Friday, January 18, 2013

Helvellyn in the Snow

on the top.  Photo by David Harrisson.  Check out and Like his Wainwright Fellwalker Facebook page

The most visited summit in the Lake District and for good reason.  The eastern ribs of Striding Edge and Swirral Edge provide a perfect out and back mountain experience from Glenridding.  In winter conditions however, unless you know what you are doing and have the right gear, ascending and descending via the round western side is a much safer choice.  That's what we did on Wednesday.

route and elevation

3d route - straight up and down

I was trying out some micro spikes I had bought.  They were just the job.  The path was snowy and icy the whole way up and the spikes really worked well to stop me slipping.  There is a bit of getting used to having something on the bottom of your feet but it doesn't take long.

It felt very cold at the top, despite having several layers of clothing on.  I knew that David would want to spend some time getting photos of the brilliant edges, Red Tarn etc and we spent about half an hour walking backwards and forwards.  I was slightly annoyed that I couldn't work the panoramic setting on my camera without taking my gloves off and, due to the cold, I soon gave up on panoramic pictures!  David took some great pics.  Check out his page here for pictures of this and other walks.

On the way back down we ran into Lin and her son Evan (and their dog).  David knew them from Facebook and we stopped for a quick picture or two.  We also decided to bag Helvellyn Lower Man, correctly guessing that it was a Birkett.

Browncove Crags

this path is known as the 'pedestrian route' but it was a slog today in the snow and ice

looking back over Thirlmere

the path eventually evens out - just a biting wind to contend with now

Catstycam and Swirral Edge

Along Swirral Edge to Catstycam central and pointy, Birkhouse Moor to the right also covered in snow.  Place Fell is above Birkhouse Moor (no snow, with Ullswater visible above it), moving left is Heron Pike and Sheffield Pike.  On the left side of Catstycam, the slopes of Raise and Brown Cove are covered in snow with Green Side, Hart Side and Birkett Fell retaining some snow.

panorama - I can still feel the cold in my fingers!

the flat top of Helvellyn, lots of people here as usual.

a bit of a cornice

Gough memorial
Near to the summit of Helvellyn is the Gough Memorial.  Charles Gough fell from Striding Edge in 1805 and his body was guarded for some months by his dog.  William Wordsworth immortalised the event in his poem Fidelity.   Sir Walter Scott also wrote of the event in Helvellyn.

Frozen Red Tarn and the edges

along the cornice - yes, he's on solid ground.

David and Catstycam

that's the way back down, I'm freezing - let's go!

1 comment:

  1. These are lovely pictures, enjoyed reading this. Don't fancy the walk myself though :-)