3rd August 2013

Dow Crag to Wetherlam


Walk Overview
Time 8:10am to 2:50pm
Duration 6 hr 45 min
Distance 12.3 mile
Ascent 4500 ft
Walking with Rod Hepplewhite
Fellgate - Walna Scar Road - Brown Pike - Buck Pike - Dow Crag - Goat's Hawse - Coniston Old Man - Brim Fell - Levers Hawse - Fairfield - Grey Friar - Fairfield - Great Carrs - Swirl How - Prison Band - Wetherlam - Hole Rake - Levers Water Beck - Fellgate
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car Park, Fellgate, Walna Scar Road

This is a decent sized car park that offers a closer starting point for a walk up the ever popular Coniston Old Man. Once the car park is full there are still a few places to be found in the immediate area.

Although parking is free, I actually enjoy the walk up here from coniston village.


Route Map

The main topic of conversation as we set out was the clouds up on the fell tops. At this point we both hoped it would lift off the fells but didn't really think it would. As it turned out, we did spend part of the walk up in the clouds, although I have to say this didn't take anything away from the walk, it actually added to the enjoyment. No, I'm not crazy, quite a few people feel like this about walking in cloud. It's just another side to fell walking.

I guess this means we're okay to continue up here. I don't think the guy on the bike would get far though.

Poor Boo Tarn. There isn't much left of it now and I think it's a shame. I don't suppose it was ever going to win first prize in the most attractive tarn competition, but that shouldn't mean it get's left to disappear altogether.

It's a nice steady walk up Walna Scar even if bits of it are rough under foot like this section here.

Looking up Walna Scar Road.

Just over a mile from the start and you arrive at Cove Bridge. About a mile further on and you're at the top.

Yes, I'll take a picture of Coniston Water before the views vanish altogether.

Just above Walna Scar Road and up into the cloud we go.

Clambering up to Dow Crag summit.

And from t'other side you get a better view of the conditions up here today. To state the obvious, the picture doesn't show how windy it was.

Heading down to Goat's Hawse and for a short time we dropped below the cloud. Actually, it could have been the cloud that was getting higher. It was a bit hard to tell at this point to be honest.

Well, that's Dow Crag over there and this picture sort of proves it was the cloud that was rising.

Coniston Old Man. Yes, we're back up in the cloud.

We'd lost the views, which was a shame, but on the plus side there were only two other people up here; which is quite rare at this time of day in August. Never mind, I'm sure the crowds that arrived later in the day enjoyed the views that we missed.

Brim Fell.

Levers Water.

Blimey, it wasn't half windy walking through Levers Hawes. The wind was being forced against the head of the valley and then escaping by the only available route which happened to the area we were walking into.

Looking down to Seathwaite Tarn. The prominent fell behind is Harter Fell.

Levers Water again.

Looking across to Fairfield. The flat(ish) area over there; not the fell above Grasmere.

Cloud topped Coniston Old Man, Brim Fell and Dow Crag.

A view down to Duddon Valley and Harter Fell. Hard Knott Pass can be seen on the right of the picture.

Grey Friar summit

Sunshine on Grey Friar.

The aeroplane wreckage is found a little way below Great Carrs and surprisingly, if you don't know where it is or you didn't know it was here at all, it would be easy to miss it. On the walk up from Grey Friar you can see the wooden cross on the skyline.

I had to sit down to take this picture of Great Carrs summit. The wind was howling through here and standing still wasn't the easiest thing to do. It seems like a heck of a long time since I've been on a walk where the wind was as strong as this.

A close up of Little Langdale Tarn.

And not so close up. Little Langdale Tarn is the one on the right hand edge of the photo.

A final view of Grey Friar and the plane wreckage before we head up to Swirl How.

Swirl How summit.

It was nice to get out of the wind as we made our way down Prison Band. Now all we need to do is find a couple of comfortable stones to sit on for a bite to eat. As we approached the two comfortable stones a guy passed (overtook) us. He pointed the way we'd just came and asked "was that one Swirl How". "Yes" we both answered. He then asked "are you heading to that one over there, whatever it's called". "you mean Wetherlam" I said. "Wether, , , I think I'll go there as well". Okay; I don't expect everyone to be able to name everything at a glance or to have walked every path you can see but for God sake, , how people can head up here with almost no idea at all and have to rely on the assumed accuracy of strangers to find their way is beyond me.

Looking back up Prison Band.

Great Carrs.
You can't see it on this picture but there's more of the aeroplane wreckage over there in Broad Slack. One of these days I'll have a walk across to take a closer look.

A close up of Blea Tarn.

Most of Lakeland seemed to be brightening up by now.

A close up of Little Langdale, Eltermere and Loughrigg Fell.

This is the unnamed tarn found at the top of Steel Edge.

Turning around to take half a sunny picture of Wetherlam.

Looking across to Levers Water, Coniston Old Man and Brim Fell.

This is the point where we joined up with the path near Hole Rake. If you carry on walking on this path eventually you end up at Tilberthwaite.

It's not the easiest thing to see on a photo but our car is parked over on that grassy area on the right hand side; to the right of the fields. To get there we continued down to the beck, through the bracken, onto the path going out of the right hand edge of the picture and then across to the car park.

Looking down to Coppermines Valley.

Our route took us straight across the valley today. It's been years since I had a good look around this area so it would have been nice to have spent a little more time here today, but needs must and as quickly as we arrived, we headed out of the valley and up towards the car park.

Some very generous person had taken the time to pile a load of stones up across the beck which meant we could cut straight over instead of walking down the road and doubling back up the opposite side if the beck.

And a view looking in the opposite direction.


This is almost the same as the first picture I took this morning with the exception of the skyline, , , this picture has one.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks