It's been a while - since updating this blog and visiting the Coniston Fells. I'm lucky to have great friends who like organising getting together in fun places. This time round we were staying at the YHA at Coniston Coppermines. Perfect location for walking straight from the door :-) It is however an interesting drive up the track, especially in the dark!!
It's been at least five years since we have been in the area so it was like seeing a lot for the first time. There was much discussion on routes over the dinner table on the Friday evening which resulted in five different options. We decided to go with the "interesting" option going up Steel Edge onto Wetherlam, onto Swirl How and then eventually onto The Old Man of Coniston.
Our group set off with 13, unlucky for some..... We knew there was to be a split fairly soon after we set off as some had decided not to join us on Steel Edge and just go straight to Wetherlam. So we were soon down to 8 of us.
It's a nice walk out towards Steel Edge and nice and quiet. Soon enough we were getting to the fun part. Steel Edge is a nice wee ridge that was made a tad more interesting with some snow. Microspikes on, ice axe out, and smile on :-)
Next we were off towards Wetherlam. We did however get a wee bit distracted with the perfect snow slope for having a slide down. There were a few few looking at us rather strangely as a group with an average age of 40ish throwing themselves down a snow slope in a survival bag!! Sorry I don't have the photos of this but if I get the link to the video taken I will share.
The weather was pretty benign with not much of a breeze but nippy at times so we pressed on to Prison Band where we encountered some more pockets of snow. The Microspikes were deployed once more. We were now down to four. On Swirl How we checked out the original route plan, looked at the cloud that had started coming in over the final part of our route and decided to miss out the dog leg to Grey Friar and just head to The Old Man of Coniston. A very nice wander along it was too.
Four o'clock and the four reach The Old Man of Coniston. Discussion ensued over routes down. My knee had been doing not too bad up until this point but I didn't want to push my luck. So teh four turned in 2 and 2. Maria and Robin took the steep and direct route back to the Coppermines Hostel. Steve and I went for the gentle off path slopes towards the Walna Scar Road and back to Coniston for dinner in the pub. Nearly 15.5km, longest distance for ages :-)
It's nice to be back.