Bob Wightman

Helvellyn Section

This page pulls together the main information for the Helvellyn section. Click on the appropriate tab to show that particular data.

Route Map

The map below shows the usual line in red with known variations in either blue or green. Those points on this page marked up as GeoLocations are marked on the map: summits - red marker; water sources - blue; other waypoints - yellow.

Route Notes

Sections are marked by either light (semi-darkness) or dark (night) grey bars on the right-hand side according to your schedule. If a peak name has magnifying glass icon to its side then hovering over the name will show a popup with schedule details.

You may edit the description by clicking on the text. Once in edit mode you can save your edits or restore the default description.

Cross the A66 and take a small road (GR325254) that leads down to the River Greta and crosses it at Mill Bridge. The continuation is open to the public so carry on to Newsham House (GR331247) and take the gate on the right to the open fell.

Head for the far end of the woods on the right. Go through the gate and follow a path, faint at first, that parallels the wire fence (on your left) until a track is reached that traverses the hillside. Now head straight up the front face of Clough Head, keeping to the right of an obvious shallow gully. Eventually the ground steepens and a faint track appears leading up to the summit ridge. Turn right and go up to the summit of Clough Head.

The path in general is well defined from now on and the running is good. Head towards Calfhow Pike (MB-194) at which head towards Great Dodd (MB-143 to Little Dodd then MB-077). From the summit of Great Dodd head south west until the ground levels out

At the first slight rise a faint track heads rightwards (MB-251) to Watson’s Dodd. A further faint track leads back to the main path just before the rise to Stybarrow Dodd. The main path contours round the summit area so head up left to the summit cairn. From the cairn, do not go to the cairn to the SW, but aim in a straight line to the left of this and drop down to join a good, wide, path that descends to Sticks Pass. This continues to rise until the ground becomes rocky, where a path winds its way in the same general line to the summit of Raise.

The track turns right on the summit of Raise and is faint for a while but then good paths lead to White Side where a sharp left is made, then up to Helvellyn Lower Man and on to the top of Helvellyn.

Turn due south and follow the motorway of a path until a junction at the first col, take the left branch and climb up onto the flanks of Nethermost Pike. The summit is the second of two cairned tops that can be seen from the main path.

From the summit take the grassiest route back to the main path and drop into the col. Where the main path skirts round to the right, keep close to the edge on the left and go over a rocky rise before climbing up to the summit of Dollywaggon Pike.

Keep close to the edge again where it is grassiest and head in a southerly direction to gain the top of the zig-zags.

Option 1
There is a single fence post (actually an old gate post for the path to pass through the long-gone boundary fence) (GR345128) on the right that marks the line of an old fence. In the ground can be seen a groove which is the line taken by the fence. Follow this down, keeping to the right of the wall in the lower section, to the path that follows Raise Beck from Dunmail to Grisedale Tarn. Go round the obvious track on the far side of the tarn to the col between Fairfield and Seat Sandal. Leave sacks and bum-bags here (there is an old bield) and climb the scree slope to Fairfield.
Option 2
Go down the main track (or better the grassy slopes to the side) to the outflow of Grizedale Tarn. Take the path leading to the col between Fairfield and St Sunday Crag. At the col turn right and follow the path on the ridge to the Fairfield summit plateau.
Option 3
As for option 2 down to the outflow of Grizedale Tarn and take the path to the col between Fairfield and St Sunday Crag until a beck is crossed then directly up the scree to the Fairfield summit plateau.

From the summit of Fairfield head down the screes to the col before climbing the ridge to follow the obvious path up the scree to an easing in the angle to the summit of Seat Sandal.

Take a line towards the north end of Steel Fell (MB-293) to a patch of reeds on the top of the steep part of the ridge to gain a that leads the lower end of the path dropping down by Raise Beck and so to Dunmail Raise.

Training Logistics

Parking
Either park near the sewage farm south of the A66 at Threlkeld. Use of the cricket club car park should probably be avoided for training runs though it's not much of an issue on attempts as Threlkeld is normally visited in the early hours. Or on the roadside at Dunmail Raise.
Getting Back
This is one section where having a mate and a car at each end is practical. Stagecoach run bus services (well they run buses, debatable as to whether it's a service!) between Ambleside and Keswick and also between Keswick and Threlkeld. It may be quicker (and certainly cheaper) to only go as far as Thirlspot then jog/hitch back to Threlkeld.

Water Sources

GR-338151 Brownrigg Well. A fresh water spring around 50m below the col between Helvellyn and Lower Man. This is the only recommendable source on the Helvellyn ridge.

GR-351121 The outflow from Grizedale Tarn though this is not on the route used in the notes.

Summit Descriptions

No. Name of Top Height (m) Summit description
4Clough Head726A grassy summit area. There is an OS trig point and a stone shelter at the highest point.
5Great Dodd857A large summit area with a cairn at the Northern end and a stone shelter at the Southern. In between is a rise that appears to be higher than either. Assume that the cairn is the highest point.
6Watson Dodd784The least pronounced summit on the round. A cairn at the western end of the grassy plateau, overlooking Thirlmere marks the highest point.
7Stybarrow Dodd843A grassy summit area with three cairns. The Northern cairn is the summit.
8Raise883An extensive rocky summit area. That part to the south is less rocky but extends for some distance. The summit is marked by a large cairn just to the East of the main path.
9White Side862A stony, but fairly small summit area with a large cairn marking the top.
10Helvellyn Lower man920A rocky top with a small cairn situated at the top of the North ridge being the highest point.
11Helvellyn945A lot of summit furniture on this one! The highest point is marked by an OS trig point on the edge of the northern escarpment dropping down to Red Tarn. A shelter made of cross of stone walls lies around 50m SE.
12Nethermost Pike891A flat summit plateau with several cairns. That at the Northern end probably being the highest point.
13Dollywaggon Pike858The summit is a narrowing ridge with a small cairn at the Northern end overlooking Grizedale marking the top.
14Fairfield873A broad rocky plateau with the summit marked by a large, low cairn-shelter.
15Seat Sandal736A flat summit area with several rocky outcrops. An old drystone wall runs along the top and the summit is marked by a cairn near to this.

Dynamic Trace

Clicking on the "play" button below will cause the map to move over the route of the leg. The map moves in constant time though this may mean that on steep ascents the clock appears to speed up.

The "+" & "-" buttons will speed up or slow down the speed at which the animation moves.

The clock shows the current time according to your chosen schedule of  and start time of . Note that the timings are only approximate.

  • Play
  • Back
  • Fwd
  • -
  • +
  • Reset