Height: 803 metres / 2635 feet Grid reference: SD 27237 97815 Category: The Southern Fells
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Today’s walk was done with a little sadness as I went with Dougal to scatter Casper’s ashes up on The Old Man with Angus – now they can both look down on us and we, of course, can look up to them and remember the good times. If you remember, spare our two boys a little thought next time you are up there…
I saw Scafell through a parting in the clouds earlier this morning and could see that there was snow on the tops. It was a good bet that others would have snow on too and on the way to Coniston I could see that those tops were also dusted with snow. It only seems like 5 minutes ago since summer but there you go – full blown winter conditions on the fells once more.
Everywhere looked to be covered in cloud when I set off from home this morning, especially further to the east. When I was driving towards the Coniston fells they had a big cloud cap on them too, but I thought it would clear when the sun rose a little and thankfully this turned out to be right. It was really clear up there today and it was superb walking the ridge to Brim Fell in those conditions, beautiful and crisp with virtually no one around.
It was so clear and sunny today you would hardly think it was the same time of year as the rest of the previous week when it has been raining almost incessantly. I found time for a late afternoon walk and with those blue skies I was confident of seeing a decent sunset so tried to time my walk accordingly. I must admit I thought I had left it too late when I was walking beneath Dow Crag, it was so dark and cold there. Dougal joined us today for his first ‘bigger’ walk at 7 months old and of course we were recognised (along with Casper, the two of them together are unmistakable!) and then he was fussed over at every opportunity by passing walkers. He took the whole thing in his stride of course and he is turning out to be a great pretender to the fell masters throne.
Another temperature inversion was predicted for today, so Connie and I set off for the summit of Coniston Old Man in the mist to try and get some sunshine above the grey, murky conditions below. This was also a milestone for 5 year old Connie – her highest fell yet – by far, and a great achievement for her. Alas, the conditions were not as good as yesterday as the temperature in the valleys had warmed up, so although we got above the hazy, mist layer into the sunshine, there wasn’t the great waves of thick cloud that I witnessed yesterday. Eskdale looked the place to be – there was plenty of inversion going on over there.
It was a beautiful day in the Lake District today but when a blanket of freezing fog descended over our house in the afternoon, I knew that conditions would be good higher up and that there would be a good sunset too. It was thanks to Louise that I went on this one as she persuaded me to make the effort and I am thankful that she did – the sunset across the inversion was simply stunning.
This was totally a ‘no frills’ walk so there is no route map – I ascended and descended using the route 1 method!
The freezing mist was all around at low level today for my first walk up to Coniston Old Man this year. Yesterday and last night saw fresh snow falls in the area and everywhere around quiet Coniston was covered this morning. This was winter walking in different conditions to last week with no views and the eerie silence that walking in heavy mist brings and an overwhelming feeling of solitude.
After all the wonderful weather over the fells that I have been jealously eyeing from afar, today was…dull! Not to worry, I didn’t let the weather and lack of views spoil the feeling of the freedom of the fells. It was fantastic to be back up there (Dougal thinks so too!) and we followed the old favourite ‘McMahon Route’ to The Old Man, returning via Brim Fell Rake.
This morning’s walk was an ascent of The Old Man of Coniston using a less popular route via Boo Tarn up the south face which I can highly recommend; similarly the descent from Brim Fell was using a less popular route from Brim Fell down to Low Water. It was quite warm this morning and the sun shone on occasions – it was nice to get onto the tops early enough to be on my own.
Boots – a result! I have had a credit for a pair from the shop, now all I have to do is choose some more. The same ones? or different…we shall see.
Angus and Casper have now officially acquired cult status according to Lake District Life magazine. Check out the latest issue of it where they manage to get a four page spread!
Finally, the walk. What a gorgeous day with only the strong breeze spoiling it a little as it was quite cool. This was a ‘no frills’ walk today, just straight up the nose and back down the tourist path. We didn’t see a soul until way down today.
It was bitterly cold again last night and there was a decent fall of snow on all the high fells that I could see. I had a walk up to the Old Man of Coniston after lunch today and the snow on the southern slopes of the fells had melted somewhat but on the northern sides there was still plenty and there were some angry looking snow clouds about. The wind at the top was biting, which is no less than you would expect I guess but I think Casper was wishing his hair was about a foot longer!
I was glad to get out anywhere this morning having been deliberately staying away from the rough stuff after sustaining a bit of an injury. I took it easy on this one and made it more of a recuperative stroll. I think I should be in my shorts by now but no, it was back to the winter gear again with quite a heavy snow shower when I was on the summit.
This was another of those walks that just ‘happened’ – I had intended visiting Black Fell and Tarn Hows today but on the way there The Old Man looked too inviting to miss as it was nice and clear and it had the makings of a good day. I’m glad I did too; we were all alone on the summit which I guess is the reward for getting out early. By the time I returned to the car park, it was full so it looks like it will be a busy afternoon up there today.