walkhighlands

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.

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.


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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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Comments: 5



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johnbythell


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

Munros: 8



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Statistics

2020

Trips: 1
Distance: 11.4 km
Ascent: 1040m
Hewitts: 1
Wainwrights 1

2018

Trips: 6
Distance: 137 km
Ascent: 11382m
Munros: 7
Grahams: 1
Hewitts: 3
Wainwrights 2

2017

Trips: 4
Distance: 117.7 km
Ascent: 6269m
Donalds: 1
Hewitts: 3
Wainwrights 3


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