Sponsored dog walk (4) – Helvellyn, part 1: We did it in what time?

The day had arrived! Forecast was a mix of showers and sun with a bitter -1 at the summit. After a short introduction to meet our fellow walkers, chat quickly turned to the weather and reassuringly everyone was well equipped with waterproofs, woollies, first aid kits, torches plus we had enough food to stay up there for at least a week, ha! A guide (me) and a first aider were appointed, a quick photo shoot then we were off.

Feeling fresh and ready to begin.

We’re all leisurely dog walkers not seasoned mountaineers so the route chosen was the gentler of a few options and definitely no scrambling. Perfect for us and the dogs.

Lilly, a dog rescued in Bosnia, enjoying the tree lined forest track.
Cascading waterfalls tumbled down the hillside.
Thirlmere Reservoir with its surrounding woodland enticed us into the hills.

Plenty of chatter and good spirits made for a relaxed atmosphere. But then, we all knew once we took our first turn it was ‘the turn’ before the real ascent begin.

This left turn looked steep from the onset; I knew we had only just started, surely it doesn’t stay like this?
Time for a quick snap while we wait for the others.
The track traversed across the hillside and wound its way up among the autumnal ferns.

12:15pm and our first snack stop. We had been walking for 2 hours and only quarter of the way. At least the slower pace meant I was feeling good for now.

Lunch was at 1pm and met with a huge sigh of relief by… well everyone. Three Buzzards were flying above they must have seen us withering away, ha! Sandwiches for us while the dogs were treated to mini pork pies.

Still going up the track turned into lush green open moorland, steep in parts as it wound its way to a rocky outcrop.
Zara the Saint Bernard with Thirlmere Reservoir in the background. There’s just something so right about a dog being on terrain they’re built for. Oh, my heart!

The group split on this busier section with many other walkers coming towards us. We noticed their woolly hats and gloves. When we asked what we had coming to us, windy and cold was the consensus but and I quote ”the track is much gentler, and you’ll be at the top in an hour” one person cheerily confirmed. Little did they know by this time we had already been out for 4 hours, and we still hadn’t reached half-way.

We regrouped, snacked and rested when we could.
Jaffa the Collie patiently waiting while…
…Kita moans: ”Really Mam, must you take more photos?”

By now some were feeling the effort and angst to ‘get there’ but everyone was in agreement to keep picking our way up. It was about 20 minutes later I finally got to shout ‘we’re half way’, phew!

Jacqui x

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