I seem to be climbing Britain’s most popular mountains at the moment – consorting with the crowds…..
This trip came about due to a plan I had to take two of my grandsons up Helvellyn during their compulsory incarceration at Pietowers – an annual event. However, since the East Midlands Sept of Clan Knipe was on holiday near Ullswater, a Plan B developed which involved an earlier walk, which involved me, LTD, The Lad and the two grandsons. Grandson #3 was to keep his mum company during an extended period of sitting about in the sun at Red Tarn.
So that’s what we did. We trundled off to Red Tarn, set up Camp 1 and then the Advanced Party scrambled over the classic Striding Edge – Helvellyn – Swirral Edge round accompanied by many, many other people and one or two dogs. Helvellyn is the follow-up walk to the traditional Penyghent rite-of-passage trip wot knipesprogs have been forced to do by the gentle use of brainwashing and peer pressure for the last severalteen years. Striding Edge, though, is not compulsory. Helvellyn is, of course, a bit bigger than Penyghent and often leads to a desire to climb Ben Nevis, Snowdon and Scafell Pike, though Three Peak attempts are discouraged by labelling them as anti-social and a drain on Mountain Rescue teams.
In terms of anti-socialness, one prune had a drone buzzing about sounding like a swarm of angry wasps, and, for some reason, he jumped a gap between two boulders and almost squished LTD. I suppose that with such a heavy population, there was bound to be at least one moron. My bad luck was that this one was close to me and the dog. Story of my life, actually – I usually get the strange ones in YHA dormitories, late-night bus stops and busy train carriages….
We used a length of climbing rope to get LTD down the rockstep at the end of Striding Edge and, I noticed that somebody following us with a collie also used the same tactic to prevent their pooch from blobbing off horribly.
I’d not been along Striding Edge for a while and I’d forgotten what a lot of fun it is. It’s no wonder that its popular.
After our scrambly adventure, a pickernick was had at Red Tarn and some dipping was done in the beck lower down the hill. It was a steaming hot day, which is a bit unusual for Helvellyn.