Helvellyn By The Edges


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By Lancashire Lad on 28/08/16 at 1:07pm

Date started:16/08/2016
Distance:13 km or 8.1 miles
Ascent:956m or 3136ft
Start OSGB:NY382170
Time taken:6:30
Naismith:4:12

Done several times over the years, in conditions ranging from glorious dawn to dusk sunshine, to snowstorm white-outs, this is another walk that ranks high on my list of favourites. On this particular day, weather conditions were pretty much perfect. - Plenty of sunshine, with a pleasant cool breeze to keep things from getting too warm. And not too much ultra-violet haze, meaning good clear long distance views. - All the better for photography!

Starting from Greenside Road, and crossing the intriguingly named "Rattlebeck Bridge", I took the Mires Beck route up through Little Cove, following the excellent pitched path which leads almost to the summit of Birkhouse Moor.

The Fix-The-Fells team have done a remarkable job hereabouts, testament to which may be seen on that section of the path (running parallel with the dry stone wall) which hasn't been pitched, and remains looking like something of a stone strewn motorway, several metres wide, and still getting wider where people choose the easy option of walking on the soil and vegetation layers off to the side..

Some people were ignoring the pitched path where it diverts towards Birkhouse Moor summit, and were continuing directly upwards beside the dry stone wall. Each to his own I suppose, but I wanted to make the short diversion to Birkhouse Moor summit anyway, for the glorious view across Ullswater that can be had from there.

Along the plateau from Birkhouse Moor summit, my route picked up the stone wall again, along to the Hole-In-The-Wall, and then the classic ridge of Low Spying How, High Spying How, and Striding Edge. Up the Lad Crag headwall to Helvellyn summit, down Swirral Edge to the col, and then up to Catstye Cam Summit. (Where the annual Lake District Midge convention seemed to be in full swing. :shock: :D ;) ).

I've never seen so many midges concentrated in such a small area before. What they found so attractive about Catstye Cam summit, I haven't a clue? - Moving hastily away from the attentions of the midges, I descended by way of Catstye Cam's eastern flanks, picking up the Red Tarn Beck path on the way down to Greenside, and eventually following the Greenside Mine road onwards back to Glenridding and the car. - Another great day in the Lakes!

GPS Track of the route. (The text box may not be readable at the size at which the image is displayed here, but only contains my abridged route description).

GPS track of the route.

Ullswater from part way up the Mires Beck path.

Ullswater from Mires Beck Path.

Ullswater from Birkhouse Moor summit.

Ullswater from Birkhouse Moor summit.

The Helvellyn vista from Birkhouse Moor summit.

The Helvellyn vista from Birkhouse Moor summit.

The Helvellyn vista from Birkhouse Moor.

Helvellyn from Birkhouse Moor.

Striding Edge, Lad Crag, and beyond, taken from the Birkhouse Moor plateau, whilst approaching the Hole-In-The-Wall.

Striding Edge

The Dixon Memorial on Striding Edge.

The Dixon Memorial.

Looking back down to Striding Edge from top of Lad Crag area.

Striding Edge.

Striding Edge, Red Tarn, and St. Sunday Crag from Helvellyn summit plateau.

Striding Edge and Red Tarn from Helvellyn summit plateau.

Looking down Swirral Edge to Catstye Cam.

Swirral Edge - Catstye Cam.

Looking across Keppel Cove to Whiteside and Raise, taken from Catstye Cam.

Across Keppel Cove.

The breeched dam in Keppel Cove, taken from the eastern flanks of Catstye Cam.

Keppel Cove Dam.

The massive spoil heap - evidence of the old Greenside Mine.

Greenside Spoil Heap.

Regards, Mike.


By beth on 29/08/16 at 1:47pm

Excellent report of a cracking walk!

Did you know that if you attach a gpx file, the software will automagically insert a map with the track on it?


By Lancashire Lad on 31/08/16 at 12:44pm

Excellent report of a cracking walk!

Did you know that if you attach a gpx file, the software will automagically insert a map with the track on it?

Hello Beth,

I wasn't aware of that.

I'm fairly new to GPS usage - I've been a map and compass man since the year dot! I have a Garmin GPSMAP64s (plus Basecamp software on the computer), but just use it for keeping a record of tracks walked. I've never tried to export a gpx file.

However, I've just (hopefully!) managed to export and save the gpx file from this walk to a folder, so I'll try to attach it here and see if it works as you suggest.

Best regards, Mike.

EDIT - Well, that was unexpectedly easy. - Worked a treat, first time !!!!!

Is there any particular advantage to this rather than showing the route as I did in the first attached image on my Walk Report? - (I personally prefer the Ordnance Survey map as background, rather than what I think might be Open Street Map?). Using your suggestion, the track can now be zoomed in-out, but appears to have become a photo/image, layered above the map, rather than retained as a gpx file that might be downloaded by someone who wanted to walk that same track.

ANOTHER EDIT - I think I'll answer myself. :) :oops: - by saying that I can see that this will have benefits where a track might be fairly lengthy. - By zooming in, the track can be followed section by section, and text and mapping features can be more easily seen and read.

Regards, Mike.


By TallPaul on 01/09/16 at 9:26am

EDIT - Well, that was unexpectedly easy. - Worked a treat, first time !!!!!

Is there any particular advantage to this rather than showing the route as I did in the first attached image on my Walk Report? - (I personally prefer the Ordnance Survey map as background, rather than what I think might be Open Street Map?). Using your suggestion, the track can now be zoomed in-out, but appears to have become a photo/image, layered above the map, rather than retained as a gpx file that might be downloaded by someone who wanted to walk that same track.

ANOTHER EDIT - I think I'll answer myself. :) :oops: - by saying that I can see that this will have benefits where a track might be fairly lengthy. - By zooming in, the track can be followed section by section, and text and mapping features can be more easily seen and read.

Regards, Mike.

"unexpectedly easy" is largely the reason it's offered and, as you say, the ability to zoom and and out on long tracks is also useful. The down side is that it uses our "open map" tiles, which are a mash up of OS OpenData tiles and OpenStreetMap footpath information rather than OS Landranger tiles from the OS OpenSpace server but we have a limit from OS on how many of those we're allowed to serve a day so we reserve them for our walk headers, and even there they run out on busy days.

Anyway I'm glad it's working well for you.


By Lancashire Lad on 01/09/16 at 1:45pm

unexpectedly easy" is largely the reason it's offered and, as you say, the ability to zoom and and out on long tracks is also useful. The down side is that it uses our "open map" tiles, which are a mash up of OS OpenData tiles and OpenStreetMap footpath information rather than OS Landranger tiles from the OS OpenSpace server but we have a limit from OS on how many of those we're allowed to serve a day so we reserve them for our walk headers, and even there they run out on busy days.

Anyway I'm glad it's working well for you.

Hi Paul, Everything is working perfectly. - As I've said previously, the Walk Lakes website is a credit to the amount of work you must have put into it (and continue to put into it). So much so, I've just become a "supporter" ;)

As a means of showing tracks walked, the system you are using is more than adequate.- In fact it's very good - being simple, completely intuitive, and providing all the detail that viewers might require. I readily accept that provision of/unlimited usage of OS mapping would be prohibitively expensive, and that OpenStreetMap mapping is the next best and most economical alternative that's available.

At the end of the day I think "familiarity" plays a large (and perhaps to some extent, subconscious) part in one's personal preferences regarding "what's the best map?". I've been using OS paper mapping for "donkeys years" as they say around these parts. They have always been my "go to" map of choice, so anything else more or less automatically becomes less favourable to me, even though it might actually have better mapping!

Best Regards, Mike.



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