Helvellyn and Catstye Cam via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge  No ratings yet.

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Route Summary:

Classic horseshoe walk from Glenridding up Helvellyn via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge

This walk includes the 2 Wainwrights of Helvellyn, Catstye Cam

This walk includes the 2 Hewitts of Helvellyn, Catstye Cam

This walk includes the 3 Nuttalls of Helvellyn, Catstye Cam, Striding Edge (High Spying How)

12.94 km 1059 m 5 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Start and Finish: Glenridding

View Facilities

Glenridding has plenty of pubs, cafes and hotels. The Pay and Display car park has its own toilet block with baby changing facilities.

View Hazards

Striding Edge is an exposed scramble that should only be attempted if you’re confident in your abilities and have a head for heights. The scramble down the Chimney can provide a little challenging to some also.

In the winter, even if the ridges are clear of snow, Helvellyn can hold onto a dangerous cornice on its north eastern face – this should always be avoided.

Due to its flatness, the summit plateau of Helvellyn can be confusing in the mist and care should be taken why finding the correct route off.

Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking :
CA11 0PD

Due to the popularity of Helvellyn there is a large Pay and Display car park in Glenridding. Free parking can also be found along the Greenside Road.

Public Transport:

The 508 bus serves Glenridding from Penrith all year round. During the summer, the 508 can get to Glenridding from Windermere via the Kirkstone Pass.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Weather Forecast:

Met Office Lake District Mountain Weather

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Helvellyn and Catstye Cam via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge Route Map and GPX Download

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Summits and Places on this Route

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Helvellyn and Catstye Cam via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge Details

Dave Chick, from All the Gear, No Idea, shares his scrambling route up Striding Edge and Swirral Edge to the summit of Helvellyn. This one of the UK’s classic scrambling routes and the best scrambling route in the English Lake District that’s an essential on every mountaineer’s CV.

Along with the CMD Arete and Crib Goch, the climb up Helvellyn via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge is one of those routes that should be on every hillwalker’s CV. However, this is neither as exposed as Crib Goch or as majestic in scale as the CMD, but is still one of the best walks and scrambles in the Lake District if not the UK. Starting in Glenridding, you set off for Red Tarn before heading for the Hole in the Wall and then across Striding Edge. The summit of Helvellyn is almost incidental, as you then down scramble Swirral Edge and cap the day with a final summit; Catstye Cam.

Click here to view the full description. Images and GPX files used with permission of the route author.

For more walks up Helvellyn, visit our All the Walking Routes up Helvellyn article.


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Dave Chick

Dave is our Lake District local expert, often found in the depths of Cumbria he's the author of his own part on the web, All the Gear but no Idea.

More Articles by Dave Chick

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