Friday, 28 August 2020

Lake District Holiday Part Four: Finally Getting Up Helvellyn. . .

It's often touted as the best walk in the Lake District and one of the best in the UK, but bad weather has always forced me to turn back from Helvellyn - the third highest mountain in England. But on the last day of our vacation, I finally got to the summit and I can now see what all the fuss is about.

I didn't want either the drama or the crowds of Striding Edge, so we went up a better and just as scenic a way.

We parked at Glenridding and headed up towards Sticks Pass.

I liked this route because there are level areas where you can rest between all the ups. And this valley has a lovely path to walk along.  We're heading for the ridge in the center of this photo, then we'll turn left and go up to Raise.

And the view from Raise where you can just see Thirlmere peeping out below.

This was as far as I'd ever been and that day was full of cloud and rain so I never saw the next bit of our route.  But again, it was lovely to have a flat bit with lots of views before climbing Lower Man and then just the last bit of up before Helvellyn proper.

Here's Lower Man looking steeper as we approached.  Have I mentioned how hot it was?


And now we're on the top of Helvellyn looking down at Swirral Edge and Catstye Cam. This is another route you can take either up or down.

And the next three photos are of Striding Edge from various angles.  It doesn't look too bad from here, but I had a good look at it with binoculars and it's definitely not for me.  Too narrow a ridge and a bit of scary scrambling.  It may be a walker's rite of passage, but you get the same views no matter how you get to the top.

We then headed towards Nethermost Pike and then Dollywaggon Pike, two more Wainwrights to conquer.

And looking back at the path without the sun glaring in our eyes.

The descent was surprisingly fast, heading down to Grisedale Tarn.  The path consists mostly of large stones arranged as a very long staircase but as it was dry, it was easy to navigate.

But one last great view before the descent.

And some relief for tired and hot feet in the tarn.

I was very tired by then and have to say the valley path back to Glenridding seemed to go on forever.  This was more technical than the descent as the stones were uneven and slippery at times and you had to pay attention.

We were out for about eight hours (had a longish lunch break at the top of Helvellyn) and walked about 13 miles in total.  Completely exhausted by the end, but what a walk!  Definitely in my top ten. 


Anne A said...

These posts are making my heart turn over. Long ago times surfacing in my memory. Thank you.

greenmtngirl said...

I love your walking poats—thank you! Making me remember all my hiking days.