Mountain Journeys

Winter conditions, Lake District

Whilst the valleys have a spring feel to them, the mountains are most definitely in full winter condition at the moment and look set to stay that way for at least another week.

On Monday we had a walk into Red Tarn cove, Helvellyn and found excellent snow conditions making for easy progress on both easy and steeper angled slopes. There were quite a few climbers enjoying routes on the Helvellyn headwall too. We made our way form Red Tarn up steepening slopes to eventually reach Swirral Edge and followed this to the plateau. The wind was pretty intense and visibility was by now very poor, so time for the map and compass and some navigation practice!
We walked back via Lower Man & Whiteside, both had good coverings of snow.

Rain came in just as we arrived back at the car, good timing or what 🙂

We've been back out again today and after yesterdays snow was expecting to find a much whiter landscape, but slow about 600m there's virtually no snow at present. However, above this things improve significantly.
Our chosen route took us to Ruthwaite cove above Grisedale. A long walk is rewarded by stunning scenery and solitude, so well worth the extra effort. There was light rain during the walk in and the snow underfoot pretty damp, so already we're thinking the gullies will be best avoided.

Upon arriving in the cove there was avalanche debris in numerous places. When the cloud lifted we could also see extensive cornices that looked heavy and sagged above the gully tops! A snow pit confirmed the instabilities and we decided against travelling any higher, instead there was much fun to be had sliding and glissading down the slopes.

A really great couple of outings in this winter wonderland. Thanks Verity.

​Mark

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