25th December 2006

Ding Dong merrily on high - Wythburn to Stanah via the Helvellyn ridge


Walk Overview
Time 09.50 to 15.10
Duration 5 hr 20 min
Distance 6.5 mile
Ascent 3166 ft
Walking with Jennifer, Andrew & Anne Leaney, Roger & Ann Hiley
Wythburn Church - Birk Side - Nethermost Pike - Helvellyn - Helvellyn Lower Man - White Side - Raise - Sticks Pass - Stanah
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, behind Wythburn church, Thirlmere

Undoubtedly most people park here to begin an ascent of the ever popular Helvellyn fells. Speaking personally, the path from here on to the Helvellyn ridge via Birk side is my favourite route up to the Helvellyn ridge.

There is a charge for this car park and it does tend to ful up prety quickly at all times of year.


Route Map

Wythburn Church taken from the car park at the start of the walk. Todays walk was along the Helvellyn section of the Eastern fells; starting out at Wythburn and ending up at Stanah. This is a lovely ridge walk made even more special today by the fantastic cloud inversions we witnessed along the higher sections of the walk. A happy Christmas indeed !

Ann Hiley walking through the mist as we gained height on the steep path next to the woods above Wythburn.

Walking out of the top of the cloud, which was a little higher than yesterday, into the blue sky and sunshine.

There was a stronger wind today which was creating the most beautiful cloud formations below us. Quite different from the almost carpet like clouds from yesterday. The Fell in the foreground is part of Ullsacarf and the highest fell on the left is Great Gable.

Looking northwards with the North Western fells sticking out of the cloud on the left and the Skiddaw fells just visible at the back of the picture (right).

The North Western fells.


A close up of the North Western fells.


Clouds almost washing around the side of the fell below Striding Edge.

As we were so close we thought why not, and headed across to the rocky summit of Nethermost Pike.

Looking ahead to Helvellyn across the little remaining snow on the ridge.

Striding Edge.

And on the other side of Red Tarn we have part of Swirral Edge with Catstye Cam at the end of the short ridge.

From Helvellyn summit looking across to the trig point which is often mistaken for the highest point / summit.

The Skiddaw fells seen from Helvellyn Lower Man. The "small" pointed fell to the right of the main fells is Lonscale Fell.

From the same place, looking across White Side and The Dodds to Blencathra.

Sheffield Pike showing its summit above the cloud.

The Skiddaw fells on the left and Blencathra on the right.

A close up of Sheffield Pike with the Pennines in the distance.

Heading from Raise to the top of Sticks Pass (the lowest point on the path). The fell straight ahead is Stybarrow Dodd.

Jennifer, Anne Leaney and Roger at the top of Sticks Pass, just as the mist rolled in from the Glenridding side of the pass for a couple of minutes.

Walking down Sticks Pass.

Almost in the cloud again after a fantastic four hours or so in the sunshine.

On route down Sticks Pass in thick cloud and frost.

Out of the cloud now and looking down to Stanah and the A591.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks