GREATER GRISEDALE HORSESHOE
A PHOTOGRAPHIC WALKING WEBSITE by NEIL HASLEWOOD
Greater Grisedale Horseshoe - 8th August 2008
WALK STATISTICS
Date 8th August 2008 Description Greater Grisedale Horseshoe
Start Point Glenridding Car Park Peaks Climbed Birkhouse Moor 718m
Total Time 8hrs 30min   Helvellyn 950m
Walking Time 6hrs 20min   Nethermost Pike 891m
Stopped Time 2hrs 10min   High Crag (Grisedale) 884m
Distance 13.25 miles   Dollywagon Pike 858m
Moving Average 2.1 mph   Seat Sandal 736m
Elevation at Start 155 metres   St Sunday Crag 841m
Total Ascent 1,525 metres   Birks 622m
Max Elevation 950 metres   Arnison Crag 433m
    Start Grid Ref NY 38564 16933
    Temperature 18-22°C
    Weather Cloudy then Sunny Intervals
    Walking With On Own
WALK NOTES

Glenridding Car Park (Lake District National Park) - Rattlebeck Bridge - Miresbeck - Birkhouse Moor - Striding Edge - Helvellyn - Nethermost Pike - Dollywagon Pike - Seat Sandal - Grisedale Tarn - Deepdale Hause - St Sunday Crag - Birks - Trough Head - Arnison Crag - Home Farm - Glenridding Car Park

After cancelling a previous trip to the Lakes two days ago due to bad weather I was keen to travel to the area as soon as possible. The weather forecast looked a good one for today so it was an early rise to beat the traffic and hopefully get an early start in Glenridding. The drive up the motorway was lovely (once the sun had risen) with clear blue skies - but once I arrived in the Lake District there were clouds covering nearly all the fells. At the top of the Kirkstone Pass I was in dark cloud – and as I looked behind on the horizon I could see blue sky. I was certainly hoping it was coming my way. The scene was quite a dramatic one. I descended down the pass into Glenridding and parked in the National Park Car Park. I arrived at about 8.00am and I was only the second car there!!

I was determined the day was going to improve so I prepared myself for the ascent of Helvellyn and the Greater Grisedale Horseshoe (this being the walk I planned to do before leaving home). I followed (roughly) the first walk in Stuart Marshalls “Walking the Wainwright’s”. The only major difference was the ascent of Birkhouse Moor which I decided to ascend via Mires Beck instead.

The start of the walk from Glenridding is nice and easy to Rattlebeck Bridge. I then followed one of the main paths towards Helvellyn via Mires Beck. As I ascended and looked back to Glenridding I could see that the clouds that were covering Place Fell earlier were now starting to clear the top of the fell. It was still overcast in all directions but it did seem as if it was not quite as dark. As I continued up the Mires Beck path I came to a point where I could see south and all of a sudden I could see that the blue sky was approaching fast. A little further up and as I got my first view of Helvellyn the sky turned blue and the sun was peeping from behind the clouds. This was the start of an excellent days walk.

Once I reached the top of the Mires Beck path I took the thin path to the “summit” of Birkhouse Moor. The views from the summit to the Helvellyn range and Striding Edge were fantastic. After a short break I pressed onwards to the Hole-In-The-Wall. Soon after this point Striding Edge begins. This is where the fun starts. It’s a great experience crossing the arête with airy drops along its length. There are points along Striding Edge which can be quite easy walking – however there are other points which you need to take special care (especially in bad weather) and you may have to resort to some scrambling. One of the trickier parts along the arête is the descent from High Spying How to the start of the final ascent of Helvellyn. Today the weather was good and the rocks were dry making the crossing a real enjoyment. When I reached the summit of Helvellyn I was slightly disappointed that it was all over and wishing I could do all over again. The sun was still shining and the views from the summit were really great. Helvellyn is one of my favourite mountains.

After a short lunch break at the Helvellyn shelter I carried on along the ridge route to Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike – both of which I have visited before. Next I dropped down to the path leading away from Dollywagon Pike to Grisedale Hause. Before the steep descent there is an old fence post next to the path. This is where I cut down into the valley below to only re-ascend to the summit of Seat Sandal. The ascent is quite steep but relatively short. From the summit there are good views to Helvellyn and Dollywagon Pike as well as Fairfield and St Sunday Crag. By now there were more clouds blocking out the sunshine. The descent down to Grisedale Hause is very steep and there is a lot of loose stones and scree.

From Grisedale Hause I continued walking next to Grisedale Tarn and then took a path up to Deepdale Hause. About half way up the ascent there is a split in the path – I took the higher path to reach Deepdale Hause. From Deepdale Hause and looking back I could see Fairfield and Cofa Pike. In front of me was the ridge route to St Sunday Crag. It was quite a long walk along the ridge to the summit. As I reached the summit I met up with a few other walkers who had ascended from Patterdale. From the summit there were great views to the Helvellyn range. It was time for another short break to take in the lovely scenery.

Leaving the summit of St Sunday Crag I descended steeply down to Gavel Moss. There were great views to Birks, Place Fell and Ullswater. From Gavel Moss I ascended to Birks. Not much of a summit really and is only marked by a small pile of stones on the grassy top. My next destination was Arnison Crag which I walked to via Trough Head. There were good views to Ullswater from the summit of Arnison Crag. The summit is quite rocky. From the summit it was downhill all the way to Home Farm near Patterdale and then onwards to Glenridding and National Park Car Park.

This was a brilliant walk with fantastic scenery and included a quite challenging ascent of Striding Edge. It was also a full day’s walk being 13.25 miles in length and taking about 8 and a half hours to complete.

MAP 1
© Crown Copywright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047125
MAP 2
© Crown Copywright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047125
PROFILE
REFERENCE

Reference Books Used

Walking The Wainwrights with Stuart Marshall (Sigma Leisure)
Maps Used
OL5 Explorer - The English Lakes (North Eastern Area)
PHOTOGRAPHS
Path from Glenridding by Mires Beck
Ullswater & Glenridding from Mires Beck path
Striding Edge Helvellyn & Catstycam from summit of Birkhouse Moor
Striding Edge Helvellyn & Catstycam from summit of Birkhouse Moor
Striding Edge Helvellyn & Catstycam from summit of Birkhouse Moor
Helvellyn & Catstycam from Birkhouse Moor
Striding Edge Helvellyn & Catstycam from Birkhouse Moor
Striding Edge Helvellyn & Catstycam from near Hole in the Wall
Helvellyn & Catstycam from near Hole in the Wall
Striding Edge & Helvellyn from Birkhouse Moor
Striding Edge & Helvellyn from Birkhouse Moor with grazing sheep
Striding Edge & Helvellyn from Birkhouse Moor
Helvellyn Swiral Edge & Red Tarn from start of Striding Edge
Helvellyn Swiral Edge & Red Tarn from start of Striding Edge
Catstycam & Red Tarn from start of Striding Edge
Striding Edge
Striding Edge & Helvellyn
Swirral Edge Red Tarn & Catstycam
Looking down into Grisedale valley from Striding Edge
Catstycam & Red Tarn from Striding Edge
Swirral Edge & Red Tarn from Striding Edge
Swirral Edge & Red Tarn from Striding Edge
Tackling Striding Edge
Slow progress across Striding Edge
Striding Edge to Helvellyn
Flowers at Dixon Memorial Plaque
Dixon Memorial
Dixon Memorial plaque
Striding Edge
Striding Edge to Helvellyn
Swirral Edge & Red Tarn from Striding Edge
Final climb to Helvellyn
Catstycam & Red Tarn from climb up Helvellyn
Striding Edge from climb up Helvellyn
Catstycam & Red Tarn from climb up Helvellyn
Red Tarn & Striding Edge from climb up Helvellyn - Ullswater in the distance
Memorial on Helvellyn
Looking towards Helvellyn summit
Helvellyn summit shelter
Helvellyn trig point and summit plateau
Scafell Great Gable & Pillar from summit of Helvellyn
Helvellyn summit trig point - Skiddaw in the distance with "smoke" rising from its top!
Raise & Catstycam from Helvellyn
Helvellyn Summit
Helvellyn summit looking to Ullswater
Thirlmere from near Helvellyn
Helvellyn Trig Point from summit cairn
Striding Edge in silhouette - see the walkers
Helvellyn from Nethermost Pike
Striding Edge in silhouette - see the walkers
Helvellyn & Catstycam from Nethermost Pike
Zooming in on Striding Edge & Catstycam
Helvellyn from Nethermost Pike
Helvellyn & Catstycam from Nethermost Pike
Black Herdwick Sheep
Helvellyn from High Crag
Looking north from High Crag
Nethermost Pike from near Dollywagon Pike
Nethermost Pike from near Dollywagon Pike
Grisedale & Ullswater from Dollywagon Pike
Grisedale & Ullswater from Dollywagon Pike
Post on descent from Dollywagon Pike - this is a good marker to head for Seat Sandal
The end of the Dollywagon Pike ridge
Grisedale Tarn from Dollywagon Pike
Path heading to Grisedale Tarn
Seat Sandal summit
Dollywagon Pike & St Sunday Crag from Seat Sandal summit
Seat Sandal summit
Seat Sandal summit
Looking down to Grisedale Hause & Tarn from Seat Sandal
Dollywagon Pike from Grisedale Hause
St Sunday Crag comes into view from Grisedale Hause
Grisedale Tarn & Seat Sandal from THe Stepping Stones
Path from Grisedale Hause to Deepdale Hause
Dollywagon Pike Nethermost Pike & Helvellyn from Deepdale Hause
St Sunday Crag ridge from Deepdale Hause
Seat Sandal & Grisedale Tarn from Deepdale Hause - with Dollywagon Pike
St Sunday Crag summit lies ahead
St Sunday Crag summit
St Sunday Crag summit
St Sunday Crag summit plateau
Ullswater Place Fell & Birks from near Gavel Pike
Birks from descent of St Sunday Crag
Birks from descent of St Sunday Crag
Birks
Ullswater from path to Birks
Birks summit
Birks summit
Birks summit
Ullswater from path to Arnison Crag
Ullswater from Arnison Crag summit
Place Fell from Arnison Crag summit

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