My first walk of 2011 was a trip up to Coniston, to revisit a walk I did in October last year, where I went up onto Dow Crag via South Rake, and then round onto The Old Man of Coniston, that was a very misty and viewless day so a return on a clear day was in order. This is a great walk and a great way to get up onto Dow Crag, an exciting scramble up South Rake amongst the tall cliffs and crags of Dow Crag, this is really climbers territory but the Rake gives you a feel for it but is an easier scramble. My second walk was up onto Bowfell, more details below.
Dow Crag and The Old Man from the drive through Torver
Dow Crag from The Cove
The waterfalls from the outflow of Goats Water, the crags of Dow Crag in the background.
The steep climb up the scree to locate the stretcher box at the foot of the crags
Climbing the scree to the stretcher box
A brief rest at the stretcher box before heading up South Rake
At the start of South Rake
Climbing higher up the rake
Looking back down the climb
At the exit of South Rake onto the Dow Crag summit ridge
Looking along the ridge to Brown Pike and Buck Pike
The Duddon Estuary
The Scafell range from Dow Crag
The Scafells from a very icy Goats Hause
Dow Crag and Goats water on the path up to the Old Man
Dow Crag from Coniston Old Man
Same photo with my route of ascent up South Rake marked on
The Old Man of Coniston summitt
Looking over Small Water towards Wetherlam
Coniston and Coniston water far below
Brown Pike, and Blind Tarn just visible
A very frozen Small Water
Long abandoned mine buidings
My second walk of the New Year was planned to be from Langdale up Oxendale onto and over Crinkle Crags and then up onto Bowfell, and descending via the Climbers Traverse. But the weather conspired against me, on arriving early it looked really good the fells were snow covered and the forecast was good until late afternoon when more heavy snow was forecast. I got up to Red tarn fine only to see a heavy weather front coming in over the Coniston fells, deciding to push on up onto the Crinkles the bad weather came in really quickly and I decided to turn around on the first crinkle, in knee deep snow and a complete whiteout in blizzard conditions, it would have been suicidal to carry on, so I retraced my steps thankfully my crampon tracks were just visible. A wise decision I think, and the mountains will always be there another day,
Looking good coming down Langdale, Crinkle Crags and Bowfell covered on snow
Its really tough during the winter up here, this sheep falling foul
''You think you are coming through here''!!
A very friendly Shire horse at Stool End farm
Looking back down the beck in Oxendale from the bridge, a very different view later!
All the waterfalls were laden with ice
strange ice structures
Looking over Hell Gill to Bowfell
More icy waterfalls
Looking over a frozen Red Tarn to wetherlam, the clouds are coming in
The Langdale Pikes clear at the moment
The black snow clouds now coming in quickly over the Coniston fells
Pike O Blisco as the weather closes in
Crinkle Crags start to disappear, I got up onto the first crinkle but the snow really came down and navigation was all but impossible, the sensible thing was to bin it and turn round, not something I like doing but I like living more!!
Managed to get to the top of Cold Pike before that got obliterated by snow, cold by name cold by nature, it was flipping freezing by now
The snow was catching me up as I descended, again looking over to the Langdale Pikes
A rather different view down Langdale when I got back to the bridge
And looking up into Oxendale
The Shire horse I met on the way up, looked thoroughly fed up in the snow
The Crinkles and Bowfell now disappeared into the heavy snow clouds
When I got back to the car, decided to have some butties before leaving, as soon as they were out the Robins were on the scrounge, really tame and happy to feed off my hand.
The wing mirror, and my head at times were a handy perch
Couldnt entice the blackbird to feed off my hand though