Fell Top Conditions on Wednesday 18 January

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 14:00

Temperature plus 1.4°C Maximum wind speed 26.5mph Wind chill minus 6.9°C Average wind speed 20.7mph Wind direction SW

Another mild day, although a little colder than the last few days, thawing what little snow remains on the high fells. Only inconsequential patches of snow remain below 600m and even above this height up to and including summit level, the vast majority of ground is now free from snow. The remaining snow lies in isolated patches, is very wet, thawing and situated in sheltered spots and hollows on S through to E facing slopes. No ice was encountered on paths today although the ground was very wet. The forecast for later in the week is for the freezing level to drop to 600m, and then verglas may be encountered on rocks, and snow may fall on the higher peaks.

Today, on Striding Edge a few tiny patches of snow were found at the point where the ridge abuts onto the summit plateau. This snow could be avoided though with care. There is currently no snow on Swirral Edge.

The main challenge today was poor visibility, with the cloud base being firm at around 600m for the most part of the day. Above this height visibility was reduced to around 30m.

With the temperature just above freezing today, and the wind chill making it feel a lot colder on the summits, 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.