Lake District Walk
Helvellyn & Dollywaggon Pike from Wythburn
Walk Route Description
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.
|Ordnance Survey Explorer OL5||Sheet Map||1:25k||BUY|
|Anquet OS Explorer OL5||Digital Map||1:25k||BUY|
|Ordnance Survey Landranger 90||Sheet Map||1:50k||BUY|
|Anquet OS Landranger 90||Digital Map||1:50k||BUY|
It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.
GPS files - right click or option-click the button and choose "Save As..." to download this file.
Recommended Books & eBooks
Lake District: Low Level and Lake Walks
This guidebook describes 30 of the best low-level walks in the Lake District. From delightful wooded glades and sparkling tarns, to waterfalls and glacier-carved valleys towered over by craggy mountains. The walks described aim to seek out the best walking that the lower areas of the Lake District have to offer.
Walking the Lake District Fells - Keswick
Part of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 30 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from Keswick, Whinlatter, Bassenthwaite, Caldbeck, Mungrisdale and Threlkeld, with highlights including Skiddaw and Blencathra. Includes suggestions for longer ridge routes.
This pocket handbook to navigation will help you master the necessary map and compass skills for mountain walking. Chapters include map scales, symbols and contours, grid references, map reading, bearings, route planning and night and bad-weather navigation, as well as navigating with a GPS.