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Ski Club of Manchester Cumbria Weekend 2022, Coniston Old Man — Sunday May 1st

Leader: David Miller

Reporter: Iain Macintosh (alias Tosh)

For a chunk of the walking party staying at The Sun Inn, this was a home fixture as the meeting point for the start of the assault on the Old Man was the pub/hotel car park.

With everyone assembled, our leader Dave Miller briefed us on the route and we were off. We followed the path up towards Miners Bridge over Church Beck, where the weather started turning wet. Our route went left before the bridge and we could now see the low cloud and mist above the famous copper mines and Youth Hostel and as we walked. Waterproofs progressively appeared out of rucksacks over the next hour or so and pretty well stayed on for the rest of the day.

By the time we were walking past The Bell, we were in the mist and with it, the last view of the day disappeared. There were some geocaches on the next section of the walk as we headed towards Levers Water. I found all three quickly (which was nice) and we continued to climb up towards the reservoir.

The following section of the walk known as Prison Band, was without doubt the toughest of the long weekend. The path was steep and the terrain was rocky, wet and slippy. It was a bit of a slog in the demanding conditions, but after a brew stop half way, we eventually reached Swirl How, followed the more forgiving path up to the summit of the Old Man.

The rain was coming down and the wind was blowing as we headed up Brim Fell. The only bright moment was a fourth geocache was grabbed along the way.

Eventually we reached the Old Man summit. It was raining, windy, a bit parky, the view was non-existent with the low cloud and mist… it definitely wasn’t a day to be hanging about here for too long. After the taking of a few photographs, the grabbing of the Old Man summit geocache and a quick phoon, we headed back the way we came up and followed the path down to the left towards Goat’s Hawse.

The weather calmed as we descended and we were able to sit and have a late lunch at the edge of Goat’s Water, albeit we were still shrouded in low cloud and mist. There were questions asked about how many goats it takes to produce such a body of water as Eccles Cakes were generously offered round to all by Steve Wardle.

The decision was taken to cut the last section of the intended route shorter than plan and we turned left onto Walna Scar Road on a slightly more direct route back to the Sun Inn.

A last geocache was grabbed on the way past the old railway embankment just above the Sun Inn and we were back at base.

It was a real shame that the weather wasn’t the best, however the conditions didn’t dampen the group’s enjoyment of the route too much.

A big thank you is well deserved to Dave Miller from us all for planning and leading the walk.

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