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Dow Crag - Coniston
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Dow Crag - F and B Buttress

Above Goat's Water, near Coniston, South Lakes

10km / 6.2 miles

Can be extended to include the Old Man and other fells.

Scrambling Grade:
Dow B - 3s - Dow F - 3s

Two exposed scrambles on a major cliff that provide exhilarating situations.

These routes can be incorporated within a round of the Coniston Fells or added to a scramble up Low Water and Brim Fell.

  Blind Tarn

Dow Crag is a real gem of a cliff for rock climbers but it did not really inspire the first wave of cragsmen. Perhaps it was too far from Wasdale and the really high mountains or the close proximity of the old mining industry.

Whether you are in the Duddon Valley or Coniston our usual approach is via the Walna Scar road.

An alternative from the Duddon is to scramble up to Seathwaite Tarn and crossing Goat's Hawse to the foot of the crag.

The day can also be extended in the same way, scrambling up Low Water Beck and Brim Fell from where an easy descent also leads to Goat's Hawse.

The scarred fells above Coniston have been worked for centuries, leaving behind a honeycomb of levels, spoilheaps, rotting workings and much of interest concerning our recent past.

  Dow Crag from Coniston

F Buttress

F Buttress is the most northerly of Dow's buttresses, seperated from E Buttress by the deep cleft of North Gully.

It forms a narrow triangle of broken, vegetative rock with a well defined spur rising to the summit rocks; this provides the line of the scramble.

We begin well right of North Gully where the spur of F emerges from a smaller gully, climbing this spur to a ledge below a rock wall. Keeping close to the gully, we continue upwards until blocked by steeper ground, and then descend left down a grassy terrace to a grass-filled crack that finds a way through the difficulty.

We then exit to the left gaining the ridge and easier ground.

  Goats Water

B Buttress

Over on B Buttress, which has a Mountain Rescue Stretcher box at its base, there is another well used scramble - Easy Terrace.

This follows the well marked diagonal rock ramp that rises across the wide, rounded pillar of B from near the base of Great Gully. This rake begins in a shallow gully and ends half way up the pillar at a horizontal ledge that runs across the buttress. The whole, both ramp and ledge, form Easy Terrace.

Scrambling up the rake is straightforward and leads to a horizontal terrace without route-finding difficulty, where we follow to the left scrambling up a series of ledges, finding the best line of resistance.

This route is exposed throughout but leads steeply to the summit of the crag where a narrow ridge leads to the summit of Dow.

  Great Gully

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