Not Coniston Old Man

Monday 15 July. Another early start at 08:15. The grand plan for today was to walk 2½ miles or so along the Walna Scar Road that skirts the bottom of Coniston Old Man, to climb and ridge walk along Dow Crags, to drop down to Goats Hawse and then climb back up to Coniston Old Man. The return was to be down the “tourist path” from the Old Man and then to walk around The Bell and Big Hill back to the car.

Well, it went as planned but only in part. I drove on the single track road that leads out of Coniston village to the car park at the end of the Walna Scar Road. This saved about ¾ of a mile of walking but more importantly 500ft of climbing. It was a beautiful morning as can be seen from the first picture. By the time that I’d walked the Walna Scar Road, the mist was starting to gather on the hill tops. Undaunted, I made the climb up Brown Pike, across Buck Pike and on to Dow Crag from where I could look down on Goat’s Water and across to the Old Man which was only about 100ft higher than my lofty perch (2,480ft). By now the mist had thickened and I made my way down to Goat’s Hawse where a decision had to be made. Should I climb another 400ft to a mist covered Old Man or should I descend via Goat’s Water? A lot of effort for no view didn’t really appeal so down it was. As Sod’s Law would have it, by the time that I’d descended 550ft to Goat’s Water, the mist on the top was clearing. Oh well, the Old Man will still be there and I’d already been on top in March this year.

Whilst I didn’t quite execute the intended plan, I still walked 6.6 miles and climbed 2,280ft. Not bad for someone who this time last week had serious doubts about walking a mile on the flat. The new insoles and boots certainly seemed to have done the trick although my metatarsal heads were a little sore by the end. I think that a lower level walk is called for tomorrow.

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