Helvellyn Challenge via Striding Edge & Swirral Edge

Cost £30pp (based on a party of 8).

Helvellyn via Striding Edge and Swirral Edge

This is a single days walk, taking in the summit of Helvellyn (950m) after ascending the famous ridge of Striding Edge and then descending the equally steep ridge of Swirral Edge. This route forms a horse shoe around Red Tarn

Accomodation and transport to and from the mountain can be arranged upon request at an additional cost.

This is a fantastic day’s walk over some challenging terrain. You will be accompanied by a fully qualified and experienced mountain guide who will be able to offer you support, back up ropes (if required) and reassurance as you move over this steep, challenging ground. 

Even though the terrain is steep it is a route that is achievable by most people with the help of a guide. 

  • The route starts off at Greenside mine next to the Helvellyn Youth Hostel.  Accomodation and transport to and from the mountain can be arranged upon request at an additional cost.
  • From Greenside Mine the route crosses Greenside Beck and heads west up the valley.  Crossing Red Tarn Beck the route heads south, climbing steeply up to Red Tarn.  After a short rest here we head to the ‘Hole in the wall’ and the start of the Striding Edge ridge. 
  • A careful traverse of the ridge and a steep final climb sees us on the summit of Helvellyn, the 3rd highest mountain in the Lake District at 950m.
  • From the summit we can descend via Swirral Edge.  This can be a little tricky, but can be safely done with care.  There is an option to take in the summit of Catstye Cam after Swirral Edge.
  • The route then descends back to Red Tarn and down to the valley and Greenside mine.

Total Distance 8km and 610m of ascent.   Time 5 to 6 hours.

  • Experienced and qualified mountain guides walking with the group in a maximum ratio of 1 to 8.
  • The guides will carry first aid kits, group shelters, confidence rope and radios.
  • Food and drink for the walk –sandwiches, high energy food such as snack bars, chocolate, sweets, fruit, flapjack and water (both bottled and for hydration systems).
  • Trekking poles if required and head torches –at certain times of the year.
  • A CD of Photographs taken during the event by the guide, giving you a record of your challenge.


Helvellyn is the 3rd highest mountain in the Lake District. The terrain is rocky and the weather can be very challenging.  We have to allow for extremes of weather and you really must make sure you turn up for the event with the following:

  • You need to have a reasonable level of fitness and stamina to attempt this event.  If you are unused to physical activity if is really important that you build up to the event with a training schedule. Mountain Events can provide you with training events or assistance in putting together a training programme for the challenge.
  • Footwear: boots are best and make sure they are waterproof.  Walking with wet socks will quickly soften and blister your feet.
  • Waterproof breathable jacket with a hood.  In heavy rain the hood is vital.
  • Waterproof breathable over-trousers (not just walking trousers).   Wearing shorts does not absolve you from having waterproof over-trousers. 
  • Warm hat and warm gloves.  Ski type are best.  Woollen gloves don’t stop the wind.  Waterproof gloves are best.
  • Have clothing you can layer.  Thin thermal or a tee-shirt then a fleece.  Cotton is a no-no on the hill.  When it gets wet it is heavy, will not dry out and sucks heat away from your body.  Synthetic fibres are much better. 
  • For the hot days – a sunhat to cover your ears and neck and nose, sunscreen (at least factor 30).
  • Water bottle or hydration system eg platypus, to carry at least 1 litre.  You have to carry all your water for the five to six hours hours of walking.
  • Food – we will provide this, along with water, given out at the start of the day.   You will be expected to carry spare food (provided by us).
  • A rucksack large enough to carry it all in but not a massive expedition bag.  Your bag will leak if it rains, so put a plastic rubble sack inside your bag and put everything in this.
  • First aid kit – we will carry this but you will be expected to have plasters for blisters (Compeed are best).
  • We can supply trekking poles if you want them. 
  • We will also supply head torches for emergency use, given out at certain times of the year. 

Clearly if it is a hot summer’s day we can re-evaluate the kit we will ask you to carry but please have it in your rucksack at the start.  The guides will make the decision as to what is needed based on their experience.

If you have any questions at all please let us know.  

What we will provide

Mountain Events Ltd. will provide trained, experienced instructors and leaders in a ratio appropriate to the group. We will provide any specialist equipment necessary for the activity. Drinks and food will be provided where specified. Details of all necessary clothing, footwear and equipment will be provided.

What you need

Your party needs to get to the agreed meeting point. All members of your group need to bring appropriate clothing, footwear, a change of clothing and a backpack to carry them in.

Confirmation of Booking and Payment

You confirm you’re booking by sending us a completed Booking Form and your deposit of 50% with the balance made 4 weeks prior to the event. If you are booking an event with less than 4 weeks’ notice then full payment is required. No contract is made until we acknowledge receipt of the Booking Form and payment.


If we cancel your activities through no fault of yours we will make a full refund or organise an alternative date.
Should you, or any of your group, be forced to cancel your booking, you must do so in writing. A cancellation will take effect from the date that written notice is received by us. Cancellation more than 28 days before the activity may result in a 20% administration fee being retained. We reserve the right to make no refund for a cancellation made within 28 days of the activity. If the reason for cancellation is covered under the terms of any holiday insurance policy you may be able to reclaim these charges from your insurer.

Conduct of Clients

Outdoor activities can be hazardous and it is important that all participants abide by any safety requirements that Mountain Events Ltd, or its representatives may consider advisable. Mountain Events Ltd. reserve the right to change, limit or cancel activities due to weather or to clients’ ability, equipment, behaviour or physical condition. In these circumstances we will try to offer an alternative but no refund can be given.

Participation Statement

Your acknowledgement of risk: All our activities take place in "the wild environment" and there are always risks in these places. These may be from rough terrain, weather, water, equipment, other people, or wildlife. You must accept that your actions will contribute to the level of your safety and that of our group.


Mountain Events Ltd. carry full public liability insurance, but we recommend you take out appropriate personal accident and cancellation insurance for your activity/course. If you already have insurance, please check it covers you for the activities you will be undertaking with Mountain Events Ltd.

Health, Fitness and Medical

You must have a level of fitness appropriate to the course or activity, which you are booking. You must inform us at the time of booking, or as soon as the case arises of any medical or non-medical conditions that might affect you or any other participant's safety and enjoyment. If you do not declare medical conditions on the booking form relevant to the course or activity being undertaken, we reserve the right to refuse your participation in the activity. All medical details will be treated in confidence.


All courses and activities take place in the mountain environment where the effect of the weather can be particularly severe, even during the summer. The weather can limit what we are able to do, and client safety is our first consideration. There may be occasions where we are unable to complete a planned course or activity due to the prevailing weather. In these circumstances we will try to offer an alternative but no refund can be given.


Children (persons under 18) may only take part in activities with Mountain Events Ltd, when accompanied by their parents or legal guardian. These booking conditions are a contract between you and Mountain Events Ltd. They shall be governed by and construed in accordance with English law, being subject to the jurisdiction of the Courts of England and Wales. No variation shall be of any effect unless in writing and by the authority of Mountain Events Ltd.

Overdue Accounts

Mountains Events Ltd terms are 28 days from the date of invoice. Overdue accounts will then be charged 5% per week on all money owed.