Striding and Swirral loop

Wainwrights: Helvellyn
Hewitts: Helvellyn

Date walked: 19/01/2020

Time taken: 4 hours

Distance: 11.4km

Ascent: 1040m

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.

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.

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

Sunrise view back down towards Patterdale

First smattering of snow about 500 m

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

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

Sunrise behind St Sunday Crag, at about 825

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).

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

My route down, Swirral Edge

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.

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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Comments: 5

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Activity: Munro compleatist
Mountain: Ladhar Bheinn
Place: Knoydart
Ideal day out: Ridge walks/scrambles

Munros: 8

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Joined: Sep 04, 2017
Last visited: Feb 06, 2020
Total posts: 24 | Search posts