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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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#62817 - 15/09/11 04:02 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: scaredovheights]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Originally Posted By: scaredovheights
The actual steep descents will probably not bother me as it's just getting close to sheer drops that trouble me.


I see what you mean SC, I was going off this recent quote.
Dave.

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#62823 - 15/09/11 10:15 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Slogger]
scaredovheights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/09/09
Posts: 125
Firstly thanks for taking the time to give me what I consider are you're expert opinions. I must admit that picture does daunt me a little. I should explain a little better. My fear of heights is definately getting worse and although Scales route up Blencathra was mostly fine, I felt nervous on the zig zag path that faced away from the mountain, I guess it was the sensation of walking towards what appeared to be a drop even though I'm aware there was land beyond it. This feeling passed as the zig zag then took me away facing inwards of the mountain until it twisted back again. From the picture I don't think there would be a broad enough path giving me the comfort of land either side. Thanks again for great assistance here.

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#62850 - 16/09/11 04:16 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: scaredovheights]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Coincidently,
I will be descending the Prison Band from Swirl How tomorrow Saturday, in what is expected to be bad weather.
Some guys from our running club are doing the '3 Shires' Fell race from The 3 Shires Inn in Little Langdale.
It is an 11 mile circular, taking in Wetherlam, Swirl How, Wetside Edge to the '3 Shires Stone', then Pike O Blisco, dropping down cross country to Blea tarn before ascending Lingmoor, and finally dropping down to finish on the field at the front of the pub.
Ive only just started running again, so I am walking the route the opposite way to which it is run.
The lads should be up on Swirl How (Where I plan to watch) around Mid day, then I'll drop down Prison Band, over Wetherlam and hopefully be at the finish for they start coming in.
Dave.

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#62867 - 18/09/11 11:24 AM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Slogger]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
Well I walked the route yesterday, but would have been quicker in snorkel and flippers. Apart from abrief spell of about ten minutes and fifteen minutes just as I got back to the car it rained incessantly.
Fortuately wearing good waterproofs, I remained dry underneath and with snug fitting gaiters, even going up to my knee in a wet hole, no water got in my boots.
It was good turnout with almost 300 runners, many of them just wearing shorts and vest, whilst other wore a light jacket.
My 11 miles became around 17 after I purposely detoured via Side Pike and then at Wetherlams summit (the last one) made a very basic, novice type error (complacency, over confidence or whatever) and descended the South West ridge instead of the East ridge. Having taken only self printed strip maps of the route, I ended up well off the map, in a shallow valley and then trapped on the wrong side of a deep gorge. Eventually coming to a road and car park with an area board. I couldn't believe I was so far off route.
Anyway I managed to work out a route back to the car and arrived to find almost everyone had gone and the Marquee even packed away.
That will teach me to follow what I what I preach and use my compass when in the pea soup, coming off a summit.
Dave.

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#62883 - 19/09/11 01:55 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: slowcoach]
Janice & Rottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/06/05
Posts: 516
Loc: Coniston, Cumbria, UK
Haven't been on the forum for a while and would have added my bit to this.

I wonder how Scaredofheights got on. The steep drops/ridges are all easily avoided by keeping away from them which is easily done unless of course you take in Prison Band. The dedicated path is a bit of a scramble in parts so he might find it a bit harder to avoid the steep drop. But there are a lot worse.

They are currently re-laying the Walna Scar track towards Brown Pike, near the bridge. It is hard work walking on the wet sticky silt whicjh is down at the moment.
_________________________
Janice & Harlie(dog)

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#62902 - 22/09/11 02:40 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Janice & Rottie]
scaredovheights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/09/09
Posts: 125
Well you had all been so generous with your advice I wanted to report how I went on though sitting here at home on a sunny day I can't help feel disapointed but I guess this vertigo thing has got me beat.

I set of from Coniston walking up the Walna Scar Road on Tuesday, past the car parking area. Here there were several people taking the path to the right which I wish now I had attempted as it would of been a quicker way up, perhaps someone can comment on that. I also noticed a white arrow on a slate a mile or so further on , again pointing a way off to the right with "Old Man Path" written on it. There was a stony path and a grassy path going up but a couple of guys seemed unsure which path to take so I stayed on the Walna Scar Road path. I enjoyed the walk up and it was only as I reached the foot of the path up Brown Pike that the wind became very bad. I'm finding that my vertigo and general uneasiness at height is far worse when it is windy. I carried on up Brown Pike and over Buck Pike but as I approached Dow Crag I felt daunted at the drop down to The Old Man and decided to turn back. I have to say the information you all gave about the route was spot on, it just seems that my mountain walking days will have to be restricted to a limited type. For instance I was fine climbing Skiddaw and Arenig Fawr recently. Had it not been windy maybe I would of carried on. I had underestimated the walk and The Old Man still seemed a long way off. At the end of the day it was a lovely walk with some great views and I'm glad I bagged a couple of "Pikes" but it seems ridge walking is not for me over a couple of thousand feet but I was left wondering if there was an easier route up? Thanks anyway to you all and I would be interested in any views and comments.

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#62903 - 22/09/11 05:31 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: scaredovheights]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
That second path off to the right with an arrow on the slate was probably the path that goes past Goats Water and takes you up to the Goats Hause, where you would have ended up had you descended Dow Crag. You simply then follow the path up to the right from there and further up follow it as it bends round to the right, to the Old Man summit.
That first major path to the right links up with the main path from Coniston to the Old Man summit. The same path as we were talking about descending from the top.
Dave.

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#62906 - 22/09/11 05:59 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Slogger]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
See this link showing the path to Goats Water and steep descent path to Low Water from the Old Man summit leading back to Coniston.
https://picasaweb.google.com/101559091367211262061/GoatsWaterEtc?authkey=Gv1sRgCNPw3rTr9peczQE
Dave.

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#62916 - 23/09/11 07:22 AM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Slogger]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
There is absolutely no need to abandon high level walking, just choose a different area. I believe that I have mentioned this before, you could try some of the Dales or High Pennine walks.

Try Great Shunner from Hawes or Keld
Buckden Pike or Great Whernside from Park Rash
Ingleborough.
Cross Fell from Dufton.
The list is endless. In fact, many of the Dales walks would pose you no problems

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#62931 - 23/09/11 01:21 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: slowcoach]
Janice & Rottie Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/06/05
Posts: 516
Loc: Coniston, Cumbria, UK
If the track to the right of Walna Scar with the arrow, was about 1/4 mile form the Walna Scar car park and below the quarries, then this path takes you to the Old Man. It can get a bit dodgy as there are a 2-3 routes leading off that track further up the fell, neither of which are well trodden in some places.

One route takes you directly past the quarries which you keep on your right and then along a good path which meets the main tourist track above Low Water. The second route skirts the fell before turning sharp right and picks up the one I have just mentioned. The third route takes you up an indistinct path leading to the summit via the southern slopes. All are relatively quiet walks since most people take the more familiar routes. All of these as I said, start from that "arrow" track below the quarries.

However, if it was much further on and you could see Brown Pike clearly, then yes, it would have lead you to Goatswater and Goats Hawse. It is a much gentler walk up the Old Man from there and you are not subject to the steepness of the Dow Crag ridge. Also if you came down by one of the other routes I have mentioned above, then once you are off the ridge, you don't have to go down the steep section to Low Water as you turn off to the right. You still have to negotiate a little steepness but the drops shouldn't give you the heebeejeebies.

As Slowcoach has suggested I agree Shunner and Cross fell are nice high level lumps without the drama of steep drops. You might get a bit iffy on Ingleborough depending on which route you take. The Howgills and Cheviots are also quite placid.
_________________________
Janice & Harlie(dog)

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#62932 - 23/09/11 05:28 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Janice & Rottie]
Slogger Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/06/05
Posts: 2893
Loc: West Lancs.
I think your problem is just a lack of confidence. Walking with an experienced person that is used to these scenarios will make you feel safer and eventually you will wonder what yopu were worried about.
Dave.

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#62936 - 25/09/11 10:39 AM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: Slogger]
scaredovheights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/09/09
Posts: 125
Thanks all. Good points that I shall take on board.

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#62938 - 25/09/11 07:30 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: scaredovheights]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Whereabouts do you live? As Janice rightly states, the Howgills are a fantastic walking area with few sheer faces (if you avoid the climb alongside Cautley Spout).

Only 15 minutes from Kendal with good parking. If you travel north along the minor road from Sedbergh to Howgill village (to the west of the hills) there is a large area of grassland suitable for parking about 5 miles along it. Park here and pick your route! The Calf is the highest point. Great views with no sheer faces and very gentle ascents.

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#62942 - 26/09/11 06:26 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: slowcoach]
scaredovheights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/09/09
Posts: 125
Hi Slowcoach. I live between The Peak District (which I go to mostly) and Snowdonia so the Lake District tends to be two or three times a year breaks. I have printed this off though as it sounds very suitable, thanks to all.

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#62947 - 26/09/11 07:21 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: scaredovheights]
slowcoach Offline
Full Member

Registered: 30/07/09
Posts: 1925
Loc: Yorkshire
Should be able to make the southern Dalws relatively easily then.

Suggestions ...
Simons Seat via the Valley of Desolation. A lovely walk. The valley is called after a storm that rushed down the valley and tore up all the trees.

Buckden Pike from Park Rash. Pick the right day and this is Englands finest viewpoint. You can see from Blackpool to Anglesy, from Middlesbrough across the Moors. Weardale down to Penhill north and south. A very easy stree free amble.

Parson's Pulpit from Malham. The small cemetery was used in the opening scenes of Wuthering Heights.

Fountains Fell from Malham Tarn along the Pennine way returning via Darnbrook Fell. No problems with this one if you avoid Malham Cove and Gordale Scar.

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#62966 - 27/09/11 08:09 PM Re: Old Man of Conniston [Re: slowcoach]
scaredovheights Offline
Full Member

Registered: 21/09/09
Posts: 125
Excellent, printed off for further investigation, many thanks!

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