Making It Up On The Eastern Fells

9th May 2010

Its only been two weeks since I was last up on the fells & I do seem to setting myself a trend in the fact my last few walks have been in & around the

Ullswater area, and a lot can happen in two weeks which in my case it did, coming in my case two days before my birthday at the beginning of May which for personal reasons I cant go into. If  & when you think your life is going along quite nicely & then something happens which can turn everything upside down for a short but hellish 36 hours then if I have learned one thing, never to take life for granted, grab each day as if it was your last.

Ok to lighten the mood now I’ve just about managed to put everyone on a downer let me quote the great man that is Alfred Wainwright “A man can forget a raging toothache on Haystacks” ok, Haystacks wasn’t my fell today but that saying from Wainwiright stuck with me all day without me even knowing,  and that is what Lakeland does to any walker, you forget your troubles, life’s little worries & you get on with what you love best.

Today I’m not alone as I have Tim with me, now Tim obviously knows I’m in Scotland next weekend & I’m gutted for the bloke because he had to cancel on account of Sarah his wife is expecting there Fourth child which is all good & well :-)  he’s made it clear there’ll be pure hatred & jealousy running through his veins next Saturday & I dare not ring him from the summit (which of course I will).  So the plan was maybe another warm up walk, nothing to strenuous & Catstye Cam was something we both hadn’t attempted so it was up to me to plan the route which is a kind of fetish of mine! So as conversation went on the drive up Tim threw in the hat a possible 2/3 more Wainwrights & yeah here’s me listening all ears wide open, I’d planned for Catstye Cam, Helvellyn, Helvellyn (Lower Man) & then finally Whiteside & descend down into Keppel Cove back towards Glenridding .

I can only think the previous weeks worth of torment unlocked some hidden energy because today was a day for collecting Wainwrights .


Wainwright Guidebook

The Eastern Fells



Ascent: 3,118Ft 950 Mtrs
Wainwrights: 7, Catstye Cam, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn(Lower Man), Whiteside, Raise, Stybarrow Dodd
Weather: 6 Degrees, Warm & Sometimes Very Cloudy, Some Hail On Tops, Highs Of 13 Degrees
Parking: Stybarrow Crag Car Park, Ullswater
Area: Eastern
Miles: 11.8
Walking With: Tim Oxburgh
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken:  

Map and Photo Gallery



Starting the walk at the Private Rd just off the A592 (NY 38627 17389) by Ullswater which will eventually lead us on to the Greenside Rd, Its a pretty easy junction to miss if you’ve never been here before.



“Father & Son” I hadn’t noticed the writing on the old Land Rover until on my way back, its actually from a Garage in St Helens (W Hancock & Son, Sutton),.just up the road from me.


Greenside Rd approaching the old mines, the fell on the left is the southern mass of Birkhouse Moor .


Glenridding Beck Dam & this is where we hook a left to flank Birkhouse Moor a little further up the track.


Catstye Cam, our first objective & for now under cloud,.the track to the right is what we have just left which will eventually take you up towards Keppel Cove, lets hope this cloud doesn’t stick around .


And looking back towards Heron Pike from our ascent.


Now that’s more like it! shortly after taking this photo we’ve left the path for the faint Path that will take us directly up towards Catstye Cam summit.

Striding Edge, Helvellyn & Red Tarn, & hopefully fingers crossed we’ve  got the weather on our side for now


Over looking Red Tarn.



Looking eastwards over the Bulk of Birkhouse Moor, Sheffield Pike & Gowbarrow.


And a little further around towards Hartsop Dodd, Gray Crag & High Street.


A clearer view of Keppel Cove & the steep path zig zagging its way up on the right, to the bottom of the picture is Keppel Cove Dam & if you squint your eyes just above to the left of the dam you can see the dry remains of Keppel Tarn.


Looking back towards Ullswater on our ascent.


Our first summit of the day Catstye Cam .. next its a little scramble up Swirral Edge .


Swirral Edge.


Me first.


Then Tim.


Helvellyn Summit with Catstye Cam in the background, & yes I did have to ask a couple chatting away would they mind if I took a shot of the summit to which they were more than pleased


Lakelands most famous ridge, Striding Edge.


And this is where my planning was threw out the Window, I’m like an old fuddy duddy when it comes to of the plan routes & little excursions, its ok Paul your still way within your comfort zone,. see I’m talking to myself now!! no, really joking aside this was a great idea to include Nethermost Pike, un-be known to us we had a weather front closing in behind us & Helvellyn’s Summit had completely disappeared under low cloud which put a hamper on also including Dollywagon Pike a little further on .


Looking towards Striding Edge from Swallow Scarth col, just after I took this picture Mark Wier in his helicopter buzzed Striding Edge within  a couple hundred feet, pretty exhilarating for him but not for the walkers walking the Edge .



Fairfeild, Cova Pike & St Sunday Crag on route to Nethermost Pike.


Nethermost Pike Summit Cairn, & the light is fading a little with the cloud rolling in on us from behind.


Dollywaggon Pike from Nethermost Pike.


The plaque marking the spot where the first Aeroplane landed on Helvellyn in 1926.


Doubling back on ourselves back to Helvellyns Summit to reach Helvellyn (Lower Man) just beyond, And yes that’s a Mountain Bike & the guy with the grey hair is its rider,.the more I thought about it the more I thought it wasn’t  as crazy as it looked!


Approaching Helvellyn (Lower Man) our 4th summit of the day.


Harrop Tarn & Tarn Crags, a very special place to me .


Looking down into Brown Cove & the huge mass of Catstye Cam.


Lower Man summit cairn.


Thirlmere, High Tove, High Seat & Bleaberry Fell with a glimpse of Bassenthwaite.


A close up of Kepple Dam &  sheep fold.


Whiteside Shelter/summit Cairn, Raise next .


Not before a spot of lunch & a coffee, here we have High Rigg, St Johns In The Vale & Skiddaw.


Legs starting to feel it now but the views are worth it.


Our 6th summit of the day & weary tired legs are beginning to set in, we had two choices here, head off the summit & head down Sticks Pass or in sight we can see Stybarrow Dodd but before that a 150 Mtr climb for what could be our 7th Wainwright of the day ,.what do we do ..

We go for it


Stybarrow Dodd Summit & our final summit of the day.

Yes, you can actually Ski in the Lake District, here we have the Ski Tow & luxury accommodation


After making a slight de-tour from White Stones we’ve found ourselves on Sticks Pass & Sticks Gill now on route towards the disused  mines .


Almost back were we started at Greenside Mine, looking towards Greenside Road, Ullswater & Place Fell.

All I didn’t need to do now was turn on the Radio to see how Wigan were getting on against Chelsea, ok Chelsea were on form & what a way for the southerners to finish off there season & yes it dampened the drive home for me, are heads gonna roll at Wigan ? I don’t think so?

What that score line cant hamper is the fact I’ve accomplished more Wainwrights in any one given day than I ever thought, which for for little old me is a personal record


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