Date - 15th April 2021 Distance - 8 miles
Ascent -
2550 ft
Map - OL6 Start point - Torver car park (SD 2849 9433)


Summits Achieved

Name Height (ft) Height (m) Grid Ref
Brown Pike 2237 682 SD 2609 9660
Buck Pike 2241 744 SD 2623 9722
Dow Crag 2554 778 SD 2625 9779



Shaun, Grizzly and Little Eric trotted in to find Southey and Tetley huddled over the laptop.

"What are you looking at?", asked Little Eric.

"The pictures Dad took on Saturday when we climbed Ingleborough", replied Tetley.

"There are plenty of good ones for our story", went on Southey. "It was so good to be on a high fells once again."

"It was", agreed Shaun. "Dad did really well too considering it is nearly four years since we did that."

Meanwhile Grizzly had got the plates and mugs and then helped Shaun pour the tea.

"What is the cake selection?", asked Southey.

Grizzly has made mincemeat slice, and I have done chocolate coconut and cherry slice."

"Super", said Tetley. "I love the cherry slice. It's ages since we had that."

We quietly munched away, then as Little Eric was taking another piece of mincemeat slice, he stopped with his paw in the air, saying, "where's the tea belly and cake stuffer. Allen never misses out."

"He can smell tea a mile off", said Shaun, as he filled Allen's mug in anticipation.

And sure enough just moments later Allen arrived, shouting, "great great great. I have news of our next walk and we are going to the Lake District."

"Wonderful", said Little Eric. "But have your tea and some cake first. We can wait a little longer for the details."

So after downing a mug of tea and having a couple of pieces of cake, he said, "Dad was quite pleased with his performance last Saturday, so has decided to take us on the fells. We are going to start at Torver, and climb Brown Pike, Buck Pike and Dow Crag."

"Oh that will be so good", said Southey. "Little Eric and I will bag all three summits. Three Birketts and one Wainwright."

"Great", cheered Little Eric, "it will be my 174th Wainwright. But, I reiterate again that I still do not expect Dad to climb all the other 40.

"Roll on Thursday", called out Grizzly.


The Walk

We awoke early and got the picnic packed and Dad had told us he was setting off around 08:30. The day was to be superb with calm conditions and cloudless skies.

"How to we get to the start?, asked Southey as we settled in the car.

"Up the M6 then onto the A590 as far as Greenodd, there taking the A595 right, before forking right onto the road to Coniston", said Shaun.

For a while the road comes beside Coniston Water. "The lake looks so beautiful. Worth stopping to take a shot", suggested Allen.

Fairly soon we arrived at the village of Torver. "The parking area is on the right, just past the church". advised Tetley.

While Dad got ready we settled in the rucksack. Then this shouldered, off we went.

"Go right then take the narrow road left that leads to the few houses of Scarr Head", said Shaun.

At a corner Southey pointed, "there's the bridleway sign for our route."

"That's right", said Shaun. "We are heading along the bridleway, to ultimately join the Walna Scar Road."

Dad strode on making good progress and clear of the trees and past a disused quarry, the view ahead was revealed.

"That's Coniston Old Man", pointed Tetley.

"That and Brim Fell I still have to climb", said Little Eric.

"Aye lad, and if this was not the first major climb for nearly 4 years, I might had considered doing those as well. But, we will have to leave them for another day", replied Dad.

"Of course. I did not expect to climb them today", said Little Eric.

A few minutes later, Allen said, "there's our objectives for today. The three summits can be seen along the ridge."

Shortly we came to the buildings of Tranearth. Grizzly said, "at the time Wainwright published his original Guide to the Southern Fells in 1960 this was a farm. Now it's a climbing hut, owned by the Lancashire Climbing and Caving Club."

"Those trees will make a nice picture", said Southey.

A gate led into an enclosed area. "We take the gate to the right then cross the bridge and walk left through the spoil heaps", advised Shaun.

Beyond we came to a fenced area. "This is the long disused Banishead Quarry, with its lake and waterfall", said Tetley. "Lovely reflections today."

The path climbed on, and about 20 minutes later we joined the Walna Scar Road, where we turned left to soon cross Torver Bridge.

The Walna Scar Road is the popular route starting from Coniston village. Having seen only two other walkers so far, there were now quite a few more. Some took the route towards Goat's Water, to gain Goat's Hawse that for us would be our return route. Others, like us, headed ever up the Walna Scar Road, the goal being its summit below Walna Scar to the left and Brown Pike etc., right.

A steady ascent at first the gradient steepened towards the summit, but Dad coped well, with just a a few stops. Some to chat with a couple from Bingley, others to take in the views.

"Look" called out Grizzly. "There's the Steam Yacht Gondola making its stately progress down Coniston Water."

"I went on that a few times with Uncle Brian over the years", commented Dad.

"More lovely memories", said Allen.

Finally the road summit was achieved, and here Dad talked to a family with two young children who seemed to be enjoying the expedition.

The lady said, "we originally lived in Manchester, but moved to Buckinghamshire. Now the children are older we decided to bring them to enjoy the Lake District." She then asked, "what is that fell called."

"Harter Fell", replied Dad. "And those over there, are Scafell, Scafell Pike, Broad Crag and Ill Crag."

Then she saw us, and Dad explained, "they come with me on all the walks."

"What a lovely idea", she replied.

So, after looking at the view a little longer, Dad put best foot forward and started the ascent on the clear path, that contoured up the fell, and in about 15 minutes the first summit Brown Pike was achieved.

"Picture time pals", called out Southey as we scrambled onto the cairn.

Grizzly said, "according to Diana Whaley's book on place names, it simply means, 'the brown peak'."

"Wow", said Little Eric the views are superb from here.

"Yes indeed pal", said Tetley. "From the left, Scafell, Scafell Pike, Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Great End, Allen Crags and Esk Pike."

"Breathtaking", cried Southey.

Looking along the path, Shaun said, "that's Buck Pike the next summit."

As we made the climb, Shaun pointed, "that is Blind Tarn below. So called because it has no outflow."

Arriving at the cairn, Little Eric said, "this is another Birkett summit. Time for our picture again."

Grizzly told us, "according to Diana Whaley's book, the name is presumably 'the peak frequented by the (wild) he-goat'."

Getting settled again we looked along the path to our final objective Dow Crag.

The summit being a rocky tor.

Dad made the scramble to gain the highest rocks. A lady and two gentlemen arrived about the same time and saw us poking out of the rucksack. The lady snapped our picture, saying, "then man with the teddy bears."

Dad explained about us saying that some of us had done all the Wainwrights.

"Serious stuff", remarked one gentleman.

Dad was also able to name the mountains in view for them.

After they left we scrambled out and posed for our picture. "Yippee", cheered Little Eric, "that's another Wainwright ticked off."

We got settled again, Dad saying, "ok all we have to do is get off the rocks and down to the path."

This was done, if a little inelegantly, and we continued making the steepish and at times and rough descent to Goat's Hawse.

On the way Tetley pointed, "that will be a good shot of the cloud darkening Scafell while Scafell Pike is still in sun. The upturned peak on the far left on the ridge to Scafell is Slight Side."

At the Hawse we had a superb view of Goat's Water.

"That's our route along by Goat's Water. The path can be clearly seen", pointed Shaun.

The descent is steep but the path has been repaired and graded making it easier, Dad taking his time and being careful.

"Wow", said Southey. "The crags of Dow Crag towering over Goat's Water are really dramatic."

"Popular with rock climbers, no doubt", commented Allen.

As we walked alongside the tarn, Dad paused to take this shot looking back Goat's Hawse and the path we had descended.

Past the tarn the path climbed to then run fairly level before dropping down to the Walna Scar Road.

"We want the path directly opposite", called out Shaun. "That's the route to Torver."

After passing Banishead Quarry, we came into the enclosed area. "Let's sit on those rocks there and have our lunch", said Dad.

"Oh super", cheered Allen. "I'm hungry for sure."

All the time we had the company of this solitary sheep that was stuck in this area. Dad tried to release it by opening a gate, but it just stood there.

"Perhaps it has been put in here deliberately by the farmer", said Grizzly.

"Maybe" agreed Dad. "Good job it did not flee through the gate."

Lunch over Dad walked on, Little Eric saying, "the fells are going to disappear from view soon. Will you take a final shot of where we have been, please."

The bridleway led on, bringing us to Scarr Head once more and then down to the car.

"That was a super super day", cheered Southey.

"Wonderful to be on the fells again", added Tetley. "A grand day."

Dad said, "overall I am pleased with my performance, and I feel more confident again about doing more of your remaining fells, Little Eric."

"That would be super Dad, but reiterate again that I do not expect you to take me to them all."


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