Nethermost Pike

Published 15 September 2015

Sitting on rocks on Nethermost Pike

The second fell of a four fell walk taking in Helvellyn, Nethermost Pike, Dollywagon Pike and Seat Sandal.

The thing about a walk that starts by climbing the highest fell in the area is that, when push comes to shove, it’s all downhill afterwards.

But only in height above sea-level at least. For the ridge walk from Helvellyn to its smaller neighbour of Nethermost Pike is certainly no bad experience. Yes, you may need to lose a few metres in hard-gained height, however there are some stunning views.

From Helvellyn there are two options to get to Nethermost Pike. You can either follow the wide, substantial and extremely direct path between the two, or, alternatively, you can meander along the edge of the cliffs that overlook Grisedale. Not too close to the edge, of course. You don’t want to get too close because it’s a long way down there and you certainly don’t want to go rolling down the rocky crags that line the eastern side of the fell. No, stay instead a sensible distance away; close enough to admire the views, but far enough away that you won’t plummet to your death.

Striding Edge, seen from Nethermost Pike

The views are good too, for it is from here that you can admire a fine view of Striding Edge. That mighty, rocky, pointy path that is the last push for many a Helvellyn walker making their way there from Patterdale. Even the name Striding Edge is evocative, so much that broadcaster Eric Robson named his TV production company in its honour. What do you mean you’ve never heard of him? Do you not listen to Gardeners’ Question Time on Radio 4? Plus he did a load of TV programmes with one Alfred Wainwright, and I’ve bet you’ve heard of that guy, haven’t you?

But back to that view, for from the ridge Striding Edge can be seen in its glorious profile; all bobbly and pointy, and positively racing along. Yet from the path to Nethermost Pike it doesn’t look scary and sinister as it does near the summit of Helvellyn. Instead it looks almost tame and ever so gentle.

Don’t look too long though, else you’ll miss the delights of Nethermost Pike itself, with its boulder strewn summit which looks like a giant had picked up a handful of rocks and sprinkled them delicately across the landscape. Perhaps as if decorating a cupcake with sprinkles. And then there are the views off of the Far Eastern Fells; those on the other side of Patterdale, which look ever so tempting and enticing when seen from your vantage point near a cairn on the top of Nethermost Pike.

Cairn at the summit of Nethermost Pike

There’s a few cairns too, spread across this wide, open plateau. One presumably marks the summit of this hill, yet it’s all so flat that it’s almost impossible to know which. Nor, perhaps, does it really matter, but still the enthusiastic walker will visit them all in good humour, just in case.

And those that do may well marvel about how they’ve got the place to themselves. That the views here are equally as splendid as Helvellyn, but that most people just walk on buy; walking past on that ever so direct path that bypasses Nethermost Pike’s highest points, all in their rush to visit Helvellyn. Shame really, for they are missing out on something wonderful. They’re missing out on Nethermost Pike.

Next fell: Dollywagon Pike. View all 57 of my Helvellyn and More walk photos on flickr

Looking out towards the Far Eastern Fells at Nethermost Pike

Your Comments