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image for Walking Route item typeHelvellyn via Striding Edge and Swirral Edgeadd to shortlist

Climbers on Striding Edge

Climbers on Striding Edge

Doing the round of Striding Edge and Swirral Edge is one of the Lake District's most famous routes and for very good reason. The combination of two superb arêtes, which provide easy but exposed scrambling with a summit that has far-reaching views over all the Lake District, is unbeatable. If you have a good head for heights, mountain walking experience and are equipped for a full mountain day then this is a "must do" route.

It is essential that you have mountain walking experience, the proper maps, a compass and the knowledge to use them on this route.

Route Information

Time/Effort 4 out of 5
Navigation 4 out of 5
Technicality 5 out of 5
Height gain/loss (metres) 820
OS map OS Landranger 90, OS Explorer OL5,

Route Essentials

Duration: 5 - 6 hours

Miles: 8

Route Details

1. From the car park in Glenridding take the Greenside Road to the old mine buildings. Pass the buildings to a fork and take the left branch. Continue a short distance to a footbridge on the left; cross it to the path on the other side. This is followed South West alongside Glenridding Beck to another footbridge; cross this and continue up the path first South then South West as it climbs to Red Tarn.

2. Cross Red Tarn Beck and follow the path that traverses East to the col at Hole-in-the-Wall. From here head South West along the crest of Bleaberry Crags and then West along Striding Edge. At the end of the edge make the steep loose climb up one of the numerous paths onto the summit plateau.

3. Locating the correct start of Swirral Edge is critical; the ground on either side is very steep and in parts loose. The top is marked by a small cairn at the lip of the crags 137m (150yds) North - North West from the trig point. The initial section of Swirral Edge (North East) is quite steep but soon eases and leads down to a narrow col from which point the path descends to Red Tarn (Catstye Cam is a short distance East along the ridge from the col - well worth the short detour). From the outlet of Red Tarn retrace the route back to Glenridding.

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