Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Coniston Fells~

28th February 2013

On December 1st, my brother and I climbed Skiddaw and marked the start of the "Meteorlogical Winter", optimism was reasonably high for a winter of much content. Almost three months later, I return for a second and last Lakeland walk in the MW of 2012/13.

Coniston Old Man Summit

The Summit of Coniston Old Man

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Old Man from Coniston

The Old Man from Coniston

After a small breakfast at Hollands in Coniston (the only one open at 09:00hrs), son Andrew and I headed up the road to the Walna Scar start point. It looks as though we could be in for a great day!

Walna Scar Parking Walna Scar Road
Parking on Walna Scar Road
Walna Scar Road

I generally consider parking here to be a bit of a cheat, but I usually park in the village or at Torver. By my standards, it's a late start and therefore it's the elevated car park for this one. Brown Pike is seen between the sides of Walna Scar Road.

Cove Quarries

Cove Quarries

We followed the Walna Scar Road as far as the turn off for Goat's Water and then headed a short way towards the tarn before diverting for Cove Quarries, on the west flank of The Old Man.

Quarry View Coniston Quarry
Looking Out
Inside a Level

Both Andrew and I enjoy a little exploration around old mines and quarries, taking great care and conducting risk assessments along the way. By this time we are in t-shirts and carrying the rest of the winter clothing in rucksacs.

Another Level Andrew at Cove Quarries
Another Level

This is my first time on this ascent of The Old Man.

Dow Crag

Dow Crag from the Coniston Ascent

Old Man Summit

The Summit of Coniston Old Man

The sandwich eaters and their Tibetan Terrier have beaten us to it and got the best seats in the house. Man with map talks routes and stuff.

Low Water

Frozen Low Water

Andrew on Coniston Old Man

Andrew At The Top

To Brim Fell

The Route to Brim Fell

Brim Fell Summit To Great How Crags
Brim Fell Summit
To Great How Crags
Grey Friar Harter Fell
Grey Friar
Harter Fell

The Walk

Along one of Lakeland's finest fell wanders, the views are massive and very rewarding.

Swirl How

Swirl How from Great How Crags

Swirl How Summit Scafells from Swirl How
Swirl How Summit
The Scafells

Yet again, someone gets there first and gets settled! The view of The Scafells over Great Carrs is a good one!

Bowfell from Swirl How

Bowfell from Swirl How

This view also shows a selection of The Crinkles

Wetherlam from Prison Band

Wetherlam from Prison Band

The Scafells Langdale Pikes from Swirl Hause
The Scafells
Langdale Pikes from Swirl Hause

Scafell and Scafell Pike on the left and a view to The Langdales on the right. We have descended Prison Band to Swirl Hause and take the well worn footpath to Levers Water.

Levers Water

Levers Water

The partially frozen surface of Levers Water and Great How Crags.

Boulder Valley

Boulder Valley

The boulder strewn valley sits beneath the crags of Brim Fell.

The Pudding Stone

Andrew on The Pudding Stone

After a climb to the top of The Pudding Stone, we began to make our way back to the car.



A last look at the fells, Wetherlam looming large above the crags of the Black Sails Ridge and the lengthening shadow of Brim Fell casting darkness over the "Copper Valley".

Coniston Fells

Back at Walna Scar Road

Walkers: A & R Ratcliffe

Time taken: 5hrs 50mins over a distance of about 8 miles.

Route: Walna Scar Road, Cove Quarries, Coniston Old Man, Brim Fell, Great How Crags, Swirl How, Prison Band, Levers Water, Boulder Valley, short walk back to Walna Scar Road.

Weather and Conditions: Sunny and almost warm!

Greetings Count: A quiet day on the Coniston Fells.

Richard's Refreshment Review: Holland's cafe scored well for being open, but fell back with prices and slow delivery. It's not so much the speed that bothered us, more the lack of advice on progress. Maybe being first isn't such a good time to sit down.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2013 ©

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