Today looked like it would be a promising one with the prospect of crystal clear views with sub zero temperatures overnight…
Height: 796 metres / 2612 feet Grid reference: SD 27074 98556 Category: The Southern Fells
Brim Fell lies a short way along an easy ridge from Coniston Old Man.
The Coniston fells were shrouded in mist when I set off and they were in and out of the clouds all morning as the sun tried its best to shine through. It is a great ridge walk from The Old Man to Swirl How and a fair while since I have done it – I’m glad I did today as I enjoyed it and saw no one this Monday morning.
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…
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.
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.
I actually came to Coniston yesterday (Wednesday 6th January) to walk theses fells but decided against it due to the heavy snow when I arrived there – I knew the fells would still be there another day and surely enough, this morning turned out lovely and clear. This would be fantastic and memorable day for a walk on the fells. According to Radio Cumbria, last night was the coldest ever recorded in Cumbria with a temperature of -14.5C recorded at Carlisle. When I got to Coniston it was -9C, so I knew it would be pretty cold today. As it turned out, it was quite warm in the sunshine but when in the wind or shade, then it was particularly noticeable how cold it really was.
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.
Today was the third StridingEdge group walk which was up to The Old Man of Coniston via the now officially named (well, it is in our house!) McMahon Route, a brilliantly graded walk across Little Arrow Moor and then up the south ridge of the Old Man. Joining me on the walk were StridingEdge viewers who expressed an interest in coming for a walk with me and Casper and it was great to meet everyone – some new faces and some old stalwarts of our walks. It was a good walk in great company, pity the weather wasn’t kinder to us today…maybe next time.
The conditions were a little strange up on Coniston today, oddly cold – yet warm and clear – yet hazy! I never quite got above the haze layer today but the sun did manage to break through at times. The temperature was below freezing when I set off and when I returned yet in the sunshine it was really warm with the temperature only seemingly plummeting in the breeze at the top.
It was really cold this morning and it was -4oC in Coniston when I arrived. This made the air higher up really clear as down below in the valleys it was quite hazy and misty. Once up to the wind tunnel of Goat’s Water it got really bracing and cold but the views were fabulous today. There weren’t many braving the elements today though, there were only a couple more cars at the car park when I got back – normally it is full!
I didn’t know what the weather would do today; it looked clear enough but the forecasts predicted otherwise so I opted for a circuit of the Coniston fells which seemed to be enjoying a decent amount of sunshine. Coniston Water was covered with a blanket of cloud as happens on this type of freezing morning but higher up it was a mix of wispy clouds and clear blue skies. The highlight was the fabulous stillness and reflections on Levers Water.
The brilliant weather continued for this morning’s walk to the deserted Coniston fells. Blue skies and sunshine all the way today with it being really warm despite what the temperature gauge said! It is a real joy to be out on the fells in these conditions and there is supposedly even more to come – can’t wait!