Ski Touring – Lake District 06-12-11

Having been out yesterday and finding that a lot of the mixed routes needed a freeze I decided to go for a look around the Helvellyn area on the skis.  Today gave a fantastic day for ski touring with dry powdery snow up high.  That said, a bit of thought was needed as to where to go.  The snow we have had has come in on a W – NW wind so areas E facing have had snow deposited down their slopes.  Also gullies, river beds and any other depressions in the terrain have become cross loaded with good snow build up.  Whilst some areas up high are scoured to the ground, there is accumulations of a few feet in places.

Today I went up from St.Johns in the Vale towards Raise, for anyone who knows that route, I was able to skin from before the sheep fold and descend back to there afterwards without any scrapes!

I also stopped at the ski club tow and had a few runs, the snow there was fantastic and due to perfect loading by the wind was near the tops of the snow fences in places! The guys reckon its some of the best coverage in years.  Perfect start to the ski season for the tows, its well worth the trip up there at the minute, updates on the snow and tows are available on the ski club website at and there is a webcam on there too.

Looks like tomorrow will be worth getting out and then its just a matter of seeing what happens on Thursday with the weather that is forecast.  Might be worth noting that there was evidence of a couple of full depth avalanches today and a lot of wind slab about, despite the thin feel to the pack there is some areas of deep accumulation…

Great to see the Lakes looking the part with a full on winter feel even if the climbs aren’t all there yet.

 Skins on at the sheep fold
 Brown Cove Crags looking well snowed up
 Some evidence of avalanche, full depth probably due to wet ground below wind packed snow
 First tracks of the season
 Natures signal as to where the wind as been coming from
 Scoured tops with lots of accumulation on East facing aspects
 Top of Raise
 Alpine Piste conditions on Raise tow! Get there…
The Raise Resort – now with members toilet!