/ Lake District winter conditions
Did gully 2 in descent then climbed gully 1 on Red tarn face this morning, it’s in good condition but well stepped out.
Any suggestions of potential good conditions away from Helvellyn this week? Away as of a week on Monday so wouldn't mind getting something in if possible with the coming freeze!
Gable crag freezes quickly as does green gable in a cold NW wind. Depends when you're going but that could feel worth a look. Beware bottleneck blues is more V than IV...
Update Sat/13 17:30
Just returned from a brief afternoon visit to Great End.
From Wasdale valley there is zero snow to be seen anywhere (tops in cloud). Indeed there's bare grass & rock right up to the bottom of Great End. There is some ice on the crag though. Window Gully was well filled with hard water ice but in the lower reaches this was not bonded to the underlying rock. Higher up conditions were somewhat better and exposed turf appeared well frozen, so with diversions here & there it was climbable, indeed quite 'gnarly' today. Descent down a similarly icy Cust's Gully was also quite interesting (lost of icy steps rather than the usual snow slope).
> Beware bottleneck blues is more V than IV...
Was it you who did it a few weeks back? I saw a picture on instagram and asked the poster and they said about the same as this! I thought about trying it but am getting scared off!
Sounds like my kinda fun!
Give me a shout if you fancy a bash at it before next Sunday!
Unfortunately next Sunday is my first possible day to climb.
Knew it knew it was a long shot but Gable wet and unfrozen today - this despite the frozen neve and turf on the walk in.
Update from 14th Jan
red tarn face in good nic
Difficult route finding in the clag - climbed Gully 3 some fantastic Ice around the route allowing for some alternatives up steep bullet hard ice - the weather made for a character building day with spindrift most of the way
Climbed Blade runner, having backed off it last weekend was pleasantly surprised it went, was in ok condition, perfectly climbable if not a little lean.
Neve great all over the face, turf mostly frozen with some odd patches noticeably not frozen but mainly off climbing areas.
Plenty of ice in window gulley on great end today and had the crag to ourselves. Central gulley looked like more of a swim than a climb.
Just returned from a run up Coniston Old Man from Walna Scar fell gate via Summit Route. The road to the fell gate was OK until around 15:30 (running with water) but is probably iced up by now as the temperature is dropping rapidly. The hill is plastered in recent soft/wet snow at depths ranging from ~5cm low down to ~60cm+ near the top. There's plenty of drifting evident and consequently there's a mixture of deep drifts & bare grass on exposed slopes.
Summit Route seemed OK - there is almost no underlying snow, just wet grass & the turf is not really frozen. Stay safe!
I fear there is a few folk going to get clattered this weekend, I hope I am wrong....
Lovely on Blencathra today. From the reports I was expecting terrifying levels of snow but the only thing to watch is those heavy laden east faces. Brunt Buttress was pleasant and parties were on Fouled Crag. The gully there seemed to be heavy going but a party on the Buttress found it in good nick. Sharp Edge was fun, as normal.
Wish I'd ignored the doom and gloom and taken a rope to something steeper.
Just back after a failed trip to Gable, lovely day out, but the turf was far from frozen.
Was a bit sad seeing a number of teams carrying on regardless, including one team that even acknowledged the turf wasn't frozen but carried on anyway.
Would be interesting to hear if people found frozen turf today anywhere in the lakes, as I thought Green Gable or Gable crag would have been a fairly safe bet, but even the exposed turf on the summit of green gable wasn't frozen.
The rock was nice and white so turf free routes would have been great today. I guess I should have trusted the BMC turf temps a bit more.
Oh well, all a bit irrelevant with tomorrows forecast anyway
The grassy turf was frozen on Blencathra. Heather wasn't. But then heather never really does, because it doesn't hold water much.
We were on Green Gable. First pitch was indeed a bit borderline but hooks a plenty. 2nd pitch was good solid turf placements and the temp dropped when the freezing fog came in. Don't feel too guilty about it to be honest. Team on Engineers slab looked pretty epic.
We climbed on Brown Cove crag yesterday, loads of powder snow most of the turf was frozen , not loads of ice but enough. A brilliant calm day with lots of teams out and loads of routes done.
Blea water gill yesterday. First pitch incomplete and rotten ice. Second pitch climbable but with some poor and thin ice...my mate just pushed an ice screw in at one point. Deep soft snow on the walk in, hip deep in places, but still, we've left a trail now. .though suspect today's snow will have filled it up.
Heading up early wed till later thurs, conditions advice would be wonderful from anyone up there today.
It's warm and very wet up here at the moment.........lots of the snow already gone, maybe that's it for another year?
" . . . Heading up early wed till later thurs, conditions advice would be wonderful from anyone up there today . . . "
Four degrees at 3000ft and raining.
In mid January that comment is rather silly.....
No need for that......at least weve had a bit more than last winter!
Due to get cold again tomorrow afternoon with some more snow, plenty of time for conditions to return (or not).
Heading to the lakes tomorrow, we'd been hoping to climb (nothing hard probably grade 111 or so) but I get the impression its not quite there yet.
Can anyone tell me different?
I expect we'll do something like Blencathra by Sharp Edge or something in the absence of other options.
I’m heading to Helvellyn to see what’s left,not holding out much hope but at least it’s a day out.
its about time Great End came into condition
Well we might see you there! I'm assuming that there isn't enough snow in the gullies for them to be in, do you think this is the case?
Always nice to do striding/swirral edge I guess.
Gully’s one and two will be the best bet but don’t expect too much looks like weather should be good though.
In lean conditions last week Nethermost gully was good as one of the cornices had avalanched and deposited an extra layer on top. Can't speak for this week.
why would gullies a couple of days after fresh snow fall be good? Surely exposed buttresses facing the wind will be a much safer bet? It does seem in the UK people have a bizarre fascination with gullies!
Not another top 40 poster.
It's sometimes about getting out and swinging the axes. All too often the Lakes are out of condition with wet turf which I don't find good for mixed routes but the gullies are still banked out. Each to their own but sometimes it's a case of take what you can get.
I'm talking about this weekend. I'm not sure if what you're saying is true on average across a whole winter, but with English and Welsh winter conditions I doubt it. With out the 'base' build up that you still get most winters in Scotland, the Lakes and Wales are reset to zero routes in, numerous times over the season, or so it seems watching carefully over the last 4 winters. That's why 'quick snap' mixed seems to me to be the most reliable sort of routes. Maybe I've just been spoiled by having lived in Scotland, but gullies full of deep soft new snow just don't seem like winter climbing to me even if any flora is safely buried.
Striding Edge: Good winter excursion, crampons used on exit.
Swirral Edge: Good winter conditions, crampons used for descent.
Gully 1: Good neve but with several small holes with exposed wet turf. Probably won't take too many ascents before damage.
Gully 2: Good neve and complete the whole way.
V Corner: Good neve and hooks in the icy crack.
I found a lot of hollow snow in gully one, there was a hard base layer then a soft middle and a hard crust being in the gully the crust was fairly thick and as I kicked in some of it dislodged and went down. Did gully two in descent and agree good neve, as usual some turf was insulated but this got better with hight, but a brilliant day to be out on the fells.
its still winter on Helvellyn.
So turf frozen where exposed?
Meant to snow a lot tomorrow, but planning what to try on Sunday!
When I crossed from gully two to gully one low down most of the turf wasn’t frozen it was insulated under a new covering of snow, when I climbed out of gully one I traversed onto the rocks above Blade runner and the snow and turf were both frozen. Some of the snowpack was hollow with hard pack upper and lower snow but I only found this at the top of gully one.
I agree with petegunn & ERB (just back from solo afternoon trip to Helvellyn, left the summit @ 16:30).
Gully 2 has some windslab in evidence but its avoidable.
Gully 1 is in good condition.
V-Corner (& RH Finish) were a little thin but all the more fun for it. Turf only fully frozen in places, so due care is vital, but there's enough old snow for a careful ascent to be OK.
Cornices seemed fairly benign. These conditions have survived several rainy thaw cycles so won't go away in a hurry. Enjoy, with care as usual!
There was some big cornices on Dollywaggon and Nethermost.
My mate has just texted to say Two Grooves on BCC was in pretty good nick this morning
Walked up to Red Tarn yesterday with mrs wercat, beautiful day, with a big surprise for her on the way up when she got to watch a ring ousel.
As we saw people approaching/descending the gullies, having planned only to do the edges despite "going equipped" we gave No 1 a try solo and were very pleasantly surprised - some decent neve with short intervals of more hollow stuff and the ascent to the summit was very nice, as was sliding down the snow bowl part of the headwall between Swirral Edge and Viking Buttress, fast enough to get a hot bum!
A friend has texted to say that the turf on Cambridge Crag is not even nearly frozen. We were going to climb up there tomorrow, but will make another plan now ...
Has anyone been on Sharp Edge/ Hallsfell Ridge the last day or two? Just thinking about where to go tomorrow. Thanks
Ran up Scafell this afternoon via Deep Ghyll & West Wall Traverse. While the Wasdale Fells were looking gorgeous from all the recent snow it is soft, quite deep & lying atop old neve in places. And while there are some icicles forming the turf is not frozen so there's little to climb at the moment hereabouts.
Hi, I went over sharp edge this morning and it was soft powdery snow, Stunning day to be out!
Just for information, in case it's of use to anyone, I went up to Scrubby Crag today to avoid the crowds on Helvellyn and have a look at Pendulum Ridge. We certainly avoided the crowds, had it to ourselves, but unfortunately the ridge wasn't really in, there was no worthwhile ice or neve and the turf wasn't frozen so would have been essentially just rock climbing on bad vegetated rock with some unconsolidated snow on it so backed off after about 30'.
Pendulum gully on the other hand may well be worth a look. The initial pitch was well formed and the apron leading up to it had some good consolidated neve in it though both had about 4" to 6" of soft snow over them but it wasn't slabby and there was no sharp boundary between them to form a sliding surface so the soft stuff was of the nuisance value/added to the winter experience variety according to your preference.
The gully doesn't carry a cornice either so I was quite tempted but my partner didn't want to risk having to make a second retreat on the same day so we just walked round to the top.
I can report however that a winter ascent was made in Deepdale today. As we were walking in below Greenhow End we were trying to decide whether the prints in the snow had been made by a fox or a badger when we must have startled their creator and we saw a fox make a lightning ascent of Greenhow Gully stopping only occasionally to check we weren't in pursuit of it.
Rampsgill Head was in good nick today - the wind straight onto the crag through last week has frozen the turf really well, lots of snow and a reasonable amount of hoar.
Sounds promising.. did you climb anything or just on foot? Heading up on Tuesday and looking for somewhere away from the circus (Helvellyn!)
We climbed South Pinnacle Ridge and North Gully. I felt SPR was a bit over rated with two stars, (my mate thought North Pinnacle Ridge, which he had done on a previous visit, was better.) NG is an excellent little route though.
Thanks.. looks like a good day out that!
> Hi, I went over sharp edge this morning and it was soft powdery snow, Stunning day to be out!
I'm so jealous that my face actually hurts.
Yes, but remember
you can be the moon, and still be jealous of the stars....
Eventually got up to Rampsgill Head this afternoon to find the entire hill side frozen solid.. but didn’t climb anything as we’d arrived knackered after checking out the Blea Tarn routes which were forming, but no where near yet. Shame as I bet North Gully etc would have been great!
North Gully is fun, and unlike all (!?) other Lakes winter routes, is well protected and feels safe!
Went up to great end today. In central the snow felt dodgy confirmed later by a party who had checked it out from the top. SE wasn't suffienctlty frozen, yestersday's snow protecting the turf from the cold temps (it's beyond belief that people went up it on Sunday). Window was apparently good being more exposed to the recent cold winds but since we did that a few weeks ago we salvaged the day with the gulley on Broad crag which was in good nick and then a random gully on the back-end of Ill crag. Lots of ice around at the moment, particularly on West facing crags but not sure how long it will last, most rock was bare.
Went up to the start of Window gully on Great End today loads of powder snow some rotten ice, lower ice fall looks to be forming but didn’t get up to it needs a bit more consolidation.
Red Tarn face good yesterday - hard neve with quite a bit of powdery snow (which can generally be avoided). Turf easily avoidable although was well frozen where exposed.
More snow this morning. All white here. Still not that cold though.
How about someone starting Lake District winter conditions 2?
Go on then Dave! Good idea....things could be changing with the winds and snow forecast in the next few days!
Lake District Winter Conditions 2: Return of the Thaw?
> Lake District Winter Conditions 2: Return of the Thaw?
What, The Remorseful Winter?
Winter conditions 2 agreed. But one where top 40 posters are banned come on UKC give us a top forty filter button.
CONDITIONS QUESTION: Anyone been up Tarn Crag or Falcon Crag on Dollywagon who can tell me what conditions are like please?
Fell top assessor said the other day that Gully lines looked complete and ‘good’ albeit only having seen them from St Sunday Crag.
We climbed Traverse of the Sods today on Foule Crag but climbs on this cliff don't seem to make it to the Winter Conditions page.
The turf was frozen, it was quite icy and the snow was a mixture of neve and powder. Excellent conditions, with the weather starting as snow and fierce winds and clearing to blue skies. Traverse of the Sods is one of the most enjoyable winter routes I have climbed in the Lakes; constant interest, thought provoking routefinding, steep and exposed in places, 200m long.
Looking at the west facing crags on Scafell for thursday. Anyone climbing in the area at all? Reports would be greatfully appreciated.
Chock Gully is a right mission to get in condition by the way......
Central gully on Gable was frustratingly too melty this morning, good neve about after the thaw but buttresses are black.
A friend and I climbed Central Ridge and Central Gully on Rampsgill Head this morning which were both in good condition. The freezing level had risen above the crag though by 1.30pm when we left.
My son and I did Catstye Cam Gully this morning. We did an early start and found good conditions on the route. On the walk down all the ice on the path below Red Tarn to Greenside had turned soft and slushy mostly. Not sure the higher routes on RTF would of been any better as they might of stayed cold yesterday. I'd heard the snow pack was multi-layered on Wednesday.
Were you in the lower part of the gully around 1015 or so? If so I saw you. Went for an amble up to Red Tarn and it looked so good I thought I'd try the face. No 1 Gully was exquisite and pristine, mix of water ice on the sides and hard packed snow/ice, as good as I've found it, standard grade II, not the greatest challenge but in great nick.
A bit of loose snow in the entry and on the face above the gully but nothing troublesome and slight and avoidable cornice at the top.
Blade Runner looked nice but I can't vouch for turf being frozen as I didn't make contact with any.
Brief outing to Dollywagon area this afternoon. There's plenty of slushy wet snow from Dunmail to Grizedale Tarn & beyond. At Dollywagon summit the ground is iced and there's deep snow on lee slopes. The North crag looked plastered in fresh snow with generally bare rock, but given the snow is wet/heavy & sitting atop older stuff I'm not sure how safe/fun it would be. .
There are large cornices most everywhere with overhangs well over a metre wide in places. Went down to Jogebar Gully & there are several distinct layers of snow - quite hazardous in approach. The gully itself though was fine - the snow was a little hollow but the turf frozen. A large cornice above but avoidable to the left.
Good neve and entertaining icy steps in Pendulum Gully on Scrubby today but buttresses, as elsewhere, rather black. Turf unfrozen but not required in the majority of gullies (looked at Red Tarn face yesterday) owing to substantial snow depth.
Anyone have any idea how any ll's lll's around great end may be looking for tomorrow (sunday)
probably okay but go early as it will be melting.
Scafell Pike was fantastic on thursday but friday night it was melting.
Headed to St Sunday on Sunday to have a look at Pinnacle Ridge and bag the summit. Couldn't find PR in the clag, summited and went through three different descent plans.
Thawing and rain on way down, though could be good if there's another freeze coming.
From MWIS :"After a brief lift above freezing at the start of this week, temperatures will be below freezing on the mountains for the foreseeable future, so the current snow-pack will substantially remain in place; probably well into March"
outlook sounds hopeful
Very early Tuesday morning it should drop back below zero, for at the very least for a week but looking like a good system in place for it to stay that way longer
Anyone been out and about today? Any route info is helpful but specifically, Great End, Scafell, Blea Water, Old Man Coniston. Aleady have some updates on Helvellyn via FB so I know conds are ok there.
Great End had soggy turf and some rock on the ice pitches, some people were still climbing anyway, but I thought too risky....
Ok thanks for that
anyone have any info on conditions at the moment? thinking of maybe heading to great end tomorrow looks like it'll be cold enough.
I'd expect to find very good neve with ice forming but not yet climably fat
Wasn't great yesterday - Central Gully OK to the amphitheatre but ice pitch looked crap - a party went up to the right of the ice pitch (middle way?) I opted for the exit L of the ice pitch but the chockstone was not soloable as not enough snow/ice cover so made an interesting excursion out up the L side on to a snow crest then over rocks /snow mixed up the L side of that branch to the top so didn't end up alone and trapped after all.
Has anyone got any info on condition of any of the gills? ImI thinking some might be coming in. Blea Water seems likely but I'm wondering about lower things like Cautley Spout. Just want to make the most of the special weather.
It's only been super cold for a couple of days! It'll take a bit longer yet I should think
Been up climbing on a very fat Kinder downfall today. Well, the first pitch anyway, the second pitch was more or less completely bare. Strange!
Kinder was what was making me think the gills might be forming. Thanks for the info.
Kinder’s geography is different to the Lakeland fells.. it’s a big sponge so releases water slowly but constantly rather than throwing it off quickly, which is why I think that there was so much up there today compared to Lakeland (and Wales, I guess!).
> but I'm wondering about lower things like Cautley Spout. Just want to make the most of the special weather.
Yes, thinking of some of the Yorkshire waterfalls and gills. It would be very special to climb ice in Yorkshire. Let the Mercury tumble.
We climbed Gordale Scar back in 2010 it was frozen solid, we used the sports route bolts for belaying at the top.
Yesterday on Great End unspeakable almost. Central Gully LH ice was straightforward and very pleasant with good turf to safeguard the final exit so down Custs and to Window, the only place ot find shelter from the freezing wind for cocoa being the foot of the narrow ice pitch with dry rock on the left side. Lower icefall very pleasant too,neve bank hiding the steep part of it so a bit soft touch. In fact several of the ice pitches on Gt End are shorter than they would normally be, and the RH finish of Central Gully looked straightforward.
Unfortunately after Window I succumbed to Mountain madness and had to go over to Scafell Pike, so beautiful was the day and it broke my heart to go back down afterwards, playing on the little ice pitch at the foot of the rocks below the Window Gully line as a consolation. As I said, almost unspeakable, wonderful. Even had a little sunbathe on the way back over to Gt End from Scafell Pike.
I don't think the ice is going anywhere soon and it had improved from last Thursday unbelievably
We were walking in Wharfedale on Sunday and none of the watercourses was even slightly frozen.
Give it another week or 10 days ....
We were up Deepdale on Tuesday. The routes on Hutaple and Greenhow End were not in. We climbed Link Cove Beck Right which was just high enough to be in condition, then up Pendulum Gully which was in very fine condition, excellent neve and ice.
Just to be clear, only the tip waterfall of Link Cove Right was in. A very nice 30 or 40 foot grade 3.
Wonderful neve in the gully.
Was up Chapel Crag in Buttermere tonight. Buttresses all bare and any steeper sections of gully's were starting to look problematic. Chapel Gully for example didn't look possible. I did Curved Gully which had fantastic neve but where it got steeper as it joins straight gully, was fairly bare for a few metres and made for a scary couple of moves to pass it.
Other than that, any seepage seems very well frozen even low down, but flowing water is a long way off being frozen. See what this next week brings!
looked as if ice was forming overnight round Taylor Gill force and Sourmilk Gill on Monday morning
Anyone have any idea if some of the lower down ice routes are looking in or just a hunch at what might be? looking to get out tomorrow road conditions dependant obviously.
Ice in Tebay pass was climbed last night!
Is that generally an indicator for elsewhere?
yup a good indicator that its cold
Update Fri/2nd/Mar PM:
Afternoon excursion to Coniston Old Man area.
Soloed Low Water Beck which had a little water running down the initial main pitch (as is usual). This was avoidable with care to the left - seemed OK, but there's not a huge amount of ice thereabouts so it won't tolerate much bashing! The stream was fully frozen all the way to the tarn which was nice.
Then climbed Percy's Passage which was well formed with ice mushrooms. There was Extreme wind in the upper reaches which was highly hazardous - significant risk of being blown off the mountain. Upon reaching the summit ridge I was literally blown off my feet several times on the short walk to the top. Must have been up the Old Man a hundred times, never experienced gusts like that - Extremely Dangerous.
Enjoy & stay safe.
Climbed jogebar gully today and ice terrace. Amazing conditions throughout on both! Solid ice and never everyrhing well and truly in condition. Turf was bomber, can't believe we didn't see another single person all day. Where are all the climbers?
> Where are all the climbers?
Probably put off by all the reports of armageddon! And the closure of the A66 probably didn't help.
We were the only tent in the Langdale NT campsite on Saturday.
We climbed Raven Crag Gully on Combe Gill ( Borrowdale ) yesterday, lower pitchers were a bit thin of ice but top pitch was well worth it, cannot see it lasting as it was all thawing we got soaked climbing under the mushroom on the last pitch. Great climb though.
That had been our plan too, but were put off by finding Trough Gully harder than expected on Saturday. So headed to Langdale for something less serious, where we wimped out of Whorneyside Force (which looked in excellent condition if you could get past the semi-frozen pool at the bottom and the hollow ice at the start) and did Isaac Gill instead.
Aren't you Yorkshire based? How did you get across? I went to Wales but had to go down round the bottom of the Peak to get there Friday night.
Yep he's in York, he went A65 on Sat, a few other Yorkies went to NYM for a play as A66 & M62 closed
yup, what he says
> > Where are all the climbers?
> Probably put off by all the reports of armageddon! And the closure of the A66 probably didn't help.
> We were the only tent in the Langdale NT campsite on Saturday.
Most of the climbers are probably climbing, Trough Gully, Fri, (doddle, bad weather option), Newlands House Sat, Brown Cove Sun, Great End today, window ice falls great condition....best conditions for years higher up, but plus 6 at the car later....
We were also climbing, but very few others were - we saw 2 climbers on Saturday (Trough Gully), and 4 on Sunday (Langdale). Even more surprisingly, we saw no walkers on Sunday, just 2 fell runners.
I'm not surprised you didn't see anybody on Trough gully!! All the good ice is high up, loads of people out at the weekend/today best conditions for years!! When it starts to thaw it's best to go high...
There were also some first/second ascents done at Honister over the weekend....
Although all of upper gantry crag, left gantry curtain, cable gully and the gantry streaks were too thin. I think the drainage has altered since the mine started getting reworked. The only climbable lines were right gantry curtain, hostel fall and the newer one that got repeated
anyway, we did little stanger gill in borrowdale, which was excellent and a bit tricky for IV in these conditions, also did big stanger gill, one good pitch and sour milk gill, which was excellent bottom to top
Cautley spout was good on Sunday and that hardly classes as 'high up'
Sunday, climbed Newlands Hause straight up the middle (better ice on left); also Lower Incline Fall (III and 2 mins from the car park at Honister) and Upeer Incline Fall (III). All were decent but no where near fat...could be good at night...depends on the rate of the thaw.
Heard that the fall/pillar behind Honister YHA was climbed yesterday as well (I'm not brave or light enough to try that!)
A friend went to do it this morning and passed as thawing too much. Could come good again but temps not looking anywhere what they were.
I think the low level ice may have had its purple patch for the season.
Interesting pictures of road conditions here:
Abysmal conditions on the Helvellyn range yesterday, apalling underfoot, damned with crampons and without, yer takes yer choice. Abandoned a gully somewhere in the total gloom on Nethermost South as it was not in, vegetation and loose snow with very poor axe and crampon placements so broke out to the side and reached the ridge. All I could see was white gloom and pure white snow - only continuous reference point was the wind at the back of my head and occasionally the cornice line as I headed to Helvellyn. Descended the snowbowl from the plateau with some nice sliding but moving on crampons totally laborious as front pointing was the only way to avoid balling and even boots alone balled sometimes.
The roads are mainly clear now, that picture has high walls of snow because the diggers have been piling it up at the side where they have cleared a drift and is not typical. There is virtually no snow on most of the roads in west Cumbria, and completely clear up Newlands or down Seathwaite.
All the Great End gullies were good for soloing yesterday, and were being soloed by numerous people....no new snow in them as it had either been blown off or fallen off the steeper areas. The less steep areas had a little new snow, but that part of winter mountains. High up, ice everywhere.....
Hopefully later in the week then...
Still roads constricted round here yesterday , road to Pooley Bridge required vehicles to pass with extreme care /give way to pass because of hard drifts narrowing the carriageway. Worse up on the Pennine fellside of course.
Unusually we did have very high and solid drifts round here, some feet deep, of solid snow not thrown up by diggers, hence the worry of farmers re livestock sheltering against walls. Last week we helped someone who did most of the work of getting 5 small lambs who'd sought refuge under a cattle grid.
(I remember the snow being 15 feet high either side of the road on Crawleyside above Stanhope when I was growing up after the ploughs had been through, higher than a lorry! But then the house was 1100 ft up and a family just up thehill had to be airlifted when their kitchen was filled with snow by an avalanche bursting in.)
Such drifting is in evidence higher up - The hole in the wall stile has only one step on both sides - Quite a split between the East and West.
Yesterday below Nethermost I came across a snow ammonite, like a German schnecke pastry, then another and another and in the end I saw these spirals rolling down the slope rolling up the inch or so of snow over the hard ice underneath.
> I'm not surprised you didn't see anybody on Trough gully!! All the good ice is high up
This was in Saturday, and it was in superb condition. Though the Langdale gills on Sunday at a slightly lower elevation were even better, possibly because it had warmed up slightly so the ice was more plastic.
When you've got a super cold snap with low level ice available for the only time in 5 or 10 years, why go high up for routes that are climbable every winter?
We went for Raven Crag gully for that reason may not be in again for a few years back to Great End and Helvellyn next week.
> This was in Saturday, and it was in superb condition. Though the Langdale gills on Sunday at a slightly lower elevation were even better, possibly because it had warmed up slightly so the ice was more plastic.
> When you've got a super cold snap with low level ice available for the only time in 5 or 10 years, why go high up for routes that are climbable every winter?
But I thought you said you didn't manage to climb it?
Went up Helvellyn today, up striding edge.
Snow felt good, very windy but the cloud set in and couldn’t see very far in front of your face. We saw one guy on the route, and he turned back at the Helvellyn step up. Can’t say I blame him. It was interesting to say the least.
Great day out though.
No, I don't think I did.
Neither you did! Apologies!
Mwis has freezing above the tops and raining Saturday
is anything leFt specifically langdale areas ??
A pleasant little outing today from Swirls car park. Enough old ice left to permit entry to Brown Cove Crags Central Gully and ice to be found here in the gully but the snow is softer than neve but nevertheless reasonable. Parallel gullies looked complete from the top.
Descent from Helvellyn summit via the snow bowl and started up No 2 Gully and discovered just enough old ice to get into the Left Hand exit and so on up to the summit which seemed a bit more sporting. No 2 is almost complete at the moment, No 1 looked terrible.
Looking across to Great End it looks as if the face is still wintry - perhaps enough will survive into the next cold spell to allow a return.
Excellent sliding down snow patches off the Swirls end of the ridge.
Just setting off to Great End think this will be the last winter climbing trip in the Lakes this season, according to Facebook still good conditions up there although you wouldn’t know from this site.
I was going to do the same thing, but just before going to bed checked the AA and it looks like all the trans Pennine routes I need to use are blocked. Very miserable.
interested to hear how you get on, though I'm more likely heading to Glenshee for a day or two
I'd be interested to know what 'fantastic conditions' means, good for a snow plod or whether there is decent ice left. There is a lot of info on ground conditions but you have to wade through a lot of rubbish and stating of the obvious (e.g. CMD arete in great nick) to get to the good stuff and often the reports are focused on the easy gullies.
Would love to let you know but had to cancel at 6am due to being snowed in, gutted I couldn’t go. If you looked on ground conditions you would have seen central gully lh was climbed on good ice and with the wind chill turf was frozen. You need to look on Scambling and mountaineering and freedom of the hills as well, I would rather have more information to wade through than very little which seems to be the case on this site like I’ve said it’s a shame this site was for climbers but not anymore.
I spent all week thinking Sunday would be the better day - I'd mainly been looking at Wales and there didn't seem to be much snow even high up, but it now seems I should have gone for it yesterday, although I guess I might have ended up stuck getting home again.
Trying to be zen about it all. Just been for a bit of a ski above Sheffield instead.
I didn’t think/hope the snow would get as far over the Pennines as it did, it’s the wind and windchill that’s the problem today,just trying to rearrange work so I can get out midweek.
Brutal winds and windchill on brown cove crags today. Solid neve and some good ice. The wind made things very interesting.
What was the roads like in the lakes?
most of them are fine now. some of the high roads are still closed but kirkstone is ok
Might be some good ice on Red Screes, Trough Gully was good tonight
> I'd be interested to know what 'fantastic conditions' means, good for a snow plod or whether there is decent ice left. . . . .
On Great End today the conditions were definitely fantastic, though the weather wasn't, bitterly cold -7 or 8 with 50mph+ winds.
All the gullies received ascents, most several, on neve as bomber as neve can be, turf as frozen you're ever likely to find and quite a lot of ice around as well.
Monday and Tuesday still looking to be cold. Get out while you can!
All the comments above about snow blocked roads might explain why it was so quiet up there today? Probably only a dozen climbers there.
I was thinking kilnshaw chimney might be worth a look tomorrow
Going off this, do you reckon Scafell would be worth a look?
In reply to Just noticed that Cumbria Police have given an advance warning that Prince Charles and other royals (??) will be attending various functions in Kendal, Keswick and Glenridding next Monday the 26th.
Dont try and pass the convoy of shiny black Range Rovers on the Kirkstone You may get shot.
> Going off this, do you reckon Scafell would be worth a look?
I would think so, with a similar altitude I can't see why the neve or turf would be much different, possibly the amount of ice could be different if it takes more or less drainage.
Somebody has logged climbing Moss Ghyll yesterday. Possibly you could message them through here?
Here's a view over to Scafell Pike from the top of Great End yesterday if its any help though you can't see Scafell crag itself.
Ah I missed that.. must have logged it after I'd looked! Was thinking Moss Ghyll so could be promising.. thanks!
If it helps Great End’s gullies were mostly in still yesterday. A short rocky step here and there, but mostly still banked out. Window Gully still has ice and was a fun jaunt although the approach was thinning out. The turf I encountered was all frozen still.
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