Return to Swirral Edge
Sandwiched between planting thousands of trees on Eskdale common in tandem with our forestry colleagues we are preparing for the crucial phase of getting stone to two upland repair sites ready for another season of path work.
Yewbarrow is our Wasdale job for the summer
We have already filled 102 bags for the route up through overbeck gully high among the crags and it will be quite a challenge for the helicopter pilot to deposit them while avoiding clipping his rotor blades on nearby rock (the sense of potential danger can be quite exhilarating)
The task is to create a new route crossing overbeck gully rather than simply following it and we hope the pleasant south-west facing aspect will allow our planned landscaping to green up fairly quickly, and disguise the unsightly man-made ravine.
It's quite a change to be on the other side of wasdale looking towards the scafell massif. From this distance the brown tongue route doesn't look all that bad.
The view from Great Door to Mickledore:
The other site we are focussing on jointly with the south lakes team is the now famous Swirral edge route to the summit of Helvellyn. After the well documented lucky escape of a child who fell from the ridge during the winter most people should be well aware how potentially lethal this route can be.
We are therefore continuing on from the route definition work we did last september with 40 bags of stone which will be flown from the thirlmere side of Helvellyn onto the ridge (again a tricky prospect for the pilot) to hopefully block the dangerous side routes which are hazardously littered with unstable scree.
The solid bedrock here is far safer than the alternative side routes (although in winter the ridge is out of bounds to those who are unprepared for ice and snow).
We will be using the stone flown in to funnel people along the central line while making sure it doesn't look like an artificial corridor by carefully arranging the stone in naturalistic fashion to create the effect of a natural boulder field (a sort of extreme rockery 2500 ft up)
Here we have already emphasised the safe ridge route by smoothing and widening the path.
Looking up the ridge in this view, stone will be distributed on the left side to emphasise the safer line.
The two teams will be working interchangeably, with those based furthur to the west concentratimg on yewbarrow to keep travel costs down as much as possible. Flying of the bags will hopefully begin in the week starting April 15th