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Helvellyn and Ullswater

Helvellyn and Ullswater

Tucked away at the head of Grisedale between Ruthwaite Cove and Nethermost Cove is the East Ridge of Nethermost Pike. It lacks the pure quality of Striding Edge, but this is more than made up for by its truly wild setting. Positioned above big drops into the enclosing coves it looks very impressive but once you set foot on it, it soon relents. In scrambling terms it is relatively easy and is not much more than a steep path. You will however need a head for heights as the drops on either side are fascinating but dizzying.

After doing the East Ridge you summit directly onto the pleasant flat summit of Nethermost Pike. This puts you in an ideal position for a high-level walk up the main ridge of the Helvellyn massif. Temptation will lead most people down either Striding Edge or Swirral Edge but it's worth ignoring these and saving them for another time. Instead try the well-graded bridleway back to Glenridding from the top of Sticks Pass. By doing this you maintain the more remote flavour of the day and you get to summit on Whiteside Bank and Raise as a bonus.

Route Information

Time/Effort 4 out of 5
Navigation 3 out of 5
Technicality 4 out of 5
Height gain/loss (metres) 1102
OS map OS Landranger 90, OS Explorer OL4

Route Essentials

Duration: 6 - 8

Miles: 11

Route Details

1. From the car park at Glenridding head South down the A592 towards Patterdale. At Grisedale Bridge turn right and take the narrow lane South West (by the sports field) up into Grisedale. Follow the track to join the bridleway. Which is then followed South West up the valley to Ruthwaite Lodge.

2. Behind the lodge take the vague zigzags as they climb up into Ruthwaite Cove. Hard Tarn is high on the north side of the cove (hidden by a lip). Climb to it, then traverse North East below the crags onto the East Ridge proper.

3. Scramble directly up the crest of the East Ridge to gain the summit of Nethermost Pike.

4. From the summit of Nethermost Pike join the main ridge bridleway and follow it North over Swallow Scarth to the summit of Helvellyn.

5. From the summit of Helvellyn head North West across the plateau to the minor top, Lower Man. Descend the rocky north ridge of Lower Man, then follow the main path North over Whiteside Bank and Raise then down to Sticks Pass.

6. Turn right and follow the narrow bridleway East alongside Sticks Gill to a footbridge. Cross this then descend the zigzags South around Stang End to Greenside Mines. Pass the buildings and join the Greenside Road, which is then followed down to Glenridding.

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