Steel Edge and Wetherlam Edge, from Tilberthwaite

Wetherlam has two fine, north eastern ridges. Steel Edge(1) is used for the ascent, and Wetherlam Edge(2) for the descent. They are best characterised as short, steep, very rough, and skatingly slippery when wet. Less frequented than other more famous ridges the paths are faint and may be lost in conditions of poor visibility. And you're almost certain to have them to yourself.

In the 1800s this would have been very busy with many mines and quarrying, along with processing mills powered by a waterwheel with the water taken along the fell side by a leat. In the deep cleft of Tilberthwaite Gill(3) levels were driven into the rock. One of the levels under Horse Crag(4) is nearly a kilometre long and some shafts drop over 700 feet. A walkway in Tilberthwaite Gill was later used by the Victorians to view the waterfalls.

Before you go exploring any of the open levels, just bear in mind that these tunnels are not maintained. They may have rotting false floors hidden by water and gravel indistinguishable from a solid rock floor. There are deep vertical shafts and ceiling collapses do occasionally occur. It's rather safer to peer in from the outside!

The walk starts at Tilberthwaite, just outside of Coniston on the road to Ambleside. A narrow road with occasional passing places, and lots of sheep, winds along above Yewdale Beck to a parking area overlooking the valley at the foot of Tilberthwaite Gill.