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Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!


Postby 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: 1800m

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Gordon (he from deepeth darkest Gourock - webbed feet land!) had suggested a cross border raid some weeks ago - Helvellyn via Striding Edge the target.

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.

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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.
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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 :D
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Instead of the usual route to the "hole in the wall" we ascended the NE face of Birkhouse Moor
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looking West to Ullswater
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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 :)
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SW we could pick out Striding Edge
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Red Tarn soon came into view
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looking back NE to Ullswater
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SW to Nethermost Pike
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We got to the start of Striding Edge - the sun was shining, wind non existent and skies blue :D

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.
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Gordon - sporting new down Jacket....although it wasn't that cold :? :shock:
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Descending the Chimney - Gracefully 8)
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With the Ridge done it left a steep pull up the last 70/80M to the Plateau
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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.
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DB - playing with his ice axe :)
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Reaching the Summit
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Helvellyn. Catsyecam with Ullswater in the distance
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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.
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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 :( :lol:

Heading West 1.5K to Fairfield
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Grisedale Tarn
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View from summit of Fairfield
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Another food break was taken here before heading the last 6K NW which would take in Sunday Crag and Birks.
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It was after 4pm and the sun was setting - this meant another finish in the dark :D
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Headtorches on....
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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 :lol:

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 :shock:

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.
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dooterbang
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby clivegrif » Wed Jan 18, 2012 6:48 pm

Cracking report Dooterbang!

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. :D
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clivegrif
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby SusieThePensioner » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:26 pm

A great report, as usual, glad all the advice from us southern softies was useful, and those photos, well, they're just amazing :thumbup:

I'm so pleased you had such fantastic weather for your border raid :lol:

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 :D
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby L-Hiking » Wed Jan 18, 2012 7:37 pm

I have been looking forward to this report for a few days and you have not dissapointed, some great photos, especially using the axes and of the sunset.

Must have a chance for Report of the Month too :D

Shame I missed this one

Cheers again Paul
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L-Hiking
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby malky_c » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:08 pm

That's a pretty flawless collection of photos there 8) . Looks like a fun day out, and slightly more snow than in Wales.

A lot of the routes I've done in the lakes have been pretty short, but here's one that might interest you:
http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/Forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=9383

Luvhiking wrote:Must have a chance for Report of the Month too


Monty would be raging. It's not even in Scotland! :lol:
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby simon-b » Wed Jan 18, 2012 10:16 pm

Nice photos!

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.
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simon-b
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby ChrisW » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:28 pm

What a fantastic circuit DB, in wonderful weather with great company. What could be better :D Some fine photo's throughout the report but the ones of making the steep ascent using ice axes really stand out...looks steep as hell :shock: oh and your 'graceful' descent of the chimney too :lol: - great report, really entertaining :D
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby jonny616 » Wed Jan 18, 2012 11:34 pm

Nice one DB. I must get me some of that sunshine stuff. 8)
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jonny616
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby mountain thyme » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:31 am

Great pictures and looks like a fantastic day and fantastic walk. Well done.
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 :)
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mountain thyme
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby Morecambe Monkey » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:45 am

Nice report with some excellent action shots,glad you got a good spell of weather for it too. Need to revisit Striding edge as it's nearly 3 years since i was last there.
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Morecambe Monkey
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby old danensian » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:23 am

Glad to see you enjoyed heading south to sample what's on offer. Loved the sunsets from St Sunday - that's a great location, shame about the darkness of the final bit on the way down.

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.

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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby lomondwalkers » Thu Jan 19, 2012 11:16 am

Brilliant as ever DB, that narrow ridge looks awesome, as does the sunrise at Ullswater 8)
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby mountainstar » Thu Jan 19, 2012 12:15 pm

Another cracker Dooter.
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?....

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mountainstar
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby kevsbald » Thu Jan 19, 2012 1:31 pm

Can't believe I'm writing this but I might have to consider a cross-Border raid myself. Great stuff.
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Re: Striding into Helvellyn Heaven!!

Postby 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 :lol: :lol:
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