Well, we got to the summit…
..but it was quite a slog. Can’t really call it a ride when you spend as much time pushing as we did!
Left Patterdale at about 10am, at the summit cairn for 12:30.
Went up via Grisedale
and we were pushing as soon as we reached the head of the valley.
And the pushing kept on and on, up past Grisedale Tarn
The climb up to Dollywagon is about 300m, and it’s time to put bikes on backs – you can’t push a bike up those rocky steps. We’re into the cloudline now, rain replaced by a pervasive dampness.
Once on top the Herdwick sheep are impressed by our bike handling (literally) skills!
In the mist it’s like being on the moon as we head along the ridge through the lunar landscape.
We’re expecting great things. All that effort deposited in the gravity bank – it’ll be worth a fortune!
We begin to make a withdrawal – things are looking up, we’re beginning to enjoy ourselves!
The enjoyment is shortlived though, Gordon (..the Geko, my GPS) is frantically pointing at right-angles to our path. Shaman can’t hear me shouting – he’s having too much fun! A moment later we’re below the cloud and Thirlmere comes into view – that’s not right. I bellow louder and he comes sliding to a halt. Gordon is pointing at a steep cliff that drops off to the side – I think we’ve come down the wrong rib. Turn the bikes round and back up we go, looking for a path off.
We find it quite quickly..
and it puts a smile back on our faces, for a while.
We carry on over Raise to Sticks Pass, and the terrain begins to change…
The rockiness disappearsm and is replaced by tussocky grass and a path that soon seems to vanish in the mist. We’re not lost just not sure where we are or the best way to make progress.
This landscape is like being at home in the Industrial Fells!
Eventually we hit the downhill. All that investment! Unfortunately there’s been a stock market crash and the bank has gone under – our investment is very poorly rewarded.
A faint track over flattened rushes and through deep sphagnum moss leads us down the hill. A rather damp and disappointing end to Helvellyn.
So that’s the Helvellyn ridge then. A lot of carrying and a disappointing descent. We won’t be back.