Day 4: Grasmere to Patterdale

We had enjoyed a very comfortable stay at Dale Lodge in Grasmere. We left the village via Goody Bridge and reached Mill Bridge where we crossed the A591 and began our ascent to Grisedale Tarn. There are two paths on either side of Great Tongue. Both ascend continuously with wonderful retrospective views to Grasmere.

The view back to Grasmere

The view back to Grasmere

The path steepens and becomes rocky before rising to the top of Grisedale Pass.

Grisedale Pass

Up towards Grisedale Pass

The summit reveals a fine view of Grisedale Tarn backed by Dollywagon Pike.

Grisedale Tarn

Grisedale Tarn

The tarn is almost at 1800′ so as the day was fine and settled and we had plenty of time we decided to extend our walk by going up Helvellyn.

The path rises steeply from Grisedale Tarn up a series of zig zags to Dollywagon Pike.

The zig- zag path up Dollywagon Pike – looking down on Grisedale Tarn

The zig- zag path up Dollywagon Pike – looking down on Grisedale Tarn

This path, which replaces a very badly eroded one, is a fine example of the work of a group called Fix the Fells.  The work is funded by grants and donations and much of the work is carried out by volunteers.

Sheep fleece being used to repair path

Sheep fleece being used to repair path

Then follows a splendid high level traverse with fabulous views all around. We were able to look west back towards yesterday’s walk and down to the Gibson Knott Helm Crag ridge.

High level traverse across Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Crag to Helvellyn

High level traverse across Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Crag to Helvellyn

The walk continues north along the Helvellyn ridge over Nethermost Pike and up to the summit of Helvellyn which is marked by a large cairn.

Team Hackworthy on the summit of Helvellyn

Team Hackworthy on the summit of Helvellyn

The descent we chose was along Striding Edge. To begin with there is a steep stony drop to the edge. Getting onto the ridge involves an awkward preliminary scramble up rocks but thereafter there is an easy path below the Edge on the Red Tarn side. Ian and Archie went on the easier path and I went along the Edge.

Unusually and by virtue that this was a Monday in term time – Striding Edge was empty of other people and I enjoyed this exhilarating traverse along the top of the edge all alone.

Looking back to the summit of Helvelyn along an unusually empty Striding Edge

Looking back to the summit of Helvellyn along an unusually empty Striding Edge

Ian took Archie along the lower path.

I even found the Dixons memorial

I even found the Dixon’s memorial

The Dixon’s memorial is  perched incongruously on Striding Edge and commemorates the spot where the unfortunate Mr Dixon plunged off Striding Edge while running with the Ullswater hounds in 1858.

The path runs gently along the declining ridge to the Hole in the Wall and the descent across the flank of Birkhouse Moor to reach a bridge over Grisedale Beck and a tarmac lane.

The path from Helvelyn down to the Hole in the Wall

The path from Helvellyn down to the Hole in the Wall

We reached Patterdale on a pleasant path through Glenmara Park.

16.30km with 1076m of elevation.

The GPX file for the route that we followed is here.