UKC

/ 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.
9
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.
1
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.
3
Dr 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.
3
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.
3
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
3
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
1
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!
1
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
2
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....
6
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
3
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
6
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.php?id=302714 though.
1
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.php?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
5
mrphilipoldham - on 01 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Compared to..

https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?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!
2
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
8
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.
2
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.
3
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
1
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
1
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
2
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
1
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.
1
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
1
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.
1
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.
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
5
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.
1
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)


2
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.
1
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 11 Dec 2017
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 12 Dec 2017
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 12 Dec 2017
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 Dec 2017
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 12 Dec 2017
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 12 Dec 2017
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 12 Dec 2017
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 12 Dec 2017
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 12 Dec 2017
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 12 Dec 2017
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 12 Dec 2017
Went up to check Dollywagon North today...
Turf definitely not frozen enough.

K.

Chris Huntington - on 13 Dec 2017
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 14 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

Anyone been out today - whats the conditions like?

Thanks for any info/updates
petegunn on 14 Dec 2017
BnB - on 14 Dec 2017
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 14 Dec 2017
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 14 Dec 2017
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
alistairsmeaton on 14 Dec 2017
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 15 Dec 2017
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 15 Dec 2017
In reply to DSM:

Thanks - put me off! I'll do something else.
DSM - on 15 Dec 2017
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 15 Dec 2017
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 15 Dec 2017
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 16 Dec 2017
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.
DSM - on 17 Dec 2017
Went for a run on Blencathra today - up Sharp Edge down Hallsfell Ridge.
OK in fell shoes & no crampons but ice axes were definitely needed. Much fun.

DSM
DSM - on 27 Dec 2017
This thread seems to have stalled so I'll try to resurrect it

The Lakes are in magnificent winter walking conditions right now (Wed/27) & are likely to remain so on Thu/28 at least.

Took a run round the Coniston fells this afternoon - perfect snowy running conditions, snow not too deep, turf frozen on the surface, kept my feet dry all the way. Since all the snow & the accompanying freeze is only about a day old there's not really any climbing as such I think (apart from easy snow filled gullies, ridges etc).

Enjoy!

DSM
Full moon addict - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to DSM:

I went round the Napes on Boxing Day. It made for a good mountaineering type excursion - heavy drifted powder covering everything with some ice on upper rocks. Its been incredibly quiet where I've been. went back over glaramara and no-one had been between allen crags and the summit of glaramara. also yesterday, only 2 people on the high stile ridge, but cracking conditions for walking/running.
DSM - on 28 Dec 2017
Update 15:45 Thu/28.

Fine snowy conditions remain, still excellent for walking/running but not climbing I think.
Just returned from a run up Dow Crag via Easy Gully which was mostly dry rock with some ice & snow but only towards the top.

Here's a pic from yesterday's run (still valid for today's conditions):
https://www.ukclimbing.com/images/dbpage.php?id=303741

DSM
ERB - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to DSM:

Yes similar conditions to yesterday in Langdale. Big dump of snow coming tomorrow.
mrphilipoldham - on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:

Brown Cove Crags climbed on today, despite the fell top assessors advice against...
TobyA on 28 Dec 2017
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

We did Viking Buttress today which was pretty good - you had to be careful to use exposed tufts of grass which were frozen hard, the big lumps of moss were too soft, but they always are and turf back on the bigger ledges where snow had accumulated was softer - a number of moves of manteling tools in good frozen turf on the edges of ledges, rather than just swinging further back on to the ledge.

The gullies looked utter pants though. Lots of ice forming on the buttress, but couldn't see any in Gully 1 for instance.
1
mrphilipoldham - on 29 Dec 2017
In reply to TobyA:

Good to hear! It was a gully done on BCC. Reported to be soft and slushy but at least the gear was good..!!
Wesley Orvis - on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to ERB:
People were climbing in Browncove yesterday even with the Crag dripping. We turned around and went back down for a brew
Post edited at 19:27
ERB - on 31 Dec 2017
In reply to Wesley Orvis:

Saw your post on Facebook, looks like the lakes is in for some wet weather until next weekend , at least we will be back at work. Happy new year.
mrphilipoldham - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to ERB:

Fell top assessor suggesting some routes were climbable today! Fancy heading up Thursday/Friday maybe if the weather holds.. looks like it should for high crags
baron - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

While I have no idea if anything was climbable today I do know that you'd have been soaked to the skin before you got anywhere near the start of a route.
Typical Lake District rain and wind in Patterdale today.
Hopefully it'll stop sometime.
mrphilipoldham - on 02 Jan 2018
In reply to baron:

Hard fellows them assessors!
ebdon on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:
Any one been out today? I was mountain biking round loadpot hill and was surprised how soggy it was underfoot even over 600m, i cant imagine any gully lines would be sufficiently frozen even up high?
Dave 88 - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to ebdon:

I wasn't far away on Place Fell and it seemed pretty well frozen on the summit. Helvellyn and Blencathra looked to be pretty well plastered still. Lovely day today!

mrphilipoldham - on 06 Jan 2018
In reply to ebdon:

People have been on them.. looked banked out in wet snow. Deep enough not to be touching turf in pics I saw, but obviously that’s only at that spot!
DSM - on 07 Jan 2018
Update from Sunday/7th/AM.

Ran up Helvellyn this morning from Swirls. The easier snow routes above Red Tarn all seemed in reasonable form.
Went down Gully 2, up V Corner, down Gully 2, up Gully 1, down Gully 2, up Wall & Ramp, down Striding exit, up Gully 3.
All of these seemed OK but I was done by about 10AM ie before the sun had a chance to melt anything.

Various parties were on these climbs, Viking Buttress etc. Lovely day.

DSM.

2
ERB - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to DSM:

Did gully 2 in descent then climbed gully 1 on Red tarn face this morning, it’s in good condition but well stepped out.

ERB

mrphilipoldham - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to ERB:

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! 

LakesWinter on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

 

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...

 

DSM - on 13 Jan 2018

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).

DSM

 

1
TobyA on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to LakesWinter:

>  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!

 

mrphilipoldham - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to LakesWinter:

Sounds like my kinda fun!

LakesWinter on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to TobyA:no, it was a few years ago. I seconded the crux pitch; it was pretty hard and the gear was fiddly.

 

mrphilipoldham - on 13 Jan 2018
In reply to TobyA:

Give me a shout if you fancy a bash at it before next Sunday! 

TobyA on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Unfortunately next Sunday is my first possible day to climb.

Exile - on 14 Jan 2018
In reply to TobyA:

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.

Enzagolf - on 15 Jan 2018

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.

 

 

sheelba - on 17 Jan 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

nkhumphreys - on 18 Jan 2018
In reply to ERB:

Any more info on Helvellyn? I was hoping to do some climbing on easier stuff this weekend but the current assessment looks pretty dangerous?

http://www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk/

Any route suggestions?

DSM - on 19 Jan 2018

Update 16:30/Fri/19th

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!

DSM

 

richlan - on 19 Jan 2018
In reply to DSM:

I fear there is a few folk going to get clattered this weekend, I hope I am wrong....

Tom the tall on 19 Jan 2018
Ross McGibbon - on 20 Jan 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

1
wupert on 20 Jan 2018
In reply to ERB:

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

Ross McGibbon - on 20 Jan 2018
In reply to wupert:

The grassy turf was frozen on Blencathra. Heather wasn't. But then heather never really does, because it doesn't hold water much.

glaramara - on 20 Jan 2018
In reply to wupert:

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.

4
ERB - on 21 Jan 2018
In reply to glaramara:

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.

 

ERB

pebbles - on 21 Jan 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

olddirtydoggy - on 23 Jan 2018
In reply to ERB:

Heading up early wed till later thurs, conditions advice would be wonderful from anyone up there today.

Gav Parker - on 23 Jan 2018
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

It's warm and very wet up here at the moment.........lots of the snow already gone, maybe that's it for another year?

1
Jim Lancs on 23 Jan 2018
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

" . . . Heading up early wed till later thurs, conditions advice would be wonderful from anyone up there today . . . "

Four degrees at 3000ft and raining.

LakesWinter on 23 Jan 2018
In reply to Gav Parker:

In mid January that comment is rather silly.....

Gav Parker - on 23 Jan 2018
In reply to LakesWinter:

No need for that......at least weve had a bit more than last winter!

Simon Caldwell - on 23 Jan 2018
In reply to Gav Parker:

Due to get cold again tomorrow afternoon with some more snow, plenty of time for conditions to return (or not).

jbb on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

 

ERB - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to jbb:

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 

 

 

Post edited at 19:17
jbb on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

ERB - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to jbb:

Gully’s one and two will be the best bet but don’t expect too much looks like weather should be good though.

olddirtydoggy - on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

TobyA on 01 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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!

1
ERB - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to TobyA:

Not another top 40 poster.

olddirtydoggy - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to TobyA:

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.

1
TobyA on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to olddirtydoggy:

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.

petegunn on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

Helvellyn today.

 

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.

ERB - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to petegunn:

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.

TobyA on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

So turf frozen where exposed?

Meant to snow a lot tomorrow, but planning what to try on Sunday!

ERB - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to TobyA:

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.

DSM - on 02 Feb 2018

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!

DSM

 

ERB - on 02 Feb 2018
In reply to DSM:

There was some big cornices on Dollywaggon and Nethermost.

Exile - on 03 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

My mate has just texted to say Two Grooves on BCC was in pretty good nick this morning

 

wercat on 03 Feb 2018
In reply to DSM:

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! 

HimTiggins on 03 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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 ...

redsonja - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

Has anyone been on Sharp Edge/ Hallsfell Ridge the last day or two?  Just thinking about where to go tomorrow. Thanks

DSM - on 04 Feb 2018

Update Sun/4th/PM:

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.

DSM

 

 

 

Boaby - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to redsonja:

Hi, I went over sharp edge this morning and it was soft powdery snow, Stunning day to be out!

 

redsonja - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to Boaby:

Great- thanks

pec on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

Exile - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

 

2
mrphilipoldham - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to Exile:

Sounds promising.. did you climb anything or just on foot? Heading up on Tuesday and looking for somewhere away from the circus (Helvellyn!)

Exile - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

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.

 

mrphilipoldham - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to Exile:

Thanks.. looks like a good day out that!

bouldery bits - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to Boaby:

> 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.

Boaby - on 04 Feb 2018
In reply to bouldery bits: 

Yes, but remember

you can be the moon, and still be jealous of the stars....

1
mrphilipoldham - on 06 Feb 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

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! 

TobyA on 06 Feb 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

North Gully is fun, and unlike all (!?) other Lakes winter routes, is well protected and feels safe!

sheelba - on 07 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.       

ERB - on 11 Feb 2018
In reply to sheelba:

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.

 

JDC - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

Dave Cumberland - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to JDC:

More snow this morning. All white here. Still not that cold though.

How about someone starting Lake District winter conditions 2?

Gav Parker - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Go on then Dave! Good idea....things could be changing with the winds and snow forecast in the next few days!

mrphilipoldham - on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Lake District Winter Conditions 2: Return of the Thaw?

wercat on 12 Feb 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> Lake District Winter Conditions 2: Return of the Thaw?


What, The Remorseful Winter?

ERB - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Dave Cumberland:

Winter conditions 2  agreed. But one where top 40 posters are banned come on UKC give us a top forty filter button.

 

1
Zero - on 13 Feb 2018

CONDITIONS QUESTION: Anyone been up Tarn Crag or Falcon Crag on Dollywagon who can tell me what conditions are like please? 

 

mrphilipoldham - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to Zero:

Fell top assessor said the other day that Gully lines looked complete and ‘good’ albeit only having seen them from St Sunday Crag.

crowberry gully - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

Traverse of the Sods (II/III)

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.

Post edited at 21:29
olddirtydoggy - on 13 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

Looking at the west facing crags on Scafell for thursday. Anyone climbing in the area at all? Reports would be greatfully appreciated.

LakesWinter on 14 Feb 2018
In reply to Zero:

Chock Gully is a right mission to get in condition by the way...... 

1
sheelba - on 15 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

Central gully on Gable was frustratingly too melty this morning, good neve about after the thaw but buttresses are black.   

Exile - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

 

Crofty on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Exile:

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.

1
wercat on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to Crofty:

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.

Post edited at 18:29
Crofty on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to wercat: Time sounds right. I was in an orange jacket and my son in a red one. Glad you found some decent conditions. I thought we might have to give it a miss and was surprised to find CG in such good condition. Last time I did it, my boots were going in to above ankles.

 

DSM - on 16 Feb 2018

Update Fri/16:- 

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.

DSM.

BnB - on 16 Feb 2018
In reply to DSM:

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.

Jamie Spiers - on 17 Feb 2018

Anyone have any idea how any ll's lll's around great end may be looking for tomorrow (sunday)

 

Full moon addict - on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to Jamie Spiers:

probably okay but go early as it will be melting.

olddirtydoggy - on 17 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

Scafell Pike was fantastic on thursday but friday night it was melting.

Ardo - on 19 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

wercat on 19 Feb 2018
In reply to Ardo:

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

mrphilipoldham - on 19 Feb 2018
In reply to wercat:

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

Cuillin Calling on 21 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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. 

Cheers

 

Jim 1003 - on 21 Feb 2018
In reply to Cuillin Calling:

Great End had soggy turf and some rock on the ice pitches, some people were still climbing anyway, but I thought too risky.... 

Cuillin Calling on 21 Feb 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Ok thanks for that

paul_the_northerner - on 23 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

anyone have any info on conditions at the moment? thinking of maybe heading to great end tomorrow looks like it'll be cold enough. 

BnB - on 23 Feb 2018
In reply to paul_the_northerner:

I'd expect to find very good neve with ice forming but not yet climably fat

wercat on 23 Feb 2018
In reply to paul_the_northerner:

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.

Ross McGibbon - on 26 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

LakesWinter on 26 Feb 2018
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

It's only been super cold for a couple of days! It'll take a bit longer yet I should think

mrphilipoldham - on 26 Feb 2018
In reply to LakesWinter:

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!

Ross McGibbon - on 26 Feb 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Kinder was what was making me think the gills might be forming. Thanks for the info.

mrphilipoldham - on 26 Feb 2018
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

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!).

Cary Grant on 26 Feb 2018
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

>  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.

 

ERB - on 27 Feb 2018
In reply to Cary Grant:

We climbed Gordale Scar back in 2010 it was frozen solid, we used the sports route bolts for belaying at the top.

wercat on 27 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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

Post edited at 09:22
Simon Caldwell - on 27 Feb 2018
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

We were walking in Wharfedale on Sunday and none of the watercourses was even slightly frozen.

Give it another week or 10 days ....

crowberry gully - on 27 Feb 2018
In reply to wercat:

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.

Ross McGibbon - on 27 Feb 2018
In reply to crowberry gully:

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.

Post edited at 21:56
Dave 88 - on 27 Feb 2018
In reply to ERB:

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!

 

wercat on 28 Feb 2018
In reply to Dave 88:

looked as if ice was forming overnight round Taylor Gill force and Sourmilk Gill on Monday morning

Post edited at 08:18
joem - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

mrphilipoldham - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to joem:

Ice in Tebay pass was climbed last night!

joem - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Is that generally an indicator for elsewhere?

jsimo - on 02 Mar 2018
In reply to joem:

yup a good indicator that its cold

DSM - on 02 Mar 2018

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.

DSM

 

chris smith - on 03 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

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? 

Simon Caldwell - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to chris smith:

> 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.

ERB - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to chris smith:

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.

Simon Caldwell - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

TobyA on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

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.

lithos on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to TobyA:

Yep he's in York,  he went A65 on Sat, a few other Yorkies went to NYM for a play as A66 & M62 closed

 

Simon Caldwell - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to lithos:

yup, what he says

Jim 1003 - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

> > 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.... 

Post edited at 17:20
Simon Caldwell - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

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.

Jim 1003 - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

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....

Post edited at 17:40
LakesWinter on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

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

sheelba - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

Cautley spout was good on Sunday and that hardly classes as 'high up'

Andy Can - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to LakesWinter:

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!)

Harry Ellis - on 05 Mar 2018
In reply to sheelba:

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.

HTH

wercat on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Harry Ellis:

Interesting pictures of road conditions here:

https://twitter.com/LakesWeather?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk%2Ftwitter-code

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.

Jim 1003 - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to wercat:

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.....

Post edited at 11:15
wercat on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

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.

wercat on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

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.

Post edited at 11:28
Jim 1003 - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to wercat: Yes hopefully it will extend the winter climbing season...its just good to get one in the Lakes for a change.

Simon Caldwell - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

> 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?

 

 

ERB - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

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.

Post edited at 12:45
Jim 1003 - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

> 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?

martinturner - on 06 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

Simon Caldwell - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to Jim 1003:

No, I don't think I did. 

Jim 1003 - on 07 Mar 2018
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Neither you did! Apologies!

Name Changed 34 - on 09 Mar 2018

Mwis has freezing above the tops and raining Saturday 

is anything leFt  specifically langdale areas ??

wercat on 13 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

Post edited at 18:46
ERB - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to wercat:

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.

 

1
TobyA on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

wercat on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

interested to hear how you get on, though I'm more likely heading to Glenshee for a day or two

sheelba - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

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. 

ERB - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to sheelba:

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.

3
TobyA on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

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.

ERB - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to TobyA:

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.

quirky - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

 Brutal winds and windchill on brown cove crags today. Solid neve and some good ice. The wind made things very interesting. 

ERB - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to quirky:

What was the roads like in the lakes?

redsonja - on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

most of them are fine now. some of the high roads are still closed but kirkstone is ok

petegunn on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to redsonja:

Might be some good ice on Red Screes, Trough Gully was good tonight

pec on 18 Mar 2018
In reply to sheelba:

> 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.

 

redsonja - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to petegunn:

I was thinking kilnshaw chimney might be worth a look tomorrow

mrphilipoldham - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to pec:

Going off this, do you reckon Scafell would be worth a look?

L.A. on 19 Mar 2018

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.

 

Post edited at 09:09
pec on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

> 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.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/136995646@N07/26023802427/in/album-72157694653527065/

mrphilipoldham - on 19 Mar 2018
In reply to pec:

Ah I missed that.. must have logged it after I'd looked! Was thinking Moss Ghyll so could be promising.. thanks!

Phil_ncl on 21 Mar 2018
In reply to pec:

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. 

ERB - on 23 Mar 2018
In reply to Phil_ncl:

Did Central Gully on Brown Cove Crag this morning lots of soft snow and thawing ice can’t see it being in for much longer.

 

mrphilipoldham - on 23 Mar 2018
In reply to ERB:

Big freeze coming soon!

ERB - on 01 Apr 2018
In reply to mrphilipoldham:

Brilliant conditions on Great End today South East gully was complete bommer snow, ice on the crux and frozen turf, cracking day to be out on the fells.

spenser - on 01 Apr 2018
In reply to ERB:

Cust's Gully was in great nick today as well, bomber snow ice for 95% of the way, a couple of patches of soft stuff provided a welcome respite as I was able to kick a step in more easily! There seemed to be 4 or 5 teams on Central Gully when we walked down too.

ERB - on 01 Apr 2018
In reply to spenser:

We used Custs for descent, bomber placements, Great day.

 

wercat on 02 Apr 2018
In reply to ERB:

It looked good across from the summit of Helvellyn - did you see us waving?

A truly beautiful day on Helvellyn, up No. 2 Gully with my wife and also with my first regular climbing partner, now almost 70, then sliding down the snow bowl to do a nice icy line L of No. 2 stepping steeply up thin ice L of the corner of V Corner (which had unfrozen turf) to gain a higher corner, then another slide to a very icy No. 1 Gully before a third slide down to the Tarn and escape to the Traveller's rest.

Breathtakingly beautiful but would like to have got SE Gully this year.

Post edited at 10:17
ERB - on 02 Apr 2018
In reply to wercat:

Sounds like you had a energetic day well done.

 

TobyA on 02 Apr 2018
In reply to wercat:

> Breathtakingly beautiful

Yeah yeah. Don't rub it in. But I bet you didn't get to find out how well your pants perform once damp, which was what I was thinking about today walking off Green Gable in the screaming soggy hoolie staring at my compass as vis was about 50 mtrs. In fact everything I had on was at least a bit damp by then!  But we ticked a route, the turf was frozen and it was blooted with snow. Don't often get to go mixed climbing in the Lakes in April!

TobyA on 02 Apr 2018
In reply to wercat:

> Breathtakingly beautiful

Yeah yeah. Don't rub it in. But I bet you didn't get to find out how well your pants perform once damp, which was what I was thinking about today walking off Green Gable in the screaming soggy hoolie staring at my compass as vis was about 50 mtrs. In fact everything I had on was at least a bit damp by then!  But we ticked a route, the turf was frozen and it was blooted with snow. Don't often get to go mixed climbing in the Lakes in April!

wercat on 03 Apr 2018
In reply to TobyA:

thinking about last year practically anything is an improvement!

olddirtydoggy - on 04 Apr 2018
In reply to ERB:

Feedback from anyone out there today would be great thanks.


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