Our Sponsors

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 Tuesday 26 January

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 10:38

Temperature minus 2.3°C Maximum wind speed 31.6mph Wind chill minus 11.3°C Average wind speed 23.2mph Wind direction SSW

We are continuing to provide the Fell Top Reports for people undertaking their daily exercise during the lockdown.

We would like to remind everyone that Government guidance stipulates that people should only exercise locally.

Here is today's report:

A cloudy day with fresh snowfall down to Swirls car park (220m) during the morning which started to fall more heavily in the early afternoon.

The higher fells were extremely challenging today with near white-out, and occasional full white-out conditions making navigation very difficult.

The wind speeds recorded today are less than was experienced on the way down and are estimated to have been around 40mph at times.

Major paths were almost impossible to follow over large areas and footprints that were made on the way up were entirely filled in on the return journey.

Straying off route in these conditions is potentially dangerous, as large, unstable cornices (snow overhangs) are present and continuing to build around many north and east-facing corrie rims.

These are a considerable hazard to walkers as they are generally found above steep, craggy ground and in close proximity to many of the paths, as well as the trig point on Helvellyn. Walking too close to, or onto a cornice could cause it to collapse, potentially taking a person with it.

Goggles were essential today, as was a map and compass and proficiency in mountain navigation (specifically taking and walking on a bearing with almost no visibility but being aware of where the hazards are).

Snow distribution is varied with the greatest accumulations on north through east-facing aspects where drifts up to 1 metre deep are not uncommon.

South and west-facing slopes generally hold less snow, and high ground, exposed to the wind has been scoured exposing old hard refrozen snow (névé).

New and drifted snow often lies over névé and ice, making even moderately angled ground serious to negotiate without microspikes or crampons.

Unstable windslab is continuing to accumulate on many steep scarp slopes, in gullies, as well as along ridge flanks.

Steep and exposed routes such as Striding and Swirral edge are both serious propositions at the moment and should only be attempted by those with sufficient winter mountaineering experience and the correct equipment.

Full winter clothing (waterproofs, extra warm layers, hat & gloves), and mountain boots are essential for anyone venturing into the fells. Walking poles are also very useful.

For those considering routes on steep and exposed terrain, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.

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 Thursday

Dry start to the early hours, then outbreaks of heavy snow will arrive before morning and last for much of the day. Some quite heavy falls are likely above 400m with drifting on the fells in the strong southeasterly winds though may turn to rain at lower levels. The snow easing later in evening and with freezing levels rising reverting to patchy drizzle, though these higher freezing levels are uncertain

Visibility

Poor or very poor.

Hill cloud

Little chance with extensive cloud 300-400m.

Wind

Southeast 35 gusts 45mph. Easing 20mph later.

Temperatures

  • Valley: Zero Celsius rising to Plus 2 in evening.
  • At 800m: Minus 3 Celsius, rising Minus 1 in the evening, perhaps just above freezing.
  • Freezing level: 300m rising to 700m perhaps 900m in the evening.

Outlook for next few days

Friday 29 January

Cloudy with some light rain in early hours turning back to snow before morning. This mostly dying out in the afternoon. Freezing levels 750m soon falling 400m.

Saturday 30 January

Dry with clear or sunny periods. Fresh northeast winds. Freezing level 300m.

Sunday 31 January

A mainly dry bright day but snow may arrive late in the day. Freezing level 300m. Low confidence on timing.

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