Everest Peak 7: Coniston Old Man
Location: Lake District, overlooking Coniston and Coniston Water.
The Old Man of Coniston, as it’s also known, is a must do in the Coniston area. Only 1600m off our Everest total, we decided to give it a shot.
I took charge as Team Leader and chose our set-off time, map-read and motivated our team out of the motorhome and up the mountain. It was, luckily, a gorgeous day which is pretty unusual for the Lake District but we weren’t complaining. Our chosen route followed a ridge along to Old Man of Coniston, taking in Brown Peak, Buck Pike, and Dow Crag, before reaching the Old Man summit.
The walk began from our campsite, which was convenient, and cut across fields of sheep, wove past huge piles of slate deposition before splitting off from the direct summit route to climb up Brown Peak, the first peak along the ridge. The path then carried on to Buck Peak and skirted the top of Dow Crag, a dramatic rock face that is understandably popular among climbers. Dow Crag offered a bit of a scramble, which always spices up a walk, and offered stunning views of the valley below, Coniston Water, the west coast and, of course, Old Man Coniston. And, as a bonus, the slopes either side of the ridge weren’t steep enough to set off my mum’s fear of heights!
Carrying along the ridge, we reached the final slope up to the summit, where the path became increasingly busier. Soon, we were at the top, sharing the summit with a group of overexcited school kids and some elderly walkers. The Coniston Old Man was a brilliant challenge that we highly recommend other to try and was the perfect penultimate peak for our Everest Challenge.