~Swirl How Revisited~
18th March 2009
Not many weeks earlier my brother and I had become stranded on ice on Swirl How and were fortunate to be helped off the fell by a passing Mountain Rescue Deputy Team Leader, who just happened to be out on the tops. I was keen to banish the demons and return to the area to review the earlier incident and complete the walk....
Swirl How Summit
Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk
I parked on the Walna Scar Road car park, big puddle with magical properties.
Boulder Valley is a lively area full of hefty mountain detritus. This might be The Pudding Stone, I am writing this report 10 months after the event. I enjoy looking at boulders and pondering their route to their current resting place, this one wins "Boulder of The Day", for its size and shape and climbability.
The Valley from the Boulder
The route from Boulder Valley to Simon's Nick was shrouded in mist, a situation which continued along my route up Black Sails Ridge. Simon's Nick is a dangerous old mining area.
Me on top of Wetherlam
Three on top of Wetherlam
Wetherlam from Swirl How
I am gaining height and find myself above the mist. The day is developing and will lead to a hazy afternoon but in the meantime it's good fun looking around and taking photographs.
Primary Target Reached ~ Swirl How
This time I attain the summit of Swirl How without incident and it is very difficult to find the place where we got stuck last time. In fact the snow free slopes give no clues at all to the dangers of frozen landscape of just a few weeks ago.
My next target is Great Carrs, the three climbers I saw on Wetherlam are way ahead now and can just about be seen on the slopes over there.
The Aeroplane Wreckage on Great Carrs
Paths on Grey Friar
I would follow the path to the crossroads and head left for Brim Fell and Coniston Old Man.
Brim Fell Summit and a Cornice on the Edge
Coniston Old Man Summit
Coniston Old Man looking towards Brim Fell
The highest point for me on the hazy afternoon and this is the busiest place with quite a few folk about including a school party. No time to hang around.
Low Water and a bit of Levers Water
Time for a little peace and quiet; then splash!
Stones, Water and Camera
A playful mix for a man with time on his hands.
Black Sails Ridge and Boulder Valley
Most of us will remember this gantry in more upright position. It's a victim of old age and the gantry will never be repaired, add another 50 years and what will be left?
The walk is completed and it's been good fun. It might have been yet another ascent of Coniston Old Man, but there are some fells you just don't tire of and this is certainly one of them.
Time taken: 7hr 45 minutes over a distance of an estimated 12 miles
Route: Walna Scar Road, Boulder Valey, Levers Water, Black Sails Ridge, Wetherlam, Prison Band, Swirl How, Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Brim Fell, Coniston Old Man, Low Water, Quarry Road, Walna Scar.
Weather and conditions: Misty start, clouds lifted, sunny but hazy afternoon skies.
Greetings Count: Low, comfortably low, until the summit of Coniston Old Man.
Richard's Refreshment Review: I regret that I cannot recall if I made a stop on the way home and that is not good enough, sorry no review this time.
All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2009 ©