May 16th 2013
I was looking forward to this walk up Catstye Cam, it is one of the most recognizable fells and can be seen poking up beside Helvellyn from many angles.
I took the terrace route along the lower slopes of Birkhouse Moor and high above Glenridding Beck. I decided on this route as I find the Greenside Road a little bit tedious, whilst with this path the height is gained early on then giving a level walk with open views.
Most first views of Catstye Cam have the bulk of Helvellyn close by to take your eye, however from this direction you get the full majesty of the rugged north face. My walk up until now had been solitary this was about to change, as I caught up and overtook a group of 30 teenagers who were spread out depending on their fitness from Red Tarn almost down to Glenridding Beck.
After stopping to speak with some of the group, I found out they were from disadvantaged families on a short break staying at the YHA on Greenside Rd and were enroute to Swirral Edge with their guides.
Leaving them behind (but not the sound of their voices) I carried on up past Red Tarn then the short climb up onto Swirral Edge before turning right for the short steepish climb to the summit. The views from the top are magnificent, so much so, I have used the summit photo for "Walking the Lakes" cover picture.
After a short stay on the summit I decided to head down for a lunch break at Red Tarn with glorious views of Helvellyn and Striding Edge. It wasn't to be a peaceful break as I could still hear the group of children as they made their way up Swirral Edge the sound magnified by the huge amphitheatre of Helvellyn and it's two edges.
Next destination Birkhouse Moor with beautiful views back to Helvellyn and forwards to Ullswater and it's all downhill from here.
Final stop was at the Travellers Rest for a much needed pint of Thatchers Gold.
2 Wainwright's completed - 25 in total.
Catstye Cam - 890 metres
Birkhouse Moor - 718 metres.
Ullswater from Catstye Cam summit