Friday, 5 June 2015

A windy recce of the Cumbrian Way route.

Coppermines Valley Coniston

Pete, Lyn, Bella and their old college mate Graham went down to Coniston on Tuesday to recce part of the Cumbrian Way route which they were unfamiliar with. The plan was to see if the path marked on the map from Levers Water up onto Swirl Hawse, between Wetherlam and Swirl How, actually existed or was it one of those rights of way that the OS mark so prominently by a green broken line that may or may not exist on the ground.

Mysterious constructions above Coppermines Valley

It was wet and the wind was increasing, but not too wet and windy to deter the intrepid quartet on their route finding quest. In addition they found an alternative way up to Levers Water from the one we followed last year.

The stone ramp below Kennel Crag

There was a stone-built ramp above the old mine workings in Red Dell, marked on the OS map by two parallel lines. We ascended it then followed a steep path to the top of Kennel Crag from where Levers Water is just a short distance beyond.

Levers Water from Kennel Crag

Levers Water looked grim, enclosed by mist with columns of spray whipped up by the wind, we decided that we would continue alongside the tarn to try and find the path to Swirl Hawse but we would not climb higher. The outlet of the lake (centre) was a raging torrent which we would not be able to cross today.

View across Levers Water to Black Sails, mist lifting.

The path we were looking for is marked on the map ascending the West flank of Black Sails above Swirl Hawse Beck. We discovered that the path does undoubtedly exist and though we didn't follow it far up the valley because of the wind we could clearly see it snaking up the fellside towards Swirl Hawse, which is the pronounced dip in the skyline in the photo above. We crossed swollen Swirl Hawse Beck with difficulty and completed a circuit of Levers Water then as we couldn't cross the outlet we descended into Boulder Valley, traversed across below Grey Crag and went on down to the YHA in Coppermines valley for tea.

Coppermines Valley YHA for tea and a bun.

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