With a complex layout of spurs and summits the Coniston fells allow for all sorts of route combinations. For scramblers the east side of the range is fertile ground, with a number of coves generously scattered with perfect rough rock. This round links three of the best scrambles in the area, plus three decent summits, in a challenging mountaineering journey best suited to experienced scramblers. Hit the hardest bit first with a serious grade 3 scramble up Low Water Beck. Continue via the delightful grade 2 slabs on Brim Fell’s east face en route to the summit of Coniston Old Man. It’s Great How next, an adventurous grade 2/3 scramble leading onto Swirl How. Finish with an evening stride over Wetherlam.
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StatisticsDistance: 9 miles (14.50 km)
Total ascent: 1,227m
Time: 6 – 8 hours (Walking)
Roadside parking at the start of the Coppermines road, SD301978
Serious scrambling up to grade 3, with tricky route finding that demands confidence and experience. Every hard section is avoidable, but once started would be hair raising to escape. If conditions are not perfectly dry consider bringing climbing gear and a rope. Between the scrambles it’s all straightforward hillwalking ground.
In a cold winter Low Water Beck is a classic grade III ice climb. Some mountaineering style fun could be had on the Brim Fell crags too.
Weather and Hill Conditions: mwis: Lake District – Met Office: Lake District
Bus to Coniston
Scrambles in the Lake District South (Cicerone)
OS Explorer OL6 (1:25,000), OS Explorer OL7 (1:25,000), Harvey/BMC Lake District (1:40,000), OS Landranger 97 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 96 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 89 (1:50,000)
YHA Coniston Coppermines 0845 371 9630
by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com