Helvellyn, Blue Skies and Snow

Name of walk Helvellyn, Blue Skies and Snow
Date of walk 2007-12-10
Distance walked (miles) 7
Duration of walk 3 hours 45 minutes
Weather Blue skies and sunshine
Peaks on walk Helvellyn
Walked with On own
Parking Wythburn car park
The forecast for today was the best we have had for three weeks. The rain finally stopped and the sun shone. Looking out of the bedroom window the high mountains were covered in snow. So I decided to do a solitary walk up Helvellyn, (3118ft) the third highest mountain in England.
I drove to Wythburn and was dismayed to find the car park was now Pay and Display, previously it had always been free. I had very little change, it was £2 for 4 hours or £5 for more. I could just manage £2, but it meant I would have to be back in under 4 hours, okay if the weather conditions are good, but in snow and ice it would be cutting it fine. There was no way I could go down Browncove Crags and back via Swirls in this time, so I would need to retrace my steps coming back the same way. So I wasn`t much amused!

Once a bit of height was gained the route became very icy and slippery. I was glad to reach the snow line. The photo below is from the start of the snow looking down Thirlmere towards Skiddaw.


The view up to the summit.


Across to Ullscarf.


Once out of the crags and on to the weaving path the going was much better, until you disappear down a snow covered hole!


Looking back towards Coniston Water..


Ullscarf with Great Gable and Pillar peeking out behind.



The snow drifts were quite deep at times, up to knee height.


Striding Edge.


It took me an hour and three quarters to reach the summit. It was now lunch time, there were quite a few people in the shelter. Looking out towards Fairfield and St. Sunday Crag.


Ordnance Survey Trig Point. Wonderful colours!


Looking across to Coniston.


Clouds had started to float over the summit. Skiddaw and Bassenthwaite Lake can be seen.


Red Tarn nestles inbetween Striding Edge and Swirral Edge.


Swirral Edge with Ulswater behind.


Drifting cloud.


Whiteside to Raise with Blencathra in the distance.


The summit was cold and I finally needed to put my gloves on, but it was soon time to return and attempt not to spend too much time on my backside! The deepest snow that I had to walk through was 32 inches, I know that because I stood in it up to my bum, 32 being my inside leg measurement!


Looking out to St. Sunday Crag.


Not much grass available for the poor sheep.


Path back to the crags.


The very slippery path down to Wythburn.


I managed to get up and down in 3 hours 45 mins without mishap, so I had 15 mins left to look again at Wythburn Church.


Managed to get home before 4pm. A good day apart from the need to rush it a bit. The lesson for today is to keep more change in the car! Or risk the fine!