.

Starting to rise
Log men
Chris at the top of the Old Man
Across to Goat’s Hause
Looking back to ridge between Old Man and Brim Fell
Very steep gully on Dow Crag
Chris disappearing into mist
Bridge on Walna Scar Road
Across towards west
To the west


Please visit Map and Compass and learn how to interpret a map with me and my navigation partner, Cath.