Catstycam and Red Tarn Walk March 2013

Frozen Red Tarn and Helvellyn

Morgan views Helvellyn and Red Tarn

A Walk up to Red Tarn and Catstycam by Helvellyn in the Snow March 2013

Well after some more fresh snow at the weekend and with a forecast of sunshine and clear skies first thing it seemed rude not to head up high yesterday, especially after 2 days stuck inside painting and decorating our Lake District Cottages. So here are some photos from the walk from Patterdale, up the Grisedale Valley to Hole in the Wall, to Red Tarn, up Catstycam, back to Red Tarn and then down to Glenridding. As always please feel free to ignore the words and just scroll down and enjoy the pictures!

View of Helvellyn from Patterdale

View towards Helvellyn from Patterdale 08:00

Following my last solo Snow walk up Helvellyn in November I thought  ought to get some company for this walk (other than Morgan of course), especially as the fell top assessors had said there was lots of compacted snow and ice up top. So Tuesday night was spent on the phone persuading Mountain Man Mike, Professor Chris & Morgan’s mate Scruffy to don their boots (well not Scruffy of course) and head on up. I agreed to meet Chris just below Lanty’s tarn at 09:00 and Mike at Red Tarn a little later. All set then…

View up Grisedale Valley

Up the Grisedale Valley

Having been woken by my son at 06:00 I decided I couldn’t be bothered to wait around. The sun was shining and the clock was ticking. I also of course was fully aware that I am by far the slowest walker of all time so I figured I’d get a head start and Chris could catch me up. So at 08:00 Morgan and I set off. Great views on the way up Grisedale and plenty of opportunities for some Morgan path posing…..

Path to Hole in the Wall

Morgan Path Posing on the way to Hole in the wall

Path to Hole in the Wall

And yet more Path Posing

Path to Hole in the Wall

And on his first patch of snow – loving the blue skies!

Snow Path to Hole in the Wall

Full on Snow Path towards the top

Place Fell and Patterdale

View back to Place Fell and Patterdale

The skies were truly wonderful – a deep blue and virtually cloud free. For once Morgan (well me) made good time and got to Hole in the Wall having donned my Micro Spikes for the last 100 metres or so. with the climb and the sunshine it was nice and hot on the way up and I dreaded arriving and having to heave Morgan over the style. I needn’t have worried – several months of accumulated snow meant the usual 5 foot of steps was now somewhat easier…

Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall

I called Chris and agreed to wait for him and Scruffy. I figured I could spend a while catching some rays and enjoying the views, but hadn’t reckoned on the biting wind. Time to don hat, gloves and coat, and for Morgan to do some rehydrating…

Morgan and Helvellyn

Morgan rehydrates with Helvellyn as a backdrop

With some time to kill I took a few pictures as you do…

Helvellyn, Catstycam and Striding Edge from Hole in the Wall

Helvellyn, Catstycam and Striding Edge from Hole in the Wall

Hole in the Wall looking north east

Hole in the Wall looking north east

Morgan and Helvellyn

Morgan awaits his mate

View to Ullswater from Hole in the Wall

Looking towards Ullswater

Hole in the Wall Panorama

Hole in the Wall Panorama

Snow covered Lake District Fells

Snow Covered Mountains Everywhere

Eventually we spotted Chris and Scruffy coming up the path. Morgan’s eyesight isn’t quite what it should be so he was a little unsure who it was we were waiting for and adopted the “who’s that” pose. Still not a bad backdrop view to be getting on with….

Morgan at Hole in the Wall

Morgan Awaits..

When Chris and Scruffy arrived naturally Morgan was very pleased to see them, and Chris was keen to show off his trendy Kathmandu shades. So here they are…

Chris and Scruffy

Chris and Scruffy. Chris is the one in the shades….

We then headed to Red Tarn to await the arrival of Mountain Man Mike, who’d driven up to Greenside Mine and was currently sprinting up the Greenside path at a rate of knots having started about 3 hours after everyone else as usual. So once we arrived at Red Tarn it was time for a few more photos…

Hevlellyn and Red Tarn in the Snow

Helvellyn and a Frozen Red Tarn

Morgan on Frozen Red Tarn

Morgan explores the Red Tarn Ice

Mike Arrival

Mountain Man Mike arrives

Mike arrived sooner than expected to be greeted by raptures of joy by both the hounds. Why this is remains a mystery to Chris and I, especially as Mike never shares his lunch with the dogs on the hill – unlike their faithful and loving masters….

Red Tarn and Striding Edge

Coffee Break by Red Tarn with Striding Edge behind

While enjoying a quick tab and coffee break (tabs for me only of course) I took a few more hound photos…

Scruffy the Labradoodle

Scruffy the Labradoodle

Morgan's Comedy Tongue

Morgan’s Comedy Tongue

We hadn’t actually decided where we were headed next but a quick equipment check showed that between us, with the exception of Chris, we were hardly equipped for ice climbing up the face of Helvellyn. One ice axe, some micro-spikes, a couple of walking poles, 2 scotch eggs, a cheese and pickle sandwich, 2 mad dogs and 20 Marlboro Lights. Catstycam it is then….

Helvellyn, Red Tarn and Striding Edge

Helvellyn, Red Tarn and Striding Edge

Morgan on the path up to Swirral Edge

Morgan on the path up to Swirral Edge

As we headed up Swirral to join the path for Catstycam the sun disappeared and it got a little on the cold side. Time to get a shift on…

Mike on Swirral

Wot no sun??

One positive was some pretty good views looking north, where we could see all the way to Scotland, including the lovely (sic!) wind turbines…

Looking North

Looking North…

Skiddaw from Catstycam

Skiddaw from Catstycam

The path up was not too bad – a bit of snow but nothing too serious. It was enough however for Mountain Man Mike to don some micro-spikes – unusual for a man who’d happily go walking in his slippers..

Anyway we made good time and Morgan and Scruffy raced ahead to check the summit and all seemed good..

Catsytcam Summit in the Snow

Catstycam Summit

Once up top the views, despite the cloud, were still pretty good…

Looking south across Striding Edge to Morecambe Bay

Looking south across Striding Edge to Morecambe Bay

And zoomed in on Morecambe Bay

And zoomed in on Morecambe Bay

Looking East towards Ullswater

Looking East towards Ullswater

Scruffy shows off his Ice Beard...

Scruffy shows off his Ice Beard…

I also took the chance of a bit of zoom lens people spotting….

Lone walker on Helvellyn Lower Man

Lone walker on Helvellyn Lower Man

Man with Ice Axe on Helvellyn

Man with Ice Axe on Helvellyn

Man on Helvellyn Snow Gulley

Man on Helvellyn Snow Gulley – rather him than me..

Photos done it was too cold to hang around – time to head home..

Descending from Catstycam towards Swirral Edge

Descending from Catstycam towards Swirral Edge

And that’s about it – a pleasant walk down to Glenridding via Greenside and the day was done…

Greenside Beck

Greenside Beck

Yet another grand day out in the Lake District….

For more pictures of our adventures in the Lake District around Ullswater, Patterdale and Helvellyn, please follow Helvellyn on Twitter. You can also follow Ullswater on Facebook and Helvellyn on Facebook. If you want to come and stay in the Lake District why not choose one of our pet friendly Ullswater Cottages. You can also stay with Mike at his Luxury Ullswater B&B. Chris is currently between jobs, so if you’re looking for a highly experienced and hardworking hotel manager in the Lake District then please get in touch.


My mate Morgan

My mate Morgan

Morgan's mate Scruffy

Morgan’s mate Scruffy

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9 Responses to Catstycam and Red Tarn Walk March 2013

  1. Angie Hunt says:

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading this blog, and pictures are wonderful too, cant wait to get back to the Lakes!

    • Janet Howard says:

      Also thoroughly enjoyed! Thanks for taking the trouble – really loved seeing your two lovely dogs and the interesting snowy terrain. In the lakes next week and looking forward to it even more now!

  2. Great stuff Helvellyn,
    Hello from California, We will be in Glenridding first part of October. Fell in love with the area a couple of years ago while walking Coast to Coast. Chuck and Betsy

    • helvellyn says:

      Hi Chuck and Betsy

      Many thanks for the comment. Glad you like the area – obviously we’re biased because we live here but for us it’s the best part of the Lake District! Have a great trip and keep an eye out for Morgan when you’re here! All the best!

  3. Adam says:

    Hi, awesome blog! Just wanted to ask, on the picture of Helvellyn from Patterdale (first picture), which one is the peak of Helvellyn? Was exactly there today and would love to know. Many thanks, Adam

    • helvellyn says:

      Hi Adam. If you mean the 08:00 shot you can’t actually see Helvellyn in it. Helvellyn is hidden behing Striding Edge, which is the first fell just on the right of the picture. To see Helvellyn from Patterdale (“ground level”) you need to head a littel way up Place Fell behind Side Farm and you’ll see the summit again poking out over Striding Edge..

  4. Adam says:

    Hi, thanks so much for getting back to me! Very interesting and useful to know. Is Striding Edge the one on the very right hand side (with not very much snow) or the next rock face along? Love the pictures btw, wish I did it this week with the snow!

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