Wetherlam - 7th February 2009
Date 7th February 2009 Description Wetherlam
Start Point Coniston Car Park Peaks Climbed Wetherlam 762m
Total Time 5hrs 20min    
Walking Time 3hrs 35min    
Stopped Time 1hrs 45min    
Distance 7.50 miles    
Moving Average 2.1 mph Start Grid Ref SD 30350 97548
Elevation at Start 54 metres Temperature 0°C
Total Ascent 800 metres Weather Sunny (Cloud Later)
Max Elevation 762 metres Walking With On Own (Met Richard & Peter)

Coniston Car Park - Miners Bridge - Wetherlam - Black Sails - Swirl Hause - Levers Water - Miners Bridge - Coniston Car Park

In the Lake District this weekend there was no snow at low altitude but there certainly was on top of the fells. I could not wait to get back up high again. Today I decided to drive to Coniston after planning a walk up to Wetherlam the day before. My intention was to see what the weather conditions would be like on the fells before deciding how far I should go.

From the main car park in Coniston I walked through the village and walked by Church Beck to Miners Bridge. The sun was shining this morning which made the Coppermines Valley a lovely scene. I took the path up the side of Mouldry Bank to Hole Rake. I then climbed the steepening path to Red Gill Head Moss and onwards over Lower Hows to Wetherlam at 762 metres. The ascent from Hole Rake to the summit was slow with snow (deep in places) and ice. It certainly was great fun negotiating the snow and ice. The scenery was breathtaking. From about half way up the ascent the sun was replaced by a blanket of cloud and the skies looked really menacing at times. In fact the fells looked almost spooky where the sun managed to break through the cloud.

At the summit I met another walker who also had a photographic website. At this point I had to decide what path I would be taking next. I certainly was going to walk to Swirl Hawse but was I going to ascend Swirl How via the Prison Band? Initially I was hoping to walk from Swirl How to Coniston Old Man. After a short rest I set off for the summit of Black Sails. From there I descended steeply to Swirl Hause. As I looked across to the Prison Band it looked very snowy and icy. I thought that it would take me quite a time to attain the summit of Swirl How. In the end I decided to give it a miss and instead descend back to Coniston via Levers Water.

On the way back and after Levers Water I met with a fellow OFC member Richard Ratcliffe with his brother. It was great to meet up with them. However they had been in difficulty ascending Swirl How and were helped by a mountain rescuer to a safe place to descend back down to Swirl Hause. I was so glad I had decided not to ascend!! When we arrived back in Coniston we went for a coffee in a local cafe it was certainly a very welcome sight. By the way who said anything about crampons and ice axes!?!?


Reference Books Used

Maps Used
OL6 Explorer - The English Lakes (South West Area)
Signpost near Coniston
Swirl How from Church Beck
Path to Miners Bridge from Coniston
© Crown Copywright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047125
Swirl How from near Miners Bridge
Harthill Moor from Andle Stone
Coppermines Valley
Coppermines Valley and Coniston Old Mine
Leaving path for Wetherlam
Coppermines Valley with Swirl How in the distance
Coniston Old Man and Coppermines Valley
Path towards Wetherlam
Coniston Old Man
Frozen Path
Coniston Water in the distance
Path to Wetherlam
Levers Water comes into view
Coniston Old Man
Levers Water with Swirl How
Coniston Water
Levers Water and Coniston Old Man
Coniston Water
Swirl How
Coniston Old Man
Lad Stones
Lad Stones
© Crown Copywright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047125
Frozen Tarn
Threatening skies
Frozen Tarn near Lad Stones
Frozen Tarn near Lad Stones
Footprints in the frozen snow
Footprints in the snow
Lad Stones
© Crown Copywright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047125
A frozen landscape
A moody scene
Snow capped fells from Wetherlam
Snow capped fells from Wetherlam
Coniston Water from Wetherlam
Wetherlam Summit Cairn
Wetherlam Summit Cairn
Wetherlam Summit Cairn
Wetherlam Summit
Wetherlam Summit and me
Black Sails and Swirl How from Wetherlam
Levers Water from Wetherlam
Swirl How and Prison Band from Wetherlam
Wetherlam from Black Sails
Wetherlam from near Black Sails
Levers Water from near Swirl Hause
Levers Water
Levers Water

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