Drawing 239: Wetherlam

Direction of view: E

Notes: The viewpoint is Great Carrs.  The foreground is just a couple of yards from the summit cairn (on the Swirl How side).  The grass shown in the sketch has mostly worn away, and the rocks are smaller than might be imagined from looking at the sketch.

This view also appears on page 52 of Ex-Fellwanderer, page 65 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer, page 66 of Wainwright in Lakeland, page 56 of Fellwalking with a Camera, and it is sketch 12 in A Second Furness Sketchbook.  The first three of these are taken from the original sketch; the Furness sketch is a new drawing of the same scene.  Wainwright has added more drama to the foreground rocks than appears in the photograph.

Comments: I took this picture on slide film during a traverse of the Coniston Fells with Peter Messenger on 4th April 1993.  We set out from Wrynose Pass at 1.30pm, so it was quite late by the time we were on the tops, where there was “much photography and slow progress” according to my walks diary.  This included drawings 49, 88, 290 and 339 as well as this one.  We then traversed Dow Crag to Walna Scar Pass, and finished the day with a bar meal at the Sun Inn in Coniston.

I visited the location for the digital project on 4th October 2015 and 7th October 2016, without getting a satisfactory picture, due to weather conditions.   This was at last remedied on 20th April 2019.  Having already got drawings 49 and 88 in satisfactory conditions earlier in the day, this shot completed my project so far as the Coniston Fells are concerned.

The viewpoint for this photo is within a few hundred yards of a memorial, in the form of a cairn with a cross and a slate plaque to eight members of the Royal Canadian Air Force, who lost their lives here on 22nd October 1944. They were flying a Halifax LL505 “S” Sugar from Topcliffe in Yorkshire, and the aircraft just failed to clear the ridgeline of Great Carrs.  Some large pieces of wreckage lie by the memorial; others are visible in the screes on the Greenburn side.