A "bivvy" on the "Old Man"
Coniston Sunrise Walks with a Camera
Walks with a Camera © Geoff’s Pages 2011
Preamble: Well in a sense, it is! We drove up to the Lakes on a hot July Saturday, but lost much of the morning trying to find power steering fluid for the car - so by the time we'd had lunch, there was just time for a lazy amble around Loughrigg Tarn - which proved to be the ideal occupation in the sweltering heat. Unlike some hot days, the air was clear - really good for a few snaps....
darkness, before reaching the summit of Coniston Old Man to see the sun rise. And, unlike some plans, that is what we did. The ancient Walna Scar road provides an excellent route to the ridge south of Dow Crag,  where a short ascent then took us to the summit. We had of course checked the weather forecast carefully before making the trip - "Dry and clear, hot and sunny". It was too - so hot still at 7pm that we had to resort to the "wet hat" method of keeping cool - soak the "boggit" hat in a convenient stream, wring it out, and wear it - wonderful! Having photographed the sunset behind the Scafell range, it was time to find that comfortable spot. It didn't exist, of course, and what seemed comfortable at first became less comfortable as the short night wore on, so that we really only dozed fitfully until first light - time for breakfast and the Old Man.... ....and it was from that summit, at about 5am, that we saw the sun rise above the distant Pennines, highlighting all those little ridges and dips away to the far horizon, and quickly warming our slightly chilled selves. The relative discomfort of the night hours was very rapidly forgotten. Soon we began our descent, carefully picking our way down the popular tourist path through the derelict copper mines, before arriving back in Coniston village. A quick purchase of one or two provisions for a second breakfast, then away - with minutes to go before the car park charges applied....
Loughrigg Tarn Loughrigg Tarn - view to the Langdale Pikes Loughrigg Tarn Gondola - the figurehead! Steam yacht "Gondola" at Coniston The start of the Walna Scar road Sunset behind the Scafell range Sunrise, Coniston Old Man Sunrise - all those little ridges and dips Copper mine remains, Coniston Old Man Almost back at Coniston - Church Beck
Our next destination was Coniston Water, where the steam yacht "Gondola" had just arrived after its last trip of the day. This fine boat was restored from a derelict condition by its owners, the National Trust.
Back to Walks with a Camera Contact Geoff Perfect evening light, Coniston fells The Coniston fells from the Walna Scar road Approaching sunset, Dow Crag Derelict copper workings, Coniston Old Man
Dow Crag and the Old Man: We left the car in the main car park in Coniston village, a few minutes after 6pm "If we get back by 8am, we won't have to pay for car parking".... As we set off, bearing rucksacks and "bivvy bags", we heard one of the older residents ask his colleagues "where do they think they're going at this time?". We knew exactly where - the summit of Dow Crag via the Walna Scar road, then a cosy boulder somewhere sheltered to spend the hours of