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#62788 - 11/09/11 07:51 PM Old Man of Conniston
scaredovheights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/09/09
Posts: 125
Having a few days in the Lakes next week and hope to climb the above. Is anyone familiar with the route taking in Brown Pike, Buck Pike, Dow Crag and Goats Hause. As usual I'm interested if there are any close sheer drops to be negotiated

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#62800 - 12/09/11 03:35 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: scaredovheights]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
I walked this 18 months ago. You can park at Fell Gate on the minor road which starts in central Coniston leading west then south before ending at the car parking area.

The first 2/3 miles up to the summit of the Walna Scar Road are quite benign. Absolutely no problems here. It has a gentle climb with no drops etc at either side.

You then turn west to climb Brown Pike. You can see the route up quite clearly from Walna Scar. It goes up the centre of the hillside and presents no problems. Once you reach the summit there is a fairly sheer fall away to the north but there is no need to see this at all. Just keep slightly south of the summit ridge over Buck Pike and Dow Crag.

From here you look down onto the pass and decide whether it is feasible for you to attempt the descent. It is quite short and not too steep but you do get a sense of going downhill. The climb then onto the Old Man is fine provided you don't head directly to the summit (which gives open views directly into the valley). Instead you can easily find a gentle route if you head towards Brim Fell and then double back onto the Brim Fell to Old Man path.

You will probably need to return the same way. The path direct to Coniston via the old mines is fairly steep. Whilst not in any way dangerous the open vista might cause your fears to kick in.

The drop from the hause into valley (the way that I returned) will also require some consideration and is probably best avoided.

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#62802 - 12/09/11 03:39 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: scaredovheights]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Yes done it many times.
The route is straightforward up the Walns Scar Road (track) as far as the col (high point) then literally turn right up the path taking to brown Pike summit.
The contuation path takes you by the top of Buck Pike and Dow Crag with huge drops to the right, although thepath is safely to the left. It does go past the exits of a couple of gullies, but you can avoid being too close if you fancy having a look.
The path then descends to Goats Hause and you just carry on straight across on the obvious path, which soon bends round to the right to take to the OLd Man summit.
A steep descent follows to Low Water and the obvious although several choices of little paths lead away to the right, to follow all the way back to Coniston.
Dave.

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#62807 - 12/09/11 08:00 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Slogger]
scaredovheights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/09/09
Posts: 125
Slowcoach and Slogger I'm so grateful for your detailed responses. It sounds then that so long as I don't go too near any edges (which will be achievable as there are always the chance to keep well away and still proceed?)I will be ok. The actual steep descents will probably not bother me as it's just getting close to sheer drops that trouble me. Is this a fair assumption?

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#62810 - 13/09/11 05:23 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: scaredovheights]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Yes, the ridge from brown Pike across and beyond Dow Crag have an easy sloping side and a near vertical one, so no need to go near the edge unless you want to. The descent from the Old Man is steep but nothing to be concerned about.
Dave.

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#62812 - 14/09/11 05:33 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Slogger]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
The return route along the way that you came should give you no problems. However, the mines track gives quite a panoramic view over the whole landscape, As soon as you leave the summit and start the descent your vertigo might kick in if you are affected by open vistas. Only you can decide this but there is still time to retrace your route at this point.

Be careful if you retrace your steps as the direct path from the summit to the hause may take you close to the edge of the gully if you wander off it and take a sheep track. Head first along the Brim Fell track and then head down the gentle slope to the hause.

Don't, under any circumstances, try the circuit and come back via Prison Band. It really will affect you then.

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#62813 - 14/09/11 08:40 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: slowcoach]
tim smith Offline
Full Member

Registered: 28/10/06
Posts: 1054
Loc: england
you get some good views from Prison Band,
happy memmories
_________________________
ern

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#62814 - 14/09/11 11:43 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: tim smith]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
As said, it's not vertigo or exposure that SOH is bothered by but, just sheer vertical drops, so the descent down to Low Water or indeed Prisom Band should not be a problem.
Even climbers have days when vertigeous drops are bothersome, it's ok when ascending them but when at the top, looking over to bring the second up can be another thing at times. Then doing the same the next day, it can be no problem at all.
Dave.

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#62815 - 15/09/11 09:01 AM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Slogger]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
"Yesterday I took advice on here and did the Scales route up Blencathra and down to the Blencathra Centre. Even the zig zag path up worried me"

Post by Scaredofheights on 20/5

Sounds more serious than just sheer vertical drops that are of concern.

If this route up Blencathra, with the open aspect behind him worried him, then the mines route, with the open aspect in front would provide a far more serious challenge. This is even more noticable on Prison Band, I really can;t imagine that a person who finds the route from Scales to Blenthra a daunting experience would manage such a drop as Prison Band.

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#62816 - 15/09/11 09:06 AM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: slowcoach]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
http://www.lakedistrictwalks.com/prifbsq.html

Scaredofheights. Have a look at this picture of Prison Band and see if you would be comfortable with descending it

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