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Took me to the Edge of Helvellyn

Took me to the Edge of Helvellyn


Postby 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: 907m

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Last day of summer in the Lakes was a bit hazy. Thought we'd have a crack at Helvellyn. Fiona doesn't normally like scrambling and rocky stuff but the conditions - warm, sunny and not much wind, were too good to miss.


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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.

P1010159.JPG
Ullswater from the top of Little Cove


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

P1010161.JPG


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

P1010162.JPG


The approach to the edge is straight forward. At the top of the first tower the task is revealed.

P1010164.JPG


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.

P1010166.JPG


Hazy light in the fading sunny weather also gave some 'screen print' views out west towards the Conistons.

P1010167.JPG


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.
icemandan
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Re: Took me to the Edge of Helvellyn

Postby mamoset » Sun Oct 02, 2011 9:57 pm

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!!! :?

Chris
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Re: Took me to the Edge of Helvellyn

Postby pollyh33 » Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:17 pm

Great report on an area I knew very little bit about- thanks :D

The last two photographs are beautiful :thumbup:
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Re: Took me to the Edge of Helvellyn

Postby goth_angel » Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:45 pm

Nice report and useful as I want to do this before long.
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Re: Took me to the Edge of Helvellyn

Postby 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!!! :?

Chris

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.
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Re: Took me to the Edge of Helvellyn

Postby skuk007 » Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:05 pm

Nice pics, have they finished the rebuild of the steep path up to the summit?
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Re: Took me to the Edge of Helvellyn

Postby icemandan » Fri Oct 14, 2011 8:04 pm

If they've built a path up the steep bit, we didn't find it - all scree and slither.
icemandan
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Posts: 446
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Location: Kendal

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