The Helvellyn Ridge
- What's involved
- The Route
This challenge takes you to 9 Lakeland summits - Clough Head, Great Dodd, Watsons Dodd, Stybarrow Dodd, Raise, Whiteside, Helvellyn Lower Man, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike
You'll climb about 1,410 metres (4,630 feet)
You'll walk about 20 km (12.5 miles)
This is a traverse of the Helvellyn ridge and is a fine high level traverse with spectacular views throughout. For most of the journey you stay above the 2,500 feet contour. It can be done in either direction but we describe it here from North to South.
To book tel: 07584 177506
We describe the route from North to South but it's just as good the other way.
Starting from Threlkeld your first summit is Clough Head which marks the Northern end of the Helvellyn ridge. From this direction you get a fantastic view of Blencathra on the opposite side of the valley. It's probably the best view point for Blencathra and it gets better with height.
Blencathra from Threlkeld mining museum
Blencathra displays five buttresses from this aspect, all named as seperate fells, with deep sided ravines between them. It's the fell that Alfred Wainwright devotes more pages to (36!) than any other in his pictorial guides to the Lake District and from this direction you can begin to appreciate why.
Clough Head, from the direction we tackle it, is not a particularly interesting fell but its' real claim to fame is its' views to the North, West and East. These are simply superb.
The view North, Blencathra, from Clough Head summit
View East towards the Eden valley and the Pennines. Great Mell in the foreground
View West towards Derwentwater and the Western fells
Once on Clough Head summit we make quick and easy progress ticking off the summits as we go - Great Dodd, Watsons Dodd, Stybarrow Dodd, Raise, Whiteside and Helvellyn Lower Man. It's easy walking over gently rising grassy hills. Raise is the odd one out as its' summit is adorned with rock.
View of Great Dodd from White Pike on Clough Head
We eventually arrive at Helvellyn, probably the most popular mountain in the Lake District. It has the most famous approach to any mountain summit in the whole of the UK - Striding Edge. Unfortunately we won't be experiencing this particular delight on this route but you will see the amazing views from Helvellyn's summit into the Eastern coves.
Helvellyn summit shelter - unbelievably quiet!
A short walk away is Nethermost Pike which you may not even recognise as the summit of a mountain - in poor visibility you definitely will not! It's rather featureless but thousands cross it every year on their way to Helvellyn.
High Crag on the Helvellyn ridge
Dollywagon Pike is next. The views into the Eastern coves all the way from Helvellyn are the highlight of this part of the route. If weather conditions are favourable we can follow the edge of the ridge to savour the views as long as possible.
Heading towards Dollywagon Pike
Grisedale Tarn below Dollywagon Pike as seen from Fairfield
From Dollywagon Pike we descend steeply to Grisedale Tarn and from there descend to Dunmail raise where we join out transport back to your accomodation.
To book tel: 01228 672365
mob: 07584 177506