BB0607 Grim Fell!

Thursday 13th April 2006

Well that was an adventure!  MWIS warned us about hail and 55 mph winds but were we bothered?  No.  Did we look bothered? You bet!

It was an inauspicious start to the day with lots of talk in the car about people getting lost and dying on the fells.  This was compounded by Tony's leggings blowing away as we got changed.  However local knowledge did save us about 2 miles walking and over 500 feet of climbing.  I would have parked at Coniston but Tony and Bryan knew this sneaky route up the Walney Scar road to park halfway up Coniston Old Man. 

Levers Water

The weather was kind enough as we strode out manfully up to Levers Water- the odd shower but nowhere near as bad as last week.

After Levers Water the path started to get seriously steep.  

And then it got steeper.  

The only thing keeping me going was the group of youths ahead and we were slowing reeling them in.  

Desperate to show these whipper snappers that they don't make them like they used to, I ignored what my heart was telling me and pressed on relentlessly.  Unfortunately we didn't quite catch them and they reached Levers Hause before us where their instructor was giving them a lesson on the importance of taking a bearing in such conditions.  Wise words. 

We decided on a one stop strategy and had lunch on a little crag just below the Hause.  Although it rained a bit and hailed a bit it was surprisingly pleasant so it was a bit of a shock when we remounted the Hause and got hit by the 55 mph winds and the stinging driving hail.  Or at least I am told there was stinging driving hail.  Bryan usually takes the proverbial out of me for wearing my full face ski mask and ski goggles when the weather is bad.  Not today!  I was warm as toast in my little cocoon whilst others moaned. I wish I could say that I did not notice the wind but that would be a downright lie.  It was bad.  Very bad.  At times it was virtually impossible to make progress.

Grim Brim Fell Summit

Towards the Old Man

We fought our way to the top of Brim Fell (more appropriately today called Grim Fell- notice in particular discomfort of faces in photo!!) and then on towards the Old Man itself.

However when we found what Bryan believed to be the escape route to Goat's Hause we thought discretion was the better part of valour.  We were only about 300 yards from the summit but the Old Man would still be there another day and if we went today we might see a side of it not often viewed at close quarters and then not more than once!  

Getting the map out to check the route was a challenge and it took Stan and me to hold it down whilst Bryan confirmed we had found the right path.  

At Goat's Hause we found a very comfortable semi natural shelter but by then we had dropped out of the worst of the wind.  Still it was a good opportunity for a team picture.  

The descent took us by Goat's Water and the magnificent Dow Crag buttresses and down to the Walney Scar road and eventually the car.

I know that Bryan sometimes feels that he does not get sufficient credit for his knowledge of the hills and his navigational skill so I will repeat what I said to him when he got out of the car.

Bryan, you did a good job up there today.

Don, 13th April 2006

Goat's Hause

Dow Crag buttresses



6.2 miles

Height climbed:
2,320 feet

Map reference:
See Map

Brim Fell



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