Helvellyn Winter Conditions 31-01-14

Fairly wild on Helvellyn today, full on winter conditions!

The old snow has receded a bit and is firming up, but still with a crust.  Red Tarn and the Red Tarn Cove and Viking Buttress areas are all well snow covered and well plastered up with snow.  Despite being very wintery to look at the deeper turf was unfrozen around Viking Buttress, though thin exposed turf is well on the way!  Gullies are also very full and a few freeze thaw cycles would give some great neve.  This could all be set to change a bit though as fairly heavy snow started to fall from about 11am.  There was spindrift avalanches and wind blown build up on the way by the time  I was descending.

So all in all a great blast of winter weather taking place and set to continue tomorrow,   turf dubious and limited ice build up.  Loads of snow…

Over the weekend the Helvellyn ridges and other similar routes of the area will give great winter outings, Swirral Edge was actually in easy condition as its so well snow covered.  Pinnacle Ridge on St. Sunday Crag should be good…

Gullies are a little soft and likely to have some slab building now, so caution required…

Very turfy mixed routes are likely to be unfrozen deep down, but if selective then steep routes with minimal turf could be worth a look?!

Skiing at Raise and ski touring up high could be great if the wind settles!


Greenside Mines


Red Tarn




Front steep face of Viking Buttress, normal route is left and ‘Rape and Pillage’ goes up the steep groove through the main face.



Gully 1 and Viking Buttress on the right