Occasionally part of the surrounding ridge line would appear and then it was gone but there was enough time for us to see that the tops were white with snow. From the look of it the snow line started at around 500 metres.
In the valley the temperature was high for this time of year at around 8 degrees.C. No wonder the clagg was down.
Walking through the fields between Turner Hall Campsite and High Moss showed signs of previous heavy rains. Water logged ground in abundance. Beyond High Moss a tall ladder stile crosses the boundary wall and from there we could see that no one was camping.
At the start of the Walna Scar the high temperature had us both taking layers off. No sooner had we set off again when hail started to fall. Stop again to put waterproofs back on. For the next twenty minutes we had all four seasons.
Mid way up the Walna, the clagg thankfully lifted and we saw eight tiny figures almost at the top. Amazingly the snow line was receding fast, it was certainly a bit higher now than it had been when we first glimpsed the tops earlier on.
The Walna is a steady climb and today was proving how unfit we both are. Numerous pauses made between the slow progress. My knee ached as it has been for some time now and I was hoping that the top wouldn't be too slippery and cause me problems.
The start of the Wana Scar road with Harter Fell in background.
As it happened we caught up with the eight folk we saw earlier. Three carried on up to Buck Pike whilst the others stood and drank warm drinks.
The col where the Walna starts to drop down to Coniston was bitterly cold and a biting wind was painful on the face. My anemometer showed 20mph wind speed but a temperature of 4C. It seemed far colder than that, we layered up again, putting everything on including a new pair of goggles which stopped our eyes watering perfusely. They worked fantastically well and will be staying in the rucksack. We had a couple of new bits of kit which I will say more about in a separate post.
Looking down the Duddon Valley from The Walna Scar Rd,
Top of the Walna looking to Coniston Water.
My camera doesn't do justice to the light show.
Top of the Walna Rd, with the path up to Dow Crag behind left.
Clagg closing in again.
On Walna Scar 621 metres, en route to White Pike.
The hail returned and this time along with the powerful wind. The goggles were working a treat and didn't fog up, but most importantly gave us the advantage of having a clear unrestricted view.
As we approached the summit of White Pike 598 metres, we came across footprints in the snow coming from the opposite direction to ours. We hadn't seen anyone so this person must have been out early?
The top of White Pike has a couple of stone cairns and a windbreak of sorts. No use to us today, it was too cold to linger here. As we were taking the usual summit photos three walkers approached and also didn't linger.
Sheila sporting useful goggles. Almost at White Pike Top.
View of Dow Crag from White Pike.
Zoom shot of Dow Crag (left) and sun on Old Man of Coniston.
We got to the gate safe and sound and headed for Walna Quarry. The cave in the quarry would make a good place to have our sandwiches i thought. There are actually 2 caves in the quarries, the first one we found to be inaccessible due to a rock fall in the entrance alleyway. This is the biggest cave, so it was a bit disappointing. The 2nd cave is smaller and was accessible but the slate slabs were so slippery we didn't bother trying to get down to it. We were sheltered in the quarry so just decided to find a decent place to sit and have lunch.
Looking round there is still evidence of the quarrymens work. Drill holes ready for sticks of dynamite visible.
Heading down off the tops. Harter Fell now clear.
The 2nd cave which we found too slippery to access.
No sooner had we finished lunch when it went very dark again and the hail started. We set off out through the many quarry buildings, now ruins. There was no shelter.
Dark clouds approaching fast.
Sunny one minute.
Dark and hail stoning the next.
Down at the road the temperature was warm and the wind non existent. The layers came off again.
The Woodpecker was still hammering away and the valley had come to life with numerous canoeists.
Greater Spotted Woodpecker, high up in the trees.
Our route today is below. It was 11km. We didn't do this walk in the time showed below on the map. It took us 4 hrs with stops.