On the Edge of Helvellyn

Starting early seemed to come easy this time, I had been up early with work the day previous, and the knowledge of another early rise for yet another hike tomorrow was in the back of my mind. Almost making this a practise to the main event the day after.

A short drive to my friends house in St Helens and we were on our way to the Lakes. A 2 hour journey that feels more like routine now the amount of time I am spending there at the moment. It is still interesting and something is always new, or at least unnoticed from previous journeys.

Although the forecast was clear, it was anything but at the car park. It was grey and a bit miserable. No worries, the start of Helvellyn from Glenridding can be quite exhausting in the coolest of weather. It isn’t technically difficult, the edges are not particularly complex either, but just punishing if you are not in the best shape. Turns out I am not, but my friend is…

helvellyn-ascent

After stopping regularly, more regularly than I should really be able to manage, we managed to get up to the height of Birkhouse Moor. This was not on our tick list today, but on a clear day is an incredible mountain peak. The summit of Helvellyn was not clear through the cloud, which was now hanging low over the mountain like a think blanket shielding us from all its potential dangers on the edges.

summit-shrouded

As we climbed upwards, now well into the cloud, we were getting buffeted by strong winds and the moisture that comes from walking in the cloud, definitely not expected today but not a major problem. Visibility was pretty low by this point and, although very busy, there was still a nice feeling of isolation given the lack of visibility. Taking the route along the edge of Striding Edge, we picked along trail. I used the GPS on occasion to check progress and remaining distance to the peak, when you are stuck in the white out conditions that come in the cloud, altitude and bearing are difficult to gain.

 

red-tarn-fog

The summit again was covered in cloud, so none of the standard summit photos. It was off down Swirrel Edge and off home.

The walk home provided us with more photo opportunities than the summit itself, given the clouds were starting to subside. A little frustrating, but a great walk nonetheless.

 

waterfall-2

 

waterfall

 

This is only the second time I have completed this mountain, it is a brilliant peak to reach and a challenge I imagine for many people. Shame about the weather, but I have no doubt I will be back again in the future to complete it from another route.

Thanks for reading.