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Topic - UKC Winter conditions report Lake District 13th Feb

paddy cave - on 13 Feb 2014
A mixed week in the Lakes this week with nice sunny days, low level snow some days, and wild winds at times...

Few shots from Steve Ashworth at MovieIt on here giving an idea of current snow cover -

Some possible climbing conditions shaping up in the Lakes now, still some issues with deep turf not being frozen and snow not being completely consolidated in places, however many steeper routes exposed to the wind were snowed up and frosted today and thin turf exposed to the wind was frozen on Gable (we climbed a mixed route, will get some photos up later). Whilst there was fresh accumulations of snow blown into hollows and stream beds etc there was also a lot of heavily wind scoured snow about that is hard neve up high, the walk over had a lot of hard crust that wouldn't quite take weight which is hard work! Also super windy today, westerly by the end, more than forecast and hard to stand during some gusts with wind transported snow blasting you.

In terms of the freeze-line, it felt freezing at about 700m but it was hard to gauge with the significant wind chill, the snow line around the Lakes seems to have risen today a few hundred metres above valley level.

Looking ahead, its due to start cold and then get warmer tomorrow, so maybe a route possible for early starters in the right place, then perhaps rain a bit, high up even, on Saturday and then cold into Sunday. If this sticks to forecast it could be really good for bringing a lot of the semi hard snow into better condition, hopefully its cold enough though!

Winter walking will be good, Helvellyn edges and Blencathra edges for example requiring the full winter approach, the tops today being scoured with a layer of hard ice and rocks covered in rime ice.

Skiing is meant to be great at Raise and touring will be great in places but route selection avoiding the scoured areas will be called for to find good snow, its definitely there though.

Few folks are looking for more regular updates on here, but as with the other UKC reports, its more of a round up and periodic report that I've been asked to produce. I update my company Blog and company FB page if there is anything to report as such (ie. stuff coming in to climbing condition, but tend not to if there is nothing, and there has not been loads in the Lakes this season unfortunately) and with shots if I've been out. What I'd suggest is people just post up what they have seen/found when out and then we'll build a picture of what is going on off the back of the initial report, plenty of people on here with a good understanding of Lakes winter to help answer questions or give advice.
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