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Helvellyn & Dollywaggon Pike from Wythburn

Lake District Walk

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Eastern Fells

Wainwrights - Dolltwaggon Pike, Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 8.0 miles / 13 km    Ascent - 2870 feet / 870 metres

Time - 6 hours 50 minutes    Grade - moderate

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Helvellyn & Dollywaggon Pike from Wythburn
Click image to visit gallery of 12 images.

This Lake District walk to the summit of Helvellyn is straight forward with none of the challenges encountered when using an approach from Glenridding over Striding Edge. The whole route is on clearly marked paths although it must be remembered that with cloud sitting on the 'tops' then navigation skills would be required.

The start is the small car park adjacent to Wythburn Church (grid ref. NY324136) just off the A591 Grasmere to Keswick road. On busy days this is likely to fill early although there is other limited parking available in the vicinity. Exit the car park through the gate on the eastern side and follow the steep path up through the conifers. Reaching a cross track, which is used on the return, continue straight ahead continuing to climb.

Gaining height quickly you reach the open fell with the path visible up to your right. The path has been improved and after negotiating a series of zigzags you have completed the steepest part of the climb. It must be stressed that it is not a 'slog' as the surroundings are pleasant and the views improving as you climb. Ahead lies the most tedious section as you climb across Birk Side to the col between Nethermost Pike and Helvellyn. Reaching this col you get a great view of Striding Edge. The final climb to the summit of Helvellyn is straightforward and you are soon enjoying a 360 degree view.

From the summit of Helvellyn retrace your steps south to the col mentioned in the previous paragraph. Take the left fork ignoring the path used for the ascent and continue to the summit of Nethermost Pike. The preferred route is to ignore the main path, which takes a rather boring route, instead staying as close to the edge of the crags around Nethermost Cove. This route involves a little more ascent but the views are spectacular and worth the extra effort. From Nethermost Pike continue south over High Crag and onto the summit of Dollywaggon Pike where a promontory provides a grandstand view down Grisedale to Ullswater.

From Dollywaggon Pike the next objective is Grisedale Tarn. The path zigzags down the fellside losing nearly 1000 feet in the process. During the descent you get good views of St Sunday Crag, Fairfield and Cofa Pike. Reaching the Tarn cross the stepping stones across the outlet stream and climb south-westwards to Grisedale Hause. Turn right here following the path north-east to reach a minor col (grid ref. 344121). Staying on this path you descend to Dunmail Raise following Raise Back with its pretty waterfalls and cascades. Reaching the main road turn north and pick up the signed concession path that contours through fields to reach a conifer plantation (grid ref. 327125). Follow the forest track back to the start turning left on the path used for the outward route.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1247 Helvellyn & Raise from Swirlsmod/hard7.0 miles
Walk 2025 Helvellyn & Wythburn from Swirlsmod/hard8.5 miles
Walk 3132 High Tove & Blea Tarnmoderate7.6 miles
Walk 2254 Grisedale Tarnmoderate5.5 miles
Walk 2841 Seat Sandal via Grisedale Tarn from Grasmeremoderate5.0 miles
Walk 2932 Green Burn horseshoe from Grasmeremoderate7.0 miles
Walk 2525 Standing Crag & Dock Tarn from Watendlathmoderate7.0 miles
Walk 2526 Standing Crag, Ullscarf & Borrowdalemod/hard10.0 miles
Walk 2019 Raven Crag, the Benn & Shoulthwaite Gill near Thirlmereeasy/mod4.0 miles
Walk 2032 Great How, a short ascent above Thirlmereeasy2.0 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking the Lake District Fells - Patterdale

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Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far East

Walking the Lake District Fells - Mardale and the Far EastPart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 36 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Ullswater, Haweswater, Troutbeck, Kentmere and Longsleddale valleys, with highlights including High Street, Place Fell and the Kentmere fells. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
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