/ Lake District winter conditions

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ERB - on 25 Nov 2017
I can't believe nobody hasn't started this thread given the conditions, looking at the forums it looks like there are more poster more interested in politics than climbing.

Best place to get information on conditions now is Facebook.
Andy Say - on 25 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

> I can't believe nobody hasn't started this thread given the conditions

Well now somebody has.
olddirtydoggy - on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

We've been watching the weather and it suggests thursday could be the day to go at the moment. Things can change but yes, it might just deliver. Pics of current conditions over the next few days would be great.
bonebag - on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

I agree. Politics has taken over. Isn't this meant to be a climbing forum.
Avinash Aujayeb - on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

Facebook where?
Jeremy Ashcroft - on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:
Well I guess people are checking out the Great End temperature sensors....which slowly seem to be heading in the right direction.

https://www.thebmc.co.uk/great-end-winter-conditions

Or you could try the webcam on Raise...

http://www.ldscsnowski.co.uk/
Post edited at 09:05
beardy mike - on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to bonebag:

Quit moaning and turn off the politics forums. I did a year and a half ago in the run up to brexshit. Never looked back. On the subject of climbing, cascade waterfall ice is on in the Dolomites.
ERB - on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to Avinash Aujayeb:

Ground conditions in U.K. Mountain areas, lots of information on there UKC has lost a lot of potential posters which is a shame because when it was climbing based it was a great site.
olddirtydoggy - on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

I also blocked everything on here that isn't climbing related and it has returned to being a climbing forum. It's a real shame what has happened here for those who didn't know that crap could be blocked.
TobyA on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

I see someone has logged Pinnacle Ridge today. A mate took a photo looking over to it from Green Gable, it looked wintery but I'd be surprised if the turf was well frozen.
Mike Hewitt - on 26 Nov 2017
In reply to TobyA:

It's not a turfy route
TobyA on 27 Nov 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

I did in February, it's a very turfy route - at least the way we went on the lower buttress.
MFB - on 27 Nov 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:
On Gable?- it's been a while but I thought it was pretty hairy in parts
Post edited at 00:15
Mike Hewitt - on 27 Nov 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Sorry, I got the wrong Pinnacle Ridge
redsonja - on 27 Nov 2017
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Hi ERB. I didn't know stuff could be blocked- how do I do it/ Thanks
dkilner - on 27 Nov 2017
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Also been watching the conditions with baited breath....a pre December winter route (south of the border!)..ive all my fingers crossed....

With that in mind any suggestions on
early season routes that are most likely to have come in to condition if the forecast continues.
I'm thinking mixed routes, low levels of turf... IV ish in difficulty?
Don't all shout at once...i know there's a certain shyness to share sometimes!
Andy Johnson - on 27 Nov 2017
In reply to redsonja:

> Hi ERB. I didn't know stuff could be blocked- how do I do it/ Thanks

I'm not ERB, but heres how to exclude/include specific forums:

1. Click the Forums link in the black menu bar at the top of the page. This takes you to My Forums.

2. Click the Favourite Forums button to get a list of forums that you see by default. Then un-tick any forums you don't want to see by default (e.g. Pub and Off Belay). Then click the Set Forums button below the list.

3. Enjoy the stuff about climbing!

You can still access forums that aren't in your favourites by clicking the forum's icon below the main menu.

Hope that's useful.
TobyA on 27 Nov 2017
In reply to Mike Hewitt:

I've done that one too, forgot there are two lakes classics with the same name! The St Sunday one is less turfy, so we actually agree. ;-)

My friend said the turf seemed frozen on the top of Green Gable, so sounds like I missed out!
olddirtydoggy - on 27 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

Cold conditions are set to continue but high pressure has killed off the snow that was forecast sadly. Has anyone seen any pics of the conditions on top over the last 24 hours
MFB - on 27 Nov 2017
In reply to olddirtydoggy:
Langdale
Most snow from weekend washed off last night, now heavy showers putting down new layer, gritter was out earlier but didn't feel very cold, was on bike so no temperature reading
ipfreely on 29 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

Just driving home after doing Pinnacle Ridge on St Sunday this morning, the route doesn’t use turf, the rock had I thin coating of ice on the flat parts, didn’t need crampons or axe, the turf high on the approach wasn’t really frozen, turf on the summit was frozen in places, where exposed to the wind I guess but plenty of unfrozen bits too.
sheelba - on 29 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

Similar story in red tarn. Routes almost there and might be in tomorrow, enough snow a fair bit of ice and turf frozen in places but not in others
Dave Cumberland - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to sheelba:

Lakes fells have a mild dusting.
Only a week ago everything was flooded wet soup and crashed cars, now it's black ice and more crashed cars, but still no winter conditions.
Great End turf is still unfrozen.
Great End Central Gully can form 600 feet of water ice in November but we are nowhere near yet.
There are currently no proper "winter climbing conditions" in the Lake District.
DC
wercat on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
I have to mildly disagree as I found Sharp Edge wintry yesterday. I went too far along it before donning crampons and I definitely needed axe and crampons to gain the plateau as the rocks from the end of the Edge were glazed with ice. Someone behind me beat a retreat from the middle of the edge, possibly insufficient winter gear.

I agree with the sentiment though - there have been public rumblings about the impact of winter climbers on fragile environments in the Lakes.
Post edited at 11:54
Jim 1003 - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Absolute pish, get out your armchair....
olddirtydoggy - on 30 Nov 2017
In reply to ERB:

Thanks very much for the feedback on here, hugely valuable. It seems the bannd of winter snow has missed the west side of England. Real shame as temps are set to rise towards he weekend.
shantaram - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

Although there is not a lot of snow here in the Lakes, some select routes have been climbed, turf has been frozen in places and ice is beginning to form. Shame that temps are set to rise from tomorrow. Magic day today, if you could avoid the wind.
MFB - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

Yesterday - Turf frozen from 300m on sun drenched south facing slope, strong northerly, whippy.
Chris Huntington - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:
Climbed Gully number one on Red Tarn Cove yesterday. Full of ice- really good condition. 3 bomber screws placed. For anyone who thinks that there were no routes in look on my profile
And you’ll see a picture of me in the gully taken yesterday.
For those who want to go climbing, you’ve probably got today to get it done! Thaw coming tomorrow.
Helvellyn - Red Tarn Cove Helvellyn - Red Tarn CoveGully 1 (II)
Post edited at 08:31
Dave Cumberland - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Jim 1003:

Stick to the data, keep ad hominem unpleasantness to yourself:
https://www.thebmc.co.uk/great-end-winter-conditions
TobyA on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

The "data" should include Chris's photo mentioned above from yesterday showing two ice screws fully in https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=302714 though.
Dave Cumberland - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> The "data" should include Chris's photo mentioned above from yesterday showing two ice screws fully in https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=302714 though.

I agree there is ice, my garden at 900 feet in a cold part of the area is fully frozen (thin soil), but have we not all agreed NOT to climb in vegetation-damaging marginal conditions?
Like the unfrozen turf underneath?
Also, NOT to damage classic rock routes in other situations?
DC
mrphilipoldham - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Compared to..

https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.html?id=131620

In, in but lean, or not in?
Chris Huntington - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

I wasn’t on Great End, though the turf probes are a useful guide.

Also, I was climbing a gully, which is not a rock route in summer.

I’m happy with my day yesterday, I certainly didn’t damage any alpine plants. The approach was mostly rock, and after the pictured photo crux, it was a predominantly neve slope to the summit. Feet didn’t break through to turf. It certainly wasn’t marginal, as I think the photo proves.

I bumped into two of the Fell Top assessor team at the car park who had been doing a pre season photo shoot. I chatted them honestly about what we had done and showed them the pictures. They were pretty happy.

I am inclined to agree that this site used to be good for sharing ideas and knowledge about what routes are in or out, but whatever you post someone will always have a go. The Facebook page ‘ground conditions in UK mountain areas’ is a lot less trolly.

I’m a responsible climber and am aware of the issues with climbing in thin conditions. That’s why I took a days holiday last minute to do the route, rather than rocking up at the weekend when it’s thawing and trying to do it.

I wonder what possible photo I could have put on that wouldn’t have provoked a negative response! Me climbing an iceberg maybe?
mrphilipoldham - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Huntington:

I'm not really sure where I stand on how 'in' the route was, as I haven't done it.. but to say it was in really good condition when there are photos with obviously *much* better conditions leads me to veer towards the 'lean' end of the scale. Gullies are traditionally one of the latter things to come in, due to the required levels of coverage needed and freeze/thaw cycles to have happened to sure it all up. At least, that's what I was lead to believe when I started reading up on winter climbing a few years back?
nidge - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Huntington:
Yes you're right there is ice but not enough to last repeated climbing, well done for the picture though, wait a while then go back and climb it in full winter condition it's much more fun, up 2 down 1 then traverse round and finish in Nethermost gully.
Post edited at 12:33
Webster - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Huntington:

Ignore the grumpy old farts grumbling n their armchairs. looks like you got out and grabed a bit of winter while you could! yes its lean, yes its early season but from your photo it is undeniably winter! people can wait a lifetime for 'proper winter' to come or they can get out and make the most of what they find. climbing gullies in lean condition can often be more fun than waiting for them to be banked out with 10ft of neve!

sure that ice wont survive repeated ascents. but it wont survive the impending thaw anyway, so why preserve it when it will soon be in the Atlantic?! I completely get not climbing ice routes when they are still thin so that they might be much better after 2 or 3 days more time to form, but if in 2 or 3 days they will be in the sea, get it while you can!
ERB - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Huntington:

The conditions on Gt end yesterday were not what you would call perfect winter conditions but if you pick your route you can still get some climbing done without trashing the terf . I've posted my conditions report on Facebook, too any arm chair climbers ( and none climbers) with an opinion on conditions and politics on here.
Shapeshifter - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Andy Johnson:

> I'm not ERB, but heres how to exclude/include specific forums:
> 1. Click the Forums link in the black menu bar at the top of the page. This takes you to My Forums.
> 2. Click the Favourite Forums button to get a list of forums that you see by default. Then un-tick any forums you don't want to see by default (e.g. Pub and Off Belay). Then click the Set Forums button below the list.
> 3. Enjoy the stuff about climbing!

Thanks for that - the most useful thing I've done all day.

TobyA on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

> I've posted my conditions report on Facebook, too any arm chair climbers ( and none climbers) with an opinion on conditions and politics on here.

Do you mean the Ground Conditions in the UK mountain areas Facebook group? Was it your post showing the water ice in Cust Gully?

Exile - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to all:

When we have got the usual is it / isn't it discussions out of the way please could we keep this thread open as a reference point for what is getting done in the Lakes - there is often more information in a thread than on the conditions page.

Thanks in anticipation!
Simon Caldwell - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to nidge:

> go back and climb it in full winter condition it's much more fun

I don't know about this one, but many gullies are more fun when in lean conditions, turning a snow plod into an ice climb
redsonja - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Andy Johnson:

Hi Andy. Sorry I wrote the wrong name- but many thanks for telling me how to do that.
Dave Cumberland - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Webster:

> Ignore the grumpy old farts grumbling in their armchairs.

Dear Webster, I think you could be somewhat more deferential and respectful to people who post on this board, as their intentions are purely intended to be helpful and constructive. Perhaps many of these people are younger than you (but who cares, surely we are not ageists?), get out climbing more than you or the others on this board, know more about winter climbing than you think, and they may also be genuinely nice lads and lasses.

So please keep on topic and keep the debate out of the swamp.
DC
jsimo - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Gully 2 definitely not in, yes some water ice in places, snow soft with a crisp top not neve. Also turf is still growing, all in all a bit to keen for gullies. Rock may be ok but thaw is coming.
wercat on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:
I climbed No. 1 Gully today - I wouldn't have described it as lean, with a surprising amount of ice, though there were one or two steps where the ice had been knocked out. No where did I have to damage plants. I was quite surprised at its condition. No problems exiting, cover of snow to the summit with no breaking through. Don't know how it will last till tomorrow though.

I had been prepared to walk away but got a very pleasant surprise. didn't look as if No 2 was anywhere near formed


PS - I walked away so many times last year got nothing done
Post edited at 17:09
chris smith - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:
I was out today on great gable and did pinnacle ridge which was in great nick except the first pitch which I by passed by going right. Turf frozen and nice hard ice and consolidated snow. Best conditions I have done it in. Bottleneck blues looked in good nick aswell. So much ice about! Also did great end right branch yesterday, lower section to amphitheate has very little snow on it but it's all completely frozen turf, moss and some lean water. However from the amphitheate onward it's awesome. Both right and left branch ice falls are full in (left looked a little lean) managed to get 3 bomber ice screws in could have put in more if I had them. However I had one more day I would certainly go and have a look at a huge gully on kirkfell just NW of Beckhead tarn it looked rammed with ice the whole way up about 200m (I would have mentioned this if it was going to stay cold as I would have gone back on Monday and did it myself). Please post up if anyone goes to look at that gully will be interesting to see pics.

ERB - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Yes it was, we probably picked the wrong gully to climb, window gully ice fall was looking almost there, ground conditions exposed to the cold easterly seemed in good condition.
ERB - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to chris smith:

We saw two climbers in the upper right hand gully about 1. 30ish as we were walking down Grains gill path.
TobyA on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

Looked fun! Some proper water ice too.

While you get lots of vigorous debate on conditions here, I think the Facebook group can sometimes be a bit over enthusiastic about how good conditions are. Perhaps a mix of walkers and climbers, with different ideas on what "conditions" mean.
Chris Huntington - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Huntington:

Guys, check out the 1st fell top assessment of the year. I feel fairly vindicated now.

http://www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk

The Trust employs these professionals to assess conditions/ if people are saying they are wrong I’m truly flabbergasted!
Regardless- and in reference to the OP for this thread, after a cold November I’m feeling confident for a great winter where we will all hopefully get some good stuff done safely, and responsibly.
Darren Jackson - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Huntington:

> The Trust employs these professionals to assess conditions/ if people are saying they are wrong I’m truly flabbergasted!

Be flabbered. And gasted. Suit yourself... 52% have had enough of experts.

It's a brave new world, and you need to get behind it.

mrphilipoldham - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Huntington:

To be fair it points out that conditions are thin, not ‘really good’.. so feel only mildly vindicated.
wercat on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:
It said that the gullies had not yet filled with snow. So you prefer a grade II gully that sometimes repels parties to be a nice straightforward snow slope? I've done No 1 when it's been like that but when it is so straightforward it's not in, in character. It is a pushover and can't really be claimed for what it usually is, pleasant or not.

In really good winters I've seen that gully far far more thin with lots of exposed rock, which can be climbed still, when the ground around is frozen very hard indeed. By comparison, the early season conditions today were surprising. Snow cover overall is indeed thin but then I saw no one climbing in the snow bowl, nor did I descend that way as I often do as it clearly was not "in".
Post edited at 22:44
wercat on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

btw you give yourself away by only referring to what you have read and not what you have seen or experienced
mrphilipoldham - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to wercat:
I give myself away? Care to expand?

Winter climbing *to me* is the god awful weather conditions, spin drift avalanches down your neck, the lot. I wouldn’t personally drive and walk for two hours each to climb a thin runnel of ice in the vain hope of a tick in my spikes.

I never said it wasn’t in condition, I stated what I’d read and seen lead me to believe it was towards the lean end.. which is still reasonably accurate given all the reports I’ve read. It certainly wasn’t in any manner derogatory to anyone personally either, unlike other contributors to the discussion.
Post edited at 22:54
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to chris smith:

Not questioning you in any way- you were there and saw what you saw- but the turf thermometer on great end still showing +1 degree at 5cm- if this is giving an indication that is at odds with the reports of people that are climbing there, does this call into question it’s usefulness? Is there something about its precise location that means it’s not representative of conditions on routes nearby?
Dave Cumberland - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Not questioning you in any way- you were there and saw what you saw- but the turf thermometer on great end still showing +1 degree at 5cm- if this is giving an indication that is at odds with the reports of people that are climbing there, does this call into question it’s usefulness? Is there something about its precise location that means it’s not representative of conditions on routes nearby?

I agree with your scepticism.
Helvellyn will always have better conditions than Great End. I too am surprised with the BMC gauge when my garden is fully frozen.
DC
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Yes. Also, Mwis has been commenting along the lines of ‘terrain frozen from valley level’ on the last few days- again at odds with the turf thermometer.

It’s clearly telling us something- but not sure how to translate that into a useful guide as to what might be in condition
baron - on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:
I have no idea of conditions at altitude but having spent most of the week walking in the lower hills and valleys the Lakes are wet, wet, wet.
There has been an element of freezing but any suggestion that turf was frozen at low altitudes certainly didn't apply to the areas I walked in.
Wellies were the order of the day.
TobyA on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I suspect it tells us that at 5 cms deep it isn't frozen while the top, be that in Dave's garden or on Great End, is (or was until tonight).
no_more_scotch_eggs - on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Maybe. But 5 cm isn’t that deep. Perhaps Chris smith can comment

He certainly is claiming it was frozen for the purposes of being climbable- so it looks like there still needs some interpretation of the turf temperature reading, even for routes on great end.
tobyk - on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

I am quite surprised by the temperature probe on great end, and thinking back to it's entire existence i'm not sure I've ever noticed it drop below 0 degrees. With a strong northerly wind for a week and with almost consistent temperatures below freezing, how can we be sure the probe is precise in it's measurements? is it calibrated properly, and if so, how often is it re-calibrated? Is there a certain degree of insulation from the equipment and so making the measurements imprecise?

This is just speculation by the way, and I have no real knowledge of the set up of the equipment. I had all of last week off, but due to there being a lack of generally snow, I couldn't justify heading out for a solo (only max grade I/II at my grade) as in my opinion winter 'climbing' wasn't there.
I think unfortunately, winter climbing in the lake district is a very rare thing, you either have to be incredibly patient (for years most of the time) or go to Scotland or Norway. If we keep going out in marginal conditions, we will loose rare flora and it will be spoilt for future generations to come.
Although now, with rising temperatures and a possibility of snow and a drop to freezing temperatures again, we could have winter climbing in the lake district in a couple of weeks. Fingers crossed.
tripehound - on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:
With peoples gardens and valley turf frozen, it sounds like temperature inversion keeping the higher turf above freezing.
wercat on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

It was b.... freezing yesterday! I got really cold hands and feet -mainly windchill - if you have been watching the temperatures for Helvellyn forecasts on Met Office you'll have seen sub zero (without factoring windchill) for quite a period - that was why I chose to go and have a look, pretty convinced that I'd just end up having a nice day round the edges. Blencathra had south facing cornices along the ridge on Wed, and though not really overhanging there was sufficient snow/frost buildup to form a cornice line on Helvellyn, which showed commencement of fracturing yesterday.

I think that the probe on Great End is just for Great End and not for somewhere totally exposed to the east.
wercat on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:
I understand what you are saying. I can confidently say it was in better nick yesterday than I've sometimes seen in the early months of the year with parties all over it. I felt reasonable about soloing it and I definitely know my limitations and age!


btw I was able to descend comfortably to the Tarn in crampons as there was good and compacted snow cover pretty well most of the way down Swirral and below. The path below the Tarn had expanses of sheet ice, interesting for the casual walkers in odd footwear
Post edited at 12:58
mrphilipoldham - on 02 Dec 2017
In reply to wercat:

Hopefully the thaw over the next few days isn’t terminal, cools down again before next weekend and it’d be a shame to lose what sounds like a decent start to winter!
Chris Huntington - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to tobyk:

Honestly mate, I live close to the Lake District and despite all of this chat, Thursday was decent. Some people climbed some routes on the headwall yesterday, which IMO was hugely irresponsible.
Chris Huntington - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Agreed! Looks like a re freeze towards the end of the week. Here’s hoping it continues.
GrahamUney - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to Chris Huntington:

Hi Chris. Graham, Fell Top Assessor here. Don't worry, I agree with you too. Thursday and Friday were both good days with climbs possible with no damage done to alpine flora. The forecast for warmer temperatures on Friday night was spot on, and by midnight the thaw had set in. Didn't stop people trying to push melting lines on Saturday, which was a shame. Today, nothing up there is frozen. Hopefully we'll get it back by this coming weekend.

Graham
Chris Huntington - on 03 Dec 2017
In reply to GrahamUney:

Thanks Graham!
Simon Caldwell - on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to no_more_scotch_eggs:

> Also, Mwis has been commenting along the lines of ‘terrain frozen from valley level’

I don't know about the Lakes, but they said for Saturday in Snowdonia that terrain was frozen above 500m. We only got as high as 700m but there was no hint of frozen ground, it was all soft and wet. Reports from closer to 900m suggested similar conditions there.

So it's always possible that mwis got it wrong.
wercat on 04 Dec 2017
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Terrain was frozen in the Eden Valley on Thursday, enough to avoid sinking into endless bogs in the woods, unusually
Ardo - on 06 Dec 2017
In reply to GrahamUney:

Hi Graham, see you did Pinnacle Ridge on St Sunday recently and wondered what your thoughts are on it being 'in' this Fri/Sat/Sun?
Ta.
L Stellar Meteor on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

Erm, it's December last time I checked! ;) Lakes aren't good till January at the earliest
Dave Cumberland - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stellar Meteor:

> Erm, it's December last time I checked! ;) Lakes aren't good till January at the earliest

Christmas to April, weather-dependent.
GrahamUney - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Ardo:

It's been a summer scramble for the last week. We'll have to wait and see how it turns out after this current cold weather coming in.
jas wood - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

Haven't posted on here in a while, not be posting on here for a while after this.

Saddens me, people are removing pictures they are chuffed about for fear of the pitch fork mob.



ERB - on 07 Dec 2017
In reply to Stellar Meteor:

Your right it's still December but you missed some early conditions last week some routes bagged some best avoided, climb responsibly.
payney1973 - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

How do you block it, pleeeaaaasssseeeee?????
olddirtydoggy - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to payney1973:

Hit the forums button on the top. Then just under that are all the icons for the different sections of the forum but just under that is the magic 'Favourite forums' button where you can switch off all the rubbish on here like off belay. Enjoy your new UKC!
Ardo - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to GrahamUney:

Thanks for the info. St Sunday is on my Wainwright list, so won't be a wasted journey if I drive up.
Exile - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Stellar Meteor & Dave Cumberland:

Mid November - April weather-dependent I'd say

MFB - on 08 Dec 2017
wercat on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Exile:

Ankle deep snow on top of Great End around 20th Oct 1992!

Last winter route was on Great End on 8th May 93, old and a bit dirty
Davidwi - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

**prepares to get head bitten off**

The boss (wife) has given the day off tomorrow an it’s looking very snowy and frosty across the bay in the lakes.
Does anyone know of the likeness of any grade II’s that might be doable, I’d be happy to walk away and go for a winter walk but I’d like my best chance of some action.

I’m looking toward maybe gulley 1 or 2 red tarn maybe but any advice would be great.

*standing by for a shelling.
Gav Parker - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Davidwi:

The edges or a snowed up ridge maybe be the best option this weekend, although could be windy high up! Gullies etc probably need time...enjoy fab conditions for a walk though!!
TobyA on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Davidwi:

Like Gav says a ridge could be fun, gullies probably rubbish.
BnB - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> Like Gav says a ridge could be fun, gullies probably rubbish.

Someone please take a look at this for me at the weekend. Planning on a trip middle of next week ;-)

Pendulum Ridge (III)


Full moon addict - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to BnB:

In my experience this route can be a bit of a sandbag. Can be more like 5 if conditions are not optimal.
In reply to Full moon addict:

Yes, a pretty sketchy start as i recall
TobyA on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to BnB:

You're not up for trying something this weekend are you BnB? I'm looking for a fellow optimist...
HimTiggins on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

I'll most likely be in the Lakes this weekend Toby. Get in touch if you want to try to climb ...
TobyA on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to HimTiggins:

Funnily, just asked you on FB! Will call later. I'm keen to do something.
BnB - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

> You're not up for trying something this weekend are you BnB? I'm looking for a fellow optimist...

Sorry. Both the kids are away so we're off clubbing!! I reckon it might be a bit soon tomorrow anyway. Depends how much turf is exposed of course.
BnB - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to Full moon addict:

I'd heard the initial wall is 4/5 but that's where I'm at, so not out of the question although I'd prefer an easier first route of the winter.

Done both Pinnacle Ridges twice, all the edges a hundred times, all the Brown Cove routes at least twice. Anything ridgey and quick to come in around grade 3? Hen Crag on Wetherlam maybe? Not been there.
LakesWinter on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to BnB:

Hen Crag Buttress needs consolidated snow to be good as it's really heathery.

Pendulum Ridge is grade IV and that's Lakes/Southern Highlands grade IV not Welsh IV. It's a cracking route but really does need to be frozen as 80% of the placements were in neve or turf when I did it.
TobyA on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to BnB:

If you don't get it done midweek and it stays cold, I'll do it with you next weekend!
mrphilipoldham - on 08 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Staying cold until the 17th by all accounts!
jas wood - on 10 Dec 2017
In reply to LakesWinter:
Turf not frozen enough for me for pendulum ridge up on scrubby today (only went into link cove) Ice of link cove is forming and was climbable today.
Post edited at 19:21
LakesWinter on 10 Dec 2017
In reply to jas wood:

Good report, have a like.
CurlyStevo - on 11 Dec 2017
In reply to LakesWinter:
Do you thinks lakes or wales grades are harder. Mostly only done ice in north wales (with one or two mixed routes) but my impression was the grading is a fair bit harder than Scotland. Not done much in the lakes. I guess devils kitchen is quite short but you could add half a grade or more for most the ice I’ve climbed in Scotland.. I think devils kitchen, south gully and the screen are all quite hard for IV. The V i did (devils cellar right hand) wasn’t too bad thou

I guess the climbing felt top end IV but the pro was normally pretty shallow and spaced as the ice wasn’t as thick and curtained as it is in Scotland, judging by the pics though we had much better than average conditions on both the visits we made over 2013..
Post edited at 00:49
pass and peak - on 11 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

Just for your info!
Us and another 4 teams did Pinnacle Ridge on St Sunday crag yesterday/Sunday. The route was dry, nobody used crampons from carpark to carpark, only one axe needed for the step down into the notch near the end. Prity much a cold hand summer scramble. Very little snow on that crag/aspect and turf was not frozen at the start, though was more solid at top. Cold last night so things might have stiffened up a bit and some ice had formed on adjacent rocks. Trouble is its just to dry in my opinion and any seepage has stopped, as far as I can see from a limited outing. Forecast potentially looks promising though for later in the week!
Dave Cumberland - on 11 Dec 2017
In reply to pass and peak:

> The route was dry, nobody used crampons from carpark to carpark,

Rock climbing then. Have done Westmorland's in similar conditions.
DC
neilwiltshire on 11 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

Had a look at Great End at the weekend. No climbing yet but conditions are building. Some fragile ice has started forming but not touching the ground yet. Gullies not filled in. Would be interesting to see how it is this weekend as forecast remains cold all week with snowfall at the latter end of the week.
LakesWinter on 11 Dec 2017
In reply to CurlyStevo:

Wales has felt similar to Scottish grades to me, whilst lakes grades are random. Things like the great end gullies and red tarn routes are fine for the grade but elsewhere anything goes. I think many routes are graded for tip top best condition rather than the usual condition they get to. I think this is a difference to Scotland where I think there is an attempt to grade for 'normal' conditions, whatever they might be.

Some good lakes sandbags in my humble opinion...

Garden of Eden green gable, gets III, probably IV

Waterfall Gully, pillar, gets IV and probably was in Jan 2010 but in December 2010 was harder than Hadrian wall

Chock Gully IV 4, in your dreams. IV overall is ok, but it felt tech 6

Raven crag Gully III would easily get IV in Scotland

Birkness Gully IV no way, would take an obscene build up to make this anything like the same grade as say Crowberry Gully.
CurlyStevo - on 21:34 Mon
In reply to LakesWinter:
Thanks for reply, I guess if you compare the Ben cruxes on the multi pitch to beinn udlaidh and then take that further again to the shortness of devils kitchen (in the main) the gardes are comparible (but i think the seriousness of the spaced stubby shallow screws on most the routes isn’t fully considered in the grade). That’s said I always thought by looking at them that things like Cascade (V 5) were utter sandbags for classics (purely an observation). I guess in years gone by the winter of 2013 at its peak would look pretty average in north wales in the kitchen. But judging by the pics it was one of the better in the last 15 years if only for short blasts. I guess 09/10 ish was the best but I didnt visit those years.
Post edited at 22:00
wercat on 08:42 Tue
In reply to ERB:

-9.5 in the Eden valley yesterday at 0830 , -5.5 this morning. Went for a scout round Helvellyn and had a nice day doing the edges - found prodigious and vast ice on the paths low down but only powdery and light snow on Striding Edge and Swirral Edge - people coming up in trainers etc. Lots of rock showing everywhere and the colour of vegetation on the face - someone had still climbed the headwall. ~Personally encountered no frozen turf or ice anywhere on the Edges or summit though Red Tarn has frozen. I chose not to climb as I couldn't see it being very satisfactory but only my choice.
Ross McGibbon - on 11:23 Tue
In reply to wercat:

He's right. Optimistically at Red Tarn now and it is dry looking on the face. Think a womble round the edges will still be fun.
richlan - on 12:32 Tue
In reply to wercat:

I see the lakes Weatherline guys noted that there was folk in the gullies on Brown Cove Crags on Sunday "digging turf up" i was up top on Saturday for a run and the gullies had nothing but a sprinkling of snow in them, i don't understand the mentality of it really.
Phil_ncl - on 16:55 Tue
In reply to richlan:
There was someone up at Brown Cove Crags on the Facebook Ground Conditions page Saturday I think: was complaining it wasn’t frozen... but still hacked up a gulley.

The parents admittedly only live at ~1000ft nr Shap, but there’s been naff all in the way of frozen ground. The Great End ground temps have also not been particularly low yet. I think people forget the ground temp is a very different thing to the air.

Ah well optimism is no bad thing!
BnB - on 18:12 Tue
In reply to ERB:

Right I'm in the Lakes (hopefully) for climbing on Thursday and Friday with my buddy. Felltop assessor says rime ice formed at 850m and it looks as though conditions ought to extend over the next day or so with some temperature fluctuations and the chance of a thaw before the freeze returns. Then again, it might snow quite a bit and hide everything. No need to remind me of the rules, ladies and gentlemen. Instead, suggest some buttress routes at II - IV I might enjoy scratching up. Much appreciated.
TobyA on 19:33 Tue
In reply to BnB:

The reports seem to be that the turf isn't freezing on the buttresses in the prevailing winds - it's weird. There seems to have been more freezing of turf in Wales (wetter to begin with maybe?) than in the Lakes. I see Jon Bracey did El Mancho at the weekend while on a flying visit to the UK. Can't imagine Jon would be the type to go ripping out unfrozen turf - a guide and all that, and other people were reporting it frozen on Crib Lem for instance. But people were doing Pinnacle Ridge on St Sunday summer style and so on. Southern Highlands seems to have the same problem as the Lakes.

I have some mixed targets in Wales, if the weekend is cold and you want to do some more!
Ross McGibbon - on 20:03 Tue
In reply to Phil_ncl:

The turf exposed to wind seemed frozen to me, on poking it with a walking pole. I'd trust my weight to it.
Just looks weird because it is not snowy. Met 2 lads who had been up Number 1 Gully, Red Tarn. Said it was frozen from the top of the scree and the ice pitch was present.
Tonight's thaw will do it all a lot of good.
BnB - on 20:32 Tue
In reply to TobyA:

Would love to Toby but I'm all Christmas-ed at the weekend. Turf is rock hard on northerly aspects on our local moors so its odd to hear about soft turf in the Lakes although lying snow can be a problem. It'll have had a full week by Thursday and several of the reports from yesterday and today are more promising, eg ice forming on Great End, so we'll find some amusement I'm sure.
MFB - on 20:34 Tue
In reply to Ross McGibbon:


There has been plenty of frozen ground but I think not to any depth, there was quite a lot of warm rain before the ' great freeze' this may explain the disconnect between the Great end guage and the fleeting conditions we found
Sleet in Langdale currently - weather eh
Kyle Warlow on 20:34 Tue
Went up to check Dollywagon North today...
Turf definitely not frozen enough.

K.

Chris Huntington - on 15:06 Wed
In reply to TobyA:

I walked to the headwall yesterday and backed off as it wasn’t anything like In condition. Agree with above- loads of ice low down but then soft snow and mushy turf higher up (this was next to red tarn not actually on the headwall) looks like a temperature inversion to me. Definitely felt warmer at red tarn than at Greenside. A team ahead of us went on and did gully 2. I shouted up to them and they confirmed it was poor. No idea why they bashed on.
Went to the ice wall in Keswick instead.

Cuillin Calling on 17:44 Thu
In reply to ERB:

Anyone been out today - whats the conditions like?

Thanks for any info/updates
petegunn on 17:54 Thu
BnB - on 18:28 Thu
In reply to Cuillin Calling:

Hi D. Did the Hallsfell Sharp Edge combination today. Very Scottish weather but the best alpine day out I've had in the Lakes (and I've done this combination scores of times). Very frozen ground on exposed turf above 2000ft. Soggier where insulated however. So much snow fell today that I fear our hunt for gully ice tomorrow will be thwarted by a combination of avalanche risk and insulated ground. Looking lovely and wintry though
Cuillin Calling on 19:05 Thu
In reply to BnB:

Thanks v much J. V helpful. That's decided then, I'm heading up. Will be in the area Fri all day and Sat am if you want to link up. 07799-686080
BnB - on 20:35 Thu
In reply to Cuillin Calling:

I'm afraid I'm partnered up. Good luck tomorrow. You'll find some great scenes if the forecast holds
L alistairsmeaton on 20:44 Thu
In reply to ERB:
as many people have said - funny conditions despite snowfall and v cold snap till tuesday. until recently consolidation of snow higher up has been slow, been a bit milder midweek with precipitation so maybe will be different tomorrow and Saturday. slightly lower crags might actually be in better nick than the usual suspects. visibility poor today so could not see snow line before today's new snowfall. planning to do a little reconnaissance drive into the national park tomorrow (friday) in between jobs to consider options for Saturday.

It has to be 'game on' somewhere on Saturday. it's just finding the right place out of the many options : area of the fells, altitude of crag, direction of crag, type of climbing. usual dilemmas

and making sure we don't all end up on top of each other on great end!
Post edited at 20:46
DSM - on 18:46 Fri
Report from Fri/15th:

Been up to Great End briefly today, approaching from Wasdale via Skew Gill.

There's a lot of new soft/wet snow on top of the previous semi-frozen layer making progress tedious (& dangerous).
Snow depth varies from ~10cm to thigh deep & beyond. There's also some ice in evidence but its generally quite loose/hollow - more like a Crunchy bar than a Mars bar - and not very good for climbing. Turf is buried deep below the snow & is not frozen.

Soloed up Window gully (& top rh finish) which were ok-ish - I've done this probably 10 times & today's conditions were possibly the worst I've encountered.

Hope this is useful,

DSM.

Full moon addict - on 18:56 Fri
In reply to DSM:

Thanks - put me off! I'll do something else.
DSM - on 19:06 Fri
Sorry if I've put you off but to be 100% clear in case anyone else is in doubt, Great End is not in good/safe winter climbing condition as of today. The fells look very pretty though!

DSM
BnB - on 19:48 Fri
In reply to DSM:

We traversed the left edge of Great End today looking for options and agree with your assessment. The useful thaw of Wed was obliterated by unexpectedly high snowfall yesterday leaving terrain plastered and turf soggy, not to mention considerable deposits of wind slab

Also agree that it's looking lovely and, what's more, my rack and rope had their first walk of the season.
Cuillin Calling on 20:37 Fri
In reply to ERB:

Wild windy day on Striding Edge today, felt like a Scottish day. Rimes rock, soft snow with some drifting, bits of scored ground. No ice on red tarn face visible from a distance. Good fun as an early season gear testing and fitness day.
jas wood - on 18:39 Sat
In reply to ERB:

Walked into Gable, very early with a plan a) Oblique chimney Plan b) Central gully but due to large amounts of soft snow did plan c) Pinnacle ridge which was in excellent shape and bomber turf and much rimedness. I'd presume this due to the wind whipping across the crag, because a team on Green Gable reported soft deep snow and bad conditions.

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