Striding Edge, Eventually
I have lost count of the times I have been up Helvellyn. My parents took myself and 4 other ‘kids’ up when I, the eldest, was only ten.
But we didn’t go over the Edge, nor did I any of the subsequent hikes, one being when took my own eleven year old up for the first time in 2001. Still searching for photos of the earlier walks.
back in 2001
As the most infamous ridge in the Lake District I am not sure there is a lot more that can be said about Striding Edge. A quick internet search will reveal that it has even appeared in the Daily Mail! Most of the search results focus on the tragic deaths of those that have fallen off. It is narrow and it is steep, and may be that is why I have never been on the ridge until this weekend.
Or may be I was just waiting for perfect conditions. Conditions where I would not be adding to the thousands of climbers crampon hieroglyphics.
A soft summers day when a grey mist hung over the hills
When the lightest breeze floated up the valley, shifting clouds to make way for the brightest blue
Hole in the Wall
With visibility so good the whole ridge route was spread out ahead
Helvellyn and the edges
and looking back, the colour washed green into grey over lakes to the Irish sea.
Beck to Hole in The Wall
An early start where the morning quiet reflected still in Red Tarn and the bumpy spine defied its notoriety as a highway,
with each surrounding corrie and ridge clearly defined.
Lack of traffic gave time to enjoy panoramas
Striding Edge to Helvellyn
before the serious bit across the undulating spine
Heading over the ridge
and the satisfaction of looking back to where we had been.
Striding Edge from Helvellyn
What climbs up, must climb down, so after the inevitable summit pic
the Swirral scramble to Catstye Cam
Swirral to Catstye Cam
was completed before the vagaries of an English June dropped the cloud back on the tops just as we headed down the valley.
Helvellyn from Catstye Cam
But it hardly mattered,
Red Tarn and Catstye Cam
I had walked on the edges
On Swirral Edge