Great Carrs is a fell in the English Lake District
which stands above Wrynose Pass in the southern part of the District.
The Coniston (or Furness) Fells form the watershed between Coniston
Water and the Duddon valley to the west.
The range begins at
Wrynose Pass and runs south for around 10 miles before petering out at
Broughton in Furness on the Duddon Estuary.
Great Carrs being the
most northerly of the Coniston Fells therefore qualifies as one of the
Swirl How is the highest of the Coniston Fells
and sends out a long sickle shaped ridge first north and then curving
around to the east. Great Carrs is the high point of this ridge, which
continues as Wet Side Edge, falling to the floor of Little Langdale. A
western outlier branching off the main ridge between Great Carrs and
Swirl How is Grey Friar.
Great Carrs, in common with many fells,
has easy slopes to the west and crags to the east. These crags falling
directly from the summit, form the head of Greenburn.
sided, rather marshy valley, Greenburn is a part of the Little Langdale
system, its waters joining the River Brathay at Little Langdale Tarn.
Greenburn itself bears a tarn, or more correctly the remains of a
reservoir. A natural waterbody was dammed in the early 18th century to
provide water for the Greenburn Mine.
The 250 yard long barrage
has now been breached to leave a collection of pools and bogs.The mines
in question, also known as New Coniston Mine, were worked for copper
from 1845 until substantially abandoned in 1865, the shafts reaching a
depth of 700 ft below ground Greenburn is bounded to the north by the
curve of Wet Side Edge and to the south by Wetherlam.
Edge has a number of intermediate tops including Little Carrs (2,270 ft),
Hell Gill Pike (2,172 ft) and Rough Crags (1,600 ft).
north of the ridge is Wrynose Pass, the only connection for vehicles
between Langdale and the Duddon Valley, and the route of a Roman road.
Across the pass are Cold Pike and Pike of Blisco, and behind them
the ground rises toward the Scafells. The top of the pass at (1,290 ft),
although facilitating access from east to west, does not sit on any
obvious ridge descending from Great Carrs.
To the west of Great
Carrs long slopes fall to the head of the Duddon valley as the river
begins its long journey from Wrynose to the Duddon Sands.
are isolated features such as Mart Crag and the deep gully of Hell Gill,
but these flanks are generally unfrequented.
The ridge southward
to Swirl How is named Top of Broad Slack, a ferociously steep grass
slope climbing out of Greenburn between the crags. This is the site of a
wartime aircrash and bears the sad remains of a Royal Canadian Air Force
Handley Page Halifax bomber.
The undercarriage, together with a
wooden cross and memorial cairn is on the top of the ridge with the rest
of the wreckage spread down Broad Slack. It would appear that the plane
approached from the west, failed to clear the ridge and tumbled down the
other side. Other parts of the aircraft are preserved in the Ruskin
Museum at nearby Brantwood.
In contrast to the craggy escarpment
of the east face, the western slope of the ridge descends over grass to
the col of Fairfield, forming a tilted triangular plateau. Across
Fairfield is the rocky top of Grey Friar.
The summit of Great
Carrs is marked by a small cairn on grass, perched above the rocky abyss
of the head of Greenburn. The view to the north takes in rows of fells
while in other directions the Isle of Man and Pennines can be seen.
Climbs from Little Langdale via Wet Side Edge provide the most
popular direct route up Great Carrs. The Edge can also be gained near
the top from the summit of Wrynose Pass.
Pathless ascents via
Hell Gill or Broad Slack are also possible, but many other walkers will
arrive on Great Carrs from Swirl How or Grey Friar.
routes near Great Carrs