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Ski Club of Manchester Cumbria Weekend 2022, The ‘Alternative’ Walk’ — Coniston — Torver Loop — Sunday May 1st

Reporter: Chris Fildes

Having two ‘dodgy’ knees between us plus adverse weather conditions, David.S and I opted out of ‘The Old Man Walk’ to take a clockwise lower level loop of Torver High Common from Hoathwaite. I mentioned our intended walk at breakfast in case anyone wanted to join us, but most of our group were prepared to take a chance with the inclement weather for a walk up ‘The Old Man’

I started out from The Sun Inn, Coniston, to meet David at Hoathwaite. We set off about 11.00am walking along the lakeside, up through Torver Common Woods to Torver. Crossing the old railway track we turned off for Torver High Common and Flask Brow, towards the Old Walna Scar Road.

We had a lunch break by Torver Beck, light rain here, then crossed over, and walked down to Little Arrow, to pick up the path back to Hoathwaite.

We were well below the mist all day, but somehow missed our group on the way down from the Old Man!

From Hoathwaite, the walk was 8 miles with a total ascent of 1350ft. But from Coniston, by the Lakeside, returning by the footpath below the A593 and the old railway track to Coniston, added on an extra 3 miles, but made the walk morevaried.

I arrived back at the Sun Inn at 4.10pm. The total distance including the extension from Coniston was 11 miles.

The Coniston Railway ran for over 100 years linking Coniston to Broughton in Furness, closing completely in 1962, and is now a pleasant footpath!

Watching th Gondola, chugging along the lake brought back memories of Donald Campbell’s attempt to break his own water speed record. His target was 300mph!!

Early in November 1966 I waited by the lakeside to watch the trials, but they were cancelled due to dismal weather and engine failure. After further modifications, on January 4th 1967 Campbell made what was to be his last and fatal attempt. Halfway through the second run, ‘Bluebird’ experienced mass deceleration, the biggest drop being from 328mph to 296mph causing it to brake, somersault and cartwheel across the lake.

Weather or Not! Thanks for your, last minute walk David. Excellent navigation as usual!

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