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Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Sat May 27, 2017 4:29 pm
by Lancashire Lad
Extensive early mist in the valleys, followed by good weather all day was promised for Thursday, so I had another visit to the Lake District to do the “Newlands Round”.
As things turned out, the forecast was spot on. Driving towards and through central Lakeland, not long after dawn, was pretty much a pea-soup mist affair.
However, occasionally rising above the murkiness at places such as Dunmail Raise, confirmed that this was indeed low lying mist, with cloudless blue skies above. – It was going to be a great day on the tops!

Parking up at the “Catbells Parking Area”, by the roadside near Gutherscale, I headed off up the fell, breaking through the top of the mist just before reaching the Thomas Arthur Leonard memorial tablet. (Which is affixed to a small rocky-outcrop at about 850ft. in height).
By the time I’d reached Skelgill Bank, I was well above the blanket of cloud, with great views all around, and the promise of wall-to-wall sunshine for the rest of the walk!

The day was extremely warm and I got through all but the last few drops of the 2.5 litres of drinks carried. It was, therefore, a nice surprise on reaching Littletown, towards the end of the walk, to find that the Farm "Tea Room" was open.
Thus, I was able to purchase a very cold, very refreshing, and very thirst quenching pint of bitter shandy :D before taking the "Vicarage" footpath across the fields to Low Skelgill Farm, Gutherscale, and back to the car.

GPS Track of the walk: -
#GPS Track - 1 to 50000 Scale1.jpg

And some photos from the day. (Described in list form below, to ensure correct alignment of thumbnail images).
Photo 1 - Not long after starting the walk, and, having broken through the "cloud", my first proper view of the extent of the low lying mist. Taken from Skelgill Bank, looking northwards to Skiddaw.
Photo 2 - The summit of Swinside, floating on a sea of mist.
Photo 3 - Looking in the other direction from the same spot, you would never be aware that the mist had been there. - Looking towards Catbells, with Hindscarth and Robinson over to the right hand side.
Photo 4 - Now on the way to Maiden Moor, looking back across Catbells to Skiddaw etc.
Photo 5 - Approaching High Spy, with Dale Head Crags and the Tongue Gill ravine dominating the view.
Photo 6 - Approaching Dale Head summit, with this superb view northwards down the Newlands valley. - In my humble opinion, this has to be one of the very best views in Lakeland!
Photo 7 - Looking across Buttermere, with High Crag, High Stile, and Red Pike prominent behind the lake.
Photo 8 - About to reach the main descent of Scope End, and the full extent of Newlands valley can be seen. With High Spy's Eel Crags to the left, Dale Head Crags to centre, and the flanks of Hindscarth to right hand side.
Photo 9 - Back on the valley floor, and crossing the Newlands Beck footbridge beside Low Snab gives this superb view along the extent of Newlands valley towards Dale Head.

If you would like to see lots more photos from this walk, see: - ... ?f=2&t=494


Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2017 2:46 pm
by Lancashire Lad
The promise of a gloriously sunny day on Sunday, (18th June), had me travelling back to the Lake District once again, for another grand day on the fells. This time, I'd decided to do Blencathra, Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell, then dropping back to valley level at Mungrisdale. Where, (depending on how good the legs were feeling at that stage :D ), I had the option of walking back to the car by the gated road between Mungrisdale and Scales, or going up and over Souther Fell and Mousthwaite Comb.

Starting from the layby on the A66, (Between Scales & Doddick), I walked along the roadside towards Threlkeld, taking the lane towards the Kennels at Gategill. Along that lane, many hundreds of common Nettle plants were to be seen. It was noticeable that lots of them were playing host to Nettle Clustercup Rust, (Puccinia urticata). Beyond the lane, the public footpath quickly took me past the buildings and onto the fellside, and the start of the day's first ascent - Hall's Fell. Quite a steep pull, but height is quickly gained, and the open fell-side soon gives way to Hall's Fell Ridge, a superb rocky scramble leading directly to Blencathra's summit.

From the summit, I descended the 800ft. or so to Scales Tarn, and then went up Sharp Edge - highly regarded as being among the best rock scrambles in the Lake District. Slightly easier on the bone-dry rock of this walk than when I last did it, (along with Hall's Fell Ridge), in winter conditions, (see: - viewtopic.php?f=11&t=695#p5104), but still not to be taken lightly. (It has been the scene of many call-outs for the Mountain Rescue services).

Then, after climbing Foule Crag, and back on Blencathra's "Saddle" I diverted across to the White Cross memorial before taking in the subsidiary summit of Atkinson Pike, followed by Bannerdale Crags and Bowscale Fell. Then, a long easy descent across the flanks of The Tongue, to Mungrisdale, where I had to decide whether to take the gated road back to Scales, or go up and over Souther Fell and Mousthwaite Comb - (with another 1000ft of ascent). - Well, it was still only mid-afternoon, and the legs were feeling OK, so Souther Fell it was! - A couple of hours and three miles later, and I was back at the car. What a great walk!

GPS track of the walk: -
#GPS Track - 1 to 50000 Scale.jpg
Walk elevation profile: -
#Walk Elevation Profile.jpg

And some photos from the day. (Described in list form below, to ensure correct alignment of thumbnail images).
Photo 1 - Looking up to Hall's Fell Ridge just before crossing Gate Gill. - Hall's Fell to right hand side of image, and Gategill Fell to the left.
Photo 2 - Approaching Hall's Fell Ridge.
Photo 3 - The westerly view from Blencathra's summit, with the Ordnance Survey Triangulation Station in the foreground.
Photo 4 - Looking northwards, just a few paces from the summit, and it seems that Blencathra's little known population of miniature Druid's have finally given themselves away! :lol: - (No idea who "built" this, but it did add a little bit of interest to the vast expanse of grass in the shot!).
Photo 5 - First sighting of Sharp Edge and Scales Tarn. - Never fails to impress, no matter how many times I've seen it.
Photo 6 - A close-up of part of Sharp Edge.
Photo 7 - The White Cross Memorial, (origins uncertain), on Blencathra's "Saddle" - with Skiddaw on the horizon.
Photo 8 - The other side of Sharp Edge, (with Foule Crag to right hand side), - as seen from the path heading from Atkinson Pike towards Bannerdale.
Photo 9 - Looking down Bannerdale Valley, from Bannerdale Crags summit ridge.

If you would like to see lots more photos from this walk, along with details of some major erosion damage still in evidence from Storm Desmond, see: - ... ?f=2&t=505


Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Sat Jul 15, 2017 5:12 pm
by Lancashire Lad
Weather forecast was predicting a for the most part sunny day, so I headed back to the Lake District on Wednesday (12th July) for another wander on the fells. – This time to do Red Screes and Middle Dodd, two tops I hadn’t previously visited, along with several more that I had.

Starting from Cow Bridge car park beside Brothers Water, I walked past the lake to Hartsop Hall, and then took the footpath across the intake fields, heading towards Scandale Pass. Not long after passing beyond the “Settlement” (site of antiquity), my route deviated away from the Scandale Pass track, crossing the footbridge over Kirkstone Beck, and onto the lower flanks of Middle Dodd.

A relentlessly steep and pretty much pathless pull up to Middle Dodd, eventually gave way to easier ground on the approach to Red Screes. From which summit, extensive views towards Windermere and the Morecambe Bay coastline were to be had.

From Red Screes, it was down to Scandale Pass and then up to Little Hart Crag summit, before taking a descending traverse across to the summit of High Hartsop Dodd. Then it was back up towards Little Hart Crag, (this time skirting the actual summit), and across Bakestones Moss, to the very well-constructed “Dale Head”-like cairn on High Bakestones.

During lunch at High Bakestones, the sun gave way to a large bank of cloud coming in from the west, which then persisted for a couple of hours, slightly taking the edge off photos taken during that period. – Still, the weather will do what the weather will do!

From High Bakestones it was an easy stroll across to the ridge-line, picking up the main “Fairfield Horseshoe” path as far as Dove Crag. Where, after visiting the summit, I descended to the col, and then headed off down into Houndshope Cove in order to make my way across and up to the Priest’s Hole Cave. (Slightly tidier than found on my last visit), but the “visitor books” - albeit that they were already irreparably water damaged due to the actions of idiots – see viewtopic.php?f=11&t=695&start=20#p6095, have now completely disappeared.

From the cave, it was back up to the col, and onwards to Hart Crag summit before descending back to valley level via the Hartsop above How – Gale Crag - Bleaberry Knott ridge. There was nothing to be gained by following the ridge all the way down to Deepdale Bridge, (which would then mean a road walk back to the car), so instead, I took the steep path which drops through Low Wood, directly back to Cow Bridge car park.


GPS track of the route walked: -
#GPX Track - 1 to 50000 scale1.jpg
Walk elevation profile: -
#Elevation Profile.jpg

And some photos from the day. (Described in list form below, to ensure correct alignment of thumbnail images).

Photo 01 - Having walked past Brothers Water, and now approaching Hartsop Hall, Middle Dodd can be seen left of centre, with a still cloud covered Red Screes behind. High Hartsop Dodd and the ridge leading across to Dove Crag are seen towards right hand side of shot.
Photo 02 - Cloud not yet lifted from Dove Crag. (As seen from the intake fields of Hartsop Hall farm).
Photo 03 - Looking back to Brothers Water, with Angletarn Pikes and Place Fell beyond. (As seen from flanks of Middle Dodd).
Photo 04 - Looking across Middle Dodd and Brothers Water, from Red Screes summit.
Photo 05 - The view north-eastwards, from the cairn at High Bakestones
Photo 06 - The Priest’s Hole Cave, high up on Dove Crag.
Photo 07 - The view north-eastwards, from the entrance to the Priest's Hole Cave.
Photo 08 - Looking back to Dove Crag, with the Priest's Hole Cave still prominent. (As seen from Hartsop above How ridge).
Photo 09 - Looking across Brothers Water to Gray Crag, Rest Dodd, The Knott, etc. – (As seen from Gale Crag - Bleaberry Knott area).

If you would like to see more photos from this walk, see: - ... ?f=2&t=510

Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 12:37 pm
by Lancashire Lad
The thread is still getting lots of views, so I thought I’d update with a few more recent walks.
It had been well over thirty years since I last did Skiddaw, so some of this particular walk really was a trip down memory lane!
Photography was slightly hindered by UV heat haze, making it nigh on impossible to get good shots of distant fells, but it was quite a nice day for walking, with a pleasant cooling breeze for most of the day – although it was actually very windy on Skiddaw summit plateau.

Starting from the Underscar/Latrigg parking area, it was no more than a ten minute walk and about 300ft. of ascent to the top of Latrigg. – For the “fell-bagger”, surely (from this start-point) the easiest of the 214 Wainwrights to tick-off, and with amazing views over Keswick and Derwentwater on offer. From Latrigg, I took the path through Birkett Wood, coming back out onto Underscar road, to then walk past the hamlets of Applethwaite and Millbeck.

Not far beyond Millbeck, a footpath leads off rightwards to Lyzzick Woods, on the flanks of Dodd. Dodd is pretty well afforested on all sides, and reasonable progress can only be made by sticking to the forestry paths therein. However, with my interest in mycology, I couldn’t miss the opportunity to spend some time fungi hunting - so my route to Dodd summit wasn't necessarily the quickest or easiest!

From Dodd there was an unavoidable descent, before beginning the seemingly endless ascent of Carl Side. Once there, I decided to walk along the ridge of Longside Edge to Ullock Pike, which then meant a short backtrack, before continuing up the long, steep, and very loose scree slope that leads to Skiddaw summit.

After a break for a bite to eat, I headed off towards Skiddaw Little Man, and then down Jenkin Hill before taking another seldom trod route across to Lonscale Fell & Lonscale Pike.
It was quite noticeable on leaving Skiddaw's main track, how the path became indistinct. Probably less than 0.1% of those visiting Skiddaw will venture on to Lonscale Fell. – I saw no-one at all in that area!

From Lonscale Pike, I backtracked across the fell as far as Flag Pots - (worth noting that it's quite boggy thereabouts!) - and then took the very indistinct track which follows Whit Beck before eventually rejoining the main Skiddaw track lower down the slope. The parking area, behind Latrigg, was in view for much of the descent, which eventually took me past the Hawell monument before finally reaching the car.


GPS track of the route walked: -
#GPX Track - 1 to 50000 scale1.jpg
Walk elevation profile: -
#Walk Elevation Profile.jpg

And some photos from the day. (Described in list form below, to ensure correct alignment of thumbnail images).

Photo 01 – Keswick and Derwentwater, as seen from Latrigg.
Photo 02 – The north-western fells – Causey Pike, Grasmoor, Grisedale Pike, etc., as seen from Latrigg.
Photo 03 – Dodd, (to left), and an as yet cloud covered Skiddaw massif, from latrigg.
Photo 04 – The “Newlands Horseshoe” – Catbells, Maiden Moor, Dale Head, Hindscarth, etc., as seen from Applethwaite.
Photo 05 – Carl Side from Dodd summit, with Skiddaw’s summit just peeping out at the top, and Skiddaw Little Man over to the right.
Photo 06 – Looking back to Longside Edge and Ullock Pike, from the area of Carl Side Tarn.
Photo 07 – Looking towards the heart of the Lake District, from Skiddaw’s summit “toposcope”.
Photo 08 – Burnt Horse Crags, Great Calva, Little Calva, etc., from Lonscale Fell.
Photo 09 – The Hawell Memorial.

If you would like to see more photos from this walk, see: - ... ?f=2&t=512

Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 1:37 pm
by Lancashire Lad
After a few weeks of mediocre weather, the promise of long sunny periods throughout the day saw me back in the Lake District on Thursday, 10th August for another walk. This time, I’d decided on a revisit to some fells I’d done several times over the years. – The Red Pike to Haystacks ridge from Buttermere, and Fleetwith Pike on the return leg, making it into the classic Buttermere round!

I started the walk from the roadside parking area beside St. James Church, from which point it was a straightforward stroll through the hamlet of Buttermere to the northern shoreline of the lake, heading towards Burtness Wood. Crossing the footbridge over Buttermere Dubs, (the outlet stream between Buttermere lake and Crummock Water), I entered Burtness Wood to begin the day's ascents. Lots of fungi to be seen in the woods, but the ground is steep, and exploring off the obvious path is rather difficult. Soon leaving the tree cover behind, the path then continues up the fellside towards Bleaberry Tarn, giving superb views back across Buttermere towards the Grasmoor group.

As I gained height, Crummock Water and the northern fells came into view, but before I reached Bleaberry Tarn, clouds moved in, shrouding some the higher tops. Fortunately though, after an hour or so, the cloud lifted. But from that point onwards, and although cloud level was above the tops, there were only intermittent sunny intervals until late afternoon. – So, I had to make the most of the photo opportunities, (and there were many!), during the brighter periods. I can highly recommend this walk to all fellwalkers. Given reasonably good weather, the views are absolutely superb from start to finish.


GPS track of the route walked: -
#GPS Track - 1 to 50000 scale1.jpg
Walk elevation profile: -
#Walk Elevation Profile.jpg

And some photos from the day. (Described in list form below, to ensure correct alignment of thumbnail images).

Photo 01 – The High Stile, Red Pike group, as seen from beside St.James church at the beginning of the walk.
Photo 02 – Looking across to the Grasmoor group from above Burtness Wood, on the path up to Bleaberry Tarn.
Photo 03 – The northern vista across Robinson, Crag Hill, Causey Pike, Skiddaw, Blencathra, etc. etc., framed against the dominating slope of High Stile.
Photo 04 – Looking down to Seat, with Haystacks beyond, and Fleetwith Pike over to the left, from the top of Gamlin End.
Photo 05 – Inominate Tarn on Haystacks, with Brandreth, Green Gable, Great Gable, and Kirk Fell in the distance.
Photo 06 – An abandoned slate hopper and winding equipment. Relics of times gone by at Honister mines.
Photo 07 – A shot looking across the famous Buttermere Pines towards Haystacks, taken from the lakeshore path around Buttermere.
Photo 08 – Another shot across the Pines, looking towards Warnscale Beck and Green Crag.
Photo 09 – Walking along Buttermere's lakeshore path takes you through this short tunnel. Originally put there at the instruction of the then landowner, who apparently enjoyed walking along his lakeside path, but didn't like having to climb up and over the rocky outcrop at that location.

If you would like to see more photos from this walk, see: - ... ?f=2&t=519

Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:53 pm
by adampembs
Beautiful photos again, Mike. I think we might go again to the lakes next autumn on our annual caravan break.
View from the top of Skiddaw is amazing. Iwas thinking Haystacks looks more imposing than I remember but I was getting mixed up with Cat's Bells.

Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:08 pm
by Lancashire Lad
Cheers Adam.
adampembs wrote:
Sun Oct 29, 2017 6:53 pm
. . . . I think we might go again to the lakes next autumn on our annual caravan break. . . .
Maybe we'll get to meet up for a walk this time if you do.
I've another walk (from last week) to post, (below), just to whet your appetite! :D


Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:16 pm
by Lancashire Lad
Friday 27th October was forecast to be a sunny day with light winds, so I headed to the Lake District for another walk on the tops.
I hadn’t done Sergeant Man for quite a few years, and had never explored along Blea Rigg. With the addition of Pavey Ark – High Raise, etc., that was my plan. – The weather was superb all day, and with autumn colours everywhere around, it was a spectacular day to be out on the fells.
I started the walk at the National Trust Stickle Ghyll car-park beside the Stickle Barn Pub.

An hour later, after the always laborious pull up Stickle Ghyll, and I was enjoying the views of Harrison Stickle and Pavey Ark across Stickle Tarn.
With the weather being so good, it would have been almost a crime not to do the Jack’s Rake scramble, so I headed around the tarn and up the short scree slope to the foot of the rake. The rake itself was mostly straightforward, but with the amount of rain we’ve had recently, there was still quite a lot of run-off trickling down at various points, making hand & footholds on several short sections pretty slippery. At the top of the rake, it’s just a stone’s throw to Pavey Ark’s summit. Once there, I had a short rest and a bite to eat, just enjoying the views.

From Pavey Ark, it was onwards to Thunacar Knott and then High Raise, before heading across to Sergeant Man. The visibility all around was stunning, but I could see that quite a lot of cloud was now drifting across the western skyline. The Scafells and Great Gable quickly became enveloped in clag. Luckily, that cloud didn’t move eastwards, and my walk continued under gloriously sunny skies.

From Sergeant Man, I strolled across to Codale Head, and then meandered towards Blea Rigg, exploring a few nooks and crannies and looking for photo opportunities. Blea Rigg offers good views down to Codale and Easedale Tarns, Belles Knott and Eagle Crag. However, the entire top is liberally scattered with boggy ground, which required rather circuitous walking on more than one occasion, in order not to get very wet feet!
Because of the boggy nature of the area, I had decided to keep to the highest ground wherever possible, and so took in the subsidiary tops of Great Castle How and Little Castle How, before beginning my descent back to valley level (via the flanks of Raw Pike). The start of the path back down to Langdale Valley was very indistinct and not easy to find, but once found led without difficulty down the fellside, coming out near Pye Howe, and leaving a short but pleasant road walk back to the car-park.


GPS track of the route walked: -
#GPS Track - 1 to 50000 scale.1.jpg
Walk elevation profile: -
#Walk Elevation Profile.jpg

And some photos from the day. (Described in list form below, to ensure correct alignment of thumbnail images).

Photo 01 – Sunrise over the Langdale Pikes, with a light carpet of mist hanging in the Elterwater valley.
Photo 02 – Fifteen minutes later – and full morning sunshine on the Langdale Pikes. Taken from Copt Howe. (The “Langdale Boulders”, visible beneath the tree in the photo, show well preserved Neolithic engraving!).
Photo 03 – Looking up Stickle Ghyll to Harrison Stickle, (left), and Tarn Crag, (right).
Photo 04 – The Main Crags of Pavey Ark, seen across Stickle Tarn. – I’ve highlighted the line of the Jack’s Rake scramble in red.
Photo 05 – The huge “finger-like” chockstone. – One of the more interesting elements one has to negotiate on the ascent of Jack’s Rake.
Photo 06 – Looking across to the Helvellyn & Fairfield ranges from the summit of Pavey Ark.
Photo 07 – Crinkle Crags and Bowfell, as seen from Thunacar Knott.
Photo 08 – Looking across to Esk Hause. (Taken between Thunacar Knott & High Raise).
Photo 09 – The western skyline from High Raise summit.
Photo 10 – The Helvellyn – Fairfield ranges from the plateau near Codale Head.
Photo 11 – Looking Back to Harrison Stickle & Pavey Ark from the path between Sergeant Man and Blea Rigg.
Photo 12 – The Langdale Pikes as seen from valley level towards the end of the walk.

If you would like to see more photos from this walk, see: - ... ?f=2&t=540

Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Thu Dec 07, 2017 3:12 pm
by Lancashire Lad
According to the mountain weather forecast, Wednesday 29th November was to be a sunny day in the Lake District, but with strong northerly winds.
The first of the winter's snow had fallen during the previous few days, but as Haystacks is not one of the highest fells, at just 1956ft high, the snow was lying mainly above the altitude level that would be achieved on this particular walk.

I'd last been up Haystacks only about three months back, as part of my Red Pike to Fleetwith Pike “Buttermere Round”, ( see: - ... ?f=2&t=519 ), but this time, was accompanied by my sister.
Haystacks was chosen because it was her first fell-walk for several months, and, given the wintery conditions, wouldn’t be too lengthy or strenuous for her.

As things turned out, the weather wasn’t as "wall to wall" sunny as had been forecast, although there were some reasonably lengthy sunny intervals during the day, and there were no snow flurries or rain, so it could have been worse!
The winds were pretty strong from the start, and particularly so on the tops.
This, combined with air temperature of just above freezing, gave a wind-chill temperature well below freezing! – (Definitely a hat, gloves, wind-proof jacket, and plenty of warm layers kind of a day!).

Overall route length was just short of five and three quarter miles, with total ascents of 2106ft. Although, due to the vagaries of GPS equipment, the statistics on the recorded track varied slightly from those displayed on the device at the end of the walk.

We didn’t start walking until gone 10:00am, and got back to the car just as it was going dark at about 4pm - Just over six hours in total, but according to the GPS, our actual moving time was only 3hr.19min. (We both carry head torches & spares etc., so it wouldn’t have been a problem if we had had to finish the walk off in the dark).

All in all, a grand day out on the fells. – The cold crisp weather gave clear views to the very distant mountains, with no heat-haze (one of my bugbears) to spoil the photos!


GPS Track of the route walked: -
#GPS Track - 1 to 25000 scale1.jpg

Walk Elevation Profile: -
#Walk Elevation Profile.jpg

And some photos from the day. (Described in list form below, to ensure correct alignment of thumbnail images).

Photo 01 – Beginning the ascent to Scarth Gap, with the view across Buttermere Lake towards Grasmoor etc.
Photo 02 – Looking into Warnscale, with Fleetwith Pike at left, Green Crag (right of centre), and Haystacks at right hand side.
Photo 03 – Looking across Warnscale to Fleetwith Pike, with the flanks of Dale Head and Hindscarth beyond.
Photo 04 – Looking towards Seat, and the Gamlin End face of High Crag, from Scarth Gap.
Photo 05 – Buttermere, Crummock Water, and the hills beyond, as seen from the summit plateau of Haystacks
Photo 06 – Summit tarns of Haystacks, (Innominate tarn is the farther), with Brandreth, the head of Ennerdale, and Green & Great Gable beyond.
Photo 07 – Looking down Warnscale towards Buttermere and Crummock Water. – Taken on the approach to Green Crag, near Blackbeck Tarn.
Photo 08 – Blackbeck Tarn, with the Gables beyond.
Photo 09 – One of Warnscale Beck’s many waterfalls.

If you would like to see more photos from this walk, see: - ... ?f=2&t=548

Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Wed Jan 10, 2018 3:54 pm
by Lancashire Lad
According to the mountain weather forecast, Sunday 7th January was to be a sunny day in the Lake District, with moderate winds. So, as there was a good coverage of snow on the high fells, I decided that my first walk for 2018 would be a trip to Glenridding, to revisit (yet again!), one of my favourite walks: - “Helvellyn by the edges”.

Bearing in mind that Helvellyn is an extremely popular walk, even in winter, (and what with this being a Sunday, with the forecast good weather conditions, and the probability of many fellow walkers being on the route), a very early start from home saw me arriving at Glenridding while it was still dark.
I parked up in a small rough roadside layby on Greenside Road, and leisurely sorted out my gear before heading off over Rattlebeck Bridge to pick up the Mires Beck path into Little Cove.

Dawn soon broke, and it became easy to see more of the surrounding landscape. The sun eventually rising over the horizon to give the first hint of what was to be a glorious day on the fells.

I decided to take the recently partly pitched path diversion towards Birkhouse Moor, thereby giving a slightly easier ascent, and a longer walk across the moor towards the Hole-in-the-wall, with more opportunity for photographs towards Helvellyn on the high level approach. (I got a few nice shots with the moon still quite visible above Helvellyn's summit plateau!).

The main snowline was at about the 1700ft level. Above that height, there was plenty of snow underfoot, and solid enough to walk on without sinking in too much! - Both Striding Edge and Swirral Edge had liberal snow coverage, with icy patches here and there where the snow had consolidated after the passage of many pairs of boots! – Crampons and ice axe being essential for safe passage of both edges.

All in all, a fantastic day on the fells!


GPS Track of the route walked: -
#GPS Track - 1 to 25000 scale.jpg
Walk elevation profile: -
#Walk Elevation Profile.jpg

And some photos from the day. (Described in list form below, to ensure correct alignment of thumbnail images).

Photo 01 - It was a bit dark when I set off! - The moon over Birkhouse Moor.
Photo 02 - Approaching Birkhouse Moor plateau, Helvellyn and the edges, (and Catstye Cam), come into sight.
Photo 03 - The dry stone wall across Birkhouse Moor, leading towards the “Hole-in-the-wall”, with Striding Edge and Helvellyn beyond.
Photo 04 - Striding Edge and a sunlit Lad Crag headwall.
Photo 05 - Looking along Striding Edge from the summit of High Spying How.
Photo 06 - Looking back to High Spying How from Striding Edge.
Photo 07 - Looking back across Striding Edge from near the top of the headwall, just before reaching Helvellyn’s summit plateau.
Photo 08 - A rime-ice covered Gough Memorial, with Helvellyn’s summit shelter and the actual summit just beyond.
Photo 09 - Striding Edge from Helvellyn summit plateau, with St.Sunday Crag immediately behind.
Photo 10 - A walker making his way up Swirral Edge, my chosen descent route from Helvellyn's summit plateau.
Photo 11 - Looking across to walkers on Striding Edge’s narrow bit. – As seen from part way down Swirral Edge.
Photo 12 - Interesting ice formations on the rocks of Swirral Edge.

If you would like to see a lot more photos from this walk, see: - ... ?f=2&t=557

Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:12 pm
by Lancashire Lad
Monday, 26th February was forecast as being a reasonably fine day with sunny intervals and not too much wind on the tops. So, with strong easterly winds and extremely cold temperatures forecast for several days to follow, I decided on a trip to the Lake District to make the most of the one day weather slot.

I’d been wanting to do a bit of proper snow/ice climbing as it had been a couple of years since I last gave it a go, and from what I’d been hearing recently, the conditions around Helvellyn’s crags at the moment were about as good as you can get. – So Helvellyn (yet again!) was the plan.

I’d provisionally intended having a go at Gully No.2, but several climbing “pairs” were kitting up for that route, when I got there, and more were already climbing. I could see that there was only a narrow strip of snow, at more or less the crux of the route, and with several roped pairs already climbing, it could be a while before I would get chance to get past that point. – The wind was increasing and it was getting decidedly cold standing around, so I made up my mind to have a go up by the northern side of Viking Buttress, (keeping as close as I could safely manage to the exposed rock face).

My choice turned out to be a good one, but I should stress that that part of my route was most definitely a climb, rather than a walk. Not the sort of place to be without a good head for heights, the right equipment, and relevant experience in its use! (12-point climbing crampons, 4-season - rigid sole - crampon compatible boots, a pair of ice tools (ice axe & hammer), and climbing helmet all being essential for such routes).

Later on, whilst descending towards Grisedale Tarn, the Great North Air Ambulance helicopter appeared, circled a few times then flew in and landed. It was obvious from what followed that there had been some sort of accident. Not knowing what had occurred, (the accident was across the valley on the flanks of Cofa Pike), it was interesting to see the extent and dedication of the manpower required for a rescue. By the time the casualty was recovered, two helicopters, and about twenty mountain rescue team members had been involved. The remainder of my walk was an uneventful amble back to the valley at the end of a great day out.

I discovered after my return home, that the rescue was of a solo walker who had taken a long sliding fall on snow, with suspected broken pelvis and shoulder as a result.
See: -
I sincerely hope that he makes a full and speedy recovery.

As always, I’ve added a few photos below, but if you would like to read a more detailed description of the day’s proceedings and see a lot more photos, see: - ... ae449d1d1b


GPX track of the route walked: -
#01GPX Track - 1 to 50000 Scale.jpg
Walk Elevation Profile: -
#Walk Elevation Profile.JPG
3D satellite image with superimposed GPX track of part of the route: -
#07GPX Track - Aerial 3D Part-Route.jpg
And some photos from the day. (Described in list form below, to ensure correct alignment of thumbnail images).

Photo 01 - Some of the fells to be visited later in this walk.
Photo 02 - St.Sunday Crag (left), and the Grisedale Valley from the Hole-in-the-wall path.
Photo 03 - Helvellyn, as seen on the approach to Red Tarn.
Photo 04 - Helvellyn from beside Red Tarn.
Photo 05 - No.1 Gully (yellow), No.2 Gully (red), and my route to the summit by the side of Viking Buttress (green).
Photo 06 - Red Tarn and the top of No.1 Gully from the top of Viking Buttress.
Photo 07 - Looking back to Helvellyn from the ridge towards Nethermost Pike.
Photo 08 - Looking towards Nethermost Pike and Dollywaggon Pike, with Fairfield beyond.
Photo 09 - Approaching Grisedale Tarn, on the descent from Dollywaggon Pike.
Photo 10 – GNAA, rotors still spinning, – just after landing near Grisedale Tarn.
Photo 11 - Coastguard helicopter, called in to winch the casualty.
Photo 12 - A brief glimpse of late afternoon sun catches the buttresses of St.Sunday Crag.

Re: Perfect Morning - (Revisited!)

Posted: Fri May 04, 2018 11:03 am
by NellyDee
not been able to get to read your walks for a while. thanks for the link :)