/ Lake District Snow/Ice Conditions

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.
Phil J Booth on 22 Dec 2009 - 194.164.233.105 whois?
Hey people,

Planning to head up to Glenridding and go up Helvellyn tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd).
Does anybody know what the conditions are like up ther over the last couple of days? Anybody done any gully routes up from the tarn to the summit?

Am also wondering what the roads are like as much as anything!

Will be first day off work for Christmas break so it would be a pretty happy fella if its good up there.

Phil
In reply to Phil J Booth:

A couple of people are showing ascents of Striding and Swirral here - http://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/winter.html

Alan
Mr Ed - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:

Not the Helvellyn area I know but I was in the Lakes on Blencathra yesterday. Lots of fresh powder. Nothing consolidated. Very slow walking with big drifts in places. Not sure what it would be like today but it was very slow going through foot high snow on the walk in to Sharp edge. The ridge itself was again covered in powder- difficult going. Think I would have had a nicer time walking up and skiing down!

Main roads (A69) was ok. Not sure on the state of the road to patterdale from penrith. I should think Kirkstone could be cery 'interesting' if its open at all.

Buttresses and wind swept mixed and ice routes most likely in (though most of the streams were in full flow on the walk in yesterday) higher up the tarn was frozen. All very picturesque but hard work.

I reckon a bit of a freeze thaw needed for the lakes gullies to come properly in but when they do it should be absolutely ace. If you've got goggles bring them! If you've got skis- you'll probably have more fun!
Simon Caldwell - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:
Lots of new snow last night. Gullies will be impossible and/or dangerous!
Kirkstone Pass closed.
Keith Birch - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth: Langdale. I was out last night and this morning. More snow than we have seen for yrs and its still snowing now! As per the previous post, consolidation is required however once this happens it should be excellent. Note. volume of snow gives a potential for some slides.
sutty on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Keith Birch:

Fresh snow is only good for one thing, skiing. Without giving it time to consolidate I can see MRT and SARDA having a busy Christmas searching for people in avalanche debris.
climber666 on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to sutty: Snowing again like the clappers for a while according to the radar. Too much for good climbing. Big avalanche risk.
mikeryder - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:

Did striding edge yesterday, a hell of a lot of loose deep powder about an axe came in handy in places but crampons weren't really neccesary.

Bit of a pain for walking as its deep and unstable, i wouldn't imagine the gullies would be in at the moment.

Mike :D
Ian Black - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to sutty:
> (In reply to Keith Birch)
>
> Fresh snow is only good for one thing, skiing. Without giving it time to consolidate I can see MRT and SARDA having a busy Christmas





Its always the same, a bit of over exuberance as soon as the powder arrives. I'm hoping next week will be perfect as I'm off work for the week. Kirkstone pass is probably about IV at the moment.

Simon Caldwell - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Ian Black:
I was getting over exuberant before the powder arrived. Now I'm just depressed and working out what to do with my day off tomorrow :-(
Ian Black - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Toreador: I'm going to try and get out Boxing day and see what conditions are like.
Kat_McLennan - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Mr Ed:
Got a bit of ski mountaineering in yesterday on Blencathra. Up Halls Fell ridge with skis and axe on the back to summit. Dropped down the bowl to the tarn, trying to pick deeper powder lines through the cloud and between rocks and turf. Wasn't as deep as we'd hoped but today will be better! Then climbed Sharp Edge in lovely winter nick. A very alpine atmosphere! The final slab of the ridge requires an axe, and crampons would help too I'd imagine. Dropped back into the bowl for another run before trudging back to the top of the shoulder and back down it to the car. Watch out for bracken and gorse near the bottom. It can betricky to turn in...

Have fun and be safe
mikeryder - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:

Seeing as it looks like the lakes is going to be in condition soon, can anyone reccomend me a guidebook for it? saw alot of nice looking gullies around grisedale/ hellvellyn yesterday.

Cheers

Mike :D
mikeryder - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Stephen Reid:

Looks good, thanks

Mike :D
jas wood - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth: has anyone had a look at the usual suspects for ice ? particular interest in raven crag gully - does the top of this climb collect snow in great volumes ? looking at popping over tommorow.
mezzobbra - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Toreador: just go man, have a nice walk.. get the feel of winter before getting deep in it.
In bowness was about a feet of snow when I left this afternoon.. main roads ok. have a good one
RM199 - on 22 Dec 2009
Hi all

i was out on monday trying to do cold lazerous on Hart crag.

A couple of goodish ice pitches were there but finished on the second big ledge with no ice above.

Have to admit i may have been on the wrong line as vis was ni on zero, but we certianly didnt see much else worth climbing.

what we had was in good nick tho. even took some screws :-)

Hope that helps
jas wood - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to RM199: should be more formed by now so i'll give that area a bat then as can cover the bets with pendulum ridge on scrubby as i aint done that either :O)

thanks flower
Jeremy Ashcroft - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to jas wood:
> (In reply to Phil J Booth) has anyone had a look at the usual suspects for ice ? particular interest in raven crag gully - does the top of this climb collect snow in great volumes ? looking at popping over tommorow.

No to the snow from my experience and I have done it in a couple of very snowy winters 81 and 86, and I suspect it's going to need a bit more of a freeze for it to be fully formed. The rule of thumb with Raven Crag Gully is that there should be ice forming on Derwent Water. If all this snow freezes up there should be some good gully lines to go at next week!
jon59 - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:

Just got back from a day on Greatend, loads of unconsolidated snow with turf just about frozen. It needs acouple of days to sort itself out, the gullies are waist deep powder horrors with a large build up of snow ready to come down central gully. Still had a good day on the buttress route just right of south east gully, No ice.
jas wood - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to jon59: pendulum ridge it is then !
davis.pete - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:

I'm off to the Lakes for Christmas and really want to get up into the snow. However, I have no ice axes or crampons etc. Where's the best place to go and still be safe?
Cheers

Henry Iddon - on 22 Dec 2009
In reply to davis.pete:

The Golden Rule.
eggplant - on 23 Dec 2009
Went up Deep(snow)dale yesterday. Swimming in the snow in places. Wish we had touring skis or at least snow shoes. Did the the II/III on Greenhow end. A snow swim to the bottom of the route and a bit of swimming on it. Some ice has formed under the snow giving some good axe placements. To the right of the gully near the top some ice has formed. It looks good from the bottom of the route but is soft and not bonded to the rock.
Climbing aside it looked beautiful.
The road from Reghed was pretty snowy but we met the bus coming from patterdale at 7.30 am and by the time we finished the road had been gritted.
crowberry gully - on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:
Monday, climbed Middling Buttress on Pavey Ark. Frozen turf, loads of powder. Seemed to snow heavily all day. Everything took longer than usual, the drive, the walk in, the climb and the walk out.

Tuesday, In Ambleside a further few inches fell overnight, drove slowly to Coniston. Walked up Walna Scar road from Coniston village and broke trail all the way to Dow. Snow was noticeably deeper on the climb and the wind picked up tp 50mph so the spindrift was intense. Everything frozen under the powder, the higher rocks are white but the lower ones such as C Ordinary are black. Gullies filling with powder.
LakesWinter on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to crowberry gully: What did you climb on dow?
johnnorman on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:

Anyone been on Blencathra? Coming up for a day next week for Sharp Edge and Halls Fell ridge?
crowberry gully - on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to MattG: A buttress but we avoided the crux so will be back to straighten it - soon we hope.

Easy terrace looks do-able with a finish up the buttress (probably best avoiding Intermediate Gully)
Lee Sheard - on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to eggplant: Report from Angle tarn area.. Headed for Great End this morning from odg... Took 2 hours wading through waist deep snow in places just to get to top of rosset Ghyll.. So decided to change plans and play around on the short ice pitches on hanging knotts, which were in good nick.. All the snow was powder and loose. Noticed a big slide from south gully next to bowfell buttress on way down. A thaw then freeze and conditions will be perfect.. A good day out with stunning vistas.. Cheers
Andy S - on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Lee Sheard: did a gully at Brown Cove Crags today (Hellvelyn). Now I'm a bit of a novice with the winter stuff (this was only my 3rd ever winter route over many years). We tried a grade I to start with but I backed-off. There was good ice in places, but it was either ice or very deep powder and the turf wasn't frozen. There was a steep bit and no gear and I pussied-out :-)(definitely wasn't grade I ground I was on!! :p

Not to be deterred though we went for Central Gully, the other grade I and this was ok. Very hard going to start with bit higher-up it became well-enough consolidated to just kick a step and stand up firmly on it without it giving way. We had a great time and the views were stunning.

There were a few folk out on the buttresses, some doing harder stuff, so it's definitely worth a look. I think it could be more consolidated by tomorrow.

A word of caution though - I'm no expert by any means, but in the gully there was a good helping of that 'ball-bearing' type powder. If it gets more snow tonight, it could be prime avalanche territory in places.
Franco Cookson OLD - on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:


The Lakes is in ace nick!

Get your selves over, we had an epic few days over there. Insane amounts of powder and ice on the Helvelyn range!
Simon Caldwell - on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to johnnorman:
> Anyone been on Blencathra?

We were there today. Did a route on Foule Crag, then Sharp Edge. Sharp Edge currently in easy condition, so much snow there's a nice platform to walk along.
Things may change totally by next week :-)
Simon Caldwell - on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Franco Cookson:
> The Lakes is in ace nick!

for ski touring :-)
Franco Cookson OLD - on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Toreador: Nah man, for mixed. Proppa Bangin' up high.
Ian Black - on 23 Dec 2009
In reply to Toreador:
> (In reply to Franco Cookson)
> [...]
>
> for ski touring :-)




Sounds more like it! However next week when Im off work conditions should be perfect:-)

Rhys Jones - on 24 Dec 2009
In reply to johnnorman:
> (In reply to Phil J Booth)
>
> Anyone been on Blencathra? Coming up for a day next week for Sharp Edge and Halls Fell ridge?

I was on Blencathra, Sharp Edge on Tuesday. Set off at 1pm due to a very slow drive, and the walk in was somewhat hard work in waste deep powder at times. The ridge itself had a foot of powder on it in places, and was quite hard to actually see where the solid ground was.
We found another party near the top of the ridge who were having an epic. I wore crampons, my partner didn't. Navving to the summit was hard work, and breaking trail in waste deep snow all the way down.

Rhys Jones - on 24 Dec 2009
In reply to Rhys Jones: oh and we saw someone skiing down!
Simon Caldwell - on 24 Dec 2009
osheye - on 24 Dec 2009
In reply to Toreador: which route on foule ?was it good ? thanks
Simon Caldwell - on 24 Dec 2009
In reply to owen ross:
> which route on foule ?was it good ?

unrecorded route overlooking Blunt Gully. Not star material, but fun anyway :)
johnnorman on 24 Dec 2009
In reply to Toreador:

Excellent, Thanks.
johnnorman on 24 Dec 2009
In reply to Rhys Jones:

Sounds fun, hopefully things will consolidate a bit by next week. Thanks.
Franco Cookson OLD - on 24 Dec 2009
johnnorman on 28 Dec 2009

Coming up to Blencathra tomorrow, Anyone been on Sharp Edge last couple of days? Whats the conditions like? Thanks
kevd - on 28 Dec 2009
In reply to johnnorman:
Today was blue sky, not much wind, and deeeeeep powder.
Crampons and axe recommended.
Loads of people out all over Blencathra and sharp edge, perfect winter conditions.
Enjoy
johnnorman on 28 Dec 2009
In reply to kevd:

Sweet, Many thanks.
Rog Wilko on 28 Dec 2009
In reply to kevd: just wondering how deeeeeeep powder makes perfect winter conditions (unless you're skiing).
JY - changed on 28 Dec 2009
In reply to Rog Wilko:
> (In reply to kevd) just wondering how deeeeeeep powder makes perfect winter conditions (unless you're skiing).

Today was perfect winter conditions for Ski touring with yes deeeeeeep power everywhere. Here's a report and pics from my ski touring day out today.

http://www.thefrontpoint.com/reports.aspx?PageID=Winter%202009-10

icnoble on 28 Dec 2009
In reply to Jonathan Yates:
> (In reply to Rog Wilko)
> [...]
>
> Today was perfect winter conditions for Ski touring with yes deeeeeeep power everywhere. Here's a report and pics from my ski touring day out today.
>
> http://www.thefrontpoint.com/reports.aspx?PageID=Winter%202009-10

A great website

Graham T - on 28 Dec 2009
In reply to Jonathan Yates:
No fair, I hate living in cambs
In reply to Rog Wilko:
> (In reply to kevd) just wondering how deeeeeeep powder makes perfect winter conditions (unless you're skiing).

Perfect for a ridge which does not hold snow well, like Sharp edge perhaps?


NMM
pebbles - on 29 Dec 2009
In reply to Northern Mountain Monkey: was on sharp edge today, ridge was enjoyable, leeward slopes were knee-deep getting towards thigh-deep powder - heavy going on foot!
Rog Wilko on 30 Dec 2009
In reply to Northern Mountain Monkey: See Pebbles. I rest my case, m'lud.
In reply to Rog Wilko:
Yes, perhaps a heavy covering of hoar would be better...
RosB on 30 Dec 2009 - mail.bolton.gov.uk
In reply to Northern Mountain Monkey:

I too had an awesome ski tour on Helvellyn on Mon (28th). Perfect conditions. However I stupidly managed to lose my skins on the last ascent/ minor descent (probably coming off white side before heading down to Glenridding), if anyone finds them I would be really grateful if you could get in touch and post them back! I didn't realise it at the time and can't believe how expensive it is to buy new ones!
Andy S - on 30 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth: went to Brown Cove Crags on Hellvelyn today, but we bailed before we even started climbing. Gales etc. Still quite deep snow but obviously much better consolidated than it was!

Can't comment on conditions on the crag because we weren't on it. I know of one party who at least started climbing on it. Lots of people bailing and the slopes down the road was very much a two-lane highway! Lots of walkers bailing early too! :-)
LakesWinter on 30 Dec 2009
In reply to Andy S: How cold was it? Any idea on the freezing level?
The Mountain Goat - on 30 Dec 2009
In reply to Andy S:

Did Left Branch and Left Buttress on Brown Cove Crags. Some consolidation in the gully but still used the shafts more than the picks of my axes. Odd patch of good neve. Turf pretty frozen on the buttress. And yes blowing a gale at the top.
DSM - on 30 Dec 2009
In reply to Northern Mountain Monkey:
Latest info from S.Lakes after a brief run up/down Harter Fell from Birks Bridge this afternoon. At lower levels the snow is consolidating nicely under thaw (so its very slushy). However, above freezing height the top crust us just getting thicker so no improvement per se from a aclimbing point of view as no freeze-thaw is happening. It was blowing a gale on top this afternoon which is creating deep drifts aplenty. Its possible to drive to the head of the Duddon Valley from the south on pretty much clear roads now but I doubt the high passes can be crossed.

DSM
ads.ukclimbing.com
Andy S - on 30 Dec 2009
In reply to Lagavulin: what would you say avalanche risk is for tomorrow?
John Kettle - on 30 Dec 2009
In reply to Andy S: I was in Brown Cove on Helvellyn today aswell, and did Two Grooves. Turf was rock hard and snow varied from squeaky and compact to soft and useless. Very little icing present.
Avalanche hazard seemed to be improving after 2 days of scouring and a little thawing/consolidation. Any windslab seemed localised to avoidable patches. I would be avoiding gullies, snowbowls (typical terrain traps) and be on high alert for cornices.
Agree with the Cat 3 (considerable) verdict in other thread.
John
Maurice52 - on 31 Dec 2009
In reply to thekettle:

Hi All
Anyone been out today,

Mozer
Andy S - on 31 Dec 2009
In reply to Maurice52: yes but decided not to go climbing because of the conditions. Went for a walk round Kentmere. Much the same. Hard going, except for up high on the ridges where it's much firmer. It's like another world up there I'd recommend it!

http://www.flickr.com/photos/andyuk1/4231068129/in/photostream/
In reply to thekettle:
What did you think to 2 grooves? How did it compare to Dollywagon Great Chimney? Haven't really done that much mid grade mixed climbing so just trying to work out what I can actually climb! Bowfell Buttress is on my list for this year and maybe Engineers slabs.

NMM
munki1971 - on 31 Dec 2009
In reply to Northern Mountain Monkey: I had a go at 2 Grooves today - all went well till the final right hand exit crack - couldn't find anything for my feet and after several faffing attempts I decided to go all out - then one of my axes popped followed by my last bit of gear - The next piece held and I ended up upside down back at the bottom of the groove. Abseiled in to retrieve my gear. Quite exciting for my first grade IV and luckily no injuries.
lukehunt - on 31 Dec 2009
In reply to Phil J Booth:
Climbed Grendel at Scrubby today. The walk in was tough due to deep snow with a thin crust. The crag it's self was in great condition with good rime, ice and snow in the cracks. Lakes mixed buttresses are excellent atm.
MadProfessor - on 31 Dec 2009
In reply to luketheape: Good for you, wsell done, but it's 'itself' not 'it's self' (which literaly means 'It is self'), sorry to be pedantic, Happy New Year!
John Kettle - on 01 Jan 2010
In reply to Northern Mountain Monkey: I thought the 2nd pitch of Two grooves was excellent and spot on at the grade. Dollywagon Great Chimney I've commented on in my logbook as the first pitch was bold 4 (take warthogs/turf hooks) with a dubious belay as you would expect from V,4. But the 2nd pitch was much tougher than tech 3 it is given. My second thuoght it harder than Fallout Corner (VI,7)! Reasonable protection if its sub-zero (solid turf and secure rock).
Bowfell Buttress is absolutely awesome. Very well protected and steady V,6. Have fun!
John
Only a hill - on 01 Jan 2010
In reply to MadProfessor:
> (In reply to luketheape) Good for you, wsell done, but it's 'itself' not 'it's self' (which literaly means 'It is self'), sorry to be pedantic, Happy New Year!

Sorry I can't help it, but ... beautiful irony there! =)
MadProfessor - on 01 Jan 2010
In reply to Only a hill: I know, I know.....
Exile - on 01 Jan 2010
In reply to Northern Mountain Monkey:

Did Two Grooves today after seeing your post, it is very good, but a lot shorter than the guide book description, (50m?) In answer toyour question to thekettle I thought it was fair for the grade, I don't know how it compares to Dollywagon Great Chimney. Bowfell Buttress is not technically harder, but all four pitches are sustained and on the crux you have to move away from your gear. Have not done Engineer Slabs, but a friend did the second or third ascent and fell off on the lead having cruised Bowfell Buttress.
lukehunt - on 01 Jan 2010
In reply to MadProfessor:
Thanks for the tip ;) Happy New Year to you too
DSM - on 01 Jan 2010
In reply to Exile:
For info did South Gully on Low Water Crag today (above Low Water on Coniston Old Man). All very pleasant & straightforward - the crux was definitely the 6:30AM start!

DSM
Alan M - on 01 Jan 2010
In reply to all:

Can anyone give me an update on the general hill conditions below 700m?

Is the snow line still the valley floor? Is the turf frozen? any ice?

Considering visiting a small North/North East facing crag tomorrow under 700m and wondering if it will be worth the effort. I had a quick look at it on Wednesday and it looked like it would be good fun. Just wondering what the weather has been like the last couple of days.

Cheers

p.s the crag is not in the guide books summer or winter. Basically we spotted a line in the summer (about grade 3 scramble) that we thought would be a good winter mountaineering style climb whilst visiting one of the smaller summits. (Its a pretty boring peak to walk up otherwise)

BenTiffin - on 08 Jan 2010
In reply to Phil J Booth:
Have a look the Blog.....

http://realadventuredan.wordpress.com/

For more info on Lake District Climbing Conditions.

This topic has been archived, and won't accept reply postings.