Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer

~Helm Crag~

A featured fell is my way of studying each fell in turn and recording thoughts and observations.

The one fell which Wainwright wrote about in Lakeland that he did not reach the top of. It has the toughest of summits to reach for the humble fellwalker. My feeling is that most "baggers" of fells will attain the "very" top, but will they take a look around and really enjoy all that this fine mountain top has to offer?

Helm Crag Summit

The Summit

Steel Fell (l) and the western slopes of Helvellyn (r) are in view. This rocky outcrop is seen from all around - known as The Howitzer for its profile when viewed from Dunmail Raise - the road in the photo. Have you climbed to the top of this rock? I have, but could not find a way of taking a self-timer photo, so came up with this idea instead:

Helm Crag Summit

Me on top of Helm Crag

An alternative plan would have been to take someone else with me and leave them at the bottom with the camera.

Lion and Lamb

The Lion and The Lamb

Seen here from the summit ridge, but best appreciated from The Swan Hotel, Grasmere. Wainwright says "..here on top of Helm Crag, a midget of a mountain, is a remarkable array of rocks, upstanding and fallen, of singular interest and fascinating appearance, that yield a quality of reward out of all proportion to the short and simple climb." Close examination of Wainwright's Helm Crag 6 page shows that he found a cave in the environs of the summit "secondary ridge".

The Cave?

The Cave?

This could be it. An accident of creation, not an eroded void as per limestone scenery. Will you find it next time you're up there?

Helm Crag

from Stone Arthur

On this day, I started walking from the roadside near Grasmere and then ascended Helm Crag before dropping down to Dunmail Raise and then climbed Seat Sandal and Fairfield, before descending off Great Rigg and Stone Arthur and back to the car. An unusual round trip.

Helm Crag

Helm Crag from Easdale

Early morning, above, a walk on 20th April 2006 - up and down before breakfast at the hotel.

Helm Crag

and on a colder day - 8th Dec 2010

Molly Helm Crag

Molly on top of Helm Crag 21st January 2022

Where: Central Belonging to Grasmere, as Latrigg is to Keswick and Loughrigg Fell to Ambleside.

Height: 1299ft.

Suggested Route: Wainwright's Helm Crag 4, from Grasmere.

My Frequency: Six times.

Whilst You're There: Gibson Knott

Walk Dates: with links to Reports (on this website) where applicable:

21/01/22 12/12/10 08/12/10 30/05/09 20/10/07 (on Flickr) 20/04/06 (no photos)

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2010/2022 ©

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