Helvellyn via Brown Cove (16.08.2013)  3

Written by hmsv1 (Hannah Vickers) GSM

Start point Swirls car park
Characteristic Hillwalk
Duration 3h 30min
Distance 7.0km
Ascents Helvellyn (950m) 16.08.2013
Helvellyn - Lower Man (925m) 16.08.2013

After a looooong week at a conference in Lancaster I finally got to meet up with my friend Sue in the Lake District. Nice to have a friend with transport too :-) We didn't have a plan when we met up in Penrith but finally decided to try a scrambling route on Brown Cove crag instead of taking one of the normal paths up Helvellyn. Looked like we would be fairly lucky with the weather, even though it looked still pretty dull and cloudy when we drove along the A66 towards Keswick.

Anyway, we started from the Swirls car park by Thirlmere and followed the footpath up towards Brown cove. The scrambling guide said we ought to take off from the path at a broken wall, but since we had not seen any wall at all on the way up it seemed a bit confusing. We walked in toward the cove when it looked like we were more or less at the foot of the crag and headed for the Central Buttress route which was in fact a lot broader than I was expecting. According to the guidebook it was supposed to be a grade 3 route, but we thought it could be potentially easier than that. At least I was hoping it would be easier since the rock was pretty slippery and not nice to scramble on. Not surprising after all the rain which had come in the previous two days though.

Top of Helvellyn
Top of Helvellyn
Sue on the way back down. Thirlmere at the bottom
Sue on the way back down. Thirlmere at the bottom

Sue, who seemed to be in a more enthusiastic mood than me, went ahead while I was fussing about with my clothing system (apparently I was looking 'very pink' today, but I don't know if that was supposed to be a complimentary remark or not). There were some nice slabs to scramble up here and there, but in general I didn't think it was the most enjoyable route I have scrambled in the Lakes. I guess it would have been more fun if it had been drier though. Seemed like we ended up on top of Helvellyn in virtually no time at all. Took some shelter from the wind with some other folk while we had some lunch, then headed back down the path to the car again.

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