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Striding and Swirral loop

Striding and Swirral loop


Postby johnbythell » Wed Jan 22, 2020 6:44 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Helvellyn

Hewitts included on this walk: Helvellyn

Date walked: 19/01/2020

Time taken: 4

Distance: 11.4 km

Ascent: 1040m

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Helvellyn via Striding and Swirral 19 Jan 2020.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts



I decided on a really early start to try to beat the crowds as the weather on Sunday was forecast to be enticing after several days of high winds and a decent amount of snowfall, so it was a 430 alarm call and I was setting of from the car park in Patterdale as the church bells sounded 7am.

01.jpg
View up the valley at first light


Actually the nearest I came to an accident was walking up the road at the start, with black ice sneakily hidden in the dark.

02.jpg
View across the valley to St Sunday Crag, Fairfield(?) and Dollywaggon Pike.


03.jpg
Sunrise view back down towards Patterdale


04.jpg
First smattering of snow about 500 m


05.jpg
Catstye Cam from the Hole-in-the-Wall with the sunrise still pinking up the sky


06.jpg
First view of Striding Edge and the summit corries from the Hole-in-the-Wall


07.jpg
Sunrise behind St Sunday Crag, at about 825


08.jpg
Striding Edge and Helvellyn summit with the detail nicely picked out in the early light


It was a light covering of soft snow on the ridge, which was pretty slippery and meant for slow progress as I took it very gingerly (that's my excuse at least).

09.jpg
View back along the ridgeline and 'High Spying How' from the low point on the final slope up to the summit


Somewhere along the descent from High Spying How, just before the 'bad step' I decided there was a bit too much snow for comfort and got my crampons on. Uncomfortable teetering around on the barely covered rock, but a lot safer.

10.jpg
The sky made a spectacular backdrop for the lunch stop (at about 10 am)


11.jpg
The cornice at the summit plateau, looking south to Nethermost Pike.


12.jpg
Spectacular view of Red Tarn and Catstye Cam on the final step up onto the plateau.


13.jpg
I always wonder how his dog survived long enough for him to have only a skeleton left - surely someone must have been feeding it?


14.jpg
Looking back down to the shelter from near the summit cairn.


16.jpg
The summit, pretty sparsely populated, so maybe it was worth the early start


18.jpg
My route down, Swirral Edge


19.jpg
Back on the descent down into Patterdale and it looked like the clouds were starting to roll in over the summit, so I was pretty pleased with myself on timing.


20.jpg
Final view up the v,alley


A gorgeous morning out on the high fells today, and back in time for Sunday lunch!
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johnbythell
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 24
Munros:8   
Joined: Sep 4, 2017

Re: Striding and Swirral loop

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed Jan 22, 2020 10:13 pm

It was a wonderful morning on Sunday, looks a memorable day out
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johnkaysleftleg
Walker
 
Posts: 3125
Munros:25   Corbetts:10
Grahams:10   Donalds:3
Sub 2000:7   Hewitts:166
Wainwrights:214   Islands:8
Joined: Jan 28, 2009
Location: County Durham

Re: Striding and Swirral loop

Postby trailmasher » Thu Jan 23, 2020 12:37 pm

A great winter's walk on a beautiful day with two fine ridges to boot. Great photos and report :clap:
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trailmasher
Walker
 
Posts: 1165
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Location: Near Appleby - Cumbria

Re: Striding and Swirral loop

Postby dav2930 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 11:27 pm

You got some amazing pictures there. The classic winter circuit in the Lakes, with a nice coating of snow and extraordinary skies. I was on the Coledale fells on the Saturday but missed out on the Sunday which looks to have been by far the better of the two days. Nice one! :clap:
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dav2930
Mountain Walker
 
Posts: 1402
Munros:237   Corbetts:13
Grahams:14   Donalds:42
Sub 2000:1   Hewitts:164
Wainwrights:214   Islands:2
Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Location: Cumbria

Re: Striding and Swirral loop

Postby johnbythell » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:56 pm

trailmasher wrote:A great winter's walk on a beautiful day with two fine ridges to boot. Great photos and report :clap:


Thanks, yep pretty stunning day. I'm hoping its not the only proper winter day I get out this year!
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johnbythell
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Posts: 24
Munros:8   
Joined: Sep 4, 2017

Re: Striding and Swirral loop

Postby johnbythell » Thu Feb 06, 2020 4:58 pm

dav2930 wrote:You got some amazing pictures there. The classic winter circuit in the Lakes, with a nice coating of snow and extraordinary skies. I was on the Coledale fells on the Saturday but missed out on the Sunday which looks to have been by far the better of the two days. Nice one! :clap:

Thanks - you're right the skies were definitely the highlight!
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johnbythell
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Posts: 24
Munros:8   
Joined: Sep 4, 2017

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