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Stay Home. Stay Safe.

Guidance is to exercise locally.

Getting outside for exercise is of course important, but please don't take any unnecessary risks, especially in the cold and icy weather.

By staying safe and staying local you can help reduce the pressure on our emergency services.

Help keep our emergency staff and hospital beds free for those that need them most.

Government guidance for National Lockdown

Fell Top Conditions on Monday 25 January

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 13:30

Temperature minus 2.6°C Maximum wind speed 27.2mph Wind chill minus 12.7°C Average wind speed 22.7mph Wind direction W

We are continuing to provide the Fell Top Reports for people undertaking their daily local exercise during the lockdown. We would like to remind everyone that Government guidance stipulates that people should only exercise locally to where they live.

The main feature of today was the amount of snow being redistributed around the fells by the fresh westerly winds. The snow cover is now very variable with westerly aspects being scoured and deep drifts and wind slab developing behind features, in hollows and sheltered spots and on generally easterly aspects.

The exit slopes to Striding Edge were a serious proposition today with lots of unstable soft snow and windslab being laid down beneath a steep cornice. Any tracks from the weekend have disappeared beneath the drifting snow. If you do decide to attempt this or similar slopes then careful route choice staying on or close to rocks as much as possible will be key. A simple slip or slide here would potentially take you into steep and rocky terrain below with serious consequences.

The drifting snow will also make navigation trickier especially when the cloud is down. Please don't rely on following summer paths or footsteps as they may not be visible.

Striding and Swirral Edges are both a mixture of soft snow, rime ice, sheet ice and bare rock. The ridge crest was the easiest option today as many of the easier options on the flanks were banked out with drifted snow.

Large cornices are continuing to build above NE through SE aspects and are now a considerable hazard to walkers and climbers. The cornices above the east face of Helvellyn ie right next to the summit trig point are 2-3m. Please give them a wide berth and advise others with less experience to do likewise.

Areas which have been scoured such as the Helvellyn plateau are a mixture of old icy snow, rime ice and frozen ground. Additionally many of the paths are becoming icier underfoot as the snow is compressed beneath walkers feet.

Full winter clothing (waterproofs, extra warm layers, hat & gloves), mountain boots and equipment are all essential for anyone going out onto the fells. Although the snowpack is currently mainly soft, for those venturing above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are essential. A simple slip on the Helvellyn Edges or other exposed terrain could have very serious consequences without the means to quickly stop your slide. Even on the so called “easy” route up Helvellyn from Swirls, Thirlmere there is a large area of unavoidable, steep, hard icy snow to cross. Goggles were also very useful to combat the copious amounts of spindrift. Please be conservative with your plans and know your limits.


Guidance is not to travel into this area from other areas and to exercise locally.

  • Keep within your limits, walking in winter conditions takes longer than in summer.
  • Be flexible, you may need to turn back, or choose a lower level walk.
  • The weather on the felltops will be far colder and windier than at the bottom. Take extra layers, warm drinks, a torch, and a map and compass - and know how to use them.
  • It gets dark before 4pm, when you need to be down from the felltops.

Lake District Forecast for Wednesday

Dull and cloudy with patchy light rain, falling as snow above 900m but not amounting to much. A little brightness possible over northern and eastern fells in the afternoon. Rain will spread in from the southwest late in the evening, preceded by snow on the tops.

Visibility

Extensive cloud above 400m at first, lifting to around 700m and perhaps clearing northern and eastern fells in the afternoon. Generally rather hazy below the cloud.

Hill cloud

10% at first becoming 60% in afternoon.

Wind

Southeast 10-15mph, increasing to 20mph gusts 30mph in the evening.

Temperatures

  • Valley: Plus 2C rising to 6 or 7C.
  • At 800m: 0 or Plus 1C.
  • Freezing level: 1000-1200m.

Outlook for next few days

Thursday 28 January

Cold and cloudy with spells of rain, heavy at times. Strong southerly winds on the tops. Freezing level just above the summits.

Friday 29 January

Cloudy with outbreaks of rain, turning to snow above 300m in the afternoon. Fresh northerly winds. Freezing level above summits falling to 400m.

Saturday 30 January

Dry and much brighter with sunny spells. Feeling bitterly cold in a brisk northeasterly breeze.

An overview of weather in the Lake District

Summer:

The summer season in the Lake District actually runs from March to October. The driest period runs between March and June.

The weather is renowned for changing rapidly and rainfall is a predominant feature. The wettest area in the Lake District is known as Sprinkling Tarn which receives approximately 5000mm of rainfall every year!

Make the most of the summer on a guided walk or navigation course

Winter:

The wettest months run from October to January.

Snowfall typically falls from November to March. The valleys of the Lake District receive around 20 days of snow and 200 days of rain per year.

Enjoy the fells safely on a winter skills course