Striding Edge. Wainwright called it the finest ridge in Lakeland. And he knew a thing or two about Lakeland. A narrow arête of broken rock that leads enticingly towards the summit of Helvellyn, it is many people’s first taste of what an airy mountain ridge can offer.
Some freeze, appalled by the prospect of the drops to either side. Some take it in their stride (excuse the pun) and revel in the traverse, the sublime surroundings, the drama of it all. For a few, the taste is addictive. Striding Edge is never the same twice. On a sunny day, hopping from crag to crag at relative speed is a heady experience. Under winter conditions and low cloud, it is an atmospheric journey into mountaineering territory. On a bluebird winter’s day with a full coat of snow, I imagine the traverse is (cliche alert!) almost Alpine.
Regardless of your level of your expertise, everyone should find a day that suits them to enjoy the majesty of Striding Edge. It should be on the bucket list of every English person. After all, it may just be our finest ridge.