Fell Top Conditions on Friday 20 January

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 12:00

Temperature plus 0.2°C Maximum wind speed 17.3mph Wind chill minus 7.1°C Average wind speed 10.8mph Wind direction SW

A very slightly colder day on the high fells today, but no sign of the fresh snow that was forecast. Only inconsequential areas of old snow now remain, and this is only to be found above 750m in small patches. Today however, what little snow there is was hard due to the colder temperatures following the recent thaw. No ice was encountered on paths today although the ground was very wet. In a few places on the Edges and other rocky parts of the mountain above 800m verglas (thin, black ice) was present, making walking on these rocks hazardous. The day was largely dry, with just the odd drizzle being felt in the cloud.

The main challenge again today was poor visibility, with the cloud base being firm at around 450m for the most part of the day. Above this height visibility was reduced to around 20m.

At the time of writing the forecast over the weekend is for the freezing level to be at around 800m, so full winter clothing, including spare layers, footwear and equipment are essential for those venturing out onto the fells, as are map and compass and good navigational skills in the low cloud. An ice axe and crampons may be useful if we do get the forecasted colder temperatures.