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Helvellyn via Striding Edge

October 14, 2018

Helvellyn via Striding Edge is the walk to try and achieve in the Lake District. It is popular but not at all easy. Return to Patterdale can be via Swirral Edge or a safer but longer route over Raise.

The Walk

Helvellyn ‘by the Edges’ is probably the most recognized high mountain walk  in the Lake District. The approach via Striding Edge is a classic approach to any summit and and for the virgin surely the only one. Whatever the conditions Striding Edge is impressive and similar to most walkers I do like a bit of scrambling to enliven a climb. Even approaching the summit of Helvellyn the plaque with the legend of the dog who stayed with its deceased owner on the mountain for 3 months adds to the pleasure. What always strikes me when I reach the summit is the number of people who just emerge from different directions and routes. The full Helvellyn ridge from Fairfield to Clough Head is a great ridge route but I do sympathise with those who have hacked up the less inspiring western slopes above Thirlmere.

The erosion is however a massive challenge on Helvellyn, the loose rock above Swirral Edge offering a much greater challenge to walkers than the ridges themselves. I have been increasingly keen over the years to suggest a descent either via Grisedale Tarn to the south or Raise to the north,

The Fix the Fells project led by the Lake District Park Authority and the National Trust are doing a fine job where they can but they need support in these days of austerity. 

Recommend

Stick to the high crest on the ridge on Striding Edge it is magical but be prepared for the sting in the tail and the steep final descent. The lower paths avoid most of the scrambling but also much of the interest.

Navigation Tips on Striding Edge walk

There are two key points on the walk where you need to be careful. The Hole in the Wall and the summit, both have some tricky navigation in the mist.

5 Comments
  • Mountain Mike Wilson says:

    Hi today Im heading for Raise above the Greenside Mine area,its a great day very warm and clear in the sky,Wainwright reckons two and a half hours to the top.This is a trek to check the route so no rush here plenty of pictures to be taken and any alternative routes to look for if possible.I head for the old mine buildings which are now The YHA and others Im heading up towards the old mine workings and as I approach the base of the ols flue I bear left and head up the path which is part of the flue.This is a good bit easier and Im passing Stang and can now see the old chimney where the flue stops from here Im travelling to the top in between rock crops and the ski slope soon Im on the top and what a view,Thirlmere is off to the side water levels lower than the last time I was up here after a bit of lunch lm off down to Sticks Pass where I meet a supervisor for The Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme who is watch his teams pass by I move on and shortly pass a large group who are trying for their awards.Soon Im down in the mine old pits which gives a great view of the ski slope and huts three mountain bikers pass me they must be crazy the track from Sticks Pass is trcky even on foot.I cross the new footbridge and make down to the mine and back into the walley this is a great walk interesting not to hard I made the top in less than two hours and back from the top in a hour and a half one more Wainwright bagged and a great day on the fells MM

  • Mountain Mike Wilson says:

    Todays target is Raise weather is superb conditions very warm, I speak to a couple of gents from Buckinghamshire lots of people around. Helvellyn its a hard trek from Greensdes up the hill.At th top of the disused quarry past Lucys Tongue I bear left which leads me to Raise which is a fine looking mountain but no scramble just a steep walk.I have a bit of lunch and a chat with a guy from Peterlee Co DURHAM and return the way I came.As I approach the steep return I meet up with a lady on a horse,I had noticed from a distance that the horse was stopping every 10 metres and had to be kicked on(horse riding term not a cruel kick).I thought it was to warm for a horse to be up at nearly 2,000 ft in weather as hot as 24 degrees,I act pleasant and move off,noticing that they turn around in 300 metres as the horse keeps stopping.As I drop down to Greensides again I had noticed that the old dam in this valley below Catsy Cam had been repaired,a great day on the fells and another Wainwright in the bag 61 done lol MM.

  • Mountain Mike from Stockton On Tees says:

    Weather conditions fine,dry under foot Gav and I set off from Glennridding at 11.30 hrs,and went up the track from the café,eventually passing the dried up lake and heading up the track towards The Hole in the Wall.
    Weather is still fine we have a break on the other side of The Wall and the set off for some great scrambling,plenty of people around and its a bit crowded,on reacing the bottom of the Helvellyn Summit we are queing to get up the steep scramble,once at the top again loads of people sat chilling and its a bit cool on there,after a break we head down Swirrel Edge,another good scramble ensues,eventually back into the valley below next stop Glennridding ,surprisingly along the track people are asking me the way back to town,as we get back to town its 17hrs and coffee time at the café yippee what a great day on the mountains.
    Tomorrow we are taking on High Crag High Stile and Red Pike.

  • Claire says:

    Great – if only i could get into that zipped GPX file!

  • Morgan Tharme says:

    Amazing, thanks for the info mate! 🙂

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