At the end of December even large lakes such as Thirlmere were frozen solid as daytime temperatures were well below zero and at night values as low as -19C were recorded in some valleys.
In spite of the low temperatures, not a great deal of snow fell, but the hiils were draped in ice, and many frozen waterfall climbs were in perfect winter condition. Many rivers became frozen over with ice, and on the River Lowther I spent a magical few minutes watching a family of otters running along the frozen surface looking for a place to enter the water.
No-one here can recall such a long period of cold weather pre-Christmas, and with the main winter months just starting, it will be fascinating to see what’s in store for us. Certainly for the forseeable future, both the Lakeland fells and the Scottish hills look like providing some excellent winter conditions for walkers and climbers.
It’s been snowing again in the Lakes, and last night’s fall has really whitened the tops again, with a wide general cover above about 2000 feet. There are ribbons and patches of old snow and ice down to valley level in places, but mostly above 1000 feet. Higher fells are in full winter condition and ice axes and crampons (plus the skills to use them) are definitely required. All roads are OK at present. Two recent tragic accidents on Helvellyn have highlighted the need to have the appropriate skills and equipment for higher level fell walking in these tough winter conditions.
Some more snow is expected on the hills today, then tomorrow and Friday are expected to be mostly dry with some sunshine, and freezing levels about 500m. On Friday evening cloud will increase and snow is likely on Saturday, turning to rain at low levels, so roads should remain clear. Sunday will be cold and mostly dry. Freezing levels about 500m
SPECIAL COURSE OFFER
If you’re interested in a winter skills course, why not take advantage of our special offer for this coming weekend, with the full weekend course available at just £80 and single days at £40 -a reduction of approximately 40%! You can obtain the same reductions on the winter skills course fee on the last weekends in January and February.
ICE AXES FOR SALE
If you’re looking for a walking axe, we have several used Mountain Technology axes, 70-75cms length for sale at £25 each – please contact me for details. Contact information below.
WINTER MOUNTAINEERING AND SNOW AND ICE CLIMBING These courses, and guiding on winter climbs are now available in both the Lakes and Scotland
More information CONTACT; JOHN WHITE 07970 138591 firstname.lastname@example.org