/ Lake district Winter conditions latest dec27th
I had a wander up Brown Cove yesterday. Lots of rock showing and a high snow line, but there was a little fresh snow falling. It's very wet underneath so, fingers crossed, a good freeze will get things started again. Complete white out on Helvellyn so didn't get a view of further afield. Crampons stayed in my bag all day I'm afraid!
I took a walk up to Rampsgill head yesterday. Snow was falling (lightly) turf mainly saturated though still firm in some spots. The snow line was high and the limited amount of snow that I tested was surprisingly firm and weight bearing. Cliffs generally black but higher up a light white frosting/snow covering but to me not winter climbing conditions. For me it was a day to just keep walking and tick a few summits instead. Amazingly no one else out on the summits!!
The wind blown snow on the face that survives in sheltered gullies and troughs was surprisingly deep. Signs of recent avalanche activity in several spots along the head wall. One crown wall that I took a close look at was between 5-6ft in height (at its highest point)
All in all we need a freeze.
Went for a walk around the Mosedale horseshoe yesterday, was an amazing day out with everything a winter day should have.
There is lots of fresh snow above 700m on the west coast, the north side of Pillar is plastered as is the area around Gable Crag and there was a good coating from Kirk Fell to Red Pike, although Yewbarrow just missed out. From Great End to Scafell also looked to have a good covering. By the end of the day the snow line had rose or risen whatever it is from the bottom of the Napes to the top of the Napes.
One more thing the snow seemed to be very firm for freshly fallen snow and was very pleasant to walk on although we obviously didn't need crampons or axes.
Didn't see another sole all day or even footsteps although we came across one man and his 2 dogs foot steps on the summit of Pillar.
Same for me yesterday, it's why I love this time of year in the Lakes and make the effort to get there every week throughout the winter. If you avoid the honeypots you can get miles of open Fell and crags to yourself. I walked Angle Tarn Pikes, Rest Dodd, The Nab, The Knott, Rampsgill Head, High Raise and Kidsty Pike yesterday and only seen one person above Hayeswater all day and even then they were standing on a ridge two valleys over (Gray crag). Saying that though, for a time on the summits the weather was dire it tested the navigation properly for awhile in a white out, falling snow and stongs winds.
The other thing that shocked me I didn't realise the Lake District Red Deer herds consisted of so many animals. Never seen so many in one day.
Totally agree, make the effort and it usually pays off, i live in the Lakes and do pretty well at avoiding the crowds too, the weather window yesterday was only open for the day and i wasn't missing it, we also had to take a bearing from the summit of pillar down to Windy Gap due to whiteout and snow, but the rest of the day was amazing views with the cloud and snow making them even more spectacular.
Totally agree it was one of those days, it had everything a mountain day should have.
I made the classic mistake of not checking the map early enough and confirming my positon before the whiteout closed in. I was heading back from Haigh Raise to Kidsty Pike just generally heading in the right direction working on line of sight across the plateau. The weather rolled in, I thought Its ok its only a few hundred meters that way keep walking, lets just say that when I hit the edge of the plateau and the ground dropped away it was not what I was expecting. I then spent a short while standing on the spot looking at featurless plateau with no visibility, strong winds and heavy snow until I worked out on the map a rough location. Took a bearing from there paced it and got back on track. You dont realise how far you can drift when not able see anything infront.
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