Dollywaggon Pike to Helvellyn in Sunshine and Snow

Name of walk Dollywaggon Pike to Helvellyn in Sunshine and Snow
Date of walk 2011-03-14
Distance walked (miles) 8
Duration of walk 6 hours 15 minutes
Weather Sunshine and blue skies
Peaks on walk Dollywaggon Pike, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Dunmail Raise lay-by.

Yesterday was forecast to be an excellent day for walking so Ged, Kas and I decided to 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 January 2010 in a white-out, it was good to have views this time! 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

The long walk to the top of Raise Beck. Towards the top is was very icy. We were glad we were going up and not down!

2

One of the many waterfalls we passed on the way up.

3

Looking back down to Dunmail Raise, Steel Fell on the other side.

4

Grisedale Tarn with Fairfield behind.

5

We head for the zig zag path on the right that leads up to Dollywaggon Pike

6

Seat Sandal on the right.

7

Great Rigg and Heron Pike centre, where we walked in mist last week.

9

The iron post mentioned on the Ordnance Survey map.

10

The summit of Dollywaggon Pike, looking down the Grisedale Valley towards Ullswater. Birkhouse Moor on the left, Place Fell straight ahead.

12

The ridge route to Hellvellyn. Catstycam on the right.

13

Heading for High Crag on the right.

14

High Crag summit.

15

Looking back to High Crag summit.

16

Looking across to Birks and St. Sunday Crag. Ruthwaite Lodge is seen far right in the valley. Hard Tarn above.

17

We walk to Nethermost Pike then head towards Helvellyn. Ged getting a bit too near the cornice! Striding Edge behind him.

18

19

The runway of Helvellyn summit plateau. It was good to be back in the snow! Not a scrap of wind either!

20

It must be lunch time! One minute the shelter was empty, then people arrive from all directions!

21

Looking across Hellvellyn Lower man towards Bassenthwaite Lake. Criffell, a Scottish mountain can be seen in the distance on the horizon.

23

Looking down Swirral Edge, our descent route in the summer, but not this time of the year. Only mad people with crampons, ice axes and a death wish need apply!

24

Red Tarn with Striding Edge on the right.

25

Talking of mad people with crampons and ice axes.....see the guy in the cove taking the scenic route up!

26

......a bit closer!....Best not to get an itch!

28

A summit cairn group photo..

29

Now everyone else has had their lunch we take some time out. Not much room to sit because of all the snow!

30

We head for the view down Striding Edge. We chatted to a couple of guys who had just come up that way. They were relieved to have made it! But were returning by the very safe zig zag route, not via Swirral Edge.

31

We say goodbye to Hellvellyn.

32

Stone circle, circa 2011.......Aww, bless!

33

We head down to Wythburn.

34

Looking down Thirlmere towards Skiddaw.

35

36

Steel Fell on the left, the slopes of Ullscarf on the right, beween them the Wythburn Valley.

37

We reach the path back to Dunmail Raise, but as it is still early we decide to head on down to Wythburn Church. It was built in 1640 and restored in 1782. It is a very isolated church with only four residences to serve since the creation of Thirlmere Reservoir in 1894 which destroyed the local farming community. Subsequently it holds services only once a month.

38

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40

We then walk over to Thirlmere. It is very full, usually there is a bit of a beach, but today the water even submerges the trees.

41

A field of snowdrops.

42

We head back up to the permissive path back to Dunmail Raise.

43

The waterfall of Comb Gill.

An excellent walk on an excellent day! It took us six hours and fifteen minutes, but we did spent 45 minutes on Hellvellyn summit soaking up the view!
Jo.
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