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The Old Man of Coniston


Quick Facts
This is the height of the mountain above sea level. However, on the climb, it is the ascent that matters, i.e. the sum of all the uphill parts of the route.
803 m (2634 ft)

This is the standard notation used on Ordnance Survey Landranger maps.

Each reference consists of two letters identifying a 100,000 metre square block then three digits defining the Easting and finally the three digits defining the Northing with reference to the South West corner of the block.

NN166712 is the grid reference for the summit of Ben Nevis. Where you are given the map number ( For Ben Nevis = 41) it is acceptable to omit the two initial letters e.g. 166712. (Instructions on how to read the references are given on the OS maps).

Grid Ref.
An indication of this mountains height rank within its class. Where two mountains share the same height they are ordered alphabetically.
The number of ascent routes currently available on Munromagic.
Mountain names are usually in Gaelic, the native language of the Scottish Highlands, or have been derived from the old Scots and Norse languages. We give the most commonly accepted meaning, but accept that some of these are disputed.
Large cairn of Coniston

The UK is covered by 204 Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 scale maps. Maps numbered 1 to 86 cover Scotland but for the highest mountains (Munros) only 23 maps are required. The name given roughly describes the area covered by the map.

OS Landranger Maps Required
  96   Barrow-in-Furness & South Lakeland

A description of the characteristics of the mountain including any hazards of which you should be aware.

The Old Man of Coniston (2500ft+) (also called ‘Coniston Old Man’) lies W of Coniston town, in the Lake District (England), which it dominates. Its lower slopes have been the site of much mining activity in the past.

To its NE is a little glacial tarn (Low Water) enclosed to N and W by crags which lie below the ridge (Brim Fell, 796m) linking it to Swirl How (802m) 2.7 km to the N. Additionally, Brim Fell’s SW slopes descend to a col (Goat’s Hause, 649m) with Dow Crag (778m) which lies 1 km W of The Old Man across Goat’s Water. Since only 1 metre of vertical height officially separates The Old Man of Coniston (803m) and Swirl How (802m) a comparable situation exists for this pair of tops as for the (single) Corbett with 2 competing tops Sgurr a’ Bhac Chaolais ((Corbett) 885m summit spot height) and Buidhe Bheinn ((Corbett), 885m contour); and the prudent bagger should include both tops in a traverse ‘to be sure’.

The most scenic approach routes for this traverse are from Coniston; but it is also possible to approach both tops from Seathwaite Tarn Reservoir to the W.

Hazards you may encounter on The Old Man of Coniston include
 Steep slopes on or near ascent routes.
 Crags near summit.
General Considerations
 Temperature decreases by 1degree C for every 100m of ascent.
 Wind usually increases with altitude.
 Visibility can change markedly with cloud level.
 River/Stream levels can increase markedly in one day.
A special thank you to David S Brown for his work on this and all of the England/Wales information.
Picture Gallery for The Old Man of Coniston

A selection of weather forecasts local to #GetMountain.Top_Name#.

Ordnance Survey digital maps are also available to members.

 Weather & OS Maps
Cumbrian Fells
by MWIS (PDF format)
Lake District
by Met Office
Coniston Old Man
by Metcheck
The Old Man of Coniston Area Map
Legend  Munro  Corbett  Graham  English/Welsh Top  Accommodation

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 Where to Stay
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The summary information of one or more ascent routes that include The Old Man of Coniston.

Click on the route title to load the full content for that route.

 Routes that include The Old Man of Coniston
  Ascent Distance Time Including... Description Rating
1 1085 m 10.53 km 4 hrs The Old Man of Coniston  A circular route on broad ridges and disused slate miners’ tracks, which traverses the summit and the 1-metre-lower subsidiary top of Swirl How. Part of route near crags..  

Pictures submitted by members on the summit of The Old Man of Coniston

 Baggers Gallery for The Old Man of Coniston

Poor Vis with Ted. 26.06.15

© Paul Burgess

Image by Paul Burgess

Me beside the neat cairn of flatish stones at the summit of The Old Man of Coniston. 12th June 2008.

© David S Brown

Image by David S Brown
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Post a few words about The Old Man of Coniston or read what others have had to say.

Andy Wright
wrote on
April 7, 2013
Very exhilerating days walk with my dog, shame the wind was so strong that we could not hang around.

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