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E-mail - karl@karlswalks.co.uk


Coniston 14 and Wetherlam

25th - 26th March 2023

25th - Coniston - Church Beck - Hole Rake - Penny Rigg ( About 3miles 1250 ft ascent )

26th - Penny Rigg - Crook Beck - Steel Edge - Lad Stones - Wetherlam - Wetherlam Edge - Birk Fell Hawse - Dry Cove Bottom - Tilberthwaite - Wilson Place Elterwater. ( About 7miles 1950ft ascent )

I blagged a lift up to Coniston with Andy and family to watch him run the Coniston 14 which basically is how far it is around Coniston Water. I took my camping gear as Sunday was forecast to be a nice day, but it was raining on and off on Saturday so I decided that if it was dry when it was time to come home then I'd say my good-byes and head for the hills


He finished in 1hr 49 minutes which was one minute quicker than last year and not bad saying he had really bad stomach cramps around half way and thought he might be having a "Paula Radcliffe moment "

Apologies for the self indulgent proud Dad photo.

It was dry so I headed up the road to Coppermines Valley. Even a touch of blue sky overhead as well.

The distance between the previous photo and this one is no more than quarter of a mile but as I walked that quarter of a mile a heavy rainstorm came down the valley and it rained almost continuously for the next few hours.


The rain did slacken as I toiled up the slope to Hole Rake but soon renewed its strength as I reached the top.


As well as rain the wind had now got up and was blowing into my face as I headed towards Tilberthwaite. I decided that as soon as the rain showed any sign of slacking I'd pitch up no matter where I was.


Not the best pitch ever but it was any port in a storm. The rain did slacken later and I've got a nice view over Tilberthwaite.


Behind me Wetherlam is well covered. The weather did improve as the day wore on and I've seen some photos of people camped on Wetherlam and it did look like a nice night with clear skies and plenty of stars but after I'd dried out and got warm I stayed put in the tent and had an early night.

Afternoon view over to the lower fells in the east.

After a cozy night I looked out at half past seven which really was half past six as the clocks had gone forward and the weather did look a bit more promising and the sun was making an effort to break through the clouds..

More of a view to the higher fells to the east now. Fairfield is covered but Red Screes on the right is clear.

The cloud was lifting from Wetherlam and catching the rays of the sun as it did. I lay for quite a while with the tent doors open with the sun shining straight in. I had no real plan as to where I'd be going today, I had a train ticket booked for 4pm from Windermere so needed to stay within walking distance of a bus which would take me there. I reckoned that I would have time to climb Wetherlam so decided to ascend by way of Steel Edge and descend by Wetherlam Edge.

It's a lovely morning now with a brilliant blue sky over Blake Rigg.

Looking over to Steel Edge.

Lovely Tilberthwaite below and the big fells to the east all clear now.

With all the rain yesterday I thought crossing Crook Beck might be a problem but there are a few large stepping stones so I crossed without drama.

Starting up the grassy rise on Steel Edge.

And looking back down from the start of the rocky section.

There is no real exposure on Steel Edge unless you seek it out by climbing on the edge of the rock. Today as the rocks were still quite greasy from the rain I stuck to the gullies.

Steel Edge ends at the two tarns at Lad Stones. Coniston Old man is seen here above the larger of the two.

And looking in the other direction over the smaller tarn there is a brilliant view of Grisedale Hause with the Helvellyn fells leading of to the left and the Fairfield fells to the right.

The full line of the Old Man of Coniston ridge with the Old man on the left then Brim Fell, Levers Hawse, Great How and Swirl How.

After a not to strenuous climb the top of Wetherlam comes into sight.

The view back over Coniston Water to the coast.

The blue sky from earlier had given way to more leaden skies so the view down to Blea Tarn and the Langdale Pikes was not quite as clear as it could have been.

The very tops of the Scafell group are covered also.


There's a nice bit of sunshine over the Helvellyn/Fairfield fells seen from the start of walk down Wetherlam Edge..

As with Steel Edge the rocks were a bit greasy but this is more of a problem when coming down so I took it very carefully.

Pike of Blisco, Crinkle Crags and Bowfell nice and clear.

My way up and way down could be seen from Birk Fell Hawse.

I love these trees hanging on to the hillside below Birk Fell Man.

Dry Cove Bottom with Steel Edge leading off up to the right.

Looking across to the falls in Yewdale Beck.

Following the track through Tilberthwaite. The weather has picked up again and it's brighter and quite a bit warmer.

The bridge by the ford over the River Brathey.

Wetherlam seen from the path up by Wilson Place.

I caught the bus from a very busy Elterwater. I think this was the most busy that I've ever seen Elterwater, there were cars parked everywhere and the bus could only just fit through some of the gaps left by inconsiderate parkers. Any foreign visitors who happened to be on the bus would have had their vocabulary of old Anglo Saxon phrases vastly expanded as the bus driver loudly made his feelings known.

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