Will be in theLakes (coniston area) in 2 weeks time with a group of 6 averagely fit 55+ women. Would love to do Old man of coniston, but concerned about the level of difficulty, steepness of incline and whether we will all manage it. Basically I guess we're a little scared of it!! Can anyone advise on the following please: What Is the easiest route? Are the paths clear and unmissable (ie don't require compass and map skills) Assuming a relatively slow pace, how long up and down is it likely to take? Any advice for us please? Thanks to anyone who can help Caz
I'd think this walk will fit the bill http://www.walklakes.co.uk/walk_2.html. It is a very simple out and back walk. It does get steep for its grade but the path is very clear and obvious. You will still have to be able to follow the correct path at junctions, but the instructions should keep you on course.
I can understand being scared of it, The Old Man is an imposing fell and this route puts you right in the middle of all the dramatic bits. However, there really isn't anything frightening on the route. There is a little minor scrambling, which I'd really call clambering, so as long as everybody is active they will manage just fine. Going up is always easier, so if anyone doesn't fancy the descent, you could as the walk suggests return via Goats Water.
The walk starts above Coniston at the fell gate car park, which shortens the slog up from the village and is quite a place anyway. From there I would allow 5+ hours for a slow pace. So if its a good forecast, start after breakfast, take lunch, and enjoy the whole day.
Beth, thank you for your advice and for taking time to respond. I will take a look at your suggestion, it sounds like just the job. Caz