An interesting and varied day of hiking and scrambling with some fantastic views.
The route starts from Patterdale and takes in Helvellyn via Swirral Edge or Striding Edge, Nethermost Pike, Dollywaggon Pike, Grisedale Tarn,Fairfield, Cofa Pike, St Sunday Crag and Birks.
The route is approximately 16.5Km and involves 1,450m of ascent.
Getting TherePatterdale can be approached from Ambleside via Kirkstone pass or from Pooley Bridge via Glenridding. There is limited parking in Patterdale or alternatively use the Car Park in Glenridding which is about ten minutes walk from the start of the route.
From the Glenridding side of Patterdale cross over the bridge and follow the single track road up towards Grisedale. Turn right at the barred gate and cross the stone bridge over the river and after crossing a steep field go through a gate and onto the fell. Turn left and follow the steeper path up the fell towards the Hole in the Wall (Grisedale Brow). At the Hole in the Wall either turn left and ascend Striding Edge to the summit of Helvellyn (grade 1 scramble/ Grade I/II winter climb)or alternatively go over the stile and take the path to Red Tarn and then ascend Swirral Edge (similar grade). Once on the summit head southeast either on the broad path or more interestingly follow the edge of the cliffs with care. This leads you over Nethermost Pike and then onto Dollywagon Pike. Descend from Dollywagon Pike to Grisedale Tarn and then skirt the south side of the tarn to Grisedale Hause. From here turn east and ascend Fairfield. From the summit of Fairfield head North East to descend Cofa Pike to Deepdale Hause and then ascend St Sunday Crag and return to Patterdale via Birks.
In summer Helvellyn is relatively benign though conditions can deteriorate rapidly and route finding can pose a problem with some large cliffs to the North/East.
In winter Striding Edge and Swirral Edge are notorious blackspots, take heed of the weather warnings and carry full winter equipment.
External LinksPattterdale Mountain Rescue (Incident Reports)
Lake District Webcams
Lake District Weather