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Apology For Absence!


#1

G8ADD/GB5MMC did not activate Helvelyn G/LD003 Friday night. Apologies to any that wasted time looking for me!

We started out from the campsite at Thirlspot (NY177317) at 1830Z with the intention of following a bridle path which is shown on the map as doing a rising traverse to Fisherplace Gill and then rising to the junction with Stakes Gill before breaking around Brown Crag to Whiteside Bank and then Helvellyn via the Lower Man. This “bridle path” starts well but rapidly peters out and totally vanishes at the top of Fisherplace Gill, so with the sun vanishing in the haze, no path to follow by headtorch, and our position too approximate to begin compass navigation it seemed only sensible to turn back. It was midnight by the time we got back, and I have never been plagued by midges so mightily! Saturday morning my face was so badly swollen that my eyes were closing and I looked like Fu Manchu!

To cap it, on awakening Saturday morning I found power lines running above the campsite and S9 noise!

I hope to try again some time, by a route that I do know, so watch this space!

73

Brian G8ADD


#2

In reply to G8ADD:

We were listening for you Brian but gave up at about the time you arrived back at the camp site because the beer had run out.

Better luck next time.
Steve GW7AAV


#3

In reply to G8ADD:

Brian

It sounds like your mountaineering club could usefully run a refresher training session on navigation and preparation.

Better luck next time.

73

Richard


#4

In reply to G8ADD:

We started out from the campsite at Thirlspot (NY177317) at 1830Z with
so with the sun vanishing in the haze, no
path to follow by headtorch, and our position too approximate to begin
compass navigation it seemed only sensible to turn back.>
To cap it, on awakening Saturday morning I found power lines running
above the campsite and S9 noise!
73

Brian G8ADD

Hi Brian

Having never been there myself, I am curious as to what the average ascent time of Helvelyn would be, just in case I ever work up to activating the “biggies” myself?

I see that you left camp at 18:30z and ended up using a head torch, presumably because it had gone dark, otherwise why would you need to use headtorches?.

I was on NW-062 on that particular evening and it was still light enough to see easily at 21:30z some three hours after you set out on your ascent.

From the above times, one would imagine that your party ascended for approximately three hours before being forced to begin your descent, a wise decision Brian, SAFETY FIRST ALWAYS.

So, purely out of curiosity, what would be the average ascent time for this summit, by those of you who have activated it in the past?

73 Mike GW0DSP


#5

In reply to GW0DSP:
My preferred route is from Wythburne Church about 2.5Miles each way. I am not a fast walker,especially ascending, and like to ‘admire the view’ at frequent intervals. This route takes me about 5 hours walking time. Thats 3 up and 2 down.

Roger G4OWG


#6

In reply to G3CWI:
Seventeen members set out at midnight by the route from NY 137324 and arrived at the summit safely, were rewarded by a wonderful sunrise, cooked an English breakfast at the summit and then descended via Nethermost and Dollywaggon Pikes.

My navigation is normally first rate, in fifty years I have never, ever, been lost - slightly displaced once or twice but never actually lost! From an uncertain location along a vanishing path, with no summits visible to take bearings from (due to foreshortening) navigation would have been by guess and by God, not something I am prepared to risk at night! Preparation is another matter, I should have known to take the OS with a pinch of salt and check to see if anyone else knew the route before committing to it - Mea culpa! Accepting the route chosen by the others, although I did not like to leave the car unattended at night in the car park, would have had us up with no trouble at all!

73

Brian G8ADD


#7

In reply to G8ADD:

This “bridle
path” starts well but rapidly peters out and totally vanishes at the
top of Fisherplace Gill…

I find that the route up Striding Edge is difficult to lose in the mist :slight_smile:

You just need your compass when you’re wandering around on the summit plateau.

73 Marc G0AZS (with tongue in cheek)


#8

In reply to GW0DSP:
Hi, Mike! Of the seventeen who set out at various times around midnight, the experienced and fit hillwalkers took about two hours. Several were climbers of the climbing wall generation, “crag rats”, and they took nearer three hours.

My chosen route was much longer but with relatively short steep bits, since my pack had the rig, antennas, atu, 2m linear and two gel cells in it. It still looks a good route but only for daylight ascents!

Incidentally, my preferred route is via the rising traverse above Grisedale taking in Striding Edge (which is actually very easy) and this takes about three hours. Not sure I’d come down the scramble at Swirral edge carrying SOTA gear, though!

It got dark a bit sooner than I expected; the sun set into a dense bank of mist that formed over the Keswick Valley, but it was a lovely experience (other than the ruddy midges!)

73

Brian G8ADD


#9

My favourite route starts at Dunmail Raise, and follows Raise Beck up to Seat Sandal. Probably about two hours, leisurely. After activating LD-022, down to Grisedale Tarn then up to Dollywaggon Pike and along to Helvellyn. Probably another two hours, still leisurely. After activating LD-003, down the Wythburn path and back along to Dunmail Raise - 90 minutes or so. The full circular walk and two SOTA activations comfortably fits into a nice 8 hour walking day, and could be done much faster I’m sure.