Saturday, 1 July 2000


Helvellyn as viewed by most from Striding Edge
Height: 950m (3,117ft)
Prominence: 712m (2,336ft)
Region: Eastern Fells
Classifications: Historic County Top, Hewitt, Nuttall, Wainwright, Marilyn, Birkett
Summit feature: Large platform & trig pillar
Times climbed: 5
Related trip reports:
Helvellyn - 23/10/2016
Helvellyn via Striding Edge, Nethermost Pike & Dollywaggon Pike - 11/06/2016
Helvellyn & Catstye Cam via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge - 26/09/2015
Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike & Dollywaggon Pike - 21/02/2015
Helvellyn via Striding Edge - 09/06/2010
The wide, flat summit of Helvellyn
What Wainwright said:

"Legend and poetry, a lovely name and a lofty altitude combine to encompass Helvellyn in an aura of romance; and thousands of pilgrims, aided by its easy accessibility, are attracted to its summit every year."

Helvellyn is one of the more famous fells in the Lakes thanks to the two knife edged arĂȘtes that lead to the summit. Striding Edge and Swirral edge are very popular routes to the summit though both are notorious accident spots for hikers. Its name is a derivation of two Old Cumbric words; 'hal', meaning moor and 'velyn', meaning yellow.

Two 'Fell top assessors' climb Helvellyn daily during winter to provide up-to-date weather conditions at the summit and help people to plan their winter hillwalking and climbing routes.

The somewhat flat summit made the first British mountain-top landing of a plane possible, when John F. Leeming and Bert Hinkler successfully landed and took off again, in 1926. The event is marked by a slate which reads: "The first aeroplane to land on a mountain in Great Britain did so on this spot. On December 22nd 1926 John Leeming and Bert Hinkler in an AVRO 585 Gosport landed here and after a short stay flew back to Woodford".

The highest point of the broad summit is topped by a cairn and cross shelter. An OS trig column is located further to the north. The broad summit obscures views to some extent but a trip to the edges reveal wonderful panoramas in all directions.

Return to Lake District – Eastern Fells

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