The day I chose to walk up Helvelyn it was cloudy but not cold. I decide to make the accent from Glenridding (NY 38310 17012) elevation 173 m. There is a large public car park with toilet facilities. In the car park towards the top right corner is a sign for the Helvelyn path. Follow this, you come out onto a road turn left. The gradient is quiet steep. As you walk up the hill you pass a pub on the right (mental note for the return journey). Follow the road/track now, along. On your right is Glenridding Dodd and ahead to the right is Heron Pike. You will cross the river and there is a camp site to the right.
Now you enter the open hillside and begin the climb. Although at this point I was already tired from the road climb. The path is obvious ahead so follow it, it will twist around as you climb.
For the whole of this accent it climbs steadily with very few level areas to rest tired limbs.
At NY 37600 16692, the path forks. Take the left option and continue the climb. Now if you look back the views over Glenridding are fantastic (see pictures opposite). Ahead you can clearly see Helvelyn. Continue up you can two routes both come to the same points, you will come to Grisdale Brow. Here you can look down into Patterdale Common where you will.
Ahead now is Striding Edge it is clearly visible. Follow the path towards it. Below to the right of you is Red Tarn and opposite is Catstye Cam. There are two routes over Striding Edge. If you are not confident in your abilities, do not have good footwear or the weather is bad take the easy route. I am confident, reasonably fit, have experience of hill walking etc. Striding Edge can present some challenges and it would be very easy to injure yourself.
Once over Striding Edge there is a steep scramble up to the summit. Again take care especially if its wet and or misty. The route(s) up are not clear. Once on top the area is large and flat (relatively) elevation 949 m. Sit and have lunch and enjoy the spectacular scenery. On this day clouds were skimming the summit but the temperature did drop considerably when a cloud moved through. I needed to put on my fleece and light jacket, until I was into the decent part of the trip.
For the return trip I followed the Swirral Edge and Catstye Cam rout down. You will descend under Catstye Cam and come to the tip of Red Tarn and eventually back to Grisdale Brow. I in fact went left at the Tarn and followed the path down and around Birkhouse Moor. This is a much longer route. As you track around Birkhouse Moor Heron Pike the beck and a Disused Mine is on your left.
Eventually you return to start point near the camp site and then luckily you pass the pub. I stopped and sat in the garden to enjoy a nice drink. I stop a lot for rests and to take photographs. I lingered on the summit for about 30 minutes. The whole walk took about 6 hours I covered about 13 km
A fantastic walk and day, I slept well that night.