The Lake District Mountains
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2006 02 24 - Helvellyn with Paul D.

We set off with the intention of doing Birkhouse Moor and Catstycam from Glenridding but we were driven back by heavy snow and an accident at the Kirkstone Pass. A quick change of plan saw us heading for the car park just beyond Wythburn from where we decided to climb Helvellyn. Away from the Kirkstone Pass the roads were no problem.

We followed the path that starts alongside Comb Gill and climbs beneath Nethermost Pike's summit to the wonderful view point above Swallow Scarth. The snow was thick and often swirling in the howling wind. The path was slippery underfoot and of course the higher we climbed the colder we became. Helvellyn was very busy with walkers presumably because for many schools it was still half-term.

It was extremely cold at the summit and my ungloved hand almost froze as I struggled to take a few photographs. Despite dark clouds the views were exhilarating and the snow supplied added drama to the high fells. On the descent, roughly where the path runs close to the top of  High Crags, there was a stretch of a couple of hundred yards where the wind was whipped up almost to gale force. The ground had become much icier and with the hillside dropping away sharply to our right passage had to be made very tenuously a step at a time as the wind endeavoured to flip us over. We survived this ordeal and continued down with care to our starting point. There was a brief stop for refreshments by a roaring fire at the Badger Bar in Rydal before heading home. Not a bad day!

 

Looking towards Steel Fell from near the start of the walk

 

Snow and rock higher up the path

 

Looking north west over Thirlmere

 

Lad Crag in the distance

 

Striding Edge from above Swallow Scarth

 

Posing at the same spot

 

St.Sunday Crag also from the same spot

 

Posed by a model!

 

Catstycam from near the summit

 

At the trig point

 

And again

 

Lower  Man

 

Whiteside and Raise with the Dodds beyond

 

Red Tarn with Birkhouse Moor in the background

 

The view towards Nethermost Pike as we head back down

 

And with the worst of the weather behind us

 

  The Lake District Mountains

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