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Helvellyn, Catstye Cam and Birkhouse Moor

Helvellyn, Catstye Cam and Birkhouse Moor

Postby MiniRambo » Sun Jun 19, 2016 9:47 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Birkhouse Moor, Catstyecam, Helvellyn

Hewitts included on this walk: Catstyecam, Helvellyn

Date walked: 30/05/2016

Time taken: 6

Distance: 13.9 km

Ascent: 956m

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Really enjoyable walk with Alastair, Graeme and Joe on Bank Holiday Monday. Good weather conditions. Plenty of other walkers on this popular route.

2016-05-30_Birkhouse Moor.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

(You will notice another minor blip with the GPS route from central Helvellyn to Swirral Edge!! :( Dohhhh)

Parked at the main car park in Glenridding, booted and away by just after 9.30am. Made our way along the Greenside Mine Road and after 500m or so, took the left fork in the road to Rattlebeck Bridge. An obvious and well used path led us steeply up Little Cove, next to Mires Beck. Joe was out in front with the rest of us straggling along behind :lol: :lol:

Start line selfie in Glenridding car park

Heading towards Rattlebeck Bridge

Viewing the washed out beck on Rattlebeck Bridge

In Little Cove looking back to Glenridding and Ullswater

Warm with mixture of sunny and overcast conditions meant that views were a little hazy but compared to other walks I have been on, would take these conditions every time. :clap:

Eventually made the ridge on Birkhouse Moor. I turned east to go to the Cairn that overlooks Sheffield Pike, Glenridding Dodd and Ullswater before returning to the others and then made our way to the true high point/summit of Birkhouse Moor behind a stone wall and with good views of the rest of our walk over Striding Edge, Helvellyn, Swirral Edge and Catstye Cam. It looked fantastic and I was looking forward to the rest of the adventure. :D :D

At the North East cairn of Birkhouse Moor

Alastair, Joe and Graeme at summit of Birkhouse Moor.

The route to Striding Edge and Helvellyn......

...... and Catstye Cam and Red Tarn

The walkers we had already encountered were multiplied several fold as we reached Hole-in-the-Wall where another busy path comes up from Glenridding and Patterdale. Gradually climbing and then scrambling, we were gaining height as the ridge narrowed and formed Striding Edge. It was at this point that things began to go a little awry. Al, Graeme and Joe were a tad uncertain of the forthcoming scrambling and exposure! Although Alastair and Graeme trusted me to continue along the ridge, Joe decided to abort and headed down to Red Tarn and then up on to Swirral edge where we would rendezvous with him later. Thankfully conditions were good so we could track his progress and make sure he made his detour without further incident.

Bring on the excitement!

.... and a close up of the ridge

In the meantime, Al, and Graeme and I made our way along the side paths of the ridge. The only 'hairy' part was the drop down before the steep climb up onto Helvellyn, however, with a good deal of coaxing and helping each other with foot holds and hand holds, we managed to negotiate it safely and I think we all had a real sense of achievement when we summit-ed Helvellyn.

Striding Edge

....and again

Having a quick breather

Graeme in front of the 'steep bit'!

Nearly there.....

..... and the final push to the top...

We had our lunch at the shelter cairn - we luckily managed to get a seat :D before we moved along the barren ground on top of Helvellyn passing a multitude of people en route. We found the access on to Swirral Edge and made good progress down to the low point on the ridge where we met up with Joe again. I left my pack with them and carried on along the ridge to attain Catstye Cam with its small and tidy summit area, before returning to them within 15/20 minutes.

Helvellyn Summit selfie - 'Didn't we do well??!!'

And now for Swirral Edge...

Catstye Cam lies in wait...

Catstye Cam summit - view east...

.... and back to Helvellyn.....

.... and across Red Tarn to Striding Edge.

My feet (and I think Graeme's too) were becoming sore but the descent down to Red Tarn and then running alongside its outlet, Red Tarn Beck, was steady. We were amazed at the damage suffered during the winter storms which was evident when we reached the joining point of Red Tarn Beck with the one coming down from Keppel Cove.

Crossing Red Tarn Beck near the sheepfold

Heading home!

It was then a nice gentle descent back to Mires Beck and then following the initial outward path back to the car.

Thoroughly enjoyed this classic horseshoe walk with good company on a pleasant day. :clap: :clap:
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Re: Helvellyn, Catstye Cam and Birkhouse Moor

Postby ChrisW » Tue Jun 21, 2016 10:42 pm

Great stuff MR, I never tire of reports from this hill, what a lovely hike, made all the better by good company as you say. Some great shots along the ridge, a few too many folks about but that's the lakes in summer I guess :clap:
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Re: Helvellyn, Catstye Cam and Birkhouse Moor

Postby MiniRambo » Wed Jun 22, 2016 6:36 am

Cheers Chris, yeah it's good hill but agree that the crowds can be a bit much. If solitude is your thing, pick another hill. :lol: :lol:
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