It has been really cold and clear for the last couple of days so I wanted to get high on a fell to catch a glorious sunrise this morning and I wasn’t disappointed with the one I got – the view from the Old Man was fabulous this morning, one to remember for a while.
It was bright around the periphery of the Lakes today but most of the fells I could see were shrouded in mist. I still fancied a bit of winter walking so headed for Dow Crag in search of some snow and have a hunt around for something else today as well.
Firstly, a bit of a story about a fell dog – this extract is from Wainwright’s ‘The Southern Fells’, Coniston Old Man 6…
I didn’t really know where I was going to end up when I set off in the car as it was pretty damp and miserable. By the time I got to Torver, it was dry-ish so I headed from there up towards Dow Crag and decided to scramble up the South Rake. Miraculously the weather brightened for a spell as I climbed the Rake and the views from the top were quite good. The rain returned by the end though so I think I caught the best of the weather this morning.
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.
The Coniston fells cut the weather in half today; to the north-east all was overcast and to the south-west was much sunnier and brighter – guess which way I opted for! I climbed up to Dow Crag by the South Rake, a scree filled gully which is a scramble, not a walk (so be warned!). I made a pathless and steep descent to Blind tarn beneath Brown Pike to have a closer look at this often walked above, but not around, tarn.
It was sunny, snowy and cold up on the Coniston fells this morning and it was nice to get above the snow line and tread the crisp, new snow in sunshine for a while. The wind was constantly blowing in snow showers up on the Dow Crag ridge and it looks like there is more to come. I had intended to walk round to Grey Friar and descend that way but the ominous clouds and heavy snow showers put paid to that idea!