Helm Crag from Grasmere

Helm Crag from GrasmereThe walk up Helm Crag from Grasmere is a great ramble from one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Lakes. It is straightforward to climb, not high and easily accessible from Grasmere. With no alternative route back most people retrace their steps to the village. There is something slightly unsatisfying in following the same route back, so why not extend the walk along the gracefully curving ridge that starts at Helm Crag, over Gibson Knott to Calf Crag near the head of Far Easedale? All three peaks are Wainwrights, and the journey back is an enjoyable trek down a surprisingly wild Far Easdale. The summit area of Helm Crag, often known as the Lion and the Lamb, is memorable. It is a tilted, jagged mass of rock with the highest point exceptionally tricky to reach (Wainwright himself never made it) as it is atop a six metre slab of rock which requires some careful scrambling. The enticing ridge lies ahead, continuing to the north-west over Gibson Knott, the highest of the several bumps and knobs that form the crest of the mile-long ridge. From the summit the view contrasts with smooth slopes towering above the Grasmere to Keswick road and the serrated skyline across Far Easdale. The ridge continues pleasantly undulating, skirting the head of the prominent and craggy Pike of Carrs, and onto the cairn on Calf Crag. From here there is a beautiful view of the Vale of Grasmere. The route turns left following the well-trod and maintained path into the sparse but far from dull landscape of Far Easedale. The trail from Easedale Tarn, on the popular circuit via Sour Milk Gill, joins the route down to Stythwaite Steps, now a footbridge and just a couple of miles from Grasmere.