What a difference 5 or 6 days can make with the weather. Last Sunday I decided to get up early and try capture early morning sunrise on Striding Edge. Setting the alarm for 0215hrs I made good time in getting to Glenridding. The temperature on the car was saying -5 and with clear skies above me It was looking good for the sunrise. But by the time I got to Hole in the wall the clouds rolled in with the mist just as sunrise was approaching. The ridge was like sheet of glass after small amount of snow on the ridge which had frozen over night, I managed to take some shots of High Spy and then decided to pack the camera away and concentrate on getting across the ridge it needed lot of respect given I was the only one on the ridge under head torch with ice below my feet. By the time I was making my way down Swirral Edge the weather had lifted and the views of Helvellyn were just simply stunning, with bits of mist hanging around it made the feeling at times very atmospheric.
Fast forward 6 days and this time I was working as Mountain Leader for first time in 2021, It was amazing to be back out in the mountains again guiding clients across the amazing Lake District.
Meeting Dave and Sam at Glenridding who were going to be my clients for the day guiding them across Striding Edge and onto Helvellyn. After going through the route for the day and weather update we made our way up Mires Beck and onto Birkhouse Moor. T shirts were the order of the day as the weather was amazing with little wind, once you gained the height and reached the summit of Birkhouse Moor the ground then flattened off until you reach Hole in the wall. The ridge is now in full view.
Once we had reached the crux of the route down climb on the chimney Sam and Dave were fully of confidence after making there way along the crest of the ridge and took the down climb in there stride. After quick stop and some pictures if was time to get to the summit of Helvellyn all that was left was some short scrambling sections and before long the summit came into view.
This was great spot to have some lunch just below the summit facing towards Red Tarn soaking up the views while eating our food.
From the summit of Helvellyn 950m we made our way over to the start of Swirral Edge grade 1 scramble this can have its moments with it's tricky decent off Helvellyn and some very smooth and polished rocks to down climb. Dave and Sam managed this easily and we got down to Red Tarn quickly. For our final leg back to Glenridding we did some navigation and use of handrails and location points.
It was great to meet Sam and Dave who both done amazing on two grade 1 scrambles and ticking off Helvellyn.
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