Coniston Fells Wildcamping (again) – Part 2 – Roasting on the Ridges

Posted by @ 12:31 pm on Monday 20th July, 2009.
Categories: Great Escapes, Wildcamping

* After the pageload is complete, click on any of the pics in this post to see bigger versions in the Shutter Reloaded lightbox-style image viewer. *


You know that there's a great day ahead when the morning starts like this:

Moon over Brim Fell

The view down towards Coniston Water was no less impressive:

Cloud over Coniston Water

After a leisurely breakfast and the necessary ablutions I struck camp and wandered the hundred yards or so back up onto the path below the Black Sails ridge. While I was tightening my bootlaces a fellow wildcamper, Steve, caught up. He'd spent the night down at Levers Water and he too was heading for Swirl How, so we walked together for a while:

Looking back towards Levers Water

Steve's good with a camera, so good that he managed to get a rare snap of this strange critter:

Posing

The pull up to Swirl Hawse was a sweaty affair, with the sun strengthening and not a hint of a breeze, despite the warnings from MWIS. The view from the Hawse was simply stunning, the following pic doesn't do it any justice at all:

Great Carrs and Wet Side Edge from Swirl Hawse

We took our time going up the Prison Band, stopping often to draw breath and take pics:

Steve on the Prison Band

Looking back down the Prison Band towards Wetherlam

Having a breather

Before long we were at the summit of Swirl How. I'd expected there to have been more folk about up there, but we had the place and the views to ourselves:

Coniston Old Man, Brim Fell and Dow Crag from Swirl How

Steve's next objective was Brim Fell, so after a snack we exchanged contact details and went our separate ways. I took the track around towards Great Carrs, a top that I'd been to many years ago but in zero visibility and without a camera. I paused at the shallow col at the top of Broad Slack to nab some pics:

Great Carrs from the top of Broad Slack

Grey Friar from the top of Broad Slack


A few yards further on is a memorial to the crew of Halifax Bomber LL505 - "S" for Sugar. I'll let the pics do the talking:

From there it was a quick walk to the delightful top of Great Carrs...

The top of Great Carrs

from where there were great views down Greenburn towards Little Langdale...

Greenburn and Little Langdale

and back over Broad Slack to Swirl How:

Broad Slack and Swirl How

After a few minutes admiring the scenery and pottering about looking at the rocks, I set off again, down the easy grass slope to the west. I dumped the pack at the Fairfield col and walked on up to Grey Friar for a fantastic 270-degree panorama from Coniston Old Man around to the other Fairfield (the one above Grisedale Tarn). I took a string of photos to stitch together to make a huge panoramic pic of the scene but it didn't come out well, so you'll have to make do with a few single shots:

 

Goat's Hawse flanked by Coniston Old Man and Dow Crag

Harter Fell across Dunnerdale

Looking towards the other Fairfield

Looking back across the summit plateau to the twin tops of Grey Friar, I noticed a small tarn - the first reachable water I'd seen since leaving Swirl Hawse. If I'd known about it beforehand, I'd probably have pushed on the day before and spent the first night there instead. Unnamed and unmapped, it's a spot for a future wildie, perhaps?

Grey Friar's tops and tarn


I wandered back down to reclaim my pack and sat back for a mid-morning snack and a brew, made some notes and planned the rest of the day.

 

To be continued.

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8 Responses to “Coniston Fells Wildcamping (again) – Part 2 – Roasting on the Ridges”

  1. As ever, stunning photos, BG!.

    I wonder what the back-story was to the Canadian bomber. I see that one was named Riddoch, a local name up here in Aberdeen, and he was flying for the RCAF, to die on a hill in England seems more of a loss for a person who had travelled from one side of the Atlantic and back again.

  2. BG! says:

    Whatever the story, it was a sad ending. Just looking at the flight-crew's ages on the memorial plaque brought a lump to my throat - so young, and such a tragedy.

    There's a fair amount of info about the plane out there on the web. I found a piece that says that some of LL505 lives on as part of the Halifax NA337 restoration project: http://forum.keypublishing.com.....p?p=772015

  3. Robin Evans says:

    Looks like a great camp and walk. Stunning photos.

  4. you had fantastic weather by the looks of things and the photos, as mentioned above, are really very good indeed. Makes me want to go up there for definite (although for me its a trek to get there!)

  5. Colonel Blimp says:

    Fantastic photo's BG, especially the 1st one of the moon over Brim Fell, exposure looks perfect to me. I have to ask, what's caused the vignetting in that shot, some sort of filter or a lens hood? Great report as well, looking forward to the next installment!

  6. BG! says:

    Thanks for all the kind comments, folks. Expect another instalment later tonight :mrgreen:

    @Colonel Blimp - The vignetting is indeed due to a filter, it's a UV jobbie that I keep on to protect the front lens. A standard filter doesn't cause vignetting on the 18-55mm standard-issue lens, but after mangling the threads of the original UV filter, I had to do a quick rehousing job and the only suitable bit to hand was the thicker rotatable housing from an old knackered polarizing/polarising filter.

  7. Colonel Blimp says:

    Ah, the good old UV filter - makes sense now!

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