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The Helvellyn Horseshoe (in the cloud)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:20 pm
by Iangoldsmith
This was an opportunity taken due to last minute meeting at 3.30 on a Friday Afternoon in Scotland, what a better way to start a weekend than this walk up Helvellyn, over Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike down to Grisedale Tarn and then up to St Sunday Crag and down to Glenridding.

I managed to get a bed at Helvellyn YHA with 48 Hours notice and that’s where I left the car. Starting the walk with only a Soft Shell, the weather slowly but surely deteriorated (as the Clag came down the waterproofs went on) until it was a bit of a surprise when I almost bumped into a tent, pitched next to Red Tarn.

The choice was Striding edge or Swirral Edge, and having already been up Striding Edge in the snow a couple of years ago I chose Swirral edge and in what seemed no time at all was at the Trig Pint on Helvellyn with an excellent view of the inside of a cloud !

A swift coffee in the shelter, I skirted the edge of the crags over Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike before finding the top of the zigzags and descended down to Grisedale Tarn, again no views and a persistent wind and drizzle.

A quick pasty and Kit Kat and it was up St Sunday Crag on what turned out to be great path to the col between Cofa Pike and St Sunday Crag. Overtaken by about 100 Fell runners, I took my time to the top of St Sunday Crag with the very occasional view down to Grisedale Tarn and over to Hartsop to be greeted by a Fell running check point on the summit.

Descending towards Birks the clag started to clear and the occasional view of Ullswater was glimpsed before descending down to Patterdale and through to Glenridding via Lanty’s Tarn. If anyone does this route don’t go all the way down to the Village but contour round the other side of the valley to Greenside Road until you find a bridge over the river and then it’s a short stroll down the hill to the car.

All in all a challenging day for navigation and weather but excellent and well worth repeating in better conditions. The views must be stunning!!!!!!!! – Sorry no Photographs but I guess everyone has seen the inside of a cloud!!

Re: The Helvellyn Horseshoe (in the cloud)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 08, 2009 11:31 pm
by colgregg
It's a shame weather spoilt the day. It usually reserves itself for the days I go over!! It's four years since I did Hellvelyn fortunately it was in brilliant sunshine and you are right the views are stunning. I've been thinking of doing the same route as you, only in reverse: St Sunday Crag, Fairfield etc. It'll make for a good day out AND hopefully if weather is good I'll also see the summit of Fairfield as I too could only see cloud when I was there last.

Re: The Helvellyn Horseshoe (in the cloud)

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2009 8:20 am
by Iangoldsmith
If you do it in reverse make sure you tick of Birks as well (somthing I didn't do - for some stupid reason.. at least I will have to go climb St Sunday Crag again, this time in the sun so I can really make the most of those views!!!!) ... With over 1200M of ascent at least It was good training for a long weekend in Glencoe in a couple of weeks time !!

In reverse you could probably also climb Catsycam as you drop off Helvellyn with no major problem!

Enjoy it!