|Walna Scar car park, lots of interesting maneuvers going on here|
|The Coniston fells are full of old mineshafts and workings|
Although I didn't record that first ascent, I have actually been up the old man twice recently. The latest was with Fix the Fells on a drain run. This means that I didn't just go up The Old Man of Coniston, I went up it with a spade and fixed it!
There are a few factors which mean that Coniston needs a lot of fixing. First of all, it is a popular fell, and quite rightly so, it's a really nice walk with great views over the coast and towards the Scafells as well as over Coniston lake. All this walking means plenty of wear and tear which means it needs regular maintenance.
|Dow Crag with Harter Fell behind on the right|
We had arranged to meet at the Fix the Fells shed in Coniston. After driving up and down, what I later worked out to be the wrong road, I decided to give up and head to the Walna Scar car park, hoping that the others would pick up some tools for me. It was a good idea to get to the car park because it gets busy and parking choices are sub optimal if you arrive after about 9am.
|large summit cairn on The Old Man|
As usual, there were a lovely group of volunteers out. I'm getting to know the regular faces now.
We gradually worked our way up and then decided that, as we had come this far, we might as well continue to the top where we had lunch.
Lots of people at the top as usual. There was a fell race going on and I had no idea which one (I usually keep a track of fell races because I pretend that I might enter one some day).
|runner heading north from the summit|
The weather had been really warm with little wind all day. Of course once on top, the wind got up.
Finishing off our lunch, we decided to head down via Goat's Water, which would apparently allow us to claim two paths.
|Dow Crag - beautiful|
Sure enough, when we got to the end, we saw some people swimming in Goat's Water. I had been thinking it looked nice for a wetsuit swim. A Goat's Water crossing would be a good goal to tick off on my way to total wild swim mastery.
Just along from here someone asked if we had buried someone on the fell. It's not unusual to get sarky comments when you are in a group of people carrying spades and I really don't care but we have heard them all before, ranging from, "Where's Snow White" to people asking if we are part of a prison work party (actually, that last one may be in good faith).
|swimmers - brrr!|