Walk : Helvellyn via Striding Edge
Date : 31st August 2010
Weather : Fair, variable cloud, dry
Route Details : Patterdale, Birkhouse Moor, Striding Edge, Helvellyn, Swirral Edge, Birkhouse
Distance : 5 miles
An absolute “must do” classic, far more enjoyable than the “White Stones” route I did some years earlier. The start
St Patrick`s Church is easy to find and the slog up Birkhouse Moor is a bit relentless, but the unfolding drama from
Hole in the Wall upwards is fantastic.
Warning !! – If you are doing this for the first time, avoid crossing Striding Edge in high winds or heavy rain
At the start along the path leading off from the main road from the Church, with early views Nethermost Pike and
Dollywaggon Pike, heading
towards the foot of the
up the side of Birkhouse Moor
On the long pathway climb up the side now and the valley starts to open up.
Higher still and the bulk
Looking back towards the start point and the valley floor, Sue is a little slower as her rucksack has all the butties in !
Ste takes a breather as we near the second target point of the day …
The hole in the wall – at last !! – at this point the objective of the day has still to come in to view …
At the wall now and yet another re-fuelling stop (along with the crowds) and the first sight of the mighty Helvellyn
To the right across Red Tarn is Swirral Edge and Catstye Cam
Slightly further up from the wall now and the whole walk takes on a different complexion. The relatively smooth
path up the side of Birkhouse gives way to a more rocky terrain. Here at the start of High Spying How, the stack to
climb up to get to the start of Striding Edge
Just before the start of getting onto the ridge, the full length of Striding Edge can be seen as it joins the main
bulk of Helvellyn
Join the queue now to get on the Edge. The pathway on the right of the ridge can be clearly seen and is an alternative
for any walker not wishing to take their luck on the ridge. Also the safest route in windy conditions
No turning back now, on the start. The guys in front opted for the side path
The chimney stack that needs negotiating at the end of the Edge – just adds a little extra spice to the walk. When
you get to this point, take a breather as the final steep push up to the summit can be a lung burster !!
As you near the summit, Gough`s Plaque ~ to commemorate the fatal accident in 1803 where Charles Gough fell to
his death off the Edge. His dog remained by his master’s side for nearly three months before he was found, and this
inspired the poem “Fidelity” by William Wordsworth.
On the summit now looking over Red Tarn
On the return back down along Swirral edge. Ullswater in the background.
A view the other way now looking across Red Tarn back to Striding Edge
Back down on the valley floor now and just in time judging by those clouds
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