I organised this club walk and chose an old favourite and a Lakeland classic – Striding Edge is probably the most famous English ridge and scramble, offering a challenge for the novice and straightforward enjoyment for the experienced.
The steep path through Little Cove from Glenridding to Birkhouse Moor got a big chunk of the day’s ascent out of the way early on and after a refreshment stop we followed the path up to the Birkhouse Moor ridge. I turned left to claim the north top and then followed the group over the highpoint and then over the south top and extreme south top. Both of those were quite insignificant and I suspect their true summits lay on the south-east side of the wall, but I’m claiming them anyway.
From the Hole-in-the-Wall I followed the ridge directly over Bleaberry Crag and met up with the group at the point where the main path joined the ridge, just below High Spying How. I tackled the easy scramble to this Nuttall summit and wondered whether my previous logging of this top was valid – anyway, it’s definitely ticked now.
We all started along Striding Edge ridge and stuck as closely to the ridge as we could, taking in the ups and downs until we reached the “Bad Step”. A couple of the more experienced of us I guided a couple of the novices from hold to hold and we congratulated ourselves at the bottom as that marked the end of the difficulties.
The easy scramble and walk to the summit plateau was a pleasant end to the day’s ascent and we gathered at the cross-shaped shelter for a rest before taking summit photos. We carried on past the trig pillar to the top of Swirral Edge and as we descended it the cloud came in and a few spots of rain teased us with a threat of a bigger downpour. We strolled alongside Red Tarn Beck and it was just as we neared the Glenridding mine that the rain fully graced us with its presence.