Catstycam is one of the top ten mountains in the Lake District in terms of height (ok, it is number 10!), and is part of the Helvellyn range of Wainwright hills in the Eastern Fells. While being a large mountain in Lakeland terms, perhaps the most distinctive thing about Catstycam is its distinctive pyramidal shape, which Alfred Wainwright described as 'nearly the perfect mountain form'. And because it is connected to the more famous Helvellyn, Catstycam is relatively quiet and Wainwright walkers will see a complete contrast to its higher neighbours in terms of numbers of visitors.
If completing a Catstycam walk, Glenridding is the popular choice of starting point, with the option to reach the top via its steep Eastern or North West ridges. A large number of walking options present themselves to hikers who want to complete a number of fells from their Wainwright Tick Lists, almost all of which include neighbouring Helvellyn. One such route begins at Glenridding and takes in Catstycam, Helvellyn, Whiteside, Raise, Stybarrow Dodd, Hart Side, Sheffield Pike and Glenridding Dodd, a tough days walking but a good return of completed peaks for the committed Wainwright bagger.
Hikers taking one these Catstycam walks will be presented with an excellent view at the summit. While Helvellyn is larger and dominates part of the view, its presence perhaps only enhances a panorama which features many of the major fell groups and fine views down Grisedale.
Further detail on Catstycam and the fells in the Helvellyn range can be read about in Book One, The Eastern Fells, by Alfred Wainwright, a volume of the Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells.
Swirral Edge and Catstyecam - Photograph by Stewart Smith Photography