The Helvellyn Ridge
FIVE Wainwright walk - with a return by bus: Raise, White Side, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Dollywaggon Pike.
Time: 4 - 5 hours (then return by bus)
Parking: at Legburthwaite/Stanah (limited free spaces plus fee-paying car parks). Or stop at the Legburthwaite bus stop, on the 555 route from Kendal to Keswick.
|The Helvellyn ridge from Ullscarf|
|Strava estimates 12km in walking distance|
1. Start at the lane that heads up past the Thirlmere Recreation Hall towards Stanah Farm. Take the path that climbs to a gate at a water channel, crosses over the Stanah Gill, then heads up onto the open fells. Climb the hillside on the path that zig-zags across the grass to the right side of the ravine carved out by the gill.
|Climbing up above Stanah|
|The view towards Swirral Edge from the top of Raise|
6. Now head south-west along the obvious ridge path, into a slight dip then up to the next high-point on the grassy ridge, White Side.
|Continue along the ridge to White Side|
|Climb the long ridge up to Helvellyn Lower Man|
9. To your left, look down across Brown Cove towards Catstycam and the Glennridding valley, to the right, back down towards Thirlmere.
|Looking at the walkers on Striding Edge|
11. For the best views, keep to the thinner paths around the top of the cliffs, rather than the main path which is set back from the ridge to give hikers the shortest route up to Helvellyn from Wythburn, to the west.
|Looking south to the triangular plateau of Nethermost Pike|
|Catstycam and Striding Edge from Nethermost Pike|
13. Walk to the apex of the triangle, where the eastern ridge of the fell descends down to Eagle Crag, then head back along the edge of the cliffs, south-west, to catch a glimpse of 'Hard Tarn', half way down the steep drop into Ruthwaite Cove.
|Hard Tarn and Ruthwaite Cove will be down to your left|
13. Heading back south, the cliff top route takes you to a small summit cairn on the subsidiary peak of High Crag (2900'). There are views down into Grisedale and south, to the last summit of the day, Dollywaggon Pike.
|Looking south-west to Dunmail Raise from High Crag|
|Hard Tarn, Grisedale and Ullswater from High Crag|
|Dollywaggon Pike from High Crag|
|Looking back to High Crag and the eastern ridge of Nethermost Pike|
|The grass dome at the top of Dollywaggon Pike|
|Looking north towards Nethermost Pike|
|Looking north-west towards the Grasmoor Fells|
17. Now descend south-west across the grass and look for an old metal gatepost at a junction with the main ridge path. This has still been running along the ridge but slightly to the west, beneath the high points of the summits. There is now a choice of ways to descend from the mountain. Going left, along the main ridge path, takes you down some more gradual paved zig-zags above Grisedale Tarn (the 'yellow arrows' below).
|Heading down the hillside|
|Fairfield, on the far side of Grisedale Tarn|
20. The path down, which keeps to the left (southern) bank of the beck is obvious, although there a couple of steep sections that need more careful placement of your boots. Here, however, you are more than compensated by the cascades made by the water also descending steeply alongside you.
|The damaged AA box in February 2022|