15th August 2010

Dunmail Raise to Swirls via Helvellyn


Walk Overview
Time 09.15 to 14.30
Duration 5 hr 15 min
Distance 5.9 mile
Ascent 2900 ft
Walking with Jennifer and Andrew & Anne Leaney
Dunmail Raise - Raise Beck - Grisedale Tarn - Dollywaggon Pike - High Crag - Nethermost Pike - Helvellyn - Browncove Crags - Helvellyn Gill - Swirls
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Roadside, top of Dunmail Raise

There is lots of available parking along this stretch of road, and just as well. Anyone who has driven over Dunmail Raise will have noticed how many cars form the line on each side of the road. I'm tempted to say that this is somewhere you'll never fail to get a space. Simply leave your car at the end of the line.


Route Map

A deserted Dunmail Raise, taken just as we were ready to set out.
It may have been a bit hazy, but this was more than made up for by the hot sunshine we enjoyed today. Days like this are few and far between of late, so a proper summers day was most welcome.

Looking back down to Dunmail Raise from the path next to Raise Beck. There was no dawdling about on here though. There must have been an insect convention taking place today because the place was overrun with them.

Not quite the best picture, but this is the higher section of Raise Beck.

Above Raise Beck now and on the grassier, flatter and wetter ground above Grisedale Tarn.
The tarn is behind me.

I told you, , , here it's seen in front of Fairfield.

Well before we seen it we could hear this helicopter. What we didn't expect was to see it below us. It flew up from Grisedale, over the tarn and then disappeared over Grisedale Hause, which is when I caught this picture.

On the route up Dollywaggon Pike Ullswater and the Patterdale end of Grisedale come into view.

A close up of Hard Tarn.

Dollywaggon Pike summit.

Looking along the side of High Crag and Nethermost Pike. If you look hard enough (pun intended), you spot Hard Tarn on its rock shelf below Nethermost Pike.
As with other tarns of the same name, the name 'Hard' Tarn come from the fact that it doesn't have a proper outflow. Personally I think this one should be named Hard Tarn because it's so difficult to get to.

Wait for me, I've finished talking to everyone about Hard Tarn now.

Nethermost Pike.
The top of the cairn is blocking out Swirral Edge, so, the fell its left must be Helvellyn and the pointed one on its right is Catstye Cam. The ridge running in from the right of the photo is Striding Edge.

And talking about Striding Edge; this is a close up of a short section of the ridge.

Helvellyn summit, which is found just above the cross shelter.

and a little bit further along is the trig column, which isn't actually at the highest point on the fell. The highest point is in the previous picture.

Red Tarn, Catstye Cam, Birkhouse Moor and Ullswater stretching away into the distance.

This time without Red Tarn, but with more of Swirral Edge in the picture.

On the opposite side of Catstye Cam from Red Tarn is Brown Cove; a nice quiet area which gets very few visitors because of the obvious lack of 'proper' routes out.

We had expected there to be a steady stream of people walking up and down Helvellyn, but were pleasantly surprised (relieved) by just how quite it was.

Browncove Crags from above.

With the level of Thirlmere being so low, Deergarth How Island is now part of the 'mainland'. Despite the amount of rain we've had recently it will still take quite some time to make up for about 6 months with almost no rain. I suspect it will be months before the trees become cut off again.

I'm not sure of this was the same helicopter we saw earlier, but it isn't everyday you see one of these from above and below. Unless you work in a helicopter factory I suppose.

"What do you mean you didn't think we'd ever catch you up"

Zooming in on Great How with the Skiddaw fells behind.

Helvellyn Gill.

Almost back at the car now and ready for our long awaited and much talked about ice creams.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks