Glenridding - Helvellyn - Striding Edge - Grisedale Brow - Glenridding

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From the car park at Glenridding the route to the summit of Helvellyn is varied and challenging. You begin with a section of road-walking through picturesque terraces and a route to a disused mine, whose buildings are now used as bases for various outdoor pursuits such as rock-climbing and even skiing.

With the unmistakeable conical summit of Catstye Cam to aim for first, the gravel path winds slowly and on some sections steeply, to its base. The angle of approach means that the mass of Helvellyn comes into view very quickly and strikingly.

You are met with four features which independently would be worthy of a walk; these are Striding Edge, Helvellyn, Swirral Edge and Red Tarn. Collectively they ensure the walk is one of the most rewarding in the Lakes. You begin the ridge and scramble sections of Swirral Edge which, although hard work, bring you superb views over Red Screes and Catstye Cam.

Swirral Edge concludes with a very steep scramble which justifies the grading of the walk as a Hill Scramble. The summit of Helvellyn is surprisingly flat and wide and the views are unsurpassed. A touching memorial can be found just before you begin the descent onto Striding Edge, which is a longer version of Swirral Edge with all the breathtaking views you will now have come to expect.

Helvellyn then disappears as quickly as it appeared as you pass Hole-in-the-wall and begin the well-defined walk to the base of the Grisedale Valley. A short wooded tarmacked section of road-walking returns you to the car park from whence you came.

England - North England - Cumbria - Lake District - North East

Features

Food Shop, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Lake/Loch, Mountains, Pub, Toilets, Woodland
01/05/2018 - Sarah Freshwater

We did this walk on 17th April 2018 and the instructions are indeed very detailed. It rained for most of the way up to the base of Catstye Cam and we had no view of the summit of Helvellyn. As we approached Swirral Edge it was extremely misty and windy and there was a fair bit of snow left over. Despite being experienced walkers, we found it a very challenging ascent. The walk is described as a Hill Scramble but at times we felt like mountaineers! If you're on the petite side it can be difficult to find footholds on the Swirral and Striding Edges, especially when the rocks are slippery. We would add to the previous warning and say it can be quite a scary walk in places. You really do need to be well equipped, aware of changing weather conditions and respect the mountain. Unfortunately there were absolutely no views from the summit – in fact we could barely stand up because of the very strong winds – so can only dream of those unsurpassed views! We just need to tackle it on another day when the weather is kinder.

03/03/2018 - Pat McTiernan

I did this walk alone on 27/02/18, the weather wasn’t too bad on the way up and the directions are easy to follow, and it wasn’t as strenuous as I expected. In between points 5 and 6, I put my crampons on (the rest of the walk would have been impossible without them) and the climb up Swirral Edge to the top became exciting/scary and a bit dangerous as the wind changed to a blizzard, but you are indeed well rewarded the most fantastic views on arrival. The descent down Striding Edge was too dangerous due to snow and ice so I re traced my steps down and around Red Tarn over to Hole in the Wall. The winter experience of climbing Helvellyn is a one not to be missed, but I would have benefitted more if I had brought goggles and an ice pick, and just to add a further warning: a lone experienced climber/walker had to be rescued the day before after a fall left him with a serious injury.

28/05/2012 - Mark Brookbanks

I did this walk on Saturday 26/05/2012 with 5 friends and a dog. The route guide is well written and easy to follow. It was a sunny day and there were a lot of walkers doing this route (mainly in the opposite direction). Doing the walk at a fairly leisurely pace it took us about 5 1/2 hours. I would definitely recommend this walk.

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