Lake District Walks
Catstye Cam & Helvellyn
Date: 7th April 2007
Distance: 9.1 miles
Ascent: 3382 feet
Time: 5 hours 45 minutes
Start Grid Ref: NY386169
My second visit to Helvellyn, this time climbing via the fine top of Catstye Cam and returning over White Side and Raise.
Route Summary: Glendridding - Rattlebeck Bridge - - Red Tarn Beck - Catstye Cam - Swirral Edge - Helvellyn - Lower Man - White Side - Raise - Stang End - Greenside Road - Glenridding.
1. Looking up Glenridding towards Catstye Cam
2. Dave climbing out Glenridding
3. Catstye Cam
4. Red Tarn backed by Striding Edge
5. The top of Catstye Cam looking back towards Glenridding
6. Helvellyn from Catstye Cam
7. Catstye Cam from the bottom of Swirral Edge
8. Swirral Edge
9. Looking down at Striding Edge
10. Dave on Helvellyn
11. Helvellyn Lower Man
12. Catstye Cam
13. Dave leaving Lower Man for White Side
14. Another picture of Catstye Cam
16. Looking back at White Side
17. The summit of Raise
18. Ullswater from Raise
19. Sheffield Pike
Walk Detail: Following our walk up on to Ill Bell the previous month this was another walk Dave and I did together in preparation for our planned ascent of Scafell Pike in May. For once the Easter weekend yielded some glorious weather and it was even nicer than when I had climbed Great Gable a fortnight before.
The initial walk out of Glenridding was very pleasant along a good path that eventually started climbing Red Tarn Beck. For much of the way Catstye Cam provided an impressive object at the end of the valley blocking off Helvellyn behind it. Shortly before reaching Red Tarn me and Dave split up. Dave went on to the tarn and then over Striding Edge whilst I headed up the ridge to the summit of Catstye Cam.
It was a good steep climb with increasingly fabulous views out over Glenridding and towards Ullswater. The top of Catstye Cam is a superbly airy one and due to the fells cone shape is a very small summit. From Catstye Cam it was a simple descent to the beginning of Swirral Edge. Though much shorter than the more famous Striding Edge it was still enjoyable with a few scrambles to get the adrenaline pumping.
I waited above Striding Edge for Dave who when he did appear was almost giddy with excitement having thoroughly enjoyed his climb. After visiting the summit of Helvellyn and eating some lunch we continued on our way bagging Lower Man, White Side and Raise fairly quickly. The highlights of this section were some more excellent views of Catstye Cam as well as some good views of Thirlmere.
Raise had a nice rocky summit area and we sat up there in the sun eating the remainder of our food. I chose for our descent the east ridge of Raise down past a rocky knoll to the remains of the chimney and flue which eventually guided us to the bridleway which descends Sticks Pass to Glenridding.
The final section of the descent zig zaggged nicely down though we were distracted by the noise of what seemed to be a pack of fox hounds running amok on Birkhouse Moor. All that remained was a simple walk back along Green Side road into Glenridding. This was an excellent day out in superb conditions.