Finishing on a high

Today was another remarkable day.  It was the last day of our holiday and the weather conditions were PERFECT for attempting to summit Coniston Old Man as the sun was shining but it wasn’t too hot, the summit was free from cloud allowing us spectacular panoramic views, the strong winds from yesterday had eased to a gentle breeze and there was no rain or adverse weather forecast.

Clare and Tony needed no persuasion to join us for Megan and Williams debut mountain, which stands at 803 meters above sea level and is visible from their home.

Coniston Old Man - the rounded peak on the right of the picture and Dow Crags to the left.
Coniston Old Man – the rounded peak on the right of the picture with Dow Crags to the left.

Our route started from the high level car park adjoining the Walna Scar Road.  From here we followed this track to Low Water, passing through the redundant mine workings that tower over the Coppermines valley and youth hostel.

Heading up the Walna Scar road
Heading up the Walna Scar road
William keeps a steady pace
William keeps a steady pace
An opportunity to explore the old mining village
An opportunity to explore the old mining village
Re-fueling at Low Water
Re-fueling at Low Water
Tony taking it easy
Tony taking it easy

Having re-energised at the Tarn, Megan and William needed no encouragement to speed their way up to the summit.  Megan in particular revealed her inner mountain goat and made very light work of the steep ascent, however, Williams competitive edge would not let his sister leave his sight.  Thanks to Aunty Clare and Uncle Tony for speeding up after them!!

Made it to the summit
Made it to the summit
Clare at the summit.
Clare at the summit

Once at the summit we were rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of the southern lakes, including a great view of Beacon Tarn, our wild camp spot.

Birds-eye view of Lake Coniston.
Birds-eye view of Lake Coniston and Coniston Village

We found a sheltered spot close to the summit to have our lunch, whilst admiring the view and keeping an eye on several groups of climbers on Dow Crags.

Megan enjoying the highest lunch she has ever had!
Megan enjoying the highest lunch she has ever had!

After lunch we made our way to the col between the Old Man and Dow Crags where we headed down Goats Hawse towards Goats Water.

Goats Water
Goats Water

We paused again at Goats Water to enjoy a shortbread biscuit.  This also gave us the chance to check up on the climbers who were now close enough that we could hear their conversations.  We also spotted a dare-devil sheep on the rock face above the climbers.  It seemed to be happy enough munching grass on the ledge although it added a rather disconcerting dimension to the spectacle.

Watching the climbers and the dare-devil sheep.
Watching the climbers and the dare-devil sheep.

From Goats water we continued down the path to the cove, giving Megan and William plenty of scrambling practice.

Megan and William waiting for the oldies to catch up!
Megan and William find a great spot to admire the view
Megan and William opting for a challenging route.
Megan and William opting for a challenging route.

Once below the cove we picked up the Walna Scar Road again where Megan and William trotted along happily back to the car.

We're on the homeward trail!!
We’re on the homeward trail!!

The route we followed was 9 km in total (5.5 miles) with 630 meters of ascent.  Megan and William have proved just how capable at walking they are and we were all incredibly impressed with the way they took this challenge in their stride and achieved it with relative ease.

A real achievement and great milestone in their adventurous lives – you are both AWESOME!!!

And so our holiday in Cumbria has come to an end.  It has been a great break from normality and fantastic to share a couple of weeks of action and adventure together as a family.  The holiday really did end on a high for us and we take with us memories that will last a lifetime.

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3 Comments

  1. A holiday that reached it’s peak on the final day. Great photos that will be viewed with pride for many years to come. A particular “Well Done” to Megan & William for climbing your first big mountain – we’re very proud of you both.

  2. Brilliant, fantastic – what an amazing achievement, Megan and William. A very big WELL DONE. Grandma and Grandad think you are incredible climbers. The photos are amazing, too. You certainly finished your holiday on a high xx

  3. What a lovely day. Megan and William did so well – it won’t be long before we can’t keep up with them! A perfect end to your Cumbrian summer.

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