Thick mist and strong wind greeted us for a walk round the Northern Coniston Fells taking in Great Carrs, Grey Friar, Swirl How and Wetherlam. With a wind chill of -7C we were well wrapped up and had a great day out in adventurous conditions.
We had a poignant moment when we arrived at the memorial for the eight Canadian airforce aircrew who perished on Great Carrs on the night of October 22nd 1944 (image). Flying a Halifax bomber from Topcliffe in Yorkshire they became lost in thick cloud and darkness over the Lake District. Despite RAF Mosquitoes being despatched to assist, they made the fateful decision to descend to try and locate themselves, only to be trapped by high ground which they could not avoid. The impact carried much of the plane over the mountain edge into Broad Slack, where parts of it still remain, though the image shows some of the undercarriage at the site of the memorial. A sad sight indeed.
Of more current concern were the two people who approached us asking the way to Great Carrs. When Steve offered to show them their position on their map they blithely explained they had no map as they didn’t know how to navigate, and that they only had sat nav which wasn’t working. Despite Steve trying to gently suggest they head down to safety they were intent on pressing on into the mist. Such reliance on technology is now commonplace, though Steve strongly advises that all those venturing into the mountains have a map and compass and know how to use them – he’ll be delighted to help anyone with these critical skills.