Helvellyn by the Edges with Birkhouse Moor and Catstye Cam

11 September 2010

With a long drive home to come later in the day, with the weather forecast to be fairly good, I got up early today. I had been somewhat worried by the fact that it was raining every time I was conscious during the night, but I set off for Glenridding again and was in my boots and underway just before eight o'clock.

My first objective of the morning is Birkhouse Moor, and as I walk along the road in Glenridding, the sun is shining on The Nab, the bit of Birkhouse Moor that points towards Glenridding.

Rattlebeck Bridge across Glenridding Beck

My way lies in that direction for a short while, as far as Miresbeck, after which (somewhat confusingly) I follow Mires Beck

Looking back at Friday's walk, Glenridding Dodd on the right.

Ascending alongside Mires Beck

And crossing it

A rainbow - there was a sharp shower around this point, but it didn't last long and fortunately was the only rain of the day

Sun shining on Glenridding

...and the flat land around Patterdale

Eventually I reach the summit of Birkhouse Moor, from here there is an impressive look ahead to much of the rest of the walk - over High Spying How on the left and then Striding Edge onto Helvellyn (just emerging from cloud), and then Swirral Edge onto Catstye Cam

The last time I climbed Helvellyn by the Edges, it was thick fog and rain, so it was good to be back in rather better weather.

A closer look at Striding Edge

And Swirral Edge

As the direct path from Grisedale joins my route, a look back over Birkhouse Moor

The fairly sharp ridge of Striding Edge, and the steep scrambly ascent at its end

A look down past a sheep into Nethermost Cove and Grisedale

From the summit of High Spying How, a look along Striding Edge to Helvellyn

The ridge and scramble safely negotiated, a look down on Red Tarn between Swirral Edge and Striding Edge.

The Gough Memorial commemorates Charles Gough, immortalised by William Wordsworth in his poem Fidelity. Gough died whilst attempting to cross Striding Edge to reach the summit in 1805. His faithful dog stayed by his body for three months until both were discovered.

Almost there: the easy bit, approaching the summit of Helvellyn

From near the summit, another look at Red Tarn, with a more complete view of Swirral Edge, left

Part way down the awkward rocky descent of Swirral Edge

The difficult bit almost done - ahead to Catstye Cam

Another retrospective of Swirral Edge

Looking down into the valley of Glenridding Beck from the summit of Catstye Cam - which was the highest Wainwright fell I hadn't yet visited.

Helvellyn and Swirral Edge from Catstye Cam

Red Tarn and Striding Edge

Getting ready to descend to the main path

The path down the south-east shoulder of Catstye Cam was very easy, allowing me to descend 400 metres in less than half an hour.

Looking back to Catstye Cam

Some of the remains of the Glenridding mine workings, partially grassed over but still looking very artificial

More mine debris, looking up to Lucy's Tongue

Some noisy motorbike-riders having fun on the other side of the valley

Rake Cottages with Place Fell beyond as I near Glenridding village

Red Admirals in a garden in Glenridding.

Zoom in for more detail, or click to view larger map in new window

A great walk in good time.

Total distance 13.5 km and 968 metres of ascent in 5 hours 29 mins



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Unless otherwise stated, all images copyright (c) Stephen and Lucy Dawson