Joined by Megan from Bristol, who was very keen to try out Striding Edge. We began our ascent in Patterdale, walked along Grisedale for a short way before the ascent to 'Hole in the Wall' and the beginning of Striding Edge. The day started wet and windy, but forecasts suggested this would abate. We wrapped up warm and pressed on.
By the time we arrived at Striding Edge, the clouds were already lifting markedly, and the rain had indeed stopped :-)
Even the wind was being kind, it had subsided from 'blow us over' gale force, to 'a bit wobbly' gale force!! This allowed us to enjoy the crest of Striding Edge for more of the time, only ducking to one side when the breeze picked up again.
There's a small patch of avoidable snow on the final ascent to the summit of Helvellyn, but no need for technical equipment (although I had brought along an ice axe just in case). A quick rest and refuel at the summit before beginning our descend via Nethermost Pike and Dollywagon Pike. By now the clouds had lifted above the summits and the glorious Lake District was showing itself off in style.
It was during the traverse of the plateau that the wind really made it's presence felt. Despite the wind being Southerly, it was jolly cold, even with gloves on my hands were unwilling to cooperate for much of the time and I think Megan was feeling the same. Surprisingly this strong wind stayed with us until well below Grisedale Tarn, then suddenly it stopped and all was warm and pleasant. Hats, gloves, coats could all come off, sunglasses on (had we remembered them that is) and sunscreen on. Grisedale was looking glorious and had reminded me of just how beautiful the Lake District is.
Thanks Megan for good company today, hope you enjoy the rest of your hols.