Author Topic: Trip advice - lake district winter  (Read 836 times)

Teacups

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Trip advice - lake district winter
« on: 12:10:50, 02/01/18 »
Hi everyone


I am looking for some advice about a trip that I am planning to do this weekend.


Looking at the weather, it looks pretty good for the lake district and I am keen to get out and enjoy some winter conditions. I have done a number of courses and have reasonable skill in navigation (mostly practised in the summer), crampons etc. but I have not yet been out on my own in the snow even though I am sure I am capable.


What I am looking for is some interesting but not difficult routes which would allow me to have a good day and gain some confidence. I have done a lot in the summer so know most areas well, and I was aiming to go around the Keswick area (I have a car). At the moment I am thinking of doing Blencathra by Halls Fell ridge, and then either Sharp edge the next day or something easier if that is too much. Obviously I want to get up high to the snowline so that is a factor in route choice, but apart from that I would love to hear of any suitable routes that you think would be worthwhile and not too hard (either navigation or technical ability). I am good to travel quite a bit but northern half is probably easier if I am around Keswick.


Looking forward to any responses and hope everyone else is enjoying and staying safe in the winter conditions.


Thanks


Jake

April

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Re: Trip advice - lake district winter
« Reply #1 on: 15:35:52, 02/01/18 »
The weather looks sunny but really windy at height on Saturday, Sunday looks a less windy day though. If you are after snow, you may not get any on the northern fells, looking at the George Fisher webcam just now, Skiddaw has very little snow left. The Helvellyn range always seems to keep the snow for longer, check the Weatherline page for the assessors reports, so you may want to head east instead. After saying that more snow is forecast in the next few days.

http://www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk/

Halls Fell Ridge and Sharp Edge are grade 1 scrambles in normal conditions and are quite technical routes to do in winter so I don't know if these would suit you, you say you don't want anything too hard? You say you haven't been out in snow on your own so these routes wouldn't be my first choice to gain confidence. What routes have you done with other people in winter conditions? It is hard to advise without knowing what you have done before. You don't have to do the popular edges to encounter icy snow, nearly all of the other routes up and down Helvellyn and the Dodds can provide the opportunity to use your crampons.

Have a good time whatever you end up doing, it looks like a great weekend, except for the strong winds on Saturday  O0
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

Skip

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Re: Trip advice - lake district winter
« Reply #2 on: 21:44:50, 02/01/18 »
The BMC rates Sharp Edge in winter conditions as a grade I/II winter climb and they recommend '... crampons and ice axe with plenty of winter hill walking experience.'

Sharp Edge is easy enough in dry calm conditions but a different beast in winter. Hall's Fell is a bit less unforgiving but still no pushover in winter.

As a lone walker, you might feel more confident if you follow a more popular route - that way there'll be other people about in case of emergency.

Enjoy.
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Teacups

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Re: Trip advice - lake district winter
« Reply #3 on: 15:26:10, 03/01/18 »
Thanks for the replies. I know it is not easy to judge peoples experiences, but I always try to be careful and stay within my limits.


I did not realise that Hall's Fell ridge was actually graded? (I have done it in the summer). I may still do that on the second day if I am feeling confident and it is not too difficult (going to research this thoroughly first). If needed I can always just turn around if it gets difficult.


Oh yeah I meant Striding Edge not Sharp Edge, but the same applies in regards to winter, and there is no need to push myself to do that, even though I am probably capable, it is silly doing it on my own for now. 


Yeah I tried that, but the only problem with the webcams, is half the time you look you just see cloud, but I expect there should be some snow coming later in the week, and if not I can still enjoy the hills anyway.


I think that going up the tourist path to Skiddaw will be plan for the first day, as that should be popular, not too difficult and hopefully get me some snow. As to the second day, I could attempt Hall's fell ridge if I feel I am capable, or I will probably go up Nethermost pike from Wythburn and then on to Helvellyn, or any other similar route. Looking at the contours, Fairfield looks good, but perhaps a bit challenging getting up and around the summit from past memories in the summer.

Lakeland Lorry

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Re: Trip advice - lake district winter
« Reply #4 on: 16:29:05, 03/01/18 »
There's plenty of videos on YouTube showing what Halls Fell Ridge is like.   This one will give you a pretty good idea of what it would be like to do in Winter conditions.   Not a route for the inexperienced in winter conditions, as one slip and you've gone.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mx2Ny3HKR74




Skip

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Re: Trip advice - lake district winter
« Reply #5 on: 23:12:39, 04/01/18 »
I did not realise that Hall's Fell ridge was actually graded?

It's not. What I meant was that is is more forgiving than its graded neighbour Sharp Edge but in winter it should be treated with respect nonetheless.

Keep an eye on  http://www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk/  for reports of ground conditions day by day.
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April

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Re: Trip advice - lake district winter
« Reply #6 on: 23:37:01, 04/01/18 »
Halls Fell ridge is classed as a grade 1 scramble (going up the crest) and a winter grade 1

See
https://www.ukhillwalking.com/logbook/r/?i=118

Have a look at the Terrain and Seasonal Variations info


"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

Skip

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Re: Trip advice - lake district winter
« Reply #7 on: 19:30:51, 05/01/18 »
Halls Fell ridge is classed as a grade 1 scramble (going up the crest) and a winter grade 1

OK April, I stand corrected.

Skip

April

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Re: Trip advice - lake district winter
« Reply #8 on: 19:43:21, 05/01/18 »
Hi Skip

Sorry if I came across like a school teacher  :-[ I posted late last night without much thought, as I was "trying" to get to sleep. beefy said "he's alright him" Meaning you (and -dave-).  No finer compliment  :)
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

Skip

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Re: Trip advice - lake district winter
« Reply #9 on: 21:50:21, 07/01/18 »
Sorry if I came across like a school teacher . . .
You didn't - nowt to apologise for  :)

... beefy said "he's alright him" Meaning you (and -dave-).  No finer compliment ...

Indeed there isn't - I'm blushing . . .  ;D
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