4.5.2006 Helvellyn

This day, I decided to try one of the "bridleways" as shown out in the OS map, for a mountain bike ride. John Scadding accompanied and guided me, making orientation much easier.  We started from Keswick, then took the old railway track, then ascented to Great dodd via Mosedale. Once on the ridge, we proceeded with Watsons Dodd, Stybarrow Dodd, Raise, Whiteside and Helvellyn. We then descended to Dunmail raise and rode along Thirlmere on the leftsided path. After a visit to Castlerigg Stone circle, John went home to Cockermouth, and I took the Newlands  valley and Newlands Hause to ride home. All in all about 40 miles and more than 1.500 m of ascent, 10 hours ride with only short brakes.


Today, our red squirrel was accompanied by a friend

John on the Old Coach Road leading along the slopes of Clough Head Blencathra in the background is poorly visible on that rather hazy day.

Clough Head

Rowantree Fold in Mosedale. No path to be seen here, just a few faint foot tracks. I had imagined "bridleway" a bit different....

On the ridge, viewing to Clough Head.

View along the ridge to our first summit, Great Dodd

John on Great Dodd

From Great Dodd, we could see the whole ridge till Helvellyn on the horizon. It looks just very far, but the hazy weather adds up to this impression.

Watson´s Dodd was reached quite easily in a speedy downhill and only short ascent. If one may contradict me counting today´s summits to the Wainwrights done, please take in account that most of the ascent and even parts of descents we had to push the bikes, making it much more strenuous in these parts of the route, so all in all, the advantages of some ridden downhills are at least outweighed by these pushing ascents.

The ridge to Stybarrow Dodd, Helvellyn with Lower Man in the background.

John on the summit of Raise. Here the path is very rocky, whereas the descent to Sticks Pass was steep, but grassy, making the ride even as strenuous as a walk, not in the legs but in the arms and shoulders.

We now have passed Whiteside and are preparing for the final ascent to Helvellyn via Lower Man. Here the strong wind at times added up to near gale force, blowing the rear wheels of out bikes to the right side when pushing.

Panorama taken from the ascent to Lower Man, with Thirlmere and the ridge we were coming from, to Catstyecam far right. Click into the picture for a larger version.

Red Tarn with a glimpse on Striding edge

On the summit plateau of Helvellyn, small rests of winter´s snow drifts. Striding edge to the left, and St. Sunday crag behind.

John at the summit cairn of Helvellyn

Red Tarn and Striding Edge

Striding Edge and St. Sunday Crag

Striding Edge from a bit below the summit

Panoramic shot from the same viewpoint. Click into the picture for a larger version

Thirlmere from the steep descent from Helvellyn summit. No chance to ride on most parts of this path.

The beck at Comb Gill

Castlerigg Stone circle heading for the Helvellyn ridge. We did nearly all summits being visible from that viewpoint.

Panoramic shot of Castlerigg Stone circle, a rather mystic place.

Blencathra from Castlerigg

Castlerigg stone circle, with High Rigg behind and Helvellyn in the distance.

The weather now got even more hazy and overcast, it got late and I was tired, so no more stops for fotographs in Newlands Valley.