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Eastern Fells

Helvellyn mountain bikers

Helvellyn

At 3116 feet, Helvellyn is one of the highest and most popular of the Lake District peaks. It may be climbed from Grasmere, taking the Dunmail Raise road and following the signs to Grisedale Tarn. After this, the winding path leads up the side of Dollywagon Pike, from which it is only a very short distance to Helvellyn.

Another path climbs up from Wythburn Church and is the shortest route up the fell. On the summit is a tablet indicated the peaks which can be seen from this viewpoint. A specially constructed stone wall, built in the shape of a cross, provides some shelter from the wind. Apart from the peaks, the climber is also able to see most of Ullswater to the north east. On this side of the summit is Striding Edge, a sharp, narrow edge which is quite safe if care is taken. However, climbers are not advised to attempt it when alone, as accidents have been known to happen here.

The descent in a south easterly direction passes a memorial stone to Charles Gough who died here from exposure in 1805. Apparently, his dog guarded the body until Gough was discovered. Walter Scott wrote a poem about this event. This route eventually comes down near the foot of Grisedale Valley. It involves a little rock climbing about halfway down.

Seat Sandal

The 2863 feet high peak of Seat Sandal is best approached from Wythburn Church, close to the Helvellyn route, through Birkside Gill and passing Grisedale Tarn. The ascent from the tarn is straightforward and there are rewarding views in the direction of Grasmere.

© 2017 Lake District Guide