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Thread: TR Coniston OM meet: 2013

  1. #1
    Ultra King That bastard Skip's Avatar
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    For a Friday, the M6 wasn't too bad so, despite a lunchtime stop at Haydock to meet a mate, I was in Ambleside by mid-afternoon. I'd planned to meet Pete and Taz but they'd already headed off to Coniston. However, Teesdale Viking and I had a mooch about the shops before heading out to Coppermines.

    This was a fairly big meet. Over two dozen people attended, the majority sleeping in Coniston Coppermines Youth Hostel but a few camping nearby. The 'few' turned out to be Pete, Taz, Smoky, Chewie and me and 'nearby' turned out to be the tiny garden-come-yard behind the hostel.

    People drifted in as the afternoon turned to early evening and soon the carpark was full. A few hundred yards further up the track, some holiday cottages seemed equally busy while just across the car park a large group was staying at Coppermines Cottage, the Barrow Mountaineering Club's hut. Their group included a contingent from the local MRT.

    Before dusk, a small group of us strolled up the lane to explore the old mine workings. As dark fell we returned to the hostel and spent a very sociable evening talking bollox in a happy haze of curry.

    I went to bed early and although it was a chilly evening I slept warmly and soundly.

    continues ...

  2. #2
    Ultra King That bastard Skip's Avatar
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    ... continued

    Saturday dawned dry but rather overcast. Indoors, the pleasing smell of frying bacon overwhelmed any other less welcome odours.

    I drove down to Coniston (with Smoky - aka Teesdale Viking - and the affable big black dog) to meet Paddy off the bus at 9.30. We then drove to the carpark on Walna Scar Road which gave us a useful 'leg up' on the way to the higher fells. We were joined by the rest of our walking group who had schlepped round from the hostel. As well as Smoky, Paddy and me, the party included Dave Chick, John (JJ), Pete and Taz.

    With Paddy as our knowledgeable guide, we set off along Walna Scar Road at a gentle pace for a round of Dow Crag and Old Man. We chose this fairly short route because Paddy had to be back in time for the bus home but it proved a walk with plenty of interest.

    At the summit of the pass, we diverted a couple of hundred metres to amble over to Walna Scar itself and enjoy the views. Then we recrossed the road for the easy and pleasant walk up over Brown Pike and Buck Pike to the summit of Dow Crag. We enjoyed intimate views of the rock scenery around us and wider vistas towards the coast and Duddon estuary. We even caught a glimpse of the Isle of Man as the cloud began to break.

    From Dow Crag we descended to the hause then strolled over gentle rising slopes to the Old Man where we sat and ate our lunch. It was chilly on the tops so we didn't linger long. Pete and Taz donned spikes and opted for the snow-covered direct descent to Coppermines. The rest of us struck off south from the summit on an intermittent path across snow-free easy grass slopes. Once past a large working quarry, we spotted a little ravine and dropped into it. It proved a charming route back to the Walna Scar Road - not too steep, prettily lined with juniper and holly, and a sun trap too.

    Back at the car park, we all managed to squeeze into my car and were soon back at the hostel. This gave Paddy a chance to meet some of the others and have a cuppa before he walked down to Coniston for his bus.

    Having finished early and not wanting to be indoors on a nice afternoon, Smoky and I strolled down to Miners Bridge where we watched the MRT party from Coppermines Cottage conducting a training exercise in the ravine. It was interesting to watch the team practice their stretcher technique and reassuring to see the care and detail in MRT training.

    Then it was back to the hostel for refreshment - a big 'thank you' to JJ (Ninja) and NickNick for the excvellent cakes.

    That evening Pete, Taz, Smoky and I walked down to the Black Bull where we spent a very pleasant evening complete with a decent pub supper.

    continues...

  3. #3
    Ultra King That bastard Skip's Avatar
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    ... continued
    Sunday saw a busy start but everyone was ready to leave soon after 10am. Some people had to hit the road straight away - farewells were taken - but G wumpy had a walk lined up for the rest of us. It turned out to be a very pleasant Yewdale round of low fells and mixed woodland. The walk took us past Tarm How, over Black Fell, across to Hodge Close quarry then up over Holme Fell. It was a good wind-down amble on a lovely warm day.

    After more farewells, Smoky, Chewie and I headed into Ambleside for coffee then to the campsite at Great Langdale. The place was nearly deserted. I cooked a vegetarian camp supper after which we spent the evening in the bar at the ODG warming ourselves in front of the log fire.

    On Monday, we drove separately round to Three Shires Stone on Wrynose Pass. Chewie had his eye on the Crinkles but on the way up he injured his knee so had to bail out and set off for home. Smoky and I bid Chewie goodbye then headed over the road to Wetside Edge. There was a keen wind so we didn't hang about but strode purposefully up towards Great Carrs. On the ascent We found a big area of good hard snow so we stopped for a play - walking on steep snow in spikes, practicing ice axe arrest and so on - great fun

    Once on Grey Friar's summit plateau we found a sheltered spot for lunch then headed back to Swirl How and along the ridge to Great Carrs. After pausing by the memorial to the the Canadian aircrew who died when their Halifax bomber crashed here in 1944, we retraced our steps down Wetside Edge to the car.

    The chipshop in Ambleside is closed on Monday evenings - well, we know that now. Instead, we dined (on fish and chips) at 'Wainwrights' in Chapel Stile. It was my visit to this pub and it was rather better than I'd expected. It looks a bit up itself from outside but the food was good and there was a nice friendly informal atmosphere. I'll go there again. After supper, it was back to the campsite under a clear starry which meant the coldest night of the weekend - it dropped to about -5C just before dawn.

    continues...


  4. #4
    Ultra King That bastard Skip's Avatar
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    ... concludes

    Tuesday morning dawned gloriously frosty and bright. As the sun crept up behind Lingmoor the Langdale Pikes were bathed in a golden glow - magic. The Crinkles and Bowfell emerged softly through the morning haze, their heights still carrying a fair bit of snow. It was a real shame to have to leave on such a glorious morning.

    The run back down the M6 was uneventful (except for the near-permanent congestion around Stoke on Trent) but even so it was dark before I got home.

    In summary, another enjoyable OM meet. Thanks to Milly for putting it together and thanks to everyone for their good fellowship.

  5. #5
    ‹bermensch pete-rbg's Avatar
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    And thanks to you, Skip, for an enjoyable trip report and your good company

  6. #6
    Ultra King That bastard Skip's Avatar
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    Awww, ta Pete

  7. #7
    Ultra King Diddi's Avatar
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    lucky bastard skip

  8. #8
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    Thanks for your company and culinary skills on Sunday night.

    But can I have your old knees -mine still feels fecked, falling through ice and dropping a foot doesnt do an already dodgy knee any good.

  9. #9
    ‹bermensch pete-rbg's Avatar
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    Chewie mate, sorry that the weekend didn't turn out to be as good as it might've been for you.


    Take it easy - rest that knee - and...

    ... see you on another meet

  10. #10
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    Pete, weekend was a great one, my knee is my knee - I know I'm not the only one that suffers.

    After all some of us are only human - oh to be rebuilt

  11. #11
    ‹bermensch pete-rbg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewie View Post

    After all some of us are only human...

    Yeah, guess me genes got crossed in some outer-cyber-place

  12. #12
    Mini Goon Andy P 25's Avatar
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    Enjoyed reading that. Sounds like a right good time
    Cheers mate

  13. #13
    Ultra King That bastard Skip's Avatar
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    Ta Andy

  14. #14
    Mini Goon
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    Sounds like you all had a lovely time

    I love the Walna Scar track. I've never followed it up to the top of the pass (both times I've been up there I've diverted to Goats Water for Dow Crag) and really must go that waynext time.

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