Helvellyn in Snow, Swirls to Wythburn

Name of walk Helvellyn in Snow, Swirls to Wythburn
Date of walk 2007-02-03
Distance walked (miles) 7
Duration of walk 4 hours 50 minutes
Weather Sunshine
Peaks on walk Helvellyn
Walked with Janet Kendall and Poppy
Parking Swirls

There`s snow on them there hills! So Janet and Poppy and me set off to investigate the 3118ft summit of Helvellyn. We parked at Swirls on the side of Thirlmere. The car park was closed as it was being used by the loggers so we used the spaces on the side of the road, thankfully we nabbed the last one! The map below shows our route. It`s about 7 miles.

1

Janet and Poppy crossing the bridge over Helvellyn Gill.

2

Just starting to get into the snowline. Skiddaw with snow! Visibility was forecast to be about 40km. Wind was forecast as Gales! 40-50mph. It was very windy! Thankfully taking this route meant the wind was mostly on our backs.

3

Route up to Browncove Crags.

4

Whiteside looking......well....white!

5

Blencathra on the right.

6

Great Gable and Pillar.

7

Most people were well equipped with ice axes etc. Not us!

8

Bassenthwaite Lake now in view from top of Browncove Crags.

9

View out to Great Gable again.

10

View across the Dodds...Ominous clouds! We had a few flurries of snowfall but not much.

11

Swirral Edge. Snow covered Pennines in the distance.

12

The three of us on the top. A disappointing lack of snow on the plateau. It must have all blown off!

13

Red Tarn and Ullswater on the left, Striding Edge on the right.

14

Whiteside to Raise.

15

Looking down Swirral Edge. Difficult to stand still here due to extreme wind!

16

View to summit. Janet is second left.

17

19

Janet and Poppy in the summit shelter. Fairfield, the sea and Coniston Water behind. It was -4 Celsius on the top. With windchill it was -20. I ate my sandwich with my gloves on but I soon couldn`t feel my fingers. The guy who sat next to us had come up via Striding Edge....mad! He said he had to use his ice axe, and had his crampons with him. He was going back via Swirral Edge...crazy in this wind!!

20

View down Striding Edge.

21

St. Sunday Crag and Fairfield.

23

Striding Edge from the Hause.

24

25

Close up of Great Gable and Pillar over Ullscarf.

26

View back to the summit from Birkside.

27

Length of Thirlmere with Skiddaw in the distance.

28

Steep route down to Wythburn.

29

Taken from the long path back to Swirls. Helm Crag and Steel Fell.

30

31

Bridges over gills.

The walk took us about 4 hours 50 minutes. Another good day, apart from the wind!
Jo
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