A Morning's Scrambling
14th July 2022 by Paul Bacon
Location: For this trip we ventured to the Coniston Fells to take a look at the scrambles at Low Water Beck and Brim Fell Slabs.
Time: 7am. We had work to do. So an early start meant we could have a great ‘Micro’ Adventure. 4 Hours total trip time.
Weather: A light, cool breeze meant that shorts felt like a bad decision to start with. A super light weight active insulation layer (Arcteryx Atom SL) was ideal. The sun was out, the skies were clear and so the ambient temperature meant that we soon warmed up once we got going.
The walk in to these routes was quick. 2kms from the car park with no more than 200m of ascent landed us at the glacial boulders at the start of the route in no time. The aspect of the routes allowed the sun to shine on us from the start.
From the boulders the slope towards the scrambles gets sharper, but the terrain which was covered in seasonal mountain flora, was easy under foot so we could keep up our fast pace along Low Water Beck. Soon the Beck hits a waterfall with lots of nice positive holds. By the end of the first section, you are already high above the boulders below and catch a great view of Copper Mines Valley. Some of the rock to this point was a bit slimey. As we continued, we were less channelled into the route of the water fall, and there were plenty of options to challenge ourselves.
After some nice scrambling, the route eventually opens out and is surrounded by grassy slopes and you eventually hit the tarn. The tarn is one of my favourites for swimming, especially on a calm claggy summers day. Today though a break in the steep terrain gave us an opportunity to quickly have some food and take on some water. This also is the end point of Low Water Beck and the beginning of Brim Fell Slabs. Brim Fell is a lesser known summit between The Old Man of Coniston and Swirl How.
The crags here from a distance look non-descript and invite you in to challenge them. However, they quite easily become steep and sometimes feel quite exposed. Luckily the route is as difficult as you make it. I took some of the easier routes whilst Liz did her best to challenge my wavering masculinity. We wound our way up the final stages, with me taking on the grade 2 bits and Liz soloing overhanging E9s. Well that’s how it happened in my head anyway!
When we reached the top, the shelter we had enjoyed from the north westerly winds disappeared and we were promptly dressed in down jackets. We sheltered behind two tiny rocks to have some food before making a hasty decent toward the car park. Our pace here picked up once again. We travelled through the old mine workings before picking up the track we began on. We were down within 30 minutes and in work by 11am.