Had yet another glorious day on Helvellyn today. I went up from Greenside to the old dam at the bottom of Keppel Cove, then on round to the left into the head of Brown Cove. From here a snow gully leads up the back of the cove, bringing you out on the col between Helvellyn and Lower Man. Today, despite the lack of snow elsewhere, this ribbin of snow was a real stairway to heaven. The climb up the gully is easy most of the time – about winter Grade I, but today a little bank of snow, about 20m high, had formed into a steep wall, giving a single pitch of about winter Grade II. Exciting to solo, so far above the valley floor.

Here are the photos from the day. Enjoy!

Blue skies all the way above Greenside.
Blue skies all the way above Greenside.
Yours truly on the walk up from Greenside this morning.
Yours truly on the walk up from Greenside this morning.
A shameless selfie!
A shameless selfie!
The Stairway to Helvellyn, the snow gully leading to the low point on the ridge at the head of Brown Cove
The Stairway to Helvellyn, the snow gully leading to the low point on the ridge at the head of Brown Cove
Me testing the snow before starting up the gully
Me testing the snow before starting up the gully
The steep section of snow up on the left gave the only minor difficulty on the entire gully route
The steep section of snow up on the left gave the only minor difficulty on the entire gully route
Me just before tackling the steep snow slope
Me just before tackling the steep snow slope
Looking across to Lower Man, my footprints in the snow clearly visible coming up out of the gully
Looking across to Lower Man, my footprints in the snow clearly visible coming up out of the gully
The view across to Catstycam on the way up to the top of Swirral Edge today
The view across to Catstycam on the way up to the top of Swirral Edge today
The steep ground at the exit to Swirral Edge. This is the bit I keep banging on about  in my report, saying people need crampons to tackle.
The steep ground at the exit to Swirral Edge. This is the bit I keep banging on about in my report, saying people need crampons to tackle.
Looking back up Swirral Edge, with Helvellyn's summit off to the left
Looking back up Swirral Edge, with Helvellyn’s summit off to the left
And finally, the view from Swirral Edge across Brown Cove to Lower Man. My gully goes from lower right to top left.
And finally, the view from Swirral Edge across Brown Cove to Lower Man. My gully goes from lower right to top left.

 

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