Helvellyn and Striding Edge is one of the must do walks in the Lake District but a return by the more rounded Raise adds much to the day and is a relaxed way to descend.
There are some excellent choices of walks up the most popular mountain in the Lake District but none should discount the scrambling options of Striding Edge. Keep to the crest and it is challenging, take to the path on the south side and it is more straightforward but still has some interesting sections particularly on the summit climb to the summit. There are other options to the summit but if you are prepared to climb the 3,000 feet you should be capable of Striding Edge (snow and ice excepted).
However a descent down Striding Edge is miserable, Swirral Edge not much better. Either head off to Grisedale Tarn or better still enjoy the walk around the northern rim towards the round summit of Raise. Descend by the excellent bridleway to Greenside Mine, a successful lead mine of the 19th century which still has much of interest to look around.
It may sound obvious but it is easier and more enjoyable to climb Helvellyn and Striding Edge when the rock is dry.
You can avoid the tricky descent at the end of Striding Edge by keeping to a path to the south side of the ridge. Make sure you steer north east than north west off Whiteside, it would be a costly and tiring error.
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