Helvellyn via Grisedale

This walk was originally intended to be something of a “companion piece” to the previous one (see Nethermost Pike above), involving an ascent up the eastern face of the other fine fell dominating the northern side of Grisedale head, i.e. Dollywagon Pike, with the descent from there down to Grisedale Tarn.
On arriving at Ruthwaite Lodge from Patterdale, however, the weather had turned rather cloudy and rainy, but was supposed to improve later, so, rather than start the main ascent, I went on up to Grisedale Tarn to locate the Brothers’ Parting Stone, which I had overlooked during the previous walk. Mission duly accomplished, I then returned to Lodge, and thence to the summit of Dollywagon via The Tongue.
In my opinion, however, this route is inferior to the similar ascent of Nethermost Pike, in terms of the openness of the views and the number of steep “steps” that need to be negotiated, and, if the ultimate objective is Helvellyn, then the latter obviously affords much more direct access. But still better than slogging it up the “tourist” route from Grisedale Tarn!
Anyway, the summit gained, and the weather having improved, and now also wishing to avoid simply going back via Grisedale Tarn, I proceeded via High Crag and Nethermost to Helvellyn itself, with increasingly fine views in all directions, especially of Striding Edge. Descent was via Swirral Edge then, out of curiousity, to the summit of Catstyecam, back down from there and across to the Hole in the Wall, and then along the fine, gently-sloping descent path above Grisedale and so back to to Patterdale.
All in all, a day of great variety and spectacular views in one of the finest parts of the Lake District - one of life’s great joys! Distance: 11.4 miles/18.3 km; height: 4133 ft./1260m.

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