People travelling along the A591 cannot fail to miss the distinctive summit rocks of Helm Crag reaching skyward above Grasmere. The highest rocks, known as the Howitzer, are clearly identifiable as you come down from Dunmail Raise. Just 1329ft, or 405m, above sea level, this little top is popular with visitors to Grasmere; there’s a good path that’ll get you to the top in about 90 minutes from the Easedale end of the village.
Helm Crag is one of 214 Lake District peaks listed in Alfred Wainwright’s Pictorial Guides to the Lakeland Fells, now known collectively as the ‘Wainwrights’. But it’s also the only ‘Wainwright’ that AW himself never climbed. Although he reached the summit area, the tricky rocks of the Howitzer, “brought underfoot only by precarious manoeuvres of the body”, defeated him.