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Dollywaggon Pike



© Callum Black

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Height: 858m (2,815ft) GPS: NY 34629 13063 Walking Routes

Dollywaggon Pike is a fell in the English Lake District and stands on the main spine of the Helvellyn range in the Eastern Fells, between Thirlmere and the Ullswater

The Helvellyn range runs broadly north-south for about 7 miles, remaining above 2,000 ft (600 m) throughout its length. Dollywaggon Pike is the southernmost fell of the ridge proper, with Nethermost Pike immediately to the north. There is a subsidiary top between Nethermost and Dollywaggon Pikes named High Crag (2,900 ft).

To the south of Dollywaggon Pike is the complex depression containing Grisedale Tarn, with Seat Sandal and Fairfield rising beyond.

In common with much of the Helvellyn range there is a marked contrast between the western and eastern slopes of Dollywaggon Pike. To the west, uninteresting grass slopes descend to Dunmail Raise almost unrelieved by rock and scarred only by the wide ston
ey track gouged across the breast of the fell by the boots of generations of pilgrims to Helvellyn. But the eastern side is a desolation of crag and boulder and scree.

The western flank is named Willie Wife Moor for reasons lost to antiquity. It is bounded by Birkside Gill to the north and Raise Beck to the south, Reggle Knott being the only area of rough ground. At the base of the slope Raise Beck flows north to Thirlmere, having being diverted as a part of the 1884 reservoir project. It previously turned south down the other side of Dunmail Raise pass to feed Grasmere. Birkside Gill contains the remains of a number of levels driven for copper between 1840 and 1866.

On the east, the first impression is all of rock. The long
valley of Grisedale runs north eastward to Ullswater, cutting off a series of hanging valleys which fall from the Helvellyn range. To the north east of Dollywaggon Pike, below the summit of High Crag, is Ruthwaite Cove, a corrie surrounded on three sides by crag. Ruthwaite Cove is now the site of Ruthwaite Lodge, a climbing hut. It was formerly the setting for more industrious activity, with the remains of several levels and some shallow open mineworking being visible near the Lodge. These excavations were made for lead bearing galena, and are believed to have been worked in the sixteenth century. Further leases were taken out in 1784 and 1862, the last known operation being in 1880.To the east of Dollywaggon Pike is a second corrie, Cock Cove with Falcon Crag and the deeply gullied Tarn Crag providing the impressive headwall.

Between the two coves, Dollywaggon Pike sends out a fine rocky ridge
- The Tongue. This arÍte ascends by a series of rocky steps making straight for the summit. At the bottom of The Tongue is Spout Crag, standing above Grisedale Beck and forcing walkers to take a detour from the ridgeline.

North of Dollywaggon Pike the ridge narrows and then steps up over High Crag to the plateau top of Nethermost Pike. In the other direction the high ground curves south east around Cock Cove before a long slope falls to Grisedale Tarn at around 1,770 ft. This sizeable tarn has a depth of around 110 ft and holds brown trout, perch and eels.

The outflow is to Ullswater to the north east, picking up all of the rainfall from the eastern face of Dollywaggon Pike. To the west of the tarn is the unnamed col between Dollywaggon Pike and Seat Sandal and immediately to the south is Grisedale Hause, the depression between Seat Sandal and Fairfield.

The summit is a small grassy rise directly at the head of The Tongue. It carries a small cairn with a larger one a few yards to the west. The view is extensive with the eastern foreground particularly fine

The Tongue provides a fine route of ascent, though a long one, from Patterdale and the fell can also be reached from the Grasmere area via Grisedale Tarn. Ascents up the western slopes are unimpeded but uninteresting.

Walking routes near Dollywaggon Pike


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