Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!
by dooterbang » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:22 pm
Wainwrights included on this walk: Birkhouse Moor, Birks, Dollywaggon Pike, Fairfield, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Seat Sandal, St Sunday Crag
Hewitts included on this walk: Dollywaggon Pike, Fairfield, Helvellyn, Seat Sandal, St Sunday Crag
Date walked: 14/01/2012
Time taken: 9.3
Distance: 20 km
Ascent: 1800m13 people think this report is great. Register or Login free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).
Having done this in April, also taking in Catsyecam, i knew that this route wouldn't feed the need for something epic....so i got planning. With the advice of some fellow WH members i came up with the route below.
The week leading up to this was predicting favourable conditions - would i finally get to walk with Gordon & Graeme whilst having some views! Joining us 3 would be the ever present Leonide and David. David was recovering from man flu but the lure of an epic in sunshine soon evaporated any ongoing symptoms.
We left Glasgow at 5.45am and arrived at the car park (£4.50 charge) next to the Patterdale hotel at 8am, we did have a quick stop at Ullswater to catch the sunrise.
Started walking at 8.30am.
Headed back along the road 1k NW to Glenridding and took the well signposted route West to Helvellyn - we could see the hills above us
Instead of the usual route to the "hole in the wall" we ascended the NE face of Birkhouse Moor
looking West to Ullswater
David and i reached the summit 1st and got chatting to 3 blokes from Chester/Liverpool/Manchester who had wild camped for the night - jammy gits. They had informed us the last 30M to Helvellyn required crampons and ice axes.
When Gordon, Graeme & Leonide finally caught up one of them blokes kindly took a group photo - this was the 1st Wainwright for the others....a virgin trip to the lakes like
SW we could pick out Striding Edge
Red Tarn soon came into view
looking back NE to Ullswater
SW to Nethermost Pike
We got to the start of Striding Edge - the sun was shining, wind non existent and skies blue
Striding Edge was good fun and if walked/scrambled with care should present no difficulties. Escape paths if needed all the way along the ridge.
Gordon - sporting new down Jacket....although it wasn't that cold
Descending the Chimney - Gracefully
With the Ridge done it left a steep pull up the last 70/80M to the Plateau
The last 30M was infact snow covered and very steep - thankfully steps had already been kicked in.
We decided not to use crampons but relied on our ice axes and sure footing in the steps.
DB - playing with his ice axe
Reaching the Summit
Helvellyn. Catsyecam with Ullswater in the distance
We sat here and had a bite to eat. The views everywhere top notch.
Heading South for 4k would take in the peaks of Nethermost Pike, Dollywagon Pike and Seat Sandal.
We took another mini break at Grisedale Tarn before ascending to Seat sandal. I spotted a few sheep kicking around, the heat was making my blood boil, but i remained focus on our route
Heading West 1.5K to Fairfield
View from summit of Fairfield
Another food break was taken here before heading the last 6K NW which would take in Sunday Crag and Birks.
It was after 4pm and the sun was setting - this meant another finish in the dark
We got back to the car around 6pm and after a quick change headed to the White Lion pub for a pint.
Leonide had 2 beers and was rather tipsy, intoxicated her patter was much improved and i actually laughed at one point
Got back to Glasgow around 9pm.
I was washed and changed and tearing into some Rum n Cokes into the wee small hours - i even manged Meikle Bin the next afternoon
Another tremendous day out with the usual suspects.
We think more cross border raids will happen very soon....
Thanks to Gordon for driving and all the feedback regarding best routes from WH members from all over the UK.
by clivegrif » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:48 pm
Did that route years ago, it is a good one.
I went up Helvellyn last winter via Striding edge and than back down Swirral Edge in full ice & snow conditions and I remember that last steep bit well. Unfortunately the visibility could be measured in inches, so no photos.....
Looks like you all had a truly memorable day.
by SusieThePensioner » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:26 pm
I'm so pleased you had such fantastic weather for your border raid
My favourite walk of all time in the Lakes is the Fairfield Horseshoe, done it several times, so good to see a view of Fairfield
by L-Hiking » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:37 pm
Must have a chance for Report of the Month too
Shame I missed this one
Cheers again Paul
by malky_c » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:08 pm
A lot of the routes I've done in the lakes have been pretty short, but here's one that might interest you:
Luvhiking wrote:Must have a chance for Report of the Month too
Monty would be raging. It's not even in Scotland!
by simon-b » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:16 pm
I'll second Susie in saying glad our reccomendations worked out.
Here's one to remind you of the view in retrospect from the Birkhouse Moor ridge (from July, this).
Glad to see you had such good conditions as well.
by ChrisW » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:28 pm
by jonny616 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:34 pm
by mountain thyme » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:31 am
You look a bit scared on the first ridge picture.. i know you dont like ridges and had to skirt around the sides when on the forcan ridge with us!!
laughing at you ''DB playing with his ice axe'' makes a change from playing with your other tool
by Morecambe Monkey » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:45 am
by old danensian » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:23 am
I was just about to post a brief TR of my own after being up there my self in the last few days - honestly, there are some nicew views from Birks and Arnison Crag - in the day.
by lomondwalkers » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:16 am
by mountainstar » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:15 pm
I was up Carnedd Llywelyn that day also (TR on WH somewhere) and also had a cracking day (and night...camping)
Great set of pictures.
Get yourselves down to Wales sometime, and I'll try to meet up.
BTW what do you think of this edit?....
by kevsbald » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:31 pm
by SusieThePensioner » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:44 pm
kevsbald wrote:Can't believe I'm writing this but I might have to consider a cross-Border raid myself. Great stuff.
Are you feeling ok, Kev??? If you do come south I'll arrange to have the flags put out to welcome you