Dollywaggon Pike To Helvellyn in a White-out

Name of walk Dollywaggon Pike To Helvellyn in a White-out
Date of walk 2010-01-25
Distance walked (miles) 8
Duration of walk 6 hours 20 minutes
Weather White-out
Peaks on walk Dollywaggon Pike, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn
Walked with Brendan
Parking Dunmail Raise lay-by.

Yesterday was supposed to be a day of good visibility, but a little dull so we decided to go for a walk up Raise Beck Cascades to Grisedale Tarn. From there we would go to Dollywaggon Pike summit (2810ft) and via the ridges to High Crag (2900ft), Nethermost Pike (2920ft), and finally Helvellyn (3118ft). I last did this walk in 2006, but not in snow. We started from the lay-by next to the AA TARDIS at the top of Dunmail Raise It is a walk of about eight or so miles.

1

Raise Beck. The Microspikes went on right from the start!

3

There was snow frozen over the cascades. The water had made tunnels under the snow.

4

Towards the top of Raise Beck the snow had totally covered it. The snow was quite deep here.

5

Looking across a frozen Grisedale Tarn to Fairfield.

6

Left is our route up Dollywaggon Pike and ahead is St. Sunday Crag.

7

From the climb up Dollywaggon Pike.

8

Seat Sandal on the right. It was quite steep, but the spikes were great. Two other people at the bottom of the path.

9

10

Nearly at the top.

11

Keeping well away from the cornices.

12

View to Ullswater

13

The cast iron post that is mentioned on the Ordnance Survey map.

14

We head into the clouds and all the views disappear.

15

We met one guy having fun with his ice axes going up and down the gullies of Dollywaggon Pike.

16

Dollywaggon Pike summit cairn looking down The Tongue. No view today!

17

The cornices were several metres thick.

18

We head up to High Crag. There are a couple of people in the photo coming down..

19

Brendan on the way up to High Crag. Once we reached the level ridge of Nethermost Pike it was a total white out where you couldn`t tell the air from the ground, which was most disconcerting and a bit disorienting. We used the compass to keep us due north until we hit the path to Helvellyn.

20

On the way up there were no views and it wasn`t until we came across this memorial that I knew exactly where we were.

21

The summit shelter.

22

The trig point.

23

On the way back down there was a slight glimpse of Striding Edge.

24

...and a glimpse back up to Nethermost Pike.

25

We headed down the Wythburn path and out of the clouds.

26

Thirlmere.

28

Looking back up.

30

Brendan waving, Skiddaw in the distance.

31

This is supposed to be a pitched path, but it was just frozen snow.

32

Thirlmere from the path back to Dunmail Raise.

The walk had taken six hours and twenty minutes, not bad considering the conditions!
Just a pity there were no views from Helvellyn. It means that Brendan will have to do it all again in better weather!
Jo.
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