Helvellyn Conditions 17-12-11

Was working on Helvellyn today for www.mountainguides.co.uk with Matt and Simon who were out to try the Helvellyn classic V-Corner.

The Red Tarn area was very quiet for a Saturday, there was a team on Viking Buttress, didn’t seem to be many others climbing at all.  The conditions were great, there was still plenty of soft snow about but it felt a lot more stable than earlier in the week.  That said, some caution is definitely still needed, there is still wind slab up high and some of the largest cornices I’ve seen on Helvellyn due to the prolonged west winds we’ve been getting.  Also a lot of debris below the headwall that looked like cornice collapse debris…

After a look at the cornice at the top of V-Corner we traversed out right to a small buttress were there was a break to top out.  The already drooping cornice is definitely going to need some respect when things start to warm up, especially above Gully 2.

Once again it was a great winter day, the ridges were in good condition and V-Corner was in about the best condition I’ve climbed it in despite the soft snow.  It had good ice, solid turf and snow ice with some mixed moves thrown in.

 Making for some good ice, V-Corner area
 Matt on his 2nd route ever!
Lots of good ice variations to V-Corner

Well done to Matt and Simon, cheers for a great day!