Coniston Old Man, Swirl How and Wetherlam round

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Coniston Old Man and Swirl How above the Coppermines valley

We enjoyed some great weather last weekend and on the Saturday I was out guiding on the Coniston fells with Patsy.  A long walk out in the Lake District mountains had been requested as part of a training plan for her overseas treks later this year to Morocco's Altas mountains and the Himalayas. 

Scafell Pike was suggested but as Patsy had done this before we settled on another favourite of mine – the Coniston Old Man and Wetherlam round.   This is a great horseshoe route around the Coppermines valley and on a clear, sunny day as this was the views were far-reaching .  The Scafells looked wonderful with patches of snow dotted over them; Helvellyn also still had a light covering of snow;  we could see Morecombe Bay away to the south and the west coast of Cumbria was in view too.  In fact it seemed that we could see almost every fell in the Lake District from Skiddaw in the north to Black Combe in the south. 

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Scafell, Scafell Pike, Crinkle Crags and Bowfell from Wetherlam summit.

This is a very versatile walk as there are many ways of extending or shortening this lovely horseshoe.  Dow Crag could be tagged on if when you reach Coniston Old Man you still want more!  Or it is possible to shorten the route by heading down from either Swirl Hause or Levers Hause.

However, we stuck to the original plan of Wetherlam (763m), up the Prison Band to Swirl How (802m) and over Brim Fell to Coniston Old Man (803m), then down to Low Water and through the old slate quarries back into the Coppermines valley.  During the early part of the day we had the broad ridge up Wetherlam to ourselves, but by the time we reached the top we started meeting many other folks out for a grand day on the fells – fell-runners, dog-walkers, families and a group of guys on a stag do!

Thanks for a great day out Patsy.

Kate

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The summit cairn of Coniston Old Man with Coniston Water far below

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