" " Lake District Trails and Ales: Coniston Old Man - New Years Day 2009

Monday, 5 January 2009

Coniston Old Man - New Years Day 2009

The Coniston Old Man Range is probably my favourite mountain range. Firstly around Coniston it is generally much quieter than some other areas of the lakes. Secondly we can see the Old Man Range from our cottage, so we have a personal connection.

What better way to start the new year then than with a brisk ascent up an icy Old Man at a time when few tourists would be on the main trail.

So with the temperature -3 degrees outside, we scraped off the ice from the windscreen and drove the 10 minute journey to the foot of the Old Man. Despite the ice on the steep road that leads up to the start of the path, we managed to get up and get parked in a surprisingly empty car parking area near the start of the Walna Scar Road. The only difficulty was the ice on the ground making it treacherous in places. Its cold and windy but bearable.

We ascended the Old Man via the well trodden footpath that winds it way up to Low water. We have climbed the Old Man many times and although this way is a bit of a thoroughfare, and seen many a pair of stilletos in the summer, it still has plenty to offer, particularly for kids becuase of the disused mine workings encountered on the way up.

Low water was frozen and ideal for skating on. Its then only a 15 minute blast to the top up a somewhat steeper path.

For those not staying at the Windermere Butlins Holiday Camp, the walk over the ridges beyond the summit is fantastic, either over Dow Crag and back down the Walna Scar road or round Swirl Howe and across Wetherlam.

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