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Well, we got to the summit…


..but it was quite a slog. Can’t really call it a ride when you spend as much time pushing as we did!
Left Patterdale at about 10am, at the summit cairn for 12:30.

Went up via Grisedale

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and we were pushing as soon as we reached the head of the valley.

And the pushing kept on and on, up past Grisedale Tarn

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The climb up to Dollywagon is about 300m, and it’s time to put bikes on backs – you can’t push a bike up those rocky steps. We’re into the cloudline now, rain replaced by a pervasive dampness.

Once on top the Herdwick sheep are impressed by our bike handling (literally) skills!

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In the mist it’s like being on the moon as we head along the ridge through the lunar landscape.

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We’re expecting great things. All that effort deposited in the gravity bank – it’ll be worth a fortune!
We begin to make a withdrawal – things are looking up, we’re beginning to enjoy ourselves!
The enjoyment is shortlived though, Gordon (..the Geko, my GPS) is frantically pointing at right-angles to our path. Shaman can’t hear me shouting – he’s having too much fun! A moment later we’re below the cloud and Thirlmere comes into view – that’s not right. I bellow louder and he comes sliding to a halt. Gordon is pointing at a steep cliff that drops off to the side – I think we’ve come down the wrong rib. Turn the bikes round and back up we go, looking for a path off.
We find it quite quickly..

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and it puts a smile back on our faces, for a while.

We carry on over Raise to Sticks Pass, and the terrain begins to change…

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The rockiness disappearsm and is replaced by tussocky grass and a path that soon seems to vanish in the mist. We’re not lost just not sure where we are or the best way to make progress.

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This landscape is like being at home in the Industrial Fells!

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Eventually we hit the downhill. All that investment! Unfortunately there’s been a stock market crash and the bank has gone under – our investment is very poorly rewarded.
A faint track over flattened rushes and through deep sphagnum moss leads us down the hill. A rather damp and disappointing end to Helvellyn.

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So that’s the Helvellyn ridge then. A lot of carrying and a disappointing descent. We won’t be back.