Saturday, 1 July 2000

Catstye Cam

Catstye Cam with its winter covering
Height: 890m (2,920ft)
Prominence: 63m (207ft)
Region: Eastern Fells
Classifications: Nuttall, Hewitt, Wainwright, Birkett
Summit feature: Small cairn
Times climbed: 2
Related trip report:
Catstye Cam (Winter Skills Course) - 22/01/2016
Helvellyn & Catstye Cam via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge - 26/09/2015
The summit looking back to Swirral Edge
What Wainwright said:

"If Catstyecam stood alone, remote from its fellows, it would be one of the finest peaks in Lakeland. It has nearly, but not quite, the perfect mountain form, with true simplicity in its soaring lines, and a small pointed top, a real summit, that falls away on all sides".

From the summit plateau of Helvellyn a rough slope drops to the start of Swirral Edge, and this narrow ridge curves gracefully down and then back up over half a mile, terminating at Catstye Cam.

Taking on the classic mountain shape of a pyramid, Catstye Cam draws the eye in any view where the overtopping bulk of Helvellyn is hidden behind.

The name of the fell is also given as 'Catstycam', a spelling preferred by Alfred Wainwright. A third variant, 'Catchedicam', is also quoted by him. Other guidebooks such as Collins Landranger and Birkett follow Wainwright with 'Catstycam', although the maps of the Ordnance Survey always use 'Catstye Cam'.

The summit of Catstye Cam is small and neat, bearing only a tiny cairn. The view is extensive and even the looming Helvellyn only adds to the drama by showing its eastern face in close detail.

Return to Lake District – Eastern Fells