BB1531 : Upstaged By A Three Year Old

Wednesday 26th August 2015

What more can I write when a three year old toddler beats us up the mountain?

The toddler was on no tiddler either; the target was Helvellyn.  We thought time might be short and we knew that vicious winds would feature plus the possibility of rain, so we took the easy route and parked at the top of Dunmail Raise.

Raise Beck from  Dunmail Raise.....

.... and on the climb

As we climbed up to Grisedale Tarn, Raise Beck was very full and angry from the recent deluges.  The wind was buffeting.  What a lovely summer.

Water rushes across in front of Tony and .....

..... races down Raise Beck

After a brief noon-time coffee stop, almost out of the wind, to keep Tony functioning (it had been a late start) we took the tourist path up to Dollywagon Pike.

Fairfield across Grisedale Tarn

On the Tourist Path, Seat Sandal behind

Although the clouds were heavy and fast moving, visibility was good.  Tempting though it was to look over the eastern edge of the hill down to Grisedale and beyond, caution suggested otherwise.

Similarly we climbed Nethermost Pike where we could see a few brave (foolhardy?) folk making their way along Striding Edge.  

Perhaps the wind was somewhat spent by the time it reached them but there is no way I would have countenanced being on the Edge today.

Shortly afterwards we saw a family group who had come up from Wythburn. Father, mother and two sons, aged 6 and 3.  I should stress that all were walking.  No parental piggy backs.

People on Striding Edge

Beaten to the summit by the kids

The summit shelter was quite busy and the two quadrants in the lee from the now viscous wind were occupied.  Mike lost his sitting pad, blown down to Patterdale and A N Other lost his sandwich, similarly.

Comitibus : Helvellyn summit

Swirral Edge and Cofa Pike to the left, Red Tarn in the middle, Striding Edge to the right

We met the family again as we descended the Comb Gill route to Wythburn. The 3 year old was now being carried.  Not surprising really given that not only had he just climbed an English Monro, he had done 8 similar miles the previous day!  Respect.

The winding way down to Wythburn

We didn’t need to drop quite down to Thirlmere as there is a track then path that runs above the road, providing a good view of the Howitzer, and led us back to the cars.  

Found: one lunch box with butties.  Or is it...?

The Howitzer

Just before reaching the road, I took a minor detour to see if I could find the cairn that is marked on the OS map that I took to be the possible last resting place of King Domnhail (see BB1415).  In the heavy bracken I did find a pile of stones but whether that is what is was or merely a collapsed sheep pen, I can’t say.

The day ended in the Badger Bar, undertaking the one exercise in which we were fairly confident we would be able to beat the three year old should he make an appearance.

Don, 26th August 2015


I have since discovered that the King Domnhail's cairn is in the grassy "island" in the middle of the dual carriageway.  Next time..........!




Wednesday 26th August 2015

Distance in miles:


Height climbed in feet:



Dollywagon Pike, Nethermost Pike, Helvellyn


Bryan, Don, John Hn, Martin, Mike Terry, Tony,

BOOTboys routes are put online in gpx format which should work with most mapping software. You can follow our route in detail by downloading bb1531 .

To discover which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing - although it may not be that up to date - or for the totals of the mileages and heights (ditto) see the Excel file: BB Log.

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To see which Wainwright top was visited on which BB outing see Which Wainwright When? This may or may not be up to date!

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BOOTboys 2015



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