|Helvellyn is one of the Lakes most popular walks and this is a classic Lake District view over Striding Edge, with Red Tarn to the left and Ullswater Lake just visible in the distance.|
Helvellyn via Striding Edge - One of the most popular walking routes in the Lakes
My first ever 'proper' hike in the lakes was to Helvellyn via Striding Edge many years ago, and it had been a few years since my last visit. On my two previous walks along Striding Edge I couldn't actually see much from it due to poor weather. Because my brother and a few mates are just starting to get into walking - I thought I would introduce them to this classic ridge walk. As ever it's difficult finding a free day when everyone can make it - but on this occasion the weather was very kind - infact it was one of the best days I've ever walked in - beaming hot sunshine and no wind - so plenty of water and suncream was needed!
Helvellyn walk overview:
Distance: 11.1km, 6.9 miles.
Total climb: 2,686.02 ft Time: 4hours 45mins
Difficulty: Moderate - some scrambling involved with hands. Different routes can be taken along Striding Edge depending on challenge wanted. Route is ok for experienced walkers (inc. children). Beware of route in icy/snow conditions - it becomes very difficult requiring crampons/ice-axe.
Map of the walking route:
Photos of the walking route:
|Most people when tackling Helvellyn park up at Glenridding - which can get rather busy - so I find the best place to head for is Patterdale where if your lucky you can park up for free on the grass verge just near Patterdale Hall.|
|From the main road we follow the lane to the Kennels.|
|Looking up towards Patterdale Common and the Grisedale Valley with Nethermost Pike in the far distance.|
|We now begin the long hike up towards the 'Hole in the Wall'|
|Glorious sunshine and views today up the Grisedale Valley|
|It's going to take us about an hour to walk up Patterdale Common towards the 'Hole in the Wall'|
|Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike in the distance.|
|The 'Hole in the Wall' isn't far off now and we've said we will rest, drink & eat when we get there :-)|
|It is a bit of a slog up this section of the walk - but for me once this section is done and you get to the 'Hole in the Wall' - the worst of it is over and it's a lot more enjoyable.|
|The 'Hole in the wall' - it's not a cash machine :-) Quite a few people where taking a rest around here - it;s the perfect place to stop - fuel up and get ready for Striding Edge.|
|The first glimpse of Helvellyn - and the beginning of Striding Edge to the left. We will descend Helvellyn via Swirral Edge to the right of Helvellyn in this pic and return to this point via the path to the right.|
|Now we can see Red Tarn - and a few people are swimming in there already.|
|Us lot making our way across the top of the Striding Edge ridge line.|
|Looking back along Striding Edge - you can see the easier and quicker path to the left of the ridge line clearly in this pic.|
|We are nearly at the end of the scramble up to Helvellyn here and I love this classic view of Striding Edge. You can also see the path to the right of the last bit of Striding Edge in case you don't want to climb down the last bit.|
|Red Tarn next to Striding Edge looks quite small here!|
|Pose Scott :)|
|We've done the hard part now and it's pretty level up here! This is looking south along the Helvellyn range to Nethermost Pike.|
|Looking back to the many visitors up here today. Usually it's quite windy up here - so the walls where some walkers are sat today offers much needed shelter - but today it doesn't matter.|
|We been the descent down Swirral Edge. We actually passed a few people coming up Swirral Edge - and some I'm presuming would descend via Striding Edge - but for me - you have got to do Striding Edge first and come down Swirral Edge.|
|Looking back at the route we have just taken via Swirral Edge, and then it's back to the Hole in the Wall|
|We are back on familiar territory as we walked up this route earlier - and it's much easier and quicker to get back down :-)|
|And there we have it - the walk approaches it's end. We get down into Grisedale Valley near the Kennels - and head back along the lane to Patterdale Hall and a much needed drink :-)|
I hope you have enjoyed that little write up - and that it inspires you to want to give Helvellyn and Striding Edge a go your self! Be warned it's not always sunny like this though :-) This was maybe my 6th visit to Helvellyn and I've never had clear weather like it - luck of the draw I guess. If you have any questions about this route - just post a comment and I'll try and answer.
Blog Post by Stuart Hodgson, 'The Hiking Photographer'