Sunday, 4th January 2009

             

         

 

Walk: Coniston, Water Head Pier, Tarn Hows, Black Crag (Black Fell), Hodge Close, Holme Fell, Yewdale
Start Point: Coniston roadside near car park Grid Reference: SD 303 976
Distance: 11 miles Ascent: 2,650 feet
Time: 6.5 hours    
Weather: A dry but cold day with a few icy sections
Comments: Setting off from our respective areas the day did not look promising but conditions had vastly improved by the time we reached Coniston. Six walkers set off under clear blue skies and the walk up to Tarn Hows was uneventful until we reached the high points, when the 'photo club' went wild with their cameras - as the photos show. After watching the skaters for a few moments we set off for Black Crag and on to Hodge Close. Diverting down to the very cold quarry we came out at water level but on the return climb we heard a loud crash and some of us saw a large section of icicles fall from the cliff face not far from our path. A short climb brought us to Holme Fell, the final summit of the day. Although the sun was still shining the day was cooling fast and we continued on to the final steep descent (some say very steep!). The day finished with a short walk back to Coniston.

Scroll down to see photos of the walk

The day looks promising as we pass Water Head Pier . . .

 

and head up through the woods . . .

 

where we get a panoramic view from Coniston Old Man on the left, Wetherlam, Crinkle Crags and the Langdale Pikes

 

Belted Galloways

 

John tests the ice but we don't have any ice skates . . .

 

unlike this family . . .

 

I just hope they know what they are doing!!

 

The sun catches the trees on the opposite bank . . .

 

and a bench provides a good spot for 'elevenses' before . . .

 

climbing up to Black Crag - or Black Fell as Wainwright calls it . . .

 

and Marie checks the trig point

 

Crinkle Crags on the left with the Langdale Pikes popping up behind Lingmoor Fell

 

and we pose for the mandatory group shot before . . .

 

navigating a rather icy path

 

A detour at Hodge Close takes us into the quarry . . .

 

passing an 'ice slide' on the way . . .

 

to two rock arches . . .

 

one providing access to the water . . .

 

and some excellent reflections . . .

 

whilst the other leads to an 'ice grotto' . . .

 

with its very own 'ice tree'

 

The archways are just visible from above . . .

 

where a wide choice of rocks provide good seats for our lunch break.

 

Heading past a disused reservoir . . .

 

the Langdale Pike look much closer . . .

 

and John strikes the 'leader's mountaineering pose' on Holme Fell

 

If it looks steep here just wait . . .

 

till you see the final descent (anyone got the abseiling ropes?)

 

Looking back the route down is hidden by trees (just think what the discarded leaves did to the path!!!)

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