Lake District Winter Conditions 03-11-12

First report of the winter for the Lakes, great to see a white covering on the tops!  I’ll try and put a report up from now on whenever I’ve been out or know what the winter conditions are doing.

I went out today for a run over Helvellyn and the edges to see how things were shaping up.  The good news is winter has definitely arrived!  There was snow down to about 500m and some deep drifts about.  Lots of snow was blowing around today and accumulating particularly on N-NE-E facing slopes as the wind was SW.  So full on winter up high, the ski tows were also open today…

 Striding Edge
 Helvellyn Summit Shelter
 Cornice forming
Running up Swirl Edge

The bad news is that, whilst the conditions are good for winter walking, running and the edges and ridge climbs etc.  its not there for climbing yet.  The turf up high was soggy under the snow, the lack of a really good freeze before the snow came will hold back the climbing conditions until we get a bit of a thaw and refreeze allowing the turf to freeze up.  The issue at the minute is that the layer of snow will be insulating the ground below.   More exposed routes may come, however the usual winter crags today were black and sheltered from the SW wind.  The best bet for a good winter day will be any of the classic edges and some of the easy ridge climbs, Pinnacle Ridge on St.Sunday will be worth a look, it will be snow covered all the way and doesn’t rely on turf.  Its hard to say what the week will bring, it looks good until Tuesday and then it may be a fairly big thaw.  Great to have a blast of winter so early in November none the less!

St.Sunday Crag, Pinnacle Ridge looking white
 Surely this is not the best grass on offer!
Red Tarn and Striding Edge

Reports are that the Cairngorms are also in condition just now with many routes in…