/ lakes winter conditions

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paulh.0776 - on 25 Jan 2019

Late start to the season this year but with the first cold spell here and a slight thaw coming thought I'd start the ball rolling.

Whats the consensus of opinion on things being "in" on Sunday, will it refreeze enough, will there be anything left?

 

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acrkirby - on 25 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Looking quite warm Saturday night now unfortunately, I'm split 50:50 on driving up Saturday night hoping the morning will bring better than expected conditions

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mrphilipoldham - on 25 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Freezing level only due to drop below 700m at about 22.00 on Saturday so I wouldn’t be risking Sunday personally. I will be risking Wednesday however!

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Exile - on 25 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

9 degrees and raining at Shap as I drove through this morning. Not sure it will get cold enough soon enough for Sunday... my feeling is steeper stuff will be stripped and less steep stuff will still be wet.

 

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Andy Johnson on 25 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

I was considering heading up to the lakes this weekend, although for an overnight backpacking trip rather than climbing. After looking at pics of snow and blue sky on twitter all week (looking at you, Al Hinkes) the forecast for the weekend definitely looks more murky/rainy/warmer and I expect things will thaw quite a bit. MWIS are saying 3degC at dusk on Sat and only around 0degC on Sunday (@750m) so it looks on the nope side of iffy to me.

Cold conditions are forecast to continue for a few weeks, so personally I'll be finding something else to do this weekend and hoping for the best for my backpacking trip next week.

 

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richlan - on 25 Jan 2019
In reply to Andy Johnson:

Raise ski webcam is showing a huge amount of snow being stripped, if it stays like this it will be miserable trying to travel over this sort of ground:

https://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/Raise/webcams/latest

Lets hope the gully's have held it all and a cold period would see some good stuff being in and even running/walking being a lot easier

Post edited at 12:33
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Exile - on 25 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

9.5 degrees and raining on the top of Kirkstone at 3.30pm today

 

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Simon Caldwell - on 25 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

fb pics from Helvellyn today suggest that we're back to square one - and it's got several hours of raining to do before it gets cold again

Post edited at 17:07
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richlan - on 25 Jan 2019
In reply to Simon Caldwell:

Yep, that’s it gone from what I’ve seen on  Lakes Weatherline, I was up over Skiddaw on Wednesday evening, the zigzags off the summit were holding so much snow it was skiable right the way back to Mousthwaite Combe I reckon, that would have been tomorrow’s job if it had hung around !

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axor - on 27 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

I went up from Sheffield on Friday lunchtime and came back Saturday afternoon. There was a massive amount of water ie raging rapids where gentle streams with quaint stepping stones previously were! Despite the thaw there was still snow up the tops - thigh deep in some drifts. If we get a very cold spell soon there is bound to be loads of ice. Not yet though, there was very little ice in the gullies even high up as I say just very wet at the moment.

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joe.91 - on 30 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Went up last night to Tarn/Falcon Crag, lots of powder all unconsolidated. 

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Ross McGibbon - on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Any word on the watercourses? Coming in yet?

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Rog Wilko on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to joe.91:

Oddly, weatherline report from Helvellyn not on the website yet, but yesterday's was interesting suggesting serious danger of avalanche on the Fells, with deep accumulations of slab.

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

It all looks very scenic though.

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mrphilipoldham - on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

Scafell crag was very thin on ice yesterday. 

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wercat on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to Rog Wilko:

might be a good day for the edges tomorrow

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Ross McGibbon - on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to wercat:

May even be a day for the Derbyshire ridges!

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richlan - on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Been for a plod up Red Screes tonight, lots of evidence of avalanche debris from the gullies, dug a mini test pit and about 8 inches of full depth slab just pulled away very easily, turf soggy underneath, be careful out there !

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Jim Lancs on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to richlan:

Yes I was out in the Angle Tarn area yesterday and there was a goodly depth of unconsolidated powder snow lying on very wet, soggy grass. 

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shantaram - on 31 Jan 2019
In reply to Rog Wilko:

Went for a quick blast up Halls Fell ridge on Blencathra this evening and it was mainly unconsolidated powder which was drifting in the strong easterly winds. I thought it would have consolidated a bit after todays sun and then a freeze, but no. All the days tracks on the hill were getting covered by spindrift. Going skiing at the moment is a better bet than winter climbing. 

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Full moon addict - on 01 Feb 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Stunning day on Coniston and Dow yesterday. Poor climbing conditions but still made for a very good day. I'd intended to take a look at Low Water Beck but it was more water than ice (see image in the gallery). Went up to Levers water and did a line up a runnel on Cove Rib with heavy powder and unfrozen turf. Carried on to Raven Tor and did a runnel to the right of the Central Gully which looked more entertaining than the gully. More swimming ... Then down to Low Water and a look at Percy's Passage. I decided to have a look at the icycles on the right hand buttress instead.  Found a route through but was very delicate.  Descended to Dow Crag and embarked on E Buttress. This is a real mountaineering route which felt serious as a solo. The turf was a bit firmer but still deep powder and no helpful rocks. The pitch out of the basin was hard in the conditions with no ice. Loads of spindrift on the ridge from Dow to Buck Pike (see image). It really all needs a thaw to come good, but assuming its not all washed away, it could be very good indeed when it happens.  Images at https://johnfleetwood.smugmug.com/Landscape/2019/Coniston-and-Dow/

 

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Ross McGibbon - on 01 Feb 2019
In reply to Full moon addict:

Nice one, John. I was lucky enough to be the first to log a winter ascent on E Buttress and was impressed with the quality of the route. 

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DSM - on 01 Feb 2019

Right, my first contribution of 2019 so Happy New Year everyone.

Just returned from a run round the Coniston fells (Fri/1st 18:00).  As reported by Full moon addict, Low Water Beck is icing well but its not climbable yet, needs a few more days.  The beck was flowing well all the way to the tarn.  Took Summit Route to the top of the Old Man which involved knee-deep unconsolidated snow on top of wet turf.  The conditions are not surprising really - I was on top of the Old Man last Sunday in horizontal rain at +5C, and the snow all fell on top of the still wet turf...

In general the snow depth varies from zero to about a metre, average 20-30cm making walking quite arduous & running even more fun.  Stunning wind-blown flutings in places though, enjoy.

DSM

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Prof. Outdoors on 01 Feb 2019
In reply to Full moon addict:

Sounds OK but what did you do in the afternoon?

Keep it going, I miss those shared winter climbing days.

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wercat on 02 Feb 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Horrible amounts of unstable snow on Helvellyn yesterday - bitterly cold (-17 windchill reported) and movement of path very very arduous.   So difficult that after ascending by Swirral and not staying on the summit for longer than I could avoid I descended to Red Tarn and actually walked on the ice for a considerable distance back to the main path to avoid the extreme difficulty of moving over slippery rocks hidden by white fluff.

Character forming though!

 

Btw is it possible to get anti balling plates for Scarpa boots?  They need them! nearly impossible to place steps with blocks of ice balling up the soles

Post edited at 09:48
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spenser - on 02 Feb 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Soft snow on the walk up to Sharp Edge today, definitely glad to have axe and crampons in the ridge itself, wore crampons down to around 500m after descending from Blease Fell.

Felt quite warm today, hopefully it will have caused a mini thaw up to 800m or so.

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sheffieldchris - on 02 Feb 2019
In reply to wercat:

Thank god it is not just me that thinks the Scarpa sole design is a total load of crap and does not shed mud or snow.

 

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Tom the tall on 02 Feb 2019
In reply to spenser:

Sledging with the kids at only 350m today and the snow is still dry, unconsolidated powder even at that level. No sign of freeze thaw, 1 degree in Keswick at 1630. Skiers having fun!

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DSM - on 02 Feb 2019

Another run today (Sat/2nd) including Easy Gully on Dow Crag which was completely banked out with powder.  Climbed in fell running shoes but with 2 axes, much fun. A crust has formed on the snow, in places hard enough to bear weight, so running seemed a little easier going than yesterday.

DSM

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richlan - on 02 Feb 2019
In reply to DSM:

Ha ! Fell shoes ! Wimp. I did summit route in flip flops today.

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wercat on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to sheffieldchris:

it's like walking in high heels perhaps?  Not that I have any experience of that

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Tom the tall on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to Tom the tall:

9 degrees and pissing down today, mega thaw but if the high stuff holds and it gets cold again it should make for some fun.....

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Full moon addict - on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to Prof. Outdoors:

That was just before breakfast.  Always up for a climb. Thursday saw me finally entering the 21st century with leashless axes. I must say, that I rather enjoyed the freedom of them even if it felt a little odd to start with.

 

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Full moon addict - on 03 Feb 2019
In reply to Ross McGibbon:

Hi Ross. I saw your entry before I went out and thought I'd give it a go. You're right - it is a good route, especially the top half. I did the scramble last year and took quite a different line using decent rock most of the way up.

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olddirtydoggy - on 04 Feb 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Red tarn cove yesterday was powder snow on the approach turning quite wet as the day went on. We stayed off most of the routes due to soft ground, very little was frozen up but gully #2 had some reasonable ice so had a plod. Bailed out and went home today due to rain and rising temps..

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Full moon addict - on 05 Feb 2019
In reply to paulh.0776:

Went up Deepdale today in the hope that the snow would have frozen nicely and with a forecast of a bit of sun. Both hopes were dashed! Very hard going with heavy, slightly crusty snow and no tracks. I had East Hutaple Groove in mind but there was nothing on it at all, so did East Hutaple Gully instead. Descended the other side to Link Cove and headed beneath Scrubby Crag with very poor visibility and very heavy going. Contoured round to Hart Crag in search of ice. I eventually found some in the murk, but it was mostly rotting and thin. I looked at the ice falls but couldn't quite justify it. Instead I did the runnel on the left, descended and located Cold Lazarus. It demanded great attention with pretty duff ice and collapsing snow. The little chimney looked too thin at the top, so I took the icefall to the right which was full on 4 in the conditions. Raining hard on the way back. Still a lot of snow but not much ice and desparately needs to freeze.

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machine on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to sheffieldchris:

I also agree. I had the same problems last week on the Cheviot with snow balling up on the soles of my Scarpa Mont Blancs. I also found the soles and rand to be very soft and suffered cuts and gouges all over them whilst ascending scree on the way to church door buttress on Bidean.  I never had that problem with my Solomon super mountain 9,s.

Post edited at 20:40
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badgerjockey - on 07 Feb 2019
In reply to Full moon addict:

Good update. 

I’m guessing most snow/ice will have pretty much disappeared by now??!

Post edited at 23:52
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Full moon addict - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to badgerjockey:

Judging by the amount of water in the river this morning I think you're probably right.

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Jim Lancs on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to badgerjockey:

> I’m guessing most snow/ice will have pretty much disappeared by now??!

Remember the Lake District Ski Club camera gives a good indication about snow cover. Admittedly it doesn't help with ground temperature and ice, but successive days with it becoming muddier and muddier is never a good sign.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/raise_up_dated_pics/

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Simon Caldwell - on 08 Feb 2019
In reply to badgerjockey:

Apparently there was good climbing in the Red tarn gullies yesterday, but that's academic given today's warm wet and windy conditions

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DSM - on 10 Feb 2019

Great End this afternoon (Sun/10/Feb) was pretty warm & pretty wet, snowy but with little ice in evidence & only at the top of the crag.  

One Pitch Gully in ascent & Cust's in descent were just about tenable, both were stepped out.  More freeze/thaw followed by a decent freeze are needed I think.

DSM

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mrphilipoldham - on 11 Feb 2019
In reply to DSM:

Long thaw between Tuesday and Sunday, I'd be surprised if there's any winter left after it.. but it does look to get cold again next Monday!

Post edited at 10:03
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Full moon addict - on 20:26 Mon
In reply to paulh.0776:

Had a really good day on Gable Crag. Conditions not brilliant but the overnight snow made it scenic.  Had the crag to myself in the morning on Pinnacle Ridge and Central Gully. Then another pair turned up to do Clark Gable which I also did the top of and ended on Gable End which is very good.

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Full moon addict - on 08:00 Tue
In reply to Full moon addict:

Actually think I may have gone up a different line to Pinnacle Ridge - something to the left. One to come back for! Great day though - here's an image of the crag - https://johnfleetwood.smugmug.com/Landscape/2019/Gable-Crag/i-W3mX4v5/A.

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