#2 Coniston Old Man

Date: 08-05-2016

Starting point: Coniston

Distance: 7.42 miles (11.9km)

Height: 803m

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After successfully conquering Helvellyn at the end of April I’d got the bug, I had to climb more! So I’ve now decided I’m going to scale 10 lakeland peaks before I turn 30 in December so here is the second, The Old Man of Coniston.

This time I set out accompanied by Brian and Blair (and their questionable mountain attire) in what can only be described as blistering heat!

Suncream applied and Magnum ice cream in hand we set off from Coniston up what was possibly the steepest climb of the day, towards the car park at the foot of the Walna Scar road. Part way through this climb I came across this little picturesque setting

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As we continued towards the Walna Scar car park the Old Man loomed above us to the right

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After a swift reshuffle of our backpacks and some intricate sandwich making we headed off along the Walna Scar road, opting to take the route passing Dow Crag and Goat’s Water to the West of the Old Man

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Dow Crag proved quite the impressive sight as we approached.

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My first view of Goat’s Water; not going to lie, I really wanted to jump in here to cool off but I’m pretty sure I would’ve regretted it

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This image will bring some perspective to Dow Crag, see how many climbers you can find…I counted 7

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After a short stop we began the ascent up towards Goat’s Hawse, now this section of the walk was definitely the hardest for me, if it wasn’t for the wind pushing me along I might not have made it!

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After a good 20 minute struggle I was rewarded with this beautiful view looking back down over Goat’s Water

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From Goat’s Hawse we aimed for the summit of the Old Man, another steady climb

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From this point, the view of the Scafell range was simply stunning, I can’t wait to tackle this one!

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We continued along the ridge to the summit, pausing briefly to take in the view over Low Water and back down to Coniston

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I cheated this time with my #summitselfie by getting someone else to take it, cracking view eh? In the words of Billy Connolly; Here’s me looking all “Windswept & Interesting”

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The view looking East over Coniston Water and the Irish Sea.

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As we began the descent it became apparent that we’d come up the easier route, it was so steep! Brutal on the knees! A family I overtook on this section included a 3 year old boy, soldiering on with promises of “We’re nearly there” and “Not long till you get your ice cream”…liars, poor little bugger had bloody miles to go!!

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We followed the path as it snaked down to Low Water at quite a pace, must’ve been a combination of the heat and the promise of beer at the bottom that spurred us all on.

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After passing Low Water we passed through the abandoned Low Water Quarry, here the hillside is scared deeply by old industry, quite an eerie sight at times as some of the workings date back to the 12th & 13th centuries

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The Walna Scar Car Park there, lurking in the distance, not much further to go! Once again the heat was close to unbearable as we were sheltered from the wind (suncream was a godsend!) Within the hour we’d be back in Coniston

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After a quick change at the car and a spy through the visitor centre window at the Blue Bird model, we headed to the Black Bull Hotel for a pint of their famous Coniston Brewing Co.”BlueBird Bitter” and some grub

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Overall a brilliant day in the Lakes; peak 2 out of 10 completed, some great images, excellent food & drink and a suntan that made me look like I was fresh off the plane from Ibiza!

Adventure 3 out of 10 will be coming soon, stay tuned…

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