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~Helvellyn~

7th July 2013

An early start in order to beat the heat and crowds and get back to the breakfast van for a hearty breakfast. All sounds straighforward, what could go wrong?

Striding Edge

Striding Edge

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Place Fell Sunrise Birkhouse Moor
Sunrise over Place Fell
Birkhouse Moor

I left the campsite at 05:30hrs and took the route up Mires Beck.

Mires Beck Ascent

Popular Route

The most direct path up to Striding Edge is very popular, have I brought enough water and suncream?

St.Sunday Crag Catstycam
St.Sunday Crag
Catstycam

In a repeat of yesterday's weather routine, the clouds are forming on the fell tops.

The Wall

The Wall

I'm stood at the highest point of Birkshouse Moor, but realistically the "top" as per fellbaggers is the cairned hump further back, that's where the air should be punched and the flags raised.

Striding Edge

Striding Edge

There are two couples ahead of me, but other than that I think it will be not too busy on The Edge.

The Edge

~~~~~

The rocks are scratched by the action of crampons and poles, not something I've really noticed before. It's not for me to say if it's safe for anyone to walk along the top of Striding Edge, but in calm and dry conditions you stand a reasonable chance of getting to the other end.

Nethermost Pike

Nethermost Pike

To Helvellyn Summit Striding Egde

Striding Edge

On the left, I'm looking towards the final ascent of Helvellyn and on the right, it's a look back along The Edge.

The Cross Shelter Helvellyn Summit
The Shelter
The Summit

Ah well, I've managed to find the top in cloud. It would appear from earlier and later observations that the cloud occupied the summit area for less than an hour. At least I've got that cooked breakfast to look forward to.

Helvellyn Trig Column Me on top of Helvellyn
Camera Support
Me on top of Helvellyn

This is my thirteenth recorded visit to the top, some early ones are undocumented and probably the first time in conditions like this.

Swirral Edge Catstycam
Swirral Edge
Catstycam

I chose not to "summit" Catstycam this time and took the path down to Red Tarn, where several "wild" campers had spent the night.

Greetings

Wild Camper

Here's a pleasant chap who I wish I hadn't stopped to talk to! He's on a two week camping trek around the Lake District, all part of his paid six months off work by his employers, grateful for his unbroken 25 years service. So, I've done 31 years in the same building and can't get more than one week off.

To Red Tarn Boulder and Lamb
To Red Tarn
Not For Moving

I might have had five minutes on the boulder, but after asking her politely, the lamb remained unmoved. So I found the next suitable rock.

Glenridding Beck

Glenridding Beck

Plenty of late starters making their way up to Red Tarn.

Glenridding Screes

Glenridding Screes

Greenside mining area and the revegetated spoil on Glenridding screes.

Glenridding

Gillside Farm Campsite, Glenridding

I passed a couple who had been ahead of me all the way. I asked them where they were staying (knowing how early they had set off) and it transpired that they had driven up from Brighton last night, stayed in the car, done the same walk as me, were going to get a breakfast in Glenridding and then drive home!

The Breakfast Van

The Queue

Sometimes, the early starters reap the richest rewards and sometimes a later start might be advantageous! And I don't queue unless it is entirely necessary.

Walkers: Just me

Time taken: 4hrs 20mins over a distance of about 6 miles.

Route: Gillside Campsite, Mires Beck, The Wall, Diversion away from the wall, Birkhouse Moor "highest point", More Wall, Striding Edge, Helvellyn Summit, Swirral Edge, Red Tarn Beck, Greenside, Gillside.

Weather and Conditions: Early sunshine, overtaken by temporary cloud cover, concluding under rising clouds - soon to disperse. Warm.

Refreshments: After declining to queue, I bought two eggs from the farm and had them boiled.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2013 ©

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