The Old Man of Coniston

Im really bad at this blogging thing…

anyway, another trig point was bagged the other week when I spent the day exploring the coppermine valley and went up the Old Man of Coniston. I’ve been up before, but it was a ong time ago and also felt that the industrial history was something that my partner would enjoy.

Unfortunately, we picked an awful day weather wise. Was wet and windy and just horrible. Not as bad as the day we went up Loughrigg Fell but still not pleasant. Anyway, after walking up to levers water and hiding in an old mine for lunch (yes, naughty, don’t do it) we headed up onto the ridge where the wind was just ridiculous. We had a wonder about and went down to Goat Water, where I had planned to go for a swim but the weather wasn’t playing ball. So we headed to the summit and then down the more direct way back to the car park.

We’ll have to go again on a better day as we missed a lot in our rush back to the car and a lot on the way up due to the weather. But it was still a good day

My 10 top summits

it’s a day late but meh. In honour of national mountain day I have complied a list of my top 10 summits:

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10. Ben Nevis

I felt this had to be on the list, apart from anything else surely people should do this one just for bragging rights? I’ve been up Ben Nevis four times, once as part of the 3 peaks and three times just because I was int he area. Even camped on it once as the weather turned on my way down and it wasn’t safe to continue.

There is an issue here of it’s very popular, you are unlikely to get the summit to yourself unless you set off very early or go in the winter (which I have never done but am planning to re-do the 3 peak challenge in the winter at some point so that will be fun). It’s a long walk, but not too difficult of a walk, and come on it’s worth it to be able to stand on the highest point in the UK surely?

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9. Pen yr Ole Wen

completely here for the views, and as I felt I needed at least one Welsh mountain on the list. It’s a short and not technically difficult walk, but it is demanding physically. The views even from half way up are truly amazing

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8. Yewbarrow

A fun scramble up, a less fun scramble down… again this is basically on the list due tot he view from the top more than for any other reason

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7. Blencathra (saddleback)

No scrambling, nothing overly technical, just an enjoyable and pretty walk with a Tarn at the summit and some seriously amazing views. I have only done this summit in the summer, but I’ve seen pictures of it in the winter and that is now very highly on my wish list as the views appear to be stunning in the winter.

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6. Tom Dubh

I may be biased here as it’s in the cairngorms and the cairngorms are my second favourite place in the UK (Loch Lomond takes the crown). This is not the most technical of climbs, nor the longer nor highest, it can have some navigational challenges if the weather isn’t perfect but other than that at first glance it seems like a fairly average bump in the planet. But, you almost always have it to yourself in my experience, and the walk itself is very enjoyable.

More so though this is not one that can be expressed in words really, it just feels special and isolated and just amazing at the summit. It’s hard to express, you’ll just have to go see for yourself 😛

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5. Sgurr Fiona

An Teallach has two summits of which sgurr fiona wins hands down in my opinion. Also this is a brilliant mountain for scrambling, but it’s tricky in places and I would advice only attempting it in good weather unless you are very good at navigation.

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4. Beinn Eighe

Technically this isn’t a summit as such, Ruadh-stac Mor would be its highest summit, but as I think the walk in its entirety is what makes this one so special I didn’t want to put just the summit. I may be a strange person but I found the geology fascinating on this walk, there is also an amazing range of wildlife. There is a downside that the route is not circular and so unless you want to be walking for 20 or so hour to go in both directions you will require a nice person to drop you off and pick you up, but ignoring that and the fact that you will be very tired the next day it is an amazing walk.

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3. Helvellyn

Striding Edge… Need I say more?

ok, fine. I feel I may be biased here as I love Ullswater and so have been up Helvellyn 6 times to date. But beyond that you have striding edge which is great fun, and Red Tarn which is very pretty in the winter. You also have some great views over Ulswater from the top

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2. Old man of Coniston

This is not exactly a difficult walk, not overly high either at 803m, but you have the interest of the old mine and quarry works (which I honestly could spend all day exploring) and then you just have an amazing view from the top. Unfortunately I don’t seem to be alone in ranking this highly so you’re unlikely to get the summit to yourself, but it’s worth it regardless.

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1. Ben Lomond

At 975m it’s not exactly the highest peak, also not the longer walk (looking at about 4 – 5 hours round trip) but the scenery from the summit is my favourite view out of anywhere that I have ever visited.