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Helvellyn via Sticks Pass, Raise and Striding Edge

Helvellyn via Sticks Pass, Raise and Striding Edge

Postby shish » Thu Aug 14, 2014 10:53 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Helvellyn, Raise, White Side

Hewitts included on this walk: Helvellyn, Raise, White Side

Date walked: 29/07/2014

Time taken: 5

Distance: 14.7 km

Ascent: 1062m

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Me and my husband were in the Lakes for our 25th wedding anniversary and decided to go up Helvellyn as we’d never been in that part of the Lakes.
The cloud cover was complete and low, but was forecast to rise later on, so we weren’t in a hurry to get away early. I’d read what a great view you get of Helvellyn when you approach from the north via Raise so had the route all planned for that, and I like a long way up so it’s not so steep!

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It was interesting going up past the old lead mines. I do like a bit of industrial history! There were big areas of spoil held back by old looking timber stakes and terraces, and a huge sunken looking area high up on the hillside that turned out to be (when we read up about it later) a huge 110,000 tonne collapse of the vein of lead ore that had come crashing down in 1862 luckily with no casualties. It took 4 years to clear.
The path zigzags up the steep bit past Stang End to a second level where we were tempted to go to the left upwards, but we finally made sense of the map and found the path again and keeping the spoil heaps to the left went onward to the far side of the flat valley floor. It was fairly drizzly now and not clearing as we expected it to. The valley bottom looked very boggy but there was a good path up the north side of Sticks Gill just above the bogginess.
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Going up by Sticks Gill towards Sticks Pass

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Looking back down to the flat bottom of Sticks Gill

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Down to Sticks Gill and Sheffield Pike

We were right in the cloud now and pretty damp and drizzly but we hadn’t met anyone which surprised me. We got to Sticks Pass where we met our first fellow walkers. From then on there were hundreds of people! Mostly groups of young people with adults playing with walkie-talkies. One lad came over a cloud-engulfed rise looking appalled at the continuing path and said “you’ve got to be kidding me!” and another immediately behind him had a grin from ear to ear and greeted everyone he met with an enthusiastic “hello” – a future D of E or Scout leader?
Over Raise, and we still hadn’t seen Helvellyn, and I thought the whole walk would be in the clouds.
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Me nearly falling off the cairn on top of Helvellyn. I can't get it the right way round!

We didn’t linger long on the summit, just enough for a quick stoke-up, then we went to find the way onto Striding Edge. We could hear excited voices echoing round from somewhere down below, and set of down the bank. The cloud and noise of voices was quite disorientating and at first we thought we were going the wrong way so we went back up to the top and set off along the ridge to find the way down to Striding Edge. It wasn’t far before we realised we were wrong and went back. We’d been right the first time. As we set off again down Striding Edge, the cloud began to lift and all was revealed! A mound of craggy rock loomed out of the mist looking very exciting. From the sounds that were rising to us from the people below, they were really enjoying the scramble. Soon it was all perfectly clear and the whole summit was revealed behind us too. Just 10 minutes too late!
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Striding Edge and beyond

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Catstye Cam and Red Tarn from Striding Edge

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Swirral Edge

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Back up Striding Edge to Helvellyn Summit

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Towards Nethermost Pike
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Fairfield (?) to the left

The clarity made all the difference on SE itself. Fantastic stuff, the whole thing! We really enjoyed the high level walking after the scrambly bit too.
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Across to Ullswater and the Pennines

On the way down we met loads of people still coming up, who must have waited ‘til the weather cleared before setting off.
We made ourselves a cuppa in the car park when we got down as we were so desperate for one, having not stopped long enough to fire up the stove on the top.
Posts: 28
Munros:43   Corbetts:2
Sub 2000:4   Hewitts:9
Joined: Sep 19, 2012

Re: Helvellyn via Sticks Pass, Raise and Striding Edge

Postby mrssanta » Fri Aug 15, 2014 10:51 pm

Looks good!
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Mountain Walker
Posts: 3095
Munros:265   Corbetts:11
Sub 2000:9   Hewitts:43
Wainwrights:40   Islands:8
Joined: Jul 18, 2011
Location: north yorkshire moors

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