Coppermines Valley

Coppermines Valley, with Swirl How rising behind.

Height: 2630 feet above sea level

Volume: Book 4 (The Southern Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 16th September 2009 (walk 6). Second visit: 13th March 2018 (walk 143).

Bagged as number: First round: 20 out of 330. [ << Low Pike (19)   (21) Grey Friar >> ]

Second round: 139 of 330. [ << Grey Friar (138)  (140) ?? >> ]

Swirl How summit

Swirl How summit cairn and enthusiastic canine hiker

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Ascended from Coniston, via Levers Hause. Descended to Fairfield col then on to Grey Friar. I then returned to the summit later in the walk from Great Carrs before descending to Swirl Hause and then going on to Wetherlam.

Second visit: Came over from Grey Friar, descended to Coniston via Swirl Hawse this time.

What Mr. Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): “Swirl How, although not quite the highest of the Coniston Fells, is the geographic centre of the group, radiating splendid ridges from a peaked summit to the four points of the compass…. If only Swirl How asserted itself a little more and overtopped its satellites by a few hundred feet it would rank with the noblest fells in Lakeland, its ‘build-up’ being topographically excellent.”

Swirl How from Dow Crag

Swirl How, with Great Carrs to the far left, viewed from Dow Crag. The snowy peaks in the background are the Helvellyn range.

What I say: I know what he means about the fell ‘asserting itself’. For such a high and geographically important fell it is actually easy not to notice Swirl How all that much. Each of the other fells around it has some distinctive features: Grey Friar has a better view, Great Carrs the air crash memorial, and when climbling up from Wrynose it does feel like one is embarked on an ascent of Great Carrs rather than Swirl How. Its  own subsidiary summit, Great How Crags (see picture below) also risks upstaging it on the descent to Swirl Hawse. It’s a good climb though — as are all the fells round here.

[ << Stybarrow Dodd      Tarn Crag (Easdale) >> ]

Great How Crags

Great How Crags, from the descent to Swirl Hawse


One Response to “Swirl How”

  1. […] took in four summits from The Southern Fells: Pike o’Blisco, Great Carrs, Grey Friar and Swirl How. All over 2,300 feet, which makes a change from other recent walks. Read all about it and see more […]

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