BB1527 : Good Day, Sunshine

Thursday 30th July 2015

“Cheap Beer” was Tony’s promise.  After the walk, we were to repair to a pub (the name of which will, for the moment, remain unmentioned) in Coniston "where they know me and give me the local’s prices”.

“You’re on!” we cried and agreed to cut short the walk to make the most of it.

There was still plenty of room at the Walna Scar Road car park as we set off on what promised to be a three-quarters decent day.  The sun threatened to shine so cream was applied. Stan and I looked resplendent in our 40 year old Rohan tops.

Rohan Retros

Up the Walna Road

My plan had been to tackle Dow Crag, which John and Terry needed for their Wainwright tally, from the top of the Walna Scar Road (it's an old track, really), up Brown Pike and Buck Pike.  

 Comfy shelter?

Dow Crag comes into view

Bryan had a different idea- that we should turn off earlier for Blind Tarn and then climb the steep grassy hill to the ridge.  Stan had an even more extreme proposition of ascending by a Wainwright route that climbed up through the crags.  Neither really appealed to me but I was willing to go to Blind Tarn and have a look-see.

Un(?)fortunately we missed the track and found ourselves at the top of the Walna Scar Road exactly like the original plan.  A discussion ensued.  We four wimps decided to stick with the original plan whilst the heroes, Bryan and Stan, would go the Blind Tarn route.  Weren't we glad we didn't?!

From the ridge we looked down and couldn’t imagine how they would get up to join us.  Eventually they did.  Unscathed.  Then told us that they had actually climbed a gully that we couldn’t have managed but the proposed route, although steep, would have been ok.  Hmm.  I have no regrets.

First view of Blind Tarn

The way up from Blind Tarn!

I had been apprehensive about the Dow Crag summit.  My recollection was of a short ledge that had to be crossed with a 1,000 foot drop to the right. I saw where it was and realised that with a bit of relatively safe boulder-climbing I could reach the top without exposure.

Dow Crag summit

Stan on the summit climb

The day was now becoming a cracker apart from the fact that a cold wind was blowing along the tops. Once out of it, we were in danger of getting hot as the sun was belting down.

The views were extensive and you could just make out, to the west, the Isle of Man and its Calf;

Is that Blackpool Tower across the Leven estuary?

Is that Ingleborough far beyond Coniston Water?

That's definitely the Scafells

Is that the Isle of Man beyond Harter Fel?

We dropped down to Goat’s Hawse for lunch.  

Old Man to the left, Goat's Water middle, Dow Crag right; from  Goat's Hawse.

Two young German ladies passed by.  "Hello" they said.  

"Grüß Gott" I replied.  That surprised them.

I did wonder about launching into one of the only two pieces of German I remember from school which, translated, is: "Allow me to be somewhat helpful to you if you should have any sort of difficulty"  It is a sentence I have used one, fairly recently, at a Munich railway station to the consternation of an old lady with a suitcase.  Here, however, it could have been misconstrued.

My other sentence would have been even less useful, that of Herr Weber coming home from the office somewhat earlier than usual with tickets for the theatre that his colleague hadn't needed and so had given him.  On the other hand..........!?

Nein, Goethe's Götz von Berlichingen was not likely to be their Tasse Tee.

The path to the Old Man

Dow's Crags and Goat's Water

After this learned conversation, we made the comparatively easy climb to Coniston Old Man summit which was quite busy.

The Old Man summit

Wetherlam across Levers Water

Rather than take the tourist route down, we followed a faint but safe and almost cloudless path south to the Walna Scar Road. The car parks were overflowing and some rather nice cars were left in places for which they were not designed. Not surprisingly for the time of year and the fact that it was still a very sunny day.

Comitibus :  Old men on the Old Man

Coniston village, quarry and Water

Now for the pub.  The young barman looked disinterested.  Tony said something to the effect that “I am a local and I claim the right to have the beer at the price reserved for locals”.  The barman shrugged and carried on pouring.

“Look,” said Tony, “My niece Hermione Thrumbuttle drinks in here every evening." Barman totally unimpressed.

“I had my wedding reception here,” Tony went on desperately but was clearly getting nowhere.  Mind you, that wedding reception was not only before the barman was born, it was probably before his father was born.  1970.  So sadly full price had to be paid.  For a total cost of 60p, that barman has put at risk all of Tony’s future custom.  It could be another 45 years before he pays his next visit.

It had been a good day but, for Tony at least, The Sun had lost its shine.

Don, Thursday 30th July 2015

The Ascent of Mera Peak

Bryan visited the Himalayas in March to climb Mera Peak, all 21,108 feet of it.  Having succesfully achieved his objective, he returned home only a few days before the earthquake.

Understandably in the circumstances, at first he was reluctant to write about his exploits but now feels able to share the experience with us.

To read about Bryan's expedition, click on Mera Peak.




Thursday 30th July 2015

Distance in miles:

6.9 (Garmin)

Height climbed in feet:

2,651 (Anquet)


Dow Crag, The Old Man of Coniston


Bryan, Don, John, Stan, Terry, Tony


BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1527 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel file: BB Log.

You can navigate to the required report via the Home Page

Photos have been gleaned from many sources
although mostly from me and other
boys. Likewise written comment.

I apologise if I have failed to acknowledge properly the source or infringed
copyright.  Please let me know and I will do my best to put things right.

Unless stated otherwise, please feel free to download the material if you wish.
A reference back to this website would be appreciated.


To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When? This may or may not be up to date!

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
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BOOTboys 2015



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