walkhighlands

Helvellyn via Gully2 + St Sunday Crag

Wainwrights: Dollywaggon Pike, Helvellyn, St Sunday Crag
Hewitts: Dollywaggon Pike, Helvellyn, St Sunday Crag

Date walked: 24/03/2018

Time taken: 8 hours

Distance: 17.4km

Ascent: 1316m

Had a great day on Saturday 24th March, sneaking in a snow climb on the Red Tarn face of Helvellyn before all the snow disappears in the Lakes. The weather was perfect so we wandered along to Dollywaggon Pike then round to St Sunday Crag.

Karl and me set off from Glenridding at 9.00am and walked up to Red Tarn using the path on the south side of Glenridding Beck.

P1020870.JPG
Catstycam


P1020871.JPG
Beck viewed from the footbridge


Where the ground levels off in the cove containing Red Tarn, we got a good view of the face of Helvellyn with our intended route running up the middle of it.

P1020873.JPG
Red Tarn face of Helvellyn


P1020873-route.jpg
The line of Gully2


P1020874.JPG
A frozen Red Tarn below Helvellyn


We walked around the north side of the tarn to the foot of the gully. Two other chaps were already at the foot of gully1 to the right. We put on our crampons and made any final adjustments of hats, gloves, sunglasses, layers etc. Axes in hand, we set off up the slopes, heading for the point where the line of snow narrows between the buttresses. The snow was a bit on the soft side but held our weight and good kicks made for secure steps. The slope was easy going for quite a way. Meanwhile the other two chaps had traversed in below us and were following us up our gully; that is until we looked down again from a bit higher and they'd vanished! Oh well.

The slope gradually steepened as we got near to the narrows. Fortunately the snow was also getting firmer. Picks of the axes going in now, placements were secure. A bit further up was the narrowest part of the gully, with a couple of small rocks sticking out of the snow. These were good spikes which made useful though unnecessary handholds. A couple of steps to the right led to a tongue of thick, solid ice only thinly coated with snow. This gave 20 feet of superb climbing on crampon tips with the axe picks sinking in only an inch at most, and led over a slight bulge to the upper snow slopes. Here the snow was softer again and some of the axe placements dragged, but with some bashing it was always possible find more secure placements.

P1020875.JPG
Point and shoot down the gully. Well I wasn't going to turn round was I?


From below it had appeared there might be a cornice at the top and that this could be avoided by a traverse to the right. But as the sunlit rim came into sight we could see there wasn't much of a cornice at all and we could go straight up. Topping out was pretty easy. What a great climb! :D

P1020876.JPG
Karl topping out from the gully


We were looking right at the cross-walls shelter just below the summit of Helvellyn. So a few steps later we were sat down in the sunshine enjoying coffee, sandwiches and superb views. There was barely a breath of wind and it was warm. We sat there for ages.

P1020877-straightened.jpg
Catstycam from Helvellyn


A quick visit to the summit then off southwards for Dollywaggon Pike. We weren't bothered about bagging every top in sight so we by-passed the actual summit of Nethermost Pike.

P1020878.JPG
Cornice round the summit ridge of Helvellyn


P1020879.JPG
Crowds at the top


P1020880.JPG
Striding Edge from Helvellyn summit


P1020882.JPG
Thirlmere and central fells


Along the way a group of paragliders passed silently overhead and gradually disappeared towards Morecambe Bay.

P1020883.JPG
Paraglider


P1020893.JPG
Dollywaggon Pike


Great views from Dollywaggon Pike.

P1020896.JPG
St Sunday Crag from Dollywaggon Pike


P1020897.JPG
High Crag from Dollywaggon Pike


Then down the zig-zaggy path to Grisedale Tarn. Pretty warm by now so down to base-layers for the rising traverse up to St Sunday Crag.

P1020898.JPG
Grisedale Tarn


P1020899.JPG
Fairfield


P1020904.JPG
Cofa Pike and Fairfield from the ridge of St Sunday Crag


Always seems further than you think to the top of St Sunday - several false summits.

P1020905.JPG
Red Screes, Dove Crag, Hart Crag from St Sunday Crag


Lovely afternoon light.

P1020908.JPG
Helvellyn from St Sunday Crag


P1020909.JPG
West from St Sunday Crag


P1020913.JPG
High Street range from St Sunday Crag


P1020915.JPG
Ullswater


Great walk, great climb, great weather, great day. All rounded off nicely with a pint of Tirril Original in the Ratcher's Tavern! :D


Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts


Click to mark this as a great report. Register or Login
free to be able to rate and comment on reports (as well as access 1:25000 mapping).

Comments: 4



Testing conditions on Beinn Eighe

Attachment(s) Munros: Ruadh-stac Mor (Beinn Eighe), Spidean Coire nan Clach (Beinn Eighe)
Date walked: 08/03/2018
Distance: 17.6km
Ascent: 1266m
Comments: 11
Views: 610


Beinn Alligin Winter Traverse

Attachment(s) Munros: Sgurr Mor (Beinn Alligin), Tom na Gruagaich (Beinn Alligin)
Date walked: 07/03/2018
Distance: 10km
Ascent: 1205m
Comments: 8
Views: 535


Slioch: goats, gales and a whiteout

Attachment(s) Munros: Slioch
Date walked: 04/03/2018
Distance: 20.6km
Ascent: 1150m
Comments: 11
Views: 622


Bowfell via South Gully + Crinkle Crags

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Bowfell, Crinkle Crags
Hewitts: Bowfell, Crinkle Crags (Long Top), Crinkle Crags South Top
Date walked: 24/02/2018
Distance: 14km
Ascent: 1073m
Comments: 12
Views: 447


Blasted off Stob Coire nan Lochan

Attachment(s) Date walked: 29/01/2018
Distance: 7.3km
Ascent: 960m
Comments: 12
Views: 596


A little trip up Great Gable

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Great Gable, Green Gable
Hewitts: Great Gable, Green Gable
Date walked: 20/01/2018
Distance: 9.2km
Ascent: 877m
Comments: 7
Views: 316


Sharp Edge in Full Winter Nick

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Blencathra
Hewitts: Blencathra
Date walked: 16/12/2017
Distance: 8.2km
Ascent: 771m
Comments: 12
Views: 714


The High Stile Ridge in Soft Snow and Murky Mist

This post is not published on the Walkhighlands forum
Attachment(s) Wainwrights: High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike (Buttermere)
Hewitts: High Crag, High Stile, Red Pike (Buttermere)
Date walked: 09/12/2017
Distance: 12km
Ascent: 994m
Views: 34


Helvellyn Edges in Early Snows

Attachment(s) Wainwrights: Birkhouse Moor, Catstyecam, Helvellyn
Hewitts: Catstyecam, Helvellyn
Date walked: 25/11/2017
Distance: 12.2km
Ascent: 971m
Comments: 6
Views: 388

dav2930


User avatar
Location: Cumbria
Activity: Mountain Walker
Pub: Clachaig Inn
Mountain: An Teallach
Place: Loch Coruisk
Gear: Marmot Windshirt
Ideal day out: A round of summits with some scrambling thrown in.
Ambition: Complete the Munros

Munros: 233
Corbetts: 11
Grahams: 10
Donalds: 34
Wainwrights: 214
Hewitts: 156
Sub 2000: 1



Filter reports


Statistics

2018

Trips: 7
Distance: 96.1 km
Ascent: 7847m
Munros: 5
Hewitts: 8
Wainwrights 7

2017

Trips: 20
Distance: 324.06 km
Ascent: 21443m
Munros: 4
Corbetts: 2
Grahams: 3
Donalds: 12
Hewitts: 54
Wainwrights 47

2016

Trips: 27
Distance: 432.8 km
Ascent: 27445m
Munros: 25
Corbetts: 1
Grahams: 5
Donalds: 12
Hewitts: 23
Wainwrights 28

2015

Trips: 19
Distance: 302.6 km
Ascent: 16073m
Munros: 11
Corbetts: 2
Donalds: 5
Hewitts: 18
Wainwrights 28

2014

Trips: 13
Distance: 246.3 km
Ascent: 12584m
Munros: 10
Hewitts: 22
Wainwrights 22

2006

Trips: 1
Ascent: 2365m


Joined: Feb 13, 2015
Last visited: Apr 20, 2018
Total posts: 1089 | Search posts


cron