Helvellyn - Route One

Start - Swirls NY 316 168 Distance - 2.3 miles Ascent - 2,475 feet Time - 2 hours : 10 minutes


Browncove Crags from Swirls.  The route climbs the bracken clad slope above the car park by a series of zigzags and then follows the edge of the crags to Helvellyn Lower Man and the summit ridge
At the back of the car park a footbridge over the stream ( Helvellyn Gill ) leads to a handgate and the path to Stanah and Helvellyn
A little further on the path to Stanah and Sticks Pass turns off to the left.  The route to Helvellyn continues on across a small footbridge
Looking back to Raven Crag above Thirlmere
The path re-crosses Helvellyn Gill to reach the open fellside via gates in the intake walls 
The first of a long series of zigzags up the very steep lower slope.  Higher up the path has been stone pitched for much of its length which, together with some re-alignment, has made this ascent much easier
Thirlmere and Skiddaw from the lower slope
A little higher up looking back to the start of the climb.  The retrospective views are a good excuse for frequent rests, although the stone pitching does make this quite an easy ascent despite its initial steepness
Higher again and the north western fells begin to appear over the low central ridge above Thirlmere
From the same position looking to the northern fells; Lonscale Fell, Great Calva and Blencathra provide the backdrop here 
Bull Crag above Thirlmere and Great Gable centre right
The gradient eases as the path passes by a ruin.  It is not marked on the map and AW makes no note of it on his diagram of this ascent although it does appear in the revised edition
Looking back to Skiddaw from the ruin
From the same position, across the central ridge to Great Gable and Pillar with Dale Head on the right.  Clouds are beginning to envelop Pillar.  The weather forecast had predicted heavy thunderstorms to the north of the Lake District today and, although it remained dry, conditions began to deteriorate very rapidly 
The path continues up a broad shoulder towards a steeper climb alongside Browncove Crags
High on the path alongside the edge of Browncove Crags looking down to Hawes How island
The stone pitching has greatly eased the ascent of the scree slope along the edge and has helped to make this the most popular route up Helvellyn from the Thirlmere side
Looking back from near the top of Browncove Crags
Blencathra from Browncove Crags 
Helvellyn Lower Man from the top of Browncove Crags.  The ridge path, now almost as wide as a road, by-passes it but it is well worth making the short detour to reach its summit
Looking back to the top of Browncove Crags from the path along the ridge
The summit ridge from below Helvellyn Lower Man, the cairn on the left stands above Swirral Edge
Browncove Crags from the summit of Helvellyn Lower Man
Skiddaw from Helvellyn Lower Man
Ullswater and Catstycam from Helvellyn Lower Man
Looking across Brown Cove to Helvellyn's summit plateau, part of Striding Edge can be seen beyond Swirral Edge
Catstycam and Swirral Edge from the path to the summit
Looking back to Helvellyn Lower Man
The marker cairn at the top of Swirral Edge
Striding Edge from the top of Swirral Edge
Looking down Swirral Edge to Catstycam
Red Tarn from the top of Swirral Edge
Approaching the summit of Helvellyn, the trig column on the right, the highest point in the centre with the top of Striding Edge on the left marked by the Gough memorial
The top section of Swirral Edge from the summit
Raise across Swirral Edge
Catstycam from the summit
Ullswater and Red Tarn
Striding Edge
St.Sunday Crag across the top of Striding Edge
The summit shelter
Looking along the ridge to the flat summit of Nethermost Pike in the middle distance backed by Dollywaggon Pike and High Crag
The Coniston fells on the horizon
Great Gable almost covered by the increasing cloud formations
The High Stile ridge left centre above Honister Crag and Dale Head

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