Striding Edge

Striding Edge is the famous and renowned ridge that flanks the south eastern passage to Helvellyn. The most common route to Striding Edge is from Patterdale or a longer walk from Glenridding. The target from either route is to reach the ‘Hole-in-the-Wall’ to reach the best way of traversing the ridge from east to west.

From the Hole-in-the-Wall at 700m, there is a stony climb until you reach the rock tower overlooking the full length of the finest ridge in the Lake District at an elevation of 850m. Crags and scree fall away from either side and portray a breathtaking and quite dramatic scene. The traverse of the edge is relatively easy in normal conditions and can be made easier by following the path that exists alongside and lower than the main arĂȘte.

Care should be exercised when there is a high wind or ice as this is a very exposed ridge – a fall from here would be fatal. The trickiest part is at the Helvellyn end when a scramble is required to descend the 7 metres or so of a rock tower known as The Chimney. An alternative and easier descent of this section is shown below. In total, from the Hole-in-the-Wall to the summit of Helvellyn is a distance of 2km with a total ascent of 260m.

Striding Edge

Striding Edge

Striding Edge to the left, Helvellyn in the centre, Swirral Edge and Catstycam

Striding Edge to the left, Helvellyn in the centre, Swirral Edge and Catstycam

Striding Edge and Helvellyn from Low Spying How, the flat top of Helvellyn ahead

Striding Edge and Helvellyn from Low Spying How, the flat top of Helvellyn ahead

Looking back along Striding Edge

Looking back along Striding Edge

Footprints from the side path can be see towards the left

Footprints from the side path can be see towards the left

The sheep are on the point where the lower path crosses from the northern side to the southern and leads around the 'difficult for dogs to negotiate' Chimney

The sheep are on the point where the lower path crosses from the northern side to the southern and leads around the ‘difficult for dogs to negotiate’ Chimney

The Chimney, the awkward bit of Striding Edge which requires a climb to descend

The Chimney, the awkward bit of Striding Edge which requires a climb to descend

Looking down on Striding Edge from the climb with the High Street range and The Pennines beyond

Looking down on Striding Edge from the climb with the High Street range and The Pennines beyond

The reward...

The reward…

The summit of Helvellyn

The summit of Helvellyn

The route of descent - looking along Swirral Edge to Catstycam

The route of descent – looking along Swirral Edge to Catstycam

Descending Swirral Edge

Descending Swirral Edge

Striding Edge and Helvellyn across Red Tarn from the steep descent from Catstycam

Striding Edge and Helvellyn across Red Tarn from the steep descent from Catstycam