Took me to the Edge of Helvellyn
by icemandan » Sun Oct 02, 2011 5:10 pm
Wainwrights included on this walk: Birkhouse Moor, Helvellyn
Hewitts included on this walk: Helvellyn
Date walked: 01/10/2011
Time taken: 6
Distance: 12 km
Ascent: 907mRegister or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Problem number one was finding a parking space in Glenridding. We went on a fruitless tour of full car parks before noticing that the parking restrictions on the road outside finished on 30th September.
After a riverside walk through woods and a campsite to Kettlebeck Bridge, we headed up a very good stepped stone path alongside Mire Beck which made for easy progress up to the ridge and a hazy view back to Ullswater.
The path carried on up the wall, making for easy height gain and swinging out on a wide zig-zag to reduce the gradient and take in the top of Birkhouse Moor. We now had a choice
Either down to Red Tarn and up Swirral edge on the right or bear left along the dragon's back of Striding Edge. We sat under an impressive drystone wall while we made our choice
The approach to the edge is straight forward. At the top of the first tower the task is revealed.
At first you go a short distance along a flat section of the crest. Then you can either carry on along the crest (an easy but exposed scramble) or, as we did, take a path along the north side which avoids most of the difficulties. There is a bad step at the far end of the edge and the avoiding route switches to the south side and drops down a bit to avoid it. There is then a steep, slithery climb up Helvellyn's east face to reach the summit.
Helvellyn summit is strangely suburban. After climbing up through a world of crags, rocks, scree, steep drops and rocky tarns, you emerge onto a lush grassy summit plateau that wouldn't be out of place in the South Downs. You almost expect there to be an ice cream van. It does however have excellent views back down over Red Tarn.
Hazy light in the fading sunny weather also gave some 'screen print' views out west towards the Conistons.
We slithered down Swirral Edge and had a long stride back down to Glenridding Lead Mine and an excellent pint of Hesket Newmarket beer at the Travellers Rest. An excellent end to the Summer.
by mamoset » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:57 pm
by pollyh33 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:17 pm
The last two photographs are beautiful
by goth_angel » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:45 pm
by colgregg » Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:47 pm
mamoset wrote:Great walk. I have a bit of a soft spot for Helvellyn . Parking below Stybarrow Crag or outside the school in Patterdale is free and easy, as long as you turn up early enough!!!
I've actually parked in the White Lion's car park on a couple of occasions with no problems. As I've ended up in there at the end of the day they can't say I'm not a customer.
In Glenridding you can often get parked up near the top of the village towards the Greenside Road.
by skuk007 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:05 pm
by icemandan » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:04 pm