Helvellyn Conditions, Winter Returns! 27-01-12

After a very warm January so far the Lakes has finally had a good blast of winter weather.  The last couple of weeks have given snow showers up high, and then rain stripping all but the older snow from before Christmas.  A 10 degree drop in temperature and some heavier snow showers down to about 300m yesterday have transformed the tops back to full winter condition though.

Red Tarn face

Today I went up to Helvellyn via the Red Tarn face, I dropped in below Brown Cove crags to have a look before finishing down Striding Edge.  The climbing conditions are not there yet really, mainly due to turf not being frozen fully.  The rock was well snowed up however giving things a wintery look but only the most exposed turf high up was freezing.  That said, choosing a steep route with not much turf and that is in the wind just might deliver something over the coming days, would be worth a walk and a look!

 Viking Buttress
 Steep rock was well snowed up,  looking into the first corner pitch of Rape and Pillage

S facing aspect catching the wind

There is a big accumulation of windslab on N-NE-E facing aspects and especially where this is on top of the older snow will be worth treating with care…  Lots of people walking up to Raise with skis also so must be some drifting between the snow fences.

For winter walking and the classic edges and ridge routes conditions are very good though, definitely a full winter feel to it that will stay over the weekend at least.  Striding Edge was in great condition, crampons and axe will be a good call.

 Striding Edge
 Striding Edge, Hellvellyn Summit behind
People on Striding Edge