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Readings 2012-13

Historical readings and fell top reports:

Date of report Location Temp Windchill Max wind Ave wind Wind direction Report
5th Apr 2013 Glaramara summit 783m -3.1 -17.7 NE 19.7 10.9 The Felltop assessors have now finished for the season. However, because of the extreme conditions, we are supplying this Ranger's report which applies to this weekend: The Lakeland fells continue to be in full winter condition, with snow and ice even at low levels in places. The ground is frozen above 500m. These conditions are forecasted to stay the same over the weekend. Consequently, below 500m coverage is intermittent and some paths are clear and even dry. Above 500m, snow and ice is extensive and unavoidable in most areas apart from the N and NW fells where southerly aspects have less snow. Snow depth rises with height and there is extensive drifting of over 100cm although the actual depth varies enormously depending on aspect and shelter from the prevailing easterly winds. Many popular routes are covered with hard, compacted snow and some ice which is obviously slippery. Away from the paths, deep soft snow is the norm - sometimes with a glazed crust - and extra time is needed for the energy-sapping plodding this requires. Other than paths becoming more compacted and icy these conditions are not forecasted to change until early next week. Both Swirral and Striding Edge on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow and windslab mixed with patches of more compacted snow and ice, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes, should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions, with crampons and ice axe essential. To view the conditions look at the Weatherline gallery of recent pictures. Substantial cornices exist at the tops of gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. To go up and down Scafell Pike and the surrounding fells safely requires the use of crampons, without exception. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those attempting or traversing steep or technical ground or even just walking on higher level paths an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Summit temperatures remain below freezing with a windchill in negative double figures.
4th Apr 2013 Helvellyn summit The Lakeland fells are in full winter condition, with snow and ice at all levels although there is a daytime thaw below 400m. Consequently, below 400m coverage is intermittent and some paths are clear and even dry. Above 400m, snow and ice is extensive and unavoidable. Snow depth rises with height and there is extensive drifting of over 100cm although the actual depth varies enormously depending on aspect and shelter from the prevailing easterly winds. Many popular routes are now covered with hard, compacted snow and some ice which is obviously slippery. Away from the paths, deep soft snow is the norm - sometimes with a glazed crust - and extra time is needed for the energy-sapping plodding this requires. These conditions will alter little throughout the Easter holidays, other than paths becoming more compacted and icy. Both Swirral and Striding Edge on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow and windslab mixed with patches of more compacted snow and ice, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes, should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions, with crampons and ice axe essential. Substantial cornices exist at the tops of gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. To go up and down Scafell Pike and the surrounding fells safely requires the use of crampons, without exception. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those attempting or traversing steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Summit temperatures remain below freezing with a windchill in negative double figures.
3rd Apr 2013 Helvellyn summit -3.3 -13.0 29.0 NE 24.0 The Lakeland fells are in full winter condition, with snow and ice at all levels altrhough there is a daytime thaw below 400m. Consequentially, below 400m coverage is intermittent and some paths are clear and even dry. Above 400m, snow and ice is extensive and unavoidable. Snow depth rises with height and there is extensive drifting of over 100cm although the actual depth varies enormously depending on aspect and shelter, or otherwise, from the prevailing easterly winds. Many popular routes are now covered with hard, compacted snow and some ice which is obviously slippery. Away from the paths, deep soft snow is the norm - sometimes with a glazed crust - and extra time is needed for the energy-sapping plodding this requires. These conditions will alter little throughout the Easter holidays, other than paths becoming more compacted and icy. Both Swirral and Striding Edge on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow and windslab mixed with patches of more compacted snow and ice, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes, should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions, with crampons and ice axe essential. Substantial cornices exist at the tops of gullies, so please keep well back from the edge and advise those with less experience to do likewise - there were footprints far too close to the edge on Helvellyn's summit today. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. To go up and down Scafell Pike and the surrounding fells safely requires the use of crampons, without exception. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those attempting, or traversing, steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Summit temperatures remain below freezing with a windchill in negative double figures.
2nd Apr 2013 Dalehead - 753m -2.4 -13.5 17 SE 9 The Lakeland fells are in full winter condition, with snow and ice at all levels. Below 350m, the coverage is intermittent and some paths are clear, but above this level snow and ice is extensive and unavoidable. The recent heavy snowfalls resulted in extensive drifting and occasional drifts of up to 1m can still be encountered as low as 400m. However, many popular routes are now covered with hard, compacted snow which is extremely slippery. Away from the paths, deep soft snow is the norm - often with a glazed crust - and extra time is needed for the energy-sapping plodding this requires. These conditions will alter little throughout the Easter holidays, other than paths becoming more compacted and icy. Both Swirral and Striding Edge on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow and windslab mixed with patches of more compacted snow and ice, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions, with crampons and an ice axe essential. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. To go up and down Scafell Pike and the surrounding fells safely requires the use of crampons, without exception. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Summit temperatures are well below freezing with a high windchill.
1st Apr 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.7 -17.3 35.0 E 30.1 The Lakeland fells are in full winter condition, with snow and ice at all levels. Below 350m, the coverage is intermittent and some paths are clear, but above this level snow and ice is extensive and unavoidable. The recent heavy snowfalls resulted in extensive drifting and occasional drifts of up to 1m can still be encountered as low as 400m. However, many popular routes are now covered with hard, compacted snow which is extremely slippery. Away from the paths, deep soft snow is the norm - often with a glazed crust - and extra time is needed for the energy-sapping plodding this requires. These conditions will alter little throughout the Easter holidays, other than paths becoming more compacted and icy. Both Swirral and Striding Edge on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow and windslab mixed with patches of more compacted snow and ice, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions, with crampons and an ice axe essential. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. To go up and down Scafell Pike safely requires the use of crampons, without exception. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
31st Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.1 -16.4 29.0 SE 24.5 The Lakeland fells are in full winter condition, with snow and ice at all levels. Below 350m, the coverage is intermittent and some paths are clear, but above this level snow and ice is extensive and unavoidable. The heavy snowfalls of one week ago resulted in extensive drifting and occasional drifts of up to 1m can still be encountered as low as 400m. However, many popular routes are now covered with hard, compacted snow which is extremely slippery. Away from the paths, deep soft snow is the norm - often with a glazed crust - and extra time is needed for the energy-sapping plodding this requires. These conditions will alter little throughout the Easter holidays, other than paths becoming more compacted and icy. Both Swirral and Striding Edge on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow and windslab mixed with patches of more compacted snow and ice, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions, with crampons and an ice axe essential. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. To go up and down Scafell Pike safely requires the use of crampons, without exception. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
30th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.9 -12.8 19.0 NE 12.5 The Lakeland Fells are in full winter condition with snow and ice at all levels above 200m. Recent heavy snowfalls driven by strong easterly winds have resulted in widespread drifting. There are occasional drifts of snow over 1m deep as low as 300m and this depth is common above 600m The depth of coverage at all levels does vary depending on the amount of wind scouring and partial melting, but deep drifts can be encountered in all areas regardless of aspect. Much of the deep snow has consolidated or been compacted where popular paths cross areas of snow, but these areas have now become very slippery underfoot. These conditions will alter little throughout the Easter holidays, other than paths becoming more compacted and icy. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow and windslab mixed with patches of more compacted snow and ice, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
29th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.9 -15.8 32.9 E 24.7 The Lakeland Fells are in full winter condition with snow and ice at all levels. Recent heavy snowfalls driven by strong easterly winds have resulted in widespread drifting. There are occasional drifts of snow over 1m deep as low as 300m and this depth is common above 600m The depth of coverage at all levels does vary depending on the amount of wind scouring and drifting, but deep drifts can be encountered in all areas regardless of aspect. As an example - the Helvellyn summit plateau has patches of bare ground alongside drifts of over 1m. Some popular paths have become compacted with use, but anyone heading onto the fells should be prepared for some plodding through deep snow at some stage. These conditions will will alter little throughout the Easter holidays, other than paths becoming more compacted and icy. Above 800m the fresh snow is lying on large areas of compacted older snow and ice and there are likely to be unstable layers within the snowpack. Although some steep snow slopes have consolidated, a careful assessment should be made of the stability of the snow on any steep ground. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow and windslab mixed with patches of more compacted snow and ice, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Excellent navigational skills are required as the depth of snow hides many landmarks and paths.
28th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.6 -16.9 31.6 E 26.6 The Lakeland Fells are in full winter condition with snow and ice at all levels. Recent heavy snowfalls driven by strong easterly winds have resulted in widespread drifting. There are occasional drifts of snow over 1m deep as low as 300m and this depth is common above 600m The depth of coverage at all levels does vary depending on the amount of wind scouring and drifting, but deep drifts can be encountered in all areas regardless of aspect. As an example - the Helvellyn summit plateau has patches of bare ground alongside drifts of over 1m. Some popular paths have become compacted with use, but anyone heading onto the fells should be prepared for some laborious plodding through deep snow. These conditions will will alter little throughout the Easter holidays, other than paths becoming more compacted and icy. Above 800m the fresh snow is lying on large areas of compacted older snow and ice and there are likely to be unstable layers within the snowpack. Although some steep snow slopes have consolidated, a careful assessment should be made of the stability of the snow on any steep ground. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow and windslab mixed with patches of more compacted snow and ice, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Excellent navigational skills are required as the depth of snow hides many landmarks and paths.
27th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -6.5 -18.9 50.4 NE 34.7 The Lakeland Fells are in full winter condition with snow and ice on paths at all levels. The recent snowfall has mainly consisted of light and soft snow; this combined with strong, predominantly, easterly winds has resulted in widespread drifting. There are occasional drifts of snow over 1m deep as low as 300m and such depth is common above 600m. The actual depth and condition of the snowpack varies enormously depending on the amount of wind scouring and drifting. It is common within a few steps to encounter a mixture of firm, hard snow, deep soft snow and then areas of ground only covered by a few centimeters. Thus anyone heading into the fells should be prepared for hard snow and ice, as well as some energy sapping, labourious plodding through soft deep snow. Since last Friday's major snowfall, there have been slow subtle changes to the conditions and these are likely to continue over the Easter holiday. These changes have been more ice on paths, especially on popular routes where the snow has been compacted and at lower levels where there has been a daytime thaw followed by an overnight freeze. At altitude there has also been a slight hardening of the snowpack, although it will take a decent thaw/freeze cycle to properly consolidate the snow. Above 800m the fresh snow is lying on large areas of compacted older snow and ice and there are unstable layers within the snowpack; there was plenty of evidence of windslab today. Although some steep snowslopes have consolidated, a careful assessment should be made of the stability of the snow on any steep ground before climbing or traversing it. Swirral and especially Striding Edge on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow mixed with patches of harder snow, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should, therefore, only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment, including ice axe and crampons, are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. Excellent navigational skills are also required as the depth of snow obscures many landmarks and paths. If going into the cloud, steep drops can similarly not be seen. Snow showers and spindrift reduces visibility further to near, or actual, white-out conditions.
26th Mar 2013 Summit of Great End 910m -6.5 -18.2 37.1 ENE 27.1 The Lakeland Fells are back in full winter condition with snow and ice on paths at all levels. The recent snowfall has been mainly of soft and light snow; this combined with strong, predominantly, easterly winds has resulted in widespread drifting. There are drifts of snow over 1m deep as low as 300m and such depth is common above 600m. Actual depth and condition of the snowpack varies enormously depending on the amount of wind scouring and drifting. It was common today within a few steps to be walking on firm, hard snow, followed by sinking into soft snow and then on ground covered by only a few centimeters. Thus anyone heading onto the fells should be prepared for hard snow and ice, such as on popular routes where the snow has been compacted, as well as some laborious plodding through deep snow. Above 800m the fresh snow is lying on large areas of compacted older snow and ice and there will be unstable layers within the snowpack; there was plenty of evidence of windslab today. Although some steep snowslopes have consolidated, a careful assessment should be made of the stability of the snow on any steep ground before climbing or traversing it. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow mixed with patches of harder snow, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should, therefore, only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment, including ice axe and crampons, are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. Excellent navigational skills are also required as the depth of snow obscures many landmarks and paths. If going into the cloud, steep drops can similarly not be seen. Spindrift and snowfall further reduces visibility to near, or actual, white-out conditions.
25th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -6.4 -21.2 55.6 E 47.6 As you might expect, a considerable amount of snow has fallen on the Lake District fells, driven by strong easterly winds resulting in widespread drifting. The snow is lying at all levels from valleys upwards, with drifts of over 1m deep as low as 300m. The depth of coverage at all levels does vary depending on the amount of wind scouring and drifting, but deep drifts can be encountered in all areas regardless of aspect. As an example - the Helvellyn summit plateau has patches of bare ground alongside drifts of over 1m. Some popular paths have become compacted with use, but anyone heading onto the fells should be prepared for some laborious plodding through deep snow. Above 800m the fresh snow is lying on large areas of compacted older snow and ice and there will be unstable layers within the snowpack. The strong easterly wind is continuing to deposit large amounts of windslab onto southwest through to northwest facing slopes and gullies, which are often topped by extensive cornices. The avalanche risk in these areas will be considerable until the snowpack consolidates, which could take some time. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow mixed with patches of harder snow, especially on their steep exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Excellent navigational skills are required as the depth of snow obscures many landmarks and paths. Spindrift further reduces visibility and white-out conditions are common.
24th Mar 2013 Swirral Edge -5.0 -17.9 41.1 E 24.7 As you might expect, a considerable amount of snow has fallen on the Lake District fells, driven by strong easterly winds resulting in widespread drifting. The snow is lying at all levels from valleys upwards, with drifts of over 1m deep as low as 300m. The depth of coverage at all levels does vary depending on the amount of wind scouring, but deep drifts can be encountered in all areas regardless of aspect and anyone heading onto the fells should be prepared for some laborious plodding through deep snow. Above 800m the fresh snow is lying on large areas of compacted older snow and ice and there will be unstable layers within the snowpack. The strong easterly wind is continuing to deposit large amounts of windslab onto southwest through to northwest facing slopes and gullies, which are often topped by extensive cornices. The avalanche risk in these areas will be considerable until the snowpack consolidates, which could take some time. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with deep drifts of soft snow mixed with patches of harder snow, especially on their exit ramps. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Excellent navigational skills are required as the depth of snow obscures many landmarks and paths. Spindrift further reduces visibility and white-out conditions are common.
23rd Mar 2013 Birkhouse Moor -5.3 -17.8 41.0 SE 36.2 A considerable amount of snow has fallen on the Lake District Fells, driven by strong easterly winds resulting in widespread drifting. The snow is lying at all levels from valleys upwards, with drifts of over 1m deep as low as 300m. The depth of coverage at all levels does vary depending on the amount of wind scouring, but deep drifts can be encountered in all areas regardless of aspect and anyone heading onto the fells should be prepared for some laborious plodding through deep, soft snow. Above 800m the fresh snow is lying on large areas of compacted older snow and ice and there will be unstable layers within the snowpack. The strong easterly winds has driven large amounts of windslab onto southwest through to northwest facing slopes and gullies which are often topped by extensive cornices. The avalanche risk in these areas will be considerable until the snowpack consolidates, which could take some time. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with soft snow up to 60cm deep intermingled with patches of harder snow - especially on their exits. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should therefore only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Excellent navigational skills are required as the depth of snow obscures all landmarks, including steep drops, and any snow or spindrift further reduces visibility and white-out conditions are common.
22nd Mar 2013 Wansfell Pike summit - 482m -2.6 -13.5 40.6 ESE 31.3 Fresh snow has, and is still, falling and settling at all levels in the Lakes with 2-3cm at valley level. The fells now have a substantial covering of mainly soft snow the depth of which increases with height to reach over 100cm in drifts and hollows at 900m. There are drifts of 40cm even at 400m. Such depth is the exception, actual depth varies enormously depending on aspect and shelter from the recent prevailing (and strengthening) SE to NE winds; an average depth on Thursday (ie prior to the current snowfall) being around 20-25cm at 900m. The snowpack is mainly soft, however there is harder snow and ice both where the wind has scoured the fresh snow and where it has been compacted - such as on popular paths. Breaking trail through the fresh soft snow on Saturday will be tiring, so allow extra time for this and take extra Mars Bars (other calorific snacks are available). The recent soft snow has not yet bonded to previous accumulations, especially above 800m where it can lie on top of old hard snow and ice, so do assess the condition of the snowpack prior to venturing onto any steep ground. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with soft snow up to 60cm deep intermingled with patches of harder snow - especially on their exits. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should, therefore, only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Cornices exist at the tops of gullies. On Helvellyn, these have recently reduced in size owing to the scouring effect of the stronger winds; conversely, they will have grown on any western facing slopes, so please keep well back from any edges. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen and are covered by snow but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. For those going into the cloud, excellent navigational skills are required as the depth of snow obscures all landmarks, including steep drops, and any snow or spindrift will further reduce visibility to practically, or actually, nil.
21st Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.7 -18.1 38.4 NE 27.6 The Lakeland fells have a substantial covering of mainly soft snow which starts at around 350m. Snow depth increases with height to reach over 100cm in drifts and hollows at 900m. Such depth is the exception, actual depth varies enormously depending on aspect and shelter from the recent prevailing SE to NE winds; an average depth being around 20-25cm at 900m. Where the wind has scoured the fresh snow, there are places where the snowpack has hardened; at present these are the exception and the snowpack is mainly soft, sometimes with a hard crust. Breaking trail through it is labourious, so allow extra time for this. The recent soft snow has not yet bonded to previous accumulations, especially above 800m where it can lie on top of old hard snow and ice, so do assess the condition of the snowpack prior to venturing onto any steep ground. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with soft snow up to 60cm deep intermingled with patches of harder snow - especially on their exits. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should, therefore, only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Cornices exist at the tops of gullies. On Helvellyn, these have reduced in size over the past 24 hours owing to the scouring effect of the stronger winds. Even so, they still contain cracks, so please keep well back from the edge. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen and are covered by snow but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. For those going into the cloud, excellent navigational skills are required as the depth of snow obscures all landmarks, including steep drops, and the forecasted snow and spindrift will further reduce visibility.
20th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.3 -12.5 18.2 SE - E 8.0 Snow is on paths above 350m and the fells now have a substantial covering of mainly soft snow. The depth of which increases with height to reach over 100cm in drifts and hollows at 900m. Such depth is the exception, actual depth varies enormously depending on aspect and shelter from the recent prevailing SE to NE winds; an average depth being around 20cm at 900m. The depth of snow hiding landmarks, including steep drops, combined with the cloud and spindrift makes navigation very challenging. Where the wind has scoured the fresh snow, there are places where the snowpack has hardened; at present this is the exception and the snowpack is mainly soft. Breaking trail through it is labourious, so allow extra time for this. The recent snowfall has not bonded to previous accumulations, especially above 800m where it can lie on top of old hard snow and ice. Thus the snowpack is extremely unstable on steep ground, making it even more important in poor visibility to know where you are placing your feet. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with fresh, soft snow as are both their exits. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should, therefore, only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Cornices exist at the tops of gullies. The one visible today has grown over the past few days and contains large cracks, so please keep well back from the edge. Climbers: the snow off Swirral Edge today was loose, soft and unstable so presumably the gullies on Helvellyn are filled with similar material and are certainly topped with cornices liable to collapse. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. For those going into the cloud, excellent navigational skills are required as the snow obscures all landmarks. Given the present unstable nature of the snowpack, especially above 800m, please carefully assess the condition of the snow before venturing onto any steep ground.
19th Mar 2013 On the path between Lower Man and the summit of Helvellyn -0.1 -2.9 8.1 SE 1.3 Fresh snow has fallen for the fourth day running. There is snow on paths above 350m - below this height it was thawing. The fells are now covered by a substantial accumulation of mainly soft snow, the depth of which increases with height with 15-20cm common on paths at 600m and this increases to over 100cm in drifts and hollows at 900m, although actual depth varies depending on aspect and shelter from the prevailing SE to NE winds. Windblown areas, such as the summit plateau, having a relatively light covering. The depth of snow hiding landmarks, including steep drops, combined with the cloud and spindrift makes navigation very difficult; indeed the Fell Top Assessor turned back just before the summit owing to the lack of visibility. Where the wind has scoured the fresh snow, there are places where the snowpack has hardened; at present this is the exception and the snowpack is mainly soft. Breaking trail through it is labourious, so allow extra time for this. The recent snowfall has not bonded to previous accumulations, especially above 800m where it can lie on top of old hard snow and ice. Thus the snowpack is extremely unstable on steep ground, making it even more important in poor visibility to know where you are placing your feet. Raised footprints today indicate that there will also be some windslab which will further increase the unstable nature of the snowpack. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with fresh, soft snow. Both exit ramps have a covering of deep, unavoidable snow. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should, therefore, only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Cornices exist at the tops of gullies. On Helvellyn, the cloud temporarily cleared to show that they have grown over the past few days and have large cracks, so please keep well back from the edges. Climbers: the snow gullies on Helvellyn are full of loose, soft, unstable snow and topped with cornices liable to collapse. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Given the present unstable nature of the snowpack, especially above 800m, please carefully assess the condition of the snow before venturing onto any steep ground.
18th Mar 2013 Near the summit of Lower Man -3 -12.7 39.9 NE 17.9 For the third day running, fresh snow has fallen and has settled above 450m - below this height it is thawing. There is now a substantial accumulation of soft snow on the fells with 15-20cm common on paths at 600m and this increases to over 100cm in drifts at 900m, although actual depth depends on aspect and shelter from the strengthening winds - windblown areas, such as the summit plateau, having a relatively light covering. Conversely, breaking trail through the soft snow is labourious, so allow extra time for this. The depth of snow hiding landmarks, combined with the cloud and spindrift makes navigation very difficult; indeed the Fell Top Assessor turned back before the summit owing to the lack of visibility. The recent snow is soft and has not bonded to previous accumulations, especially above 800m where it can lie on top of old snow and ice. Thus the snowpack is extremely unstable on steep ground, making it even more important in poor visibility to know where you are placing your feet. On Saturday on Helvellyn, there was also evidence of windslab on eastern slopes further increasing the unstable nature of the snowpack. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with fresh, soft snow. Both exit ramps have a covering of deep, unavoidable snow and ice. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should, therefore, only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The two recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. Cornices exist at the tops of gullies. On Helvellyn, these were extremely unstable on Saturday, so please keep well back from the edges. Climbers: we usually talk about damaging plants, anyone attempting the snow gullies on Helvellyn in their present condition could seriously damage themselves as the snowpack is loose, soft, extremely unstable and topped with cornices liable to collapse. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Given the present unstable nature of the snowpack, especially above 800m, please carefully assess the condition of the snow before venturing onto any steep ground.
17th Mar 2013 Striding Edge -2.2 -10.2 22.5 SE 17 More snow has, as is, settling on the fells above 500m. This morning it was snowing at all levels, but this is thawing below 500m. There is now a substantial amount of soft snow on the fells with 15-20cm common on paths at 600m and this increases to 100cm in drifts at 900m. Trudging through this soft snow is labourious; extra time and Mars Bars should be allowed for this (other calorific snacks are available). The depth of snow hiding landmarks, combined with the cloud makes navigation difficult; indeed the Fell Top Assessor turned back on Striding Edge today as the southern side of the edge could not be seen. In addition, the recent snow is soft and has not bonded to previous accumulations, especially above 800m where it can lie on top of old snow and ice. Thus the snowpack is extremely unstable on steep ground, making it even more important to know where you are placing your feet. On Saturday on Helvellyn, there was also evidence of windslab on eastern slopes further increasing the unstable nature of the snowpack. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with fresh, soft snow. Both exit ramps have a covering of deep, unavoidable snow and ice. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should, therefore, only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The two recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. Cornices exist at the tops of gullies. On Helvellyn, these were extremely unstable on Saturday, so please keep well back from the edges. Climbers: we usually talk about damaging plants, anyone attempting the snow gullies on Helvellyn in their present condition could seriously damage themselves as the snowpack is loose, soft, extremely unstable and topped with cornices liable to collapse. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. Please note that a hard overnight frost could completely change the present conditions of soft snow, so for those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Given the present unstable nature of the snowpack, especially above 800m, please carefully assess the condition of the snow before venturing onto any steep ground. Finally, we would like to thank Mr Jon Watson for sponsoring Weatherline today
16th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -2.1 -10.8 20.1 15.4 Fresh snow has fallen overnight and has settled above 550m adding to existing accumulations, although it was thawing below 700m. Above 600m, there is now a substantial amount of snow on the fells although the extent and depth of it varies. On Helvellyn, drifts of up to 50cm can be encountered as low as 700m, increasing to 100cm at 900m. The new snow is soft and above 800m it can lie on top of old snow and ice. These layers have not bonded and so the snowpack is extremely unstable on steep ground. On Helvellyn, there was also evidence of windslab on eastern slopes further increasing the unstable nature of the snowpack. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn are covered with fresh, loose snow, the southern slopes of which are particularly unstable. Both exit ramps have a covering of deep, unavoidable snow and ice. The edges, and similar routes in the Lakes should, therefore, only be attempted by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The two recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. Cornices exist at the tops of gullies. On Helvellyn, these have grown over the past 24 hours and have cracks in them and are extremely unstable. Please keep well back from the edges. Climbers: we usually talk about damaging plants, anyone attempting the snow gullies on Helvellyn in their present condition could seriously damage themselves as the snowpack is loose, soft, extremely unstable and topped with cornices liable to collapse. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. Please note that a hard overnight frost could completely change the present conditions of soft snow, so for those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Given the present unstable nature of the snowpack, especially above 800m, please carefully assess the condition of the snow before venturing onto any steep ground.
15th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit There is currently large amount of ice and snow on the fells, with more snow expected over the next 24 hours. The depth and extent of snow varies across the park, but all of the high fells have significant accumulations. Snow and ice can be encountered above 600m and drifts of up to 40cm are present above this level, with deeper drifts of up to 80cm above 800m. Above 800m the recent snow is lying on a considerable amount of compacted old snow and ice from previous accumulations. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have a covering of deep drifts, ice and large patches of compacted old snow and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge is guarded by an area of steep, unavoidable snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially for descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. To go up and down Scafell Pike and its adjacent fells safely, crampons are essential. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone going onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
14th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit There are currently large amounts of ice and snow on the fells, with more heavy snow expected over the next 24 hours. Snow can be encountered on paths above 450m, but there is ice at all levels in the park and all of the high fells have substantial accumulations of snow. The depth and extent of coverage varies according to the amount of wind scouring and melting in the recent sunshine, but drifts of up to 40cm are present at 600m and above 800m drifts can reach up to 80cm deep. Above 800m the windslab is lying on a considerable amount of compacted old snow and ice from previous accumulations. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have a covering of deep drifts, ice and large patches of compacted old snow and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge is guarded by an area of steep, unavoidable hard snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially for descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. To go up and down Scafell Pike and its adjacent fells safely, crampons are essential. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone going onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
13th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -3.7 -7.2 8.2 N 5.5 There are currently large amounts of ice and snow on the fells. Snow can be encountered on paths above 500m, but there is ice at all levels in the park and all of the high fells have substantial accumulations of snow. The depth and extent of coverage varies according to the amount of wind scouring and melting in the recent sunshine, but drifts of up to 40cm are present at 600m and above 800m drifts can reach up to 80cm deep. These drifts can be encountered on all aspects, but strong easterly winds have scoured much of the snow and deposed large amounts of windslab onto southwest through to northwest facing slopes and gullies, which are often topped by cornices. Above 800m the windslab is lying on a considerable amount of compacted old snow and ice from previous accumulations. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have a covering of deep drifts, ice and large patches of compacted old snow and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge is guarded by an area of steep, unavoidable hard snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially for descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. To go up and down Scafell Pike and its adjacent fells safely, crampons are essential. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone going onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
12th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.1 -14.3 31.6 NE 15.6 The fells are in full winter condition, with large amounts of ice and snow. The snowline is lower on the fells to the east Thirlmere and Windermere, where snow can be encountered on paths above 400m. To the west, the snowline is around 500m, but there is ice at all levels in the park and all of the high fells have substantial accumulations of snow.The depth and extent of coverage varies according to the amount of wind scouring, but drifts of up to 50cm are present at 600m and above 800m drifts can reach up to 1m deep. These drifts can be encountered on all aspects, but strong easterly winds have scoured much of the snow and deposed large amounts of loosely bonded windslab onto southwest through to northwest facing slopes and gullies, which are often topped by cornices. Above 800m the windslab is lying on a considerable amount of compacted old snow and ice from previous accumulations. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have a covering of deep drifts, ice and large patches of compacted old snow and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge is guarded by an area of steep, unavoidable hard snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially for descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. To go up and down Scafell Pike and its adjacent fells safely, crampons are essential. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone going onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
11th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -8.7 -23.2 41.2 E26.7 Fresh snow is lying at all levels on the fells. The depth and extent of coverage varies according to the amount of wind scouring, but drifts of up to 50cm are present at 600m and above 800m drifts can reach up to 1m deep. These drifts can be encountered on all aspects, but the strong easterly winds are scouring much of the snow and depositing large amounts of unstable windslab onto southwest through to northwest facing slopes and gullies, which are often topped by cornices. Above 800m the snow is lying on a considerable amount of compacted old snow and ice from previous accumulations. With the ground frozen down to valley level, large patches of ice can be encountered at all levels and where this ice is covered with fresh snow, underfoot conditions are very slippery. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have a covering of deep drifts, ice and large patches of compacted old snow and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge is guarded by an area of deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially for descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. To go up and down Scafell Pike and its adjacent fells safely, crampons are essential. Full winter clothing and equipment are essential for anyone going onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
10th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -6.4 -18.2 31.0 NE 21.9 More fresh snow is lying on the fells, with the snowline down to 350m. The depth of fresh material increases with altitude to around 10cm at 600m and up to 50cm in drifts and hollows above 800m, where the snow is lying on a considerable amount of compacted old snow and ice from previous accumulations. Strong easterly winds have deposited large amounts of windslab onto southwest through to northwest facing slopes and gullies, some of which are topped by cornices. With the ground frozen down to around 200m, large patches of ice can be encountered at most levels and where this ice is covered with fresh snow, underfoot conditions are very slippery. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have a covering of fresh loose snow, ice and large patches of compacted old snow and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge is guarded by an area of deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially for descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. To go up and down Scafell Pike and its adjacent fells safely, crampons are essential. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone going onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
9th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -2.9 -13.4 33.8 E 29.2 Snow is currently falling on the fells and settling on ground above 500m. The depth of fresh material increases with altitude to several cm above 600m and up to 20cm in drifts and hollows above 800m, where there is also a considerable amount of compacted old snow and ice from previous accumulations. Northwest through to east facing slopes generally hold the greatest amount of old snow and, although the coverage is patchier and the snowline higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present here. With the summit temperature below freezing, the summit plateau was covered with ice and fresh powder, making for slippery conditions. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have a covering of fresh loose snow, ice and large patches of compacted old snow and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipeed for such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge is guarded by an area of deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially for descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. To go up and down Scafell Pike and its adjacent fells safely, crampons are essential. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone going onto the fells. For those going above the snowline going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
9th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -2.9 -13.4 33.8 E 29.2 Snow is currently falling on the fells and settling on ground above 500m. The depth of fresh material increases with altitude to several cm above 600m and up to 20cm in drifts and hollows above 800m, where there is also a considerable amount of compacted old snow and ice from previous accumulations. Northwest through to east facing slopes generally hold the greatest amount of old snow. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still exist in these areas. With the summit temperature below freezing, the summit plateau was covered with ice and fresh powder, making for slippery conditions. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have a covering of fresh loose snow, ice and large patches of compacted old snow and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge is guarded by an area of deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially for descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. All approaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. To go up and down Scafell Pike and its adjacent fells safely, crampons are essential. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone going onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
8th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.9 -8.4 19.7 NNE 16.9 There was a skittering of fresh snow and spindrift above 900m; however below 800m the slow thaw continues. Below 600m there is hardly any snow on paths and what remains is avoidable. Above 600m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and on popular routes this has been compacted; so expect to encounter ice, especially given a hard frost. Above 800m a considerable amount of snow and ice still exists. The extent and depth of which depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. With the summit temperature below freezing, the summit plateau was covered with ice and the remaining snow patches had frozen making for slippery conditions and very different to the past few days. Cornices exist, mainly on east facing slopes; owing to limited visibility, these could not be inspected today, but on Thursday cracks had appeared, so please keep well back from the edge. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. Consequently, crampons and ice axe are required especially in descent and, again, particularly given a hard frost. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have bare rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Although the snow on Striding Edge's exit is thinning, the rocks were covered with rime ice and verglas (thin ice); however on Swirral's exit there is also a patch of deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially in descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
7th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit 4.4 -0.5 19.3 E to SE 9.4 The slow thaw continues at all levels. Below 600m there is hardly any snow on paths and what remains is avoidable. Above 600m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and on popular routes this has been compacted; so will take longer to thaw - if at all before forecasted colder weather returns. Above 800m a considerable amount of snow and ice still exists. The extent and depth of which depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. Cornices exist, mainly on east facing slopes, which are cracking and extremely unstable with the milder weather, so please keep well back from the edge and advise those with less experience to do likewise. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of snow and ice, often on steep ground. Consequently, crampons and ice axe are required especially in descent and particularly given a hard frost. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have bare rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Although the ice on Striding Edge's exit is thinning, on Swirral's exit there is a patch of deep, unavoidable snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially in descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. Despite the milder temperatures, the summit windchill remains at, or below, freezing, so full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
6th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit 1.9 -1.4 9.7 SE 5.4 A slow thaw is occuring at all levels. Below 600m, paths are largely dry and what little snow remains is avoidable. Above 600m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and on popular routes this has been compacted; so ice can be encountered, especially in the morning after a hard frost. Above 800m a considerable amount of hard snow and ice exists. The extent and depth of which depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. Cracks have appeared along some of the cornices that exist, mainly on east facing slopes, so please keep well back from the edge. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of hard snow and ice, often on steep ground. Consequently, crampons and ice axe are required especially in descent and, again, particularly given a hard frost. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Although the ice on Striding Edge's exit is thinning, on Swirral's exit there is a patch of deep, unavoidable snow and ice. As such crampons and ice axe remain essential, especially in descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen but are very unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
5th Mar 2013 Scafell Pike summit 4.1 1 9.4 SSE 6.2 Underfoot conditions remain very similar to the past few days. There is a marked contrast between the feeling of Spring in the valleys and the alpine conditions at altitude - especially above 800m. Below 600m, paths are largely dry and what little snow remains is avoidable. Above 600m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and on popular routes this has been compacted; so expect to encounter ice, especially in the morning after a hard frost. Above 800m a considerable amount of hard snow and ice exists. The extent and depth of which depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. Cornices exist on mainly east facing slopes, so please keep back from the edge. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of hard snow and ice, often on steep ground. Consequently, crampons and ice axe are required especially in descent and, again, particularly given a hard frost. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions, especially in descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. Upland tarns, such as Sprinkling Tarn, have frozen but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
4th Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit 1.9 -2.1 12.4 S 7.4 Underfoot conditions have been very stable in the Lakes for the past few days. There is a marked contrast between the Spring-like valleys and the alpine conditions at altitude - especially above 800m. Below 600m, paths are largely dry and what little snow remains is avoidable. Above 600m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and on popular routes this has been compacted. Consequently expect to encounter ice, especially in the morning after a hard frost. Above 800m a considerable amount of hard snow and ice exists. The extent and depth of the snowpack depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. Cornices exist on mainly east facing slopes, so please keep back from the edges. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. All routes on Scafell Pike requires the use of crampons. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions, especially in descent. The 2 recent accidents have both occured on Swirral's icy exit. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
3rd Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.3 -5.6 11.7 S 8.4 Conditions have been very similar in the Lakes for the past few days in that there is a marked contrast between the feeling of Spring in the valleys compared with the alpine conditions at altitude - especially above 800m. Below 600m, paths are largely dry and what little snow remains is avoidable. Above 600m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and on popular routes this has been compacted. Consequently expect to encounter ice, especially in the morning after a hard frost. Above 800m a considerable amount of hard snow and ice exists. The extent and depth of the snowpack depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. Cornices exist on mainly east facing slopes, so please keep back from the edges. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. All routes on Scafell Pike requires the use of crampons. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, there have now been 2 accidents in as many weeks here; the danger is that the majority of the Edges do not require crampons and ice axes - but the exits do, especially in descent. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen but are unsafe to walk on, so please do not follow the footprints that exist on them! Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
2nd Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit 0.2 -5.2 16 N 5.4 There is a marked contrast in the Lakes between the virtually Spring like conditions in the valleys and the alpine conditions at altitude - especially above 800m. Below 600m, there is hardly any snow on paths and what remains is avoidable. Above 600m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and on popular routes this has been compacted and so, especially in the morning, expect to encounter ice. Above 800m a considerable amount of hard snow and ice exists. The extent and depth of the snowpack depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. Without exception, to go up and down Scafell Pike safely requires the use of crampons. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, there have now been 2 accidents in as many weeks here; the danger is that the majority of the Edges do not require crampons and ice axes - BUT BOTH EXITS DO. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
1st Mar 2013 Helvellyn summit 0.6 -3.8 10.1 6.5 Despite the contnued sunny weather and milder conditions in the valleys, there is a considerable amount of snow and ice remaining on the majority of the higher fells in the National Park. Above 600m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and above 800m a considerable amount of compacted snow and ice exists. The extent and depth of the snowpack depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. With overnight temperatures well below zero, ice can be encountered at all levels on the fells. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. To go up and down Scafell Pike safely requires the use of crampons, without exception. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
28th Feb 2013 Scafell Pike 4.1 1.3 8.1 N 4.8 Despite the contnued sunny weather and milder conditions in the valleys, there is a considerable amount of snow and ice remaining on the higher fells in the majority of the National Park. Above 550m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and above 800m a considerable amount of compacted snow and ice exists. The extent and depth of the snowpack depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. With overnight temperatures well below zero, ice can be encountered at all levels on the fells. All aproaches to Scafell Pike involve walking on extensive areas of compacted snow and ice, often on steep ground and the summit area is extensively covered with ice. To go up and down Scafell Pike safely requires the use of crampons, without exception. Swirral and Striding Edges on Helvellyn have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
27th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit 2.2 1.9 8.0 NE 6.8 A thaw is taking place at all levels, but the remaining snow and ice will take some time to melt as the snowpack re-freezes at night. The remaining coverage in the Lake District varies, with the Helvellyn range, Scafell Range and Southwestern fells retaining the greatest coverage. In these areas, there is a considerable amount of snow and ice remaining on the higher fells. Above 550m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and above 800m a considerable amount of compacted snow and ice exists. The extent and depth of the snowpack depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. Unstable cornices exist above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
26th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.8 -6.9 14.3 E 12.0 The remaining snow coverage in the Lake District varies, with the Helvellyn range, Central and Southwestern fells retaining the greatest coverage. In these areas, there is a considerable amount of snow and ice remaining on the higher fells. Above 550m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and above 800m a considerable amount of compacted snow and ice exists, which is overlain by up to 10cm of fresh loose powder. The extent and depth of the snowpack depends on aspect, with sheltered northwest through to east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present. Unstable cornices exist above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
25th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -2.5 -12.3 30.2 NE 22.2 There is a considerable amount of snow and ice remaining on the higher fells. Above 550m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and above 800m a considerable amount of compacted snow and ice exists, which is overlain by up to 10cm of fresh loose powder. The extent and depth of the snowpack depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. Although the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects, large areas of snow and ice are still present Extensive areas of ice can be encountered at all levels on the fells. Cornices exist above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice, with loose powder on top and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, a young lad slipped at this very spot recently, sustaining serious injuries. Please advise anyone attempting the Edges or similar routes without crampons and ice axes to reconsider. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
24th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.6 -14.5 24.4 NE 21.3 There is a considerable amount of snow and ice remaining on the higher fells. Above 550m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and above 800m a considerable amount of compacted snow and ice exists, which is overlain by up to 10cm of fresh loose powder. The extent and depth of the snowpack depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. The coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects. Large areas of ice can be encountered at all levels. Cornices exist above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice, with loose powder on top and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, a young lad slipped at this very spot recently, sustaining serious injuries. Please advise anyone attempting the Edges or similar routes without crampons and ice axes to reconsider. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
23rd Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.5 -15.6 27.4 NE 17.6 There is a fresh dusting of snow on the fells at all levels, although there are no significant fresh accumulations at present. However, there is still a considerable amount of old snow and ice remaining on the higher fells. Above 550m the frequency of snow on paths increases with altitude and above 800m a considerable amount of compacted snow and ice exists. The extent and depth of the snow depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations. The coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects. Large areas of ice can be encountered at all levels. Unstable cornices exist above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, a young lad slipped at this very spot recently, sustaining serious injuries. Please advise anyone attempting the Edges or similar routes without crampons and ice axes to reconsider. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
22nd Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -6.5 -16.7 24.8 NE 18.3 The dry weather and lower temperatures have stabalised underfoot conditions and halted the thaw over the past few days. Ice can be encountered at almost all levels, although below 550m there is little snow on paths and what remains is usually avoidable - indeed many paths below 550m are dry. Between 550m and 800m there are large areas of fell with no snow whatsoever, although the frequency of snow on paths generally increases with altitude. On popular routes such snow patches have been compacted into ice making for slippery conditions. Above 800m a considerable amount of snow and ice remains on the fells; the extent and depth of which depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations; conversely, the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects. Unstable cornices exist above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge ignoring those footprints that are basically on frozen water over a steep drop. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps are both covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, a young lad slipped at this very spot on Sunday afternoon sustaining serious injuries. Please advise anyone attempting the Edges, or similar routes, without crampons and ice axes to reconsider. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
21st Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.4 -11.3 15 SE 6.2 Lower temperatures have halted the thaw and hardened surfaces; the remaining snow is hard and often icy. Although ice can be encountered at almost all levels, below 550m there is little snow on paths and what remains is usually avoidable - indeed many paths below 550m are dry. Between 550m and 800m there are large areas of fell with no snow whatsoever, although the frequency of patches of snow on paths generally increases with altitude. On popular routes such snow has been compacted into ice making for slippery conditions. Above 800m a considerable amount of snow and ice remains on the Lake District fells; the extent and depth of which depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations; conversely, the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects. There are unstable cornices above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard ice. Their steep exit ramps are covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, a young lad slipped at this very spot on Sunday afternoon sustaining serious injuries. Please advise anyone attempting the Edges, or similar routes, without crampons and ice axes to reconsider. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
20th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -3.5 -10.8 17.3 SSE 9.1 With lower temperatures at altitude, the thaw has stopped and there is more ice on paths; however below 550m there is little snow on paths and what remains is usually avoidable. Between 550m and 800m although there are large areas of fell with no snow whatsoever, the number of patches of snow on paths generally increase in frequency with altitude. On popular routes such snow has been compacted into ice making for slippery conditions. Above 800m a considerable amount of snow and ice remains on the Lake District fells; the extent and depth of which depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations; conversely, the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects. The snowpack has consolidated and is much firmer compared with earlier in the week. There are unstable cornices above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard ice. Their steep exit ramps are covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, a young lad slipped at this very spot on Sunday afternoon sustaining serious injuries. Please advise anyone attempting the Edges, or similar routes, without crampons and ice axes to reconsider. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
19th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit 1.1 -2 7.2 variable mainly SW-SE 2.4 Owing to the harsh frost, the snowpack has hardened; often when snow has thawed during the day it has frozen overnight making for slippery conditions. Below 550m there is little snow on paths and what remains is generally avoidable. Between 550m and 800m although there are large areas of fell with no snow at all, the number of patches of snow on paths generally increase in frequency with altitude. On popular routes such snow patches have been compacted into ice. Above 800m a considerable amount of snow and ice remains on the Lake District fells; the extent and depth of which depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations; conversely, the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects. The summit plateau was covered with thin ice and hard snow. There are cornices above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge - footprints exist where people have walked on frozen water over a steep drop. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard ice. Their steep exit ramps are covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, a young lad slipped at this very spot last Sunday sustaining serious injuries. Please advise anyone attempting the Edges, or such routes, without crampons and ice axes to reconsider. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential - especially given an overnight frost.
18th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit 1.3 -4.0 17.9 S 12.7 Below 800m, the snowpack continues to thaw. Below 550m there is little snow on paths and what remains is generally avoidable. Between 550m and 800m although there are large areas of fell with no snow at all, the number of patches of snow on paths generally increase in frequency with altitude. On popular routes the remaining snow has been compacted into ice making for slippery conditions. Above 800m a considerable amount of snow and ice remains on the Lake District fells; the extent and depth of which depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations; conversely, the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western and southern aspects. Below 800m, unless compacted, much of the snow is soft. Above 800m the snowpack is harder with some good neve, although sometimes only the top layer is firm with soft snow beneath. There are unstable cornices above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard ice. Their steep exit ramps are covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Regretfully, a young lad slipped at this very spot on Sunday afternoon sustaining serious injuries. Please advise anyone attempting the Edges without crampons and ice axes - especially in descent - to think again. Full winter clothing and equipment remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential - especially given an overnight frost.
17th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.6 -9.3 32.4 SSW 22.4 Below 800m, the snowpack continues to thaw. Below 550m there is little snow on paths and what remains is generally avoidable. Between 550m and 800m there are now large areas of fell with no snow at all. The patches of snow on paths between these heights increase with altitude and on popular routes they have been compacted into ice making for slippery conditions. Above 800m a considerable amount of snow and ice remains on the Lake District fells. The extent and depth of snow coverage depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations; conversely, the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western aspects. Below 800m, unless compacted, much of the snow is wet. Above 800m the snowpack is harder with some good neve, although sometimes only the top layer is firm with soft snow beneath. There are unstable cornices above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have bare dry rock interspersed with patches of hard ice. Their steep exit ramps are covered by deep, unavoidable hard snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment is essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential - especially given an overnight frost.
16th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.2 -7.7 20.6 SW 18.4 The snowpack continues to thaw almost at all levels - it was zero degrees on the summit. The thaw is particularly rapid below 750m. Below 450m there is little snow on paths and what remains is often avoidable. Between 450m and 750m the amount of snow on paths increases with altitude and on popular routes it has been compacted making for slippery conditions especially if temperatures lower. Above 750m a considerable amount of snow and ice remains on the Lake District fells. The extent and depth of snow coverage depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing slopes generally holding the greatest accumulations; conversely, the coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western aspects. Below 850m, unless compacted, much of the snow is wet. Above 850m the wet snow is interspersed with harder snow and ice. There are extensive cornices above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies which are very unstable given the milder temperatures, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have everything from bare rock, to wet snow to hard ice. Their steep exit ramps, however, are covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment is essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential - especially if the temperatures lower.
15th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.1 -8.4 22.1 NW 16.4 The snowpack is continuing to thaw below around 850m, but a considerable amount of snow and ice remains on the Lake District fells. The extent and depth of snow coverage depends on aspect, with sheltered east facing aspects holding the greatest accumulations where snow and ice is unavoidable above 550m. The coverage is patchier and the snowline slightly higher on western aspects but there still remains extensive areas of snow and ice on paths above 550m. Above the snowline around 10-20cm of wet snow and ice is covering paths with occasional deeper patches of up to 50cm. There are occasional accumulations of over 80cm, particularly in drifts and hollows on east facing aspects above 700m. Extensive areas above 850m - such as the Helvellyn summit area - are covered with ice and snow with a hard glazed crust. There are extensive cornices above northwest through to east facing slopes and gullies which are cracking and slumping in places, so please keep well back from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have a substantial covering of snow and ice and their steep exit ramps are covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment is essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those going onto steep or technical ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
14th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit 0.2 -9.3 31.7 NW 26.2 The snow on the fells is currently thawing at all levels. There is little snow or ice below 450m and what remains is generally avoidable. The coverage becomes extensive and unavoidable above 500m, with 10-20cm of wet snow and ice covering paths and occasional deeper patches of up to 50cm. Above 600m, there are occasional accumulations of over 1m, particularly in drifts and hollows on east facing aspects. The snow at all levels is currently heavy and wet but if the freezing level drops higher ground will have extensive areas of ice and the snowpack will be covered with a glazed crust. Extensive cornices are in place above east facing slopes and gullies, as well as west through to north facing slopes and gullies. Swirral and Striding Edges have a substantial covering of snow and ice and their steep exit ramps are covered by deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment is essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline. For those going onto steep or technical ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
13th Feb 2013 Glenridding There will be no report from the fell top today due to the heavy snow falling at valley level, making road access difficult. The following report is based on Tuesday's conditions and the fresh snow will obviously add a significant amount to the accumulations from previous days. The snow coverage is extensive and unavoidable at all levels and, although the snow depth varies due to the scouring action of the wind, there are drifts of fresh snow up to 80cm deep as low as 400m. Above 600m, the fresh snow has added to the already considerable depths from previous snowfalls and accumulations of over 1m are commonplace. The fresh snow is often lying on ice and compacted old snow, making for very slippery conditions underfoot and trekking poles are particularly useful. Extensive cornices are in place above east facing slopes and gullies, as well as west through to north facing slopes and gullies. Swirral and Striding Edges now have a covering of fresh snow, loose windslab, compacted old snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps have a substantial covering of deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment, including ice axe and crampons are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline.
12th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.0 -7.2 4.1 E 2.7 Snow is currently lying on the fells above 300m. The coverage is extensive and unavoidable above 350m and, although the snow depth varies due to the scouring action of the wind, there are drifts of fresh snow up to 80cm deep as low as 400m. Above 600m, the fresh snow has added to the already considerable depths from previous snowfalls and accumulations of over 1m are commonplace. The fresh snow is often lying on ice and compacted old snow, making for very slippery conditions underfoot and trekking poles are particularly useful. Extensive cornices are in place above east facing slopes and gullies, as well as west through to north facing slopes and gullies. Swirral and Striding Edges now have a covering of loose windslab, compacted old snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps have a substantial covering of deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and equipment, including ice axe and crampons are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells and going above the snowline.
11th Feb 2013 Whiteside -3.8 -16.0 40.9 E 35.4 Snow is currently lying on the fells above 300m. The coverage is extensive above 350m and, although the snow depth varies due to the scouring action of the wind, there are drifts of fresh snow up to 80cm deep as low as 400m. Above 600m, the fresh snow has added to the already considerable depths from previous snowfalls and accumulations of over 1m are commonplace. The fresh snow is often lying on ice and compacted old snow, making for very slippery conditions underfoot and trekking poles are particularly useful. The fresh snow is currently being blown by the easterly winds onto west-facing aspects and extensive cornices are developing above west facing slopes and gullies. Swirral and Striding Edges now have a covering of loose windslab, compacted old snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps have a substantial covering of deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and mountaineering crampons (not snow-chain type traction devices, which are ineffective on steep ground) are also essential.
10th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -2.2 -9.2 14.7 SE 9.2 Fresh snow is falling and settling on the fells above 400m. The coverage is extensive above 500m, with fresh snow up to 50cm deep in drifts and hollows, but more commonly 10 to 20cm on paths. Where this fresh snow is lying on older material from recent snowfalls, the depth can reach over 1m, especially above 750m. The fresh snow is often lying on ice and compacted old snow, making for very slippery conditions underfoot and trekking poles are particularly useful. Large cornices have formed on east facing slopes and gullies so please keep well away from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges now have a covering of loose windslab, compacted old snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps have a substantial covering of deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and mountaineering crampons (not snow-chain type traction devices, which are ineffective on steep ground) are also essential.
9th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit 0.1 -3.2 4.2 2.4 The snow is currently thawing at all levels, which has helped to partially consolidate the snowpack. Snow is currently lying on the fells above 450m and the depth varies considerably according to aspect, with biggest accumulations on east facing aspects. The depth can reach up to 80cm in drifts and hollows, but is more commonly 10 to 20cm. The surface snow is currently wet and heavy, but above 700m this is often lying on ice and compacted old snow, making for very slippery conditions underfoot. Large cornices have formed on east facing slopes and gullies so please keep well away from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges now have a covering of loose snow, compacted old snow and ice. Their steep exit ramps have a substantial covering of deep, unavoidable snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and going onto steep or technical ground an ice axe and mountaineering crampons (not snow-chain type traction devices, which are ineffective on steep ground) are also essential.
8th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -2.7 -13.2 33.9 N 18.3 Below 450m there is little snow on paths and what remains is both thawing and generally avoidable. Above 450m the snow depth varies considerably according to aspect from virtually nothing on areas subject to the strong W-NW winds - such as the summit plateau - to substantial drifts in sheltered hollows and on east facing slopes. The average depth is around 5 cm at 900m. Above 750m, the recent snow and spindrift lies on top of old, hard snow. These layers have not bonded and so the top layer is unstable. Popular paths have patches of compacted snow and ice, sometimes with a covering of loose snow making conditions demanding. Walking poles could be useful here. Cornices have formed on east facing slopes and gullies so please keep well away from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges now have a covering of loose snow, hard snow and ice - interspersed with areas of dry rock! Their steep exit ramps, however, have a substantial covering of hard snow sometimes overlaid with fresher looser snow and windslab and as such, they should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Whilst mentioning equipment, it is at this time of year - the February half-term - that I most frequently meet ill equipped walkers above the snow line. This problem is especially noticeable when the valleys are green and people do not appreciate the winter/alpine conditions just a few hundred meters above. I know that many experienced walkers use this website. No ill equipped walker should ever be told to leave the fell, but we should all speak to such people explaining the conditions so that THEY can make an INFORMED choice as to a route suitable for their equipment and experience, helping us all to stay safe. Thank you.
7th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -3.3 -10.3 12.9 WNW 11.0 There is now little snow on paths below 450m and what remains is both thawing and generally avoidable. Above 450m the snow depth varies considerably from virtually nothing on areas subject to the strong W-NW winds - such as the summit plateau - to substantial drifts in sheltered hollows and on east facing slopes. The average depth is around 5 cm at 900m. Above 750m, the recent snow and spindrift lies on top of old snow. These layers have not bonded and so the top layer is unstable. Popular paths have patches of compacted snow and ice, sometimes with a covering of loose snow making conditions demanding. Walking poles could be useful here. Cornices have formed on east facing slopes and gullies so please keep well away from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges now have a covering of loose snow, hard snow and ice - interspersed with areas of dry rock! Their steep exit ramps, however, have a substantial covering of hard snow sometimes overlaid with fresher looser snow and windslab and as such, they should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
6th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.1 -15.2 47 N 26.3 Tuesday's snow has largely thawed below 400m. Above 400m the snow depth increases with height, but mainly aspect with areas subject to the strong W-NW winds - such as the summit plateau - having hardly any covering. Conversely in sheltered hollows and on east facing slopes there are drifts of up to 100cm. Such depth is the exception, more common are drifts of 30-40cm. Above 750m, Tuesday's snow and today's spindrift lies on top of old snow. These layers have not bonded and so the top layer is unstable. Popular paths have patches of compacted snow and ice, sometimes with a covering of loose snow making conditions demanding especially given the gusty winds. Walking poles could be useful here. Cornices have formed on east facing slopes and gullies so please keep well away from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges now have a covering of fresh loose snow, hard snow and ice - interspersed with areas of dry rock! Their steep exit ramps, however, have a substantial covering of hard snow overlaid with fresher loose snow and windslab and as such, they should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
5th Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -3.9 -15.5 46.5 WSW 30.1 Fresh snow and hail has fallen at all levels, although it was turning increasingly to rain and thawing below 250m. Above 250m an average of about 5cm of fresh snow has fallen although the actual depth varies from hardly anything on aspects subject to the strong westerly winds to up to 30cm in drifts. Above 750m, this fresh snow lies above old snow which was also deposited on mainly westerly winds. As such the largest accumulations are on easterly aspects with the fresh snow not bonding to the hard snowpack beneath. Similarly, on popular paths patches of old ice now have a covering of loose snow making conditions demanding especially given the strong winds. Walking poles could be useful here. Cornices have formed on east facing slopes and gullies so please keep well away from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges now have a covering of fresh loose snow, sometimes on top of old ice; their steep exit ramps, however, have a substantial covering of hard snow overlaid with fresh loose snow and as such, they should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen, but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. If the forecast at the time of writing is correct, hopefully we will also need sunglasses tomorrow!
4th Feb 2013 A windy Helvellyn summit ! -2.2 -15.4 69.9 WSW 54.3 There is now little snow on paths below 750m and what remains can generally be avoided. Above 750m snow depth varies from nothing at all on windswept aspects, such as on the summit plateau, to up to 80cm in drifts. Such depth is the exception, more common are drifts of about 20cm, especially on eastern facing slopes. Much of the remaining snow has undergone a thaw freeze in the past 24 hours, stabilising the snowpack. There are also patches of ice on footpaths, particularly above 550m, creating difficulties especially when being blown about by the strong winds. Cornices have formed on east facing slopes and gullies so please keep well away from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have a mainly light covering of snow and ice; however their steep exit ramps have a substantial covering of hard snow and as such, they should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have refrozen, but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Away from such ground, walking poles are helpful in the forecasted strong winds.
3rd Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit 1.7 -8.2 46.7 WSW 35.5 There is a thaw at all levels; there is now little snow on paths below 750m and what remains can often be avoided. Above 750m the depth of snow varies from hardly anything on windswept aspects, such as on the summit plateau, to up to 80cm in drifts. Such depth is the exception, more common are drifts of about 20cm, especially on eastern facing slopes. The milder temperatures have made the snow wet and dramatically reduced the amount of neve compared with Saturday. On popular paths some snow has been compacted into ice which is slower to thaw; patches of which are more frequent above 550m. Cornices have formed on east facing slopes and are increasingly unstable with the milder temperatures, so please keep away from the edge. Swirral and Striding Edges have a reduced covering of mainly wet snow combined with patches of compacted snow. Their steep exit ramps still have a substantial covering of snow and as such, they should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Despite milder temperatures, the summit windchill remains below zero, so full winter clothing and footwear are still essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
2nd Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.8 -14.9 26.8 NNE 14.2 There is little snow on paths below 750m and what remains can often be avoided; there are, however, patches of ice at all levels. Above 750m the depth of snow varies from hardly anything on windswept aspects, such as on the summit plateau, to up to 80cm in drifts. Such depth is the exception, more common is about 20cm, especially on eastern facing slopes - such as the exits to both Striding and Swirral Edges. Although the snow has consolidated over the past 24 hours, there is loose windslab, again especially on eastern facing slopes. The summit plateau was covered in verglas (thin ice), so care needs to be taken here especially if the wind increases. Cornices have formed on east facing slopes, so please keep away from the edge and advice others to do the same - there were footprints far too close to the edge today. Swirral and Striding Edges have a combination of loose and compacted snow as well as ice with steep exit ramps of neve sometimes with a covering of loose snow. As such, they should only be tackled by those experienced and equipped for such conditions. Upland Tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow line and attempting, or traversing, steep ground an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
1st Feb 2013 Helvellyn summit -1.0 -8.6 16.2 NW 11.2 There is now very little snow on the fells below 750m. Isolated patches do remain below this level but these are generally avoidable. Above 750m the coverage varies considerably depending on aspect, with the biggest accumulations on eastern facing slopes in the lee of the mild westerly winds. In these areas, the ground is often covered with up to 20cm of compacted old snow and ice. In drifts and hollows the depth can reach up to 80cm, although this is uncommon. On windswept aspects - such as the Helvellyn summit plateau and west-facing slopes - the snow level is above 850m and the coverage is much more patchy. However, the biggest hazard on these aspects is the large expanse of ice covering the ground. A considerable amount of deep snow has accumulated in gullies on the east face of the Helvellyn range, topped by extensive cornices. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of deep snow and ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge in particular is guarded by a 20m section of steep, unavoidable snow. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground above the snow line, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
31st Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.7 -11.6 72.4 NW 44.9 There is now very little snow on the fells below 750m. Isolated patches do remain below this level but these are generally avoidable. Above 750m the coverage varies considerably depending on aspect, with the biggest accumulations on eastern facing slopes in the lee of the mild westerly winds. In these areas, the ground is often covered with up to 20cm of compacted old snow and ice. In drifts and hollows the depth can reach up to 80cm. On windswept aspects - such as the Helvellyn summit plateau and west-facing slopes - the snow coverage is much more patchy and the ground or underlying ice is often exposed. However, some large sections of paths on these aspects above 800m are still covered with snow and ice. A considerable amount of deep snow has accumulated in gullies on the east face of the Helvellyn range, topped by extensive cornices. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of deep snow and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge in particular is guarded by a 20m section of steep, unavoidable snow. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground above the snow line, an ice axe and crampons are also essential
31st Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.7 -11.5 61.5 NW 44.9 There is now very little snow on the fells below 750m. Isolated patches do remain below this level but these are generally avoidable. Above 750m the coverage varies considerably depending on aspect, with the biggest accumulations on eastern facing slopes in the lee of the mild westerly winds. In these areas, the ground is often covered with up to 20cm of compacted old snow and ice. In drifts and hollows the depth can reach up to 80cm. On windswept aspects - such as the Helvellyn summit plateau and west-facing slopes - the snow coverage is much more patchy and the ground or underlying ice is often exposed. However, some large sections of paths on these aspects above 800m are still covered with snow and ice. A considerable amount of deep snow has accumulated in gullies on the east face of the Helvellyn range, topped by extensive cornices. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of deep snow and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. The final exit ramp from Swirral Edge in particular is guarded by a 20m section of steep, unavoidable snow. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground above the snow line, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
30th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.4 -10.6 45.8 NW 38.9 There is now very little snow and ice on the fells below 700m. Isolated patches do remain below this level but these are generally avoidable. Above 700m the coverage varies considerably depending on aspect, with the biggest accumulations on eastern facing slopes in the lee of the mild westerly winds. In these areas, the ground is often covered with up to 20cm of a mixture of slush, neve and ice, with fresh snow and hail lying on top. In drifts and hollows the depth can reach up to 80cm. On windswept aspects - such as the Helvellyn summit plateau and west-facing slopes - the snow coverage is much more patchy and the ground or underlying ice is often exposed. However, large sections of paths on these aspects are still covered with deep, wet snow which makes for slow going. A considerable amount of deep snow has accumulated in gullies on the east face of the Helvellyn range, topped by extensive cornices, which are slumping in places. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of deep snow and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground above the snow line, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
29th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit 3.3 -4.6 28.7 SW 23.9 Mild temperatures accompanied by heavy rain is currently thawing the snowpack at all levels. However, there still remains a significant amount of snow on the fells above 500m. The coverage varies considerably, with biggest accumulations on eastern facing slopes in the lee of the mild westerly winds. Above 500m the coverage is sporadic, with patches of heavy wet snow up to 20cm deep. Above 600m the coverage is more extensive and most ground is covered although the snow depth rarely exceeds 20cm except in drifts and hollows, where the depth can reach up to 80cm. On windswept aspects - such as the Helvellyn summit plateau and west-facing slopes - the snow coverage is much more patchy and the ground or underlying ice is often exposed. However, large sections of paths on these aspects are still covered with deep, wet snow which makes for slow going. A considerable amount of deep snow has accumulated in gullies on the east face of the Helvellyn range, topped by extensive cornices, which are slumping in places. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of deep snow and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground, an ice axe is also essential and crampons strongly recommended should the snow re-freeze.
28th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -1.3 -11.4 44.5 38.6 Heavy snow was settling above 600m today, adding to the already significant accumulations from previous days. However, a thaw is expected at all levels from Monday afternoon onwards, so expect condition to change from the following description by Tuesday morning. There is still a significant amount of snow lying on the fells above 400m. The coverage varies considerably, with biggest accumulations on eastern facing slopes in the lee of the mild westerly winds. Above 400m the coverage is sporadic, with patches of heavy wet snow up to 20cm deep. Above 600m the coverage is more extensive and most ground is covered although the snow depth rarely exceeds 20cm except in drifts and hollows, where the depth can reach up to 80cm. Above 700m the snowpack has partially thawed and re-frozen and deep drifts of up to 80cm remain. On windswept aspects - such as the Helvellyn summit plateau - the snow depth varies and the ground or underlying ice is often exposed. A considerable amount of deep, loose windslab has accumulated in gullies on the east face of the Helvellyn range, topped by extensive cornices, which are slumping in paces. These areas remain very unstable in current conditions. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of deep snow and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
27th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -2.2 -13.7 41.3 NW 32.1 Much of the heavy snow from recent days has thawed, but there is still a significant amount of snow lying on the fells above 400m. The coverage varies considerably, with biggest accumulations on eastern facing slopes in the lee of the mild westerly winds. Above 400m the snow is generally wet and slushy and averages 10-20cm in depth, with some underlying patches of ice in places. Above 700m the snowpack has partially thawed and re-frozen and deep drifts of up to 80cm remain. Up to 20cm of fresh snow and graupel is overlying this snow in places. On windswept aspects - such as the Helvellyn summit plateau - the snow depth varies and the ground or underlying ice is often exposed. A considerable amount of deep, loose windslab has accumulated in gullies on the east face of the Helvellyn range. Despite the partial thaw and refreeze, these areas remain very unstable and avalanche debris was observed in the central cove above Red Tarn. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of deep snow and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
26th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -1.9 -9.7 22.3 W 15.8 There is currently ice and snow at all levels and a large amount of snow has accumulated in the last 24 hours. Accumulations are greatest on east facing aspects and there are drifts of over 1 metre deep as low as 400m. However, the snow depth is more commonly 10-20cm, with occasional deeper drifts on lee slopes and in hollows. On windswept aspects - such as the Helvellyn summit plateau - the depth varies and the ground or underlying ice is often exposed. A considerable amount of deep, loose windslab has accumulated in gullies on the east face of the Helvellyn range, topped by extensive cornices. There is a thaw expected at all levels during the course of Saturday afternoon and those areas with large accumulations will have a considerable risk of avalanche as the snowpack becomes heavy and unstable. Both Swirral and Striding Edge also have accumulations of deep, loose windslab and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going onto steep or technical ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
25th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.9 -17.2 46.3 SSE 37.7 There is ice and snow at all levels. Light snow was falling as the Assessor left the hill and heavy snow is forecast, so the following conditions are likely to be very different for tomorrow (Saturday). The existing snow is very soft and its depth varies considerably from virtually nothing on windswept aspects - such as on the summit plateau - to up to 70cm in sheltered drifts and hollows - however such deep drifts are the exception, more common are drifts of 30-40cm. Where the snow or spindrift has settled plodding through it can be arduous - bear this in mind for Saturday and allow extra time together with an additional Mars Bar (other calorific snacks are available). Conversely, on popular routes the snow has been compacted making conditions slippery - walking poles could be beneficial here. Similarly, there are some occasional patches, especially above 800m, where the snowpack is naturally firmer making conditions more demanding, especially on steep ground. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of very loose snow, some compacted snow and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. The exit to Swirral Edge also has a short section of old hard ice. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen, and may be covered by fresh snow on Saturday, but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
24th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.4 -15.1 25.4 SSE 12.2 There is ice and snow at all levels. The snow is very soft and its depth varies considerably from virtually nothing on windswept aspects - such as on the summit plateau - to up to 70cm in sheltered drifts and hollows - however such deep drifts are the exception, more common are drifts of 30-40cm. Where the snow has settled making fresh tracks through it is arduous. Conversely, on popular routes the snow has been compacted making conditions slippery - walking poles could be beneficial here. Similarly, there are occasional patches, especially above 800m, where the snowpack is naturally firmer making conditions more demanding, especially on steep ground. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of loose snow, compacted snow and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. The exit to Swirral Edge also has a short section of old hard ice. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
23rd Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.8 -12.4 13.7 NE 9.3 There is ice and snow at all levels. The snowfall earlier in the week was light powder, readily blown by the previously strong east to north east winds. The snow depth, therefore, varies considerably from virtually nothing on aspects subject to the wind - such as on the summit plateau - to up to 70cm in sheltered drifts and hollows - however such deep drifts are the exception, more common are drifts of 30-40cm. Where the snow has settled it remains soft, making the going more strenuous. There are, however, occasional patches, especially above 800m, where the snowpack is harder making conditions more demanding, especially on steep ground. On popular routes the snow has been compacted into ice which is sometimes hidden beneath fresh snow or spindrift. Walking poles could be beneficial here. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of loose snow and occasional ice and should only be tackled by those experienced in such conditions. The exit to Swirral Edge also has a short section of old hard ice. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
22nd Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -2.4 -4.3 6.2 SE 2.4 There is ice and snow at all levels. The recent snow has been light powder, readily blown by the previously strong east to north east winds. The snow depth, therefore, varies considerably from virtually nothing on aspects subject to the wind - such as on the summit plateau - to up to 70cm in sheltered drifts and hollows - however such deep drifts are the exception, more common are drifts of 30-40cm. Where snow has settled it remains soft, making for laborious plodding. There are, however, occasional patches, especially above 800m, where the snowpack is harder making conditions more demanding, especially on steep ground. On popular paths, old snow had been compacted into ice and this is now often covered by fresh snow making conditions slippery. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of loose snow and ice and should only be tackled by the experienced. The exit to Swirral Edge also has a short section of old hard ice. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
21st Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.5 -17.5 40.7 NE 28.2 2 to 3cm of fresh snow has fallen at all levels although it is generally only settling above 200m. Like the previous snow, this fresh snow is light powder readily blown by the wind. Snow depth, therefore, varies considerably from virtually nothing on aspects subject to the strong east to north-east winds - such as the summit plateau - to up to 70cm in sheltered drifts and hollows - however such deep drifts are the exception. Even so, where routes involve plodding through the soft powder snow, the going is laborious and extra time should be allowed. On popular paths, old snow had been compacted into ice and this is now often covered by fresh snow making conditions slippery. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of loose snow and ice and should only be tackled by experienced walkers. The exit to Swirral Edge also has a short section of old hard ice. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those attempting, or traversing, steep ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
20th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.9 -18.4 40.5 NE 27.7 There is ice on paths at all levels. Similarly, there is snow at all levels although the depth varies widely from virtually nothing at valley level and on windswept aspects to up to 70cm in sheltered drifts and hollows - however such drifts are the exception. The average depth at 900m is only a few centimeters again with windswept aspects - such as the summit plateau - only having a skittering of snow. East facing slopes, such as the exits to Swirral and Striding Edge, hold accumulations of snow. On Striding Edge, this is soft snow (including windslab) whereas the top of Swirral Edge has a short section of old hard ice. On popular paths, the snow has been compacted into ice and this is especially treacherous when the ice, however formed, is hidden under drifts of loose snow. Walking poles could be beneficial here. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of loose snow and ice and should only be tackled by experienced walkers. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the main snowline (c500m) and attempting, or traversing, steep ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
19th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.6 -14.6 22 16 You will not be surprised to learn that there is ice on paths at all levels. Similarly, there was a skittering of snow at all levels this morning although there is no significant depth below 500m. Even above this level, the depth of snow varies from virtually nothing to up to 70cm in sheltered drifts and hollows. The recent snow is very soft and has been blown about causing raised footprints and some windslab, such as on the exit to Striding Edge. Conversely, the top of Swirral Edge has a short section of old hard ice. On popular paths, the snow has been compacted into ice and this is especially treacherous when the ice, however formed, is hidden under drifts of loose snow. Walking poles could be beneficial here. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of loose snow and ice and should only be tackled by experienced walkers. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep ground, crampons and especially an ice axe are also essential.
18th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -7.1 -16.3 27.4 SE 16.0 The amount of snow cover in the Lake District currently varies locally and the conditions will change by Saturday morning as heavy snow is forecast from Friday afternoon onwards. The following conditions are based on observations on Helvellyn. Snow is currently lying at all levels but doesn't not reach any significant depth below 500m. Even above this level, the scouring action of the stong southeasterly wind means that large areas of east through to south facing slopes are generally snow free, whereas drifts and hollows where the snow has accumulated contain depths of up to 70cm. The wind is currently redepositing snow onto west through to north facing aspects. Paths at all levels have extensive patches of thick ice and this ice is often hidden under drifts of loose snow, making for very slippery conditions underfoot. Both Swirral and Striding Edge have accumulations of loose snow, neve and ice and should only be tackled by experienced walkers equipped with ice axe and campons. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground, crampons and an ice axe are also essential.
17th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit Snow is currently lying on the fells above 350m, which increases in depth to several centimetres at 600m and up to 70cm in drifts and hollows above 850m, with an average of 10 to 20cm. The coverage varies widely depending on aspect and the amount of wind scouring and some exposed areas are snow free or only have a dusting. Northeast through to southwest facing aspects currently have the largest accumulations. Paths at all levels have patches of thick ice. Above the snowline this ice is often hidden under drifts of loose snow, making for very slippery conditions underfoot. Both Swirral and Striding Edge are holding large amounts of snow and ice and should only be tackled by experienced walkers equipped with ice axe and campons. Cornices above east facing slopes are composed of 5 to 10m of hard neve, overlain by up to 1m of loose windslab - please keep well back from the edge where these cornices exist. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground, crampons and an ice axe are also essential.
16th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -6.9 -16.6 18.4 SW 15.9 Snow is currently lying on the fells above 350m, which increases in depth to several centimetres at 600m and up to 70cm in drifts and hollows above 850m, with an average of 10 to 20cm. The coverage varies widely depending on aspect and the amount of wind scouring and some areas are snow free or only have a dusting. Northeast through to southwest facing aspects currently have the largest accumulations. Paths at all levels have patches of thick ice. Above the snowline this ice is often hidden under drifts of loose snow, making for very slippery conditions underfoot. Both Swirral and Striding Edge are holding large amounts of snow and ice and should only be tackled by experienced walkers equipped with ice axe and campons. Cornices above east facing slopes are composed of 5 to 10m of hard neve, overlain by up to 1m of loose windlsab. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground, crampons and an ice axe are also essential.
15th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -4.4 -12.6 16.5 NE 10.6 Snow is currently lying on the fells above 350m, which increases in depth to several centimetres at 600m and up to 70cm in drifts and hollows above 850m. The coverage varies widely - depending on aspect and the amount of wind scouring - with northeast through to southwest facing aspects currently have the largest accumulations of snow.The snow is generally loose windslab and in places this is lying on patches of ice, making for very slippery underfoot conditions. Indeed, paths at all levels have large patches of ice. Both Swirral and Striding Edge are holding large amounts of snow and ice and should only be tackled by experienced walkers equipped with ice axe and campons. Unstable cornices are developing above east through to south facing slopes, so do keep well away from the edge near these areas. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground, crampons and an ice axe are also essential.
14th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -3.6 -12.9 21.8 NW 17.0 Winter conditiopns have returned to the Lake District Fells. Fresh snow is currently lying on the fells above 350m, which increases in depth to several centimetres at 600m and up to 30cm in drift and hollows above 750m. The snow at higher levels is being blown in on westerly winds, so northeast through to southeast facing aspects currently have the largest accumlations of fresh snow.The snow is generally very soft powder or loose windslab and in places this is lying on patches of ice, making for very slippery underfoot conditions. Likewise, below 600m the snow has thawed slightly but is now refreezing and paths at all levels could be very icy by Tuesday morning. Unstable cornices are developing above east facing slopes, so do keep well away from the edge near these areas. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground, crampons and an ice axe are also essential.
13th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -5.3 -13.7 14.5 SW 12.6 Snow is currently falling on the fells, with heavy snow expected overnight, so the following conditions will change significantly by Monday. The snow is being blown in on southwesterly winds and north through to east facing aspects could see a considerable buildup of loose windslab. Fresh snow is lying on the fells above 400m, which increases in depth from just a dusting at lower levels to several centimetres above 850m. The ground is frozen above 300m and some paths above this level have a covering of ice, which makes walking more demanding, especially on steep ground. Where the snow is lying on exposed rocks and patches of ice, underfoot conditions are very slippery. The east facing exit to Swirral Edge still has a patch of compacted old snow at its exit and care needs to be taken here either on it or whilst avoiding it, particularly whilst descending. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and onto steep or technical ground, crampons and an ice axe are also essential.
12th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -3.8 -9.0 12.2 SE 7.9 A dusting of snow is lying on the fells above 500m. The snow doesn't reach any signifcant depth and doesn't present any serious difficulties for walkers except where the snow is lying on exposed rocks and patches of ice. The ground is frozen above 400m and some paths above this level have a covering of ice, which makes walking more demanding, especially on steep ground. The east facing exit to Swirral Edge still has a patch of hard snow at its exit and care needs to be taken here either on it or whilst avoiding it, particularly whilst descending. The remains of cornices are still present above east facing slopes and gullies, with the tops of them now being well below the level of the summit plateau. Full winter clothing and footwear remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells.
11th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit 0.5 -3.9 8.8 SW 5.8 There is a skittering of thick frost above 750m. On south facing aspects this had/was thawing. Aside from this, paths at all levels throughout the Lake District are now almost totally free of snow; one exception to this is the northern approach to Scafell Pike. On Helvellyn, the only significant snow remaining is above 900m and in sheltered hollows or on northeast through to southeast facing aspects. Especially during the morning, paths at all levels had an intermittent covering of verglas (thin ice) making conditions demanding; care and extra time should be allowed for this, especially in descent. The east facing exit to Swirral Edge still has a patch of hard snow at its exit. Care needs to be taken here either on it or whilst avoiding it, again especially in descent. The remains of cornices are still present above east facing slopes and gullies, with the tops of them now being well below the level of the summit plateau. Full winter clothing and footwear remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells.
10th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -1.2 -4.9 5.8 NE 4.2 Paths at all levels throughout the Lake District are now almost totally free of snow; one exception to this is the northern approach to Scafell Pike. On Helvellyn, the only significant snow remaining is above 900m and in sheltered hollows or on northeast through to southeast facing aspects. Paths at all levels today had everything from dry rock - especially south facing ground in the sun above the valley fog - to verglas (thin ice) - especially above 500m. Care and extra time should be allowed for this, especially in descent. Strding Edge is now free of snow, whereas Swirral Edge still has a patch of hard snow at its exit. Care needs to be taken here either on it or whilst avoiding it, again especially in descent. The remains of cornices are still present above east facing slopes and gullies, with the tops of them now being well below the level of the summit plateau. Full winter clothing and footwear are still essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells.
9th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit 0.7 --6.3 20.9 WSW 13.5 Paths at all levels throughout the Lake District are now almost totally free of snow; one exception to this is the northern approach to Scafell Pike. On Helvellyn, the only significant snow remaining is above 900m and in sheltered hollows or on northeast through to southeast facing aspects. Striding Edge is now free of snow. Conversely, Swirral Edge still has a patch of hard snow at its exit. Care needs to be taken here either on it or in avoiding it, especially in descent. Above 900m some rocks were covered in verglas or hoar frost making conditions demanding, again especially in descent. The remains of cornices are still present above east facing slopes and gullies, with the tops of them now being well below the level of the summit plateau. Full winter clothing and footwear are still essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells as the summit windchill is well below zero.
8th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit 5.3 0.9 12.3 SW 9.3 The thaw of the isolated patches of remaining snow continues. Paths at all levels throughout the Lake District are now almost totally free of snow and ice; one exception to this is the northern approach to Scafell Pike. On Helvellyn, the only significant snow remaining is above 900m and in sheltered hollows or on northeast through to southeast facing aspects. Striding Edge is now free of snow. Conversely, Swirral Edge still has a patch of wet snow at its exit. Care needs to be taken here either on it or in avoiding it, especially in descent. The wet and unstable remains of cornices are still present above east facing slopes and gullies, although these have thawed significantly over the past 48 hours with the tops of them now being well below the level of the summit plateau. Despite the mild temperatures, full winter clothing and footwear is still essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells as the windchill should be back below zero tomorrow.
7th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit 3.6 -4.7 36.1 27.2 Paths at all levels throughout the Lake District are now almost totally free of snow and ice and the isolated patches of snow that do remain continue to thaw. The only significant snow remaining on Helvellyn is above 900m and in sheltered hollows or on northeast through to southeast facing aspects. Striding Edge is now free of snow. Conversely, Swirral Edge still has a large patch of wet snow at its exit. Care needs to be taken here especially in descent; and although it is an extremely short section, an ice axe could be handy if the snow refreezes. The wet and unstable remains of cornices are still present above east facing slopes and gullies, with the tops of them now below the level of the summit plateau; indeed they have thawed another 2 inches over the past 24 hours. Despite the mild temperatures, full winter clothing and footwear is still essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells as the windchill remains below zero.
6th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit 3.4 -3.7 28.1 20.1 The thaw of the isolated patches of remaining snow continues. Paths at all levels throughout the Lake District are now almost totally free of snow and ice. The only significant snow remaining on Helvellyn is above 900m and in sheltered hollows or on northeast through to southeast facing aspects. Apart from a small patch of avoidable snow at its exit, Striding Edge is now free of snow. Conversely, Swirral Edge still has a large patch of wet snow at its exit. Care needs to be taken here especially in descent; and although it is an extremely short section, an ice axe could be useful if the snow refreezes. The wet and unstable remains of cornices are still present above east facing slopes and gullies, with the tops of them now below the level of the summit plateau. Despite the mild temperatures, full winter clothing and footwear is still essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells as the windchill remains below zero.
5th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit 3.2 -3.1 19.3 14.7 The thaw continues and paths at all levels throughout the Lake District are now almost totally free of snow and ice. The only remaining snow on Helvellyn is above 900m and in sheltered hollows or on northeast through to southeast facing aspects. Striding Edge only has avoidable snow on its exit, whereas Swirral Edge still has a large patch of wet snow at its exit. Care needs to be taken here especially in descent; although it is an extremely short section, an ice axe could be useful if the snow refreezes. The remains of cornices are still present above east facing slopes and gullies, with the tops of them now below the level of the summit plateau. Despite the mild temperatures, full winter clothing and footwear remain essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells as the windchill is still below zero.
4th Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit 3.6 -3.0 19.6 17.7 The remaining snow is continuing to thaw with the mild temperatures and the Lake District fells are largely free of snow and ice. Any remaining large areas of snow are above 850m and are mainly isolated patches on the Scafell and Helvellyn ranges. The snow coverage above this level varies according to aspect, with greatest accumulations on northeast through to southeast facing aspects. The snow can reach depths of up to 70cm in drifts and hollows in these areas. The remains of large cornices are stil present above east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge in these areas, epecially in poor visibility. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells - despite the mild summit temperatures strong winds can push the windchill well below zero.
3rd Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit 5.2 -1.3 23.6 19.2 The remaining snow is continuing to thaw with the mild temperatures and the fells are largely free of snow and ice. Any remaining large areas of snow are above 850m and mainly on the Scafell and Helvellyn ranges. The snow coverage above this level varies according to aspect, with greatest accumulations on northeast through to southeast facing slopes and gullies. The snow can reach depths of up to 70cm in drifts and hollows in these areas. The remains of large cornices are stil present above east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge in these areas, epecially in poor visibility. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells - despite the mild summit temperatures strong winds can push the windchill well below zero.
2nd Jan 2013 Scafell Pike 4.5 -1.0 20.4 12.5 The remaining snow is thawing at all levels and most paths are now free of snow and ice. However, there are still large areas of snow remaining on the fells above 800m - particularly on the Scafell and Helvellyn ranges - which will take some time to thaw. The coverage varies according to height and aspect, with greatest accumulations on northeast through to southeast facing slopes and gullies. The snow can reach depths of up to 70cm in drifts and hollows in these areas. The exits from both Striding Edge and Swirral Edge still retain a ramp of steep snow and an ice axe and crampons are essential for the safe negotiation of these sections - particularly for descent. Large cornices still remain above east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting steep or technical routes an ice axe and crampons are strongly recommended..
1st Jan 2013 Helvellyn summit -0.3 -9.9 36.2 16.8 A very Happy New Year to all the Weatherline followers and supporters and best wishes for the year ahead. The ground is currently frozen above 750m with some patches of thick ice on paths. This, combined with a fresh dusting of snow make for very slippery conditions above this level. There are large areas of compacted snow remaining on the fells above 800m. The coverage varies according to height and aspect, with greatest accumulations on northeast through to southeast facing slopes and gullies. The snow can reach depths of up to 70cm in drifts and hollows in these areas. The exits from both Striding Edge and Swirral Edge still retain a ramp of steep snow and ice an ice axe and crampons are essential for the safe negotiation of these sections - particularly for descent. Large cornices still remain above east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting steep or technical routes an ice axe and crampons are essential.
31st Dec 2012 Red Tarn (730m) 3.3 -2.9 42.3 20.4 A rapid thaw accompanied by heavy rain has melted the fresh snow that fell yesterday. Compacted snow does remain on the fells above 800m, but the coverage varies according to height and aspect with greatest accumulations on northeast through to southeast facing slopes and gullies. The snow can reach depths of up to 70cm in drifts and hollows in these areas. The exits from both Swirral and Striding Edge still retain a considerable buildup of steep snow and an ice axe and crampons are strongly recommended for the safe negotiation of these sections - particularly for descent. The remaining cornices above east facing slopes and gullies will be very unstable in these conditions, so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting steep or technical routes an ice axe and crampons are essential. A very Happy New Year to our followers and supporters from all of us at the Weatherline team. Fingers crossed for a return to winter weather in the new year...
30th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -1.6 -12.6 41.9 Westerly, 32.9 Fresh snow is lying on the fells above 400m. Below 600m, the fresh snow just a few centimetres deep and is thawing and generally wet and slushy. Above 600m, the fresh snow reaches up to 40cm in drifts and hollows and is composed of graupel and loose windslab. The strong westerly wind has blown large amounts of this fresh material onto northeast through to southeast facing slopes and gullies where there are large accumulations of up to 70cm of graupel and windslab. Above 850m where this is lying on the neve from previous days the snowpack is very unstable. Steep east facing slopes, such as the exits from both Swirral and Striding Edge, have a considerable buildup of fresh snow and an ice axe and crampoms are essential for the safe negotiation of these sections. There are large cornices above east facing slopes and gullies, so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting steep or technical routes an ice axe and crampons are essential.
29th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 1.6 --3.0 22.1 12.4 The thaw is continuing at all levels. Paths below 850m have little snow or ice and what remains is avoidable. Above 850m any remaining snow is wet and the depth varies depending on height and aspect from nothing at all to up to 70cm in drifts and hollows on east facing slopes. Steep east facing slopes, such as the exits to both Swirral and Striding Edge, have a considerable covering of wet snow, so care needs to be taken here, especially in descent. The remaining cornices above east facing slopes are cracking and slumping, so please keep well back from the edge as the milder temperatures make these areas very unstable. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting steep or technical routes an ice axe and crampons are strongly recommended, as the remaining snow is expected to re-freeze over the next 24 hours.
28th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 4.6 -4.6 55.6 WSW 47.2 There is a thaw at all levels, it was plus 4 degrees on the summit. Paths below 750m have little snow or ice and what remains is avoidable. Between 750m and 850m the thaw is especially rapid and paths are covered with snow or slush. Above 850m the snow is wet and the depth of it varies with height and aspect from nothing at all to up to 70cm in drifts and hollows on easterly facing slopes. Steep easterly facing slopes, such as the exits to both Swirral and Striding Edge, have a considerable covering of loosely bonded, wet snow, so care needs to be taken here, especially in descent. Small cracks have appeared in the cornices that exist on east facing slopes, so please keep well back from the edge as with the milder temperatures these are very unstable. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep routes an ice axe and crampons are also strongly recommended in case the snow refreezes. In addition, with the forecasted strong winds, if the summit snow and ice refreezes, the summit plateau will be treacherous without such equipment. For those interested in the temperature statistics; today is the first time that the temperature and windchill have been the same figure - with the latter the minus of the former!
27th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -1.7 -10.1 24.6 NNE 15.1 Fresh soft snow has fallen above 600m. The total depth of snow increases with height and aspect and above 900m varies from about 5cm to up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on easterly facing slopes. Above 800m the fresh snow over the past 24 hours has not bonded to the surface beneath. Steep easterly facing slopes such as the exits to both Swirral and Striding Edge now have a considerable covering of loosely bonded snow, so care needs to be taken here. Both the Edges themselves are now back in winter condition. Cracks have appeared in the small cornices that exist on east facing slopes, so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and attempting, or traversing, steep routes an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
26th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit on Boxing Day -.5 -8.8 22 WSW 16.4 Paths below 750m now have very little snow and ice and what remains can generally be avoided. Overnight, a skittering of fresh snow has fallen above 750m slightly adding to existing accumulations, although there is a thaw almost at all levels. Between 750m and 850m, the snow has generally turned to slush on paths. Above 850m the depth of snow increases with height and aspect and varies from about 2cm to up to 70cm in drifts and hollows on easterly facing slopes. The snowpack is wet and above 800m can lie on top of old ice - especially on popular paths where the old snow has been compacted. East facing slopes such as the exits to both Swirral and Striding Edge now have a considerable covering of snow, the fresh layers of which have not bonded to the surface beneath. Care needs to be taken here. Small cornices exist on east facing slopes which have grown over the past 48 hours. These are wet, heavy and unstable - indeed there was evidence of some sluffing down the hill, so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are strongly recommended due to the ice under the fresh snow and the possibility of the snow re-freezing making conditions treacherous without such equipment.
25th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit on Christmas Day 0.2 -7.5 21.5 W 17.8 About 2cm of fresh snow has fallen above 750m although this has been blown about to add about 10cm to easterly facing slopes. Paths below 750m now have very little snow and ice and what remains can generally be avoided. Above 750m the snow depth increases with height and aspect and varies from about 2cm to up to 70cm in drifts and hollows on easterly facing slopes. The fresh snow is wet and above 800m can lie on top of old ice - especially on popular paths where the old snow has been compacted. East facing slopes such as the exits to both Swirral and Striding Edge now have a fresh covering of snow and spindrift that has not bonded to the surface beneath. Care needs to be taken here. Small cornices exist on east facing slopes. These are wet, heavy and unstable - indeed there was evidence of some sluffing down the hill, so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are also essential due to the ice under the fesh snow and the possibility of the snow re-freezing making conditions treacherous without such equipment. May we wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas and I hope that we will have the pleasure of meeting some of you on the hill. Special thanks and festive greetings to Mary Ullrich who has kindly spnsored us this Christmas.
24th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit on Christmas Eve 1.0 -5.8 18 SW 14.8 The remaining snow continues to thaw. Paths below 800m now have little snow and ice and what remains can often, but not always, be avoided. Between 800m and 900m there is an increasing amount of snow on paths and on popular routes this has been compacted into ice. Above 900m there is still a significant amount of snow and this is increasingly wet and heavy. The depth of snow varies from nothing at all to up to 60cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes. The summit plateau was covered in verglas (thin ice). East facing slopes such as the exits to both Swirral and Striding Edge retain a considerable covering of snow. Cornices still exist on east facing slopes. These are wet, heavy and unstable, so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are also essential due to the large areas of ice, such as on the summit plateau, and the possibility of the snow re-freezing making conditions treacherous without such equipment.
23rd Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 0.8 --9.0 41.8 WSW 31.7 The thaw continues and this has been particularly rapid below 800m; paths below 800m now have little snow and ice and what remains can often, but not always, be avoided. Above 800m there is still a significant amount of snow remaining and this is increasingly wet and heavy; although on popular paths it has been compacted into ice. Above 900m fresh snow and spindrift has fallen on east facing slopes. The depth of snow varies from a skittering to up to 60cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes, with an average of around 10cm at 900m. The summit plateau was covered in verglas (thin ice), this combined with strong winds, make crampons essential. East facing slopes such as the exits to both Swirral and Striding Edge still retain a considerable covering of snow. Cornices still exist on east facing slopes. Theses are wet, heavy and unstable, so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are also essential due to the large areas of ice, such as on the summit plateau, and the possibility of the snow re-freezing.
22nd Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 1.8 -6.8 47.7 SSE 24.1 There is a thaw at all levels, it was raining and just above zero on the summit. Paths below 700m have little snow or ice and what there is can often be avoided. Above 700m expect to encounter ice especially on popular routes where the snow has been compacted. Above 750m a substantial amount of snow remains and this is increasingly wet. The depth varies considerably but increases with height to reach up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes, with an average of around 15cm at 900m. At height it is often difficult to tell on paths what is verglas (thin ice) and what is just slush; this combined with frequently sinking up to one's knees in soft snow makes the going slow. Both Swirral and Striding Edge retain a considerable covering of snow - especially on the steep east facing final exit ramps onto Helvellyn. Cornices still exist on east facing slopes. Theses are increasingly wet and have slumped in places, so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are also essential due to the large areas of ice and compacted snow and the possibility of the snow re-freezing.
21st Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 0.1 -4.9 9.2 6.8 The snowpack is thawing slowly at all levels, but a substantial amount of snow does still remain above 750m and this will take some time to thaw. The snow coverage and depth varies considerably depending on aspect, but reaches up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes, with an average of around 20cm at 900m. Both Swirral and Striding Edge retain a considerable covering of snow - especially on the steep final exit ramps onto Helvellyn. There are still significant cornices - which are cracking and slumping in places - above east facing slopes, so please keep well back from the edge where these cornices exist. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are also essential due to the large areas of ice and compacted snow.
20th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 0.2 --8.4 28.4 18.4 Fresh snow has fallen overnight above 800m, blown by the strong southeasterly wind onto west through to north facing slopes. This has not added significantly to the overall snow depth and the snowpack is currently thawing at all levels, but a substantial amount of snow does still remain above 700m and this will take some time to thaw. The snow coverage and depth varies considerably depending on aspect, but reaches up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes, with an average of around 20cm at 900m. Both Swirral and Striding Edge retain a considerable covering of snow - especially on the steep final exit ramps onto Helvellyn. There are still significant cornices - which are cracking and slumping in places - above east facing slopes, so please keep well back from the edge where these cornices exist. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are also essential due to the large areas of ice and compacted snow.
19th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -0.5 -6.3 25.6 11.9 A substantial amount of snow still remains above 700m. The snow coverage and depth varies considerably depending on aspect, but reaches up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes, with an average of around 20cm at 900m. The snowpack is slowly consolidating into neve and is generally hard and compact, although there are areas of looser granular snow overlain by a hard crust. The turf below the snowpack remains unfrozen. There are still significant cornices - which are cracking and slumping in places - above northeast through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge where these cornices exist. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are also essential due to the large areas of ice and compacted snow. To avoid damaging nationally important and rare vegetation, please wait until routes are in full winter condition and avoid climbing in gullies and on vegetated ledges where damage to the turf may result.
18th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 0.1 -5.0 21.5 12.9 The snow on the fells is continuing to thaw slowly, but a substantial amount of snow still remains above 700m. Above this level the snow coverage and depth varies considerably depending on aspect, but reaches up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes, with an average of around 20cm at 900m. The snowpack is generally composed of loose granular snow, with smaller patches of neve. In places, the loose snow is covered with a hard crust. There are still significant cornices - which are cracking and slumping in places - above northeast through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge where these cornices exist. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are also essential due to the large areas of ice and compacted snow. To avoid damaging nationally important and rare vegetation, please wait until routes are in full winter condition and avoid climbing in gullies and on vegetated ledges where damage to the turf may result.
18th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 0.1 -5.0 21.5 12.9 The snow on the fells is continuing to thaw slowly, but a substantial amount of snow still remains above 700m. Above this level the snow coverage and depth varies considerably depending on aspect, but reaches up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes, with an average of around 20cm at 900m. The snowpack is generally composed of loose granular snow, with smaller patches of neve. In places, the loose snow is covered with a hard crust. There are still significant cornices - which are craking and slumping in places - above northeast through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge where these cornices exist. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline an ice axe and crampons are also essential due to the large areas of ice and compacted snow. To avoid damaging nationally important and rare vegetation, please wait until routes are in full winter condition and avoid climbing in gullies and on vegetated ledges where damage to the turf may result.
17th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 0.6 -4.6 14.0 11.2 The snow on the fells is continuing to thaw, but a substantial amount of snow still remains above 650m. Above this level the snow coverage and depth varies considerably depending on aspect, but reaches up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes, with an average of around 20cm at 900m. Above 550m there are extensive patches of ice on paths which will take some time to thaw. There are small cornices, which are craking and slumping in places, above northeast through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge where these cornices exist. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical routes - such as Striding and Swirral Edge - an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
16th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit 0.8 -6.7 26.9 21.0 Wind direction: Southwesterly. The snow on the fells is continuing to thaw, but a substantial amount of snow still remains above 600m. Above this level the snow coverage and depth varies considerably depending on aspect, but reaches up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on northeast through to south facing slopes, with an average of around 20cm at 900m. Above 500m there are extensive patches of ice on paths which will take some time to thaw. There are small cornices, which are craking and slumping in places, above northeast through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge where these cornices exist. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical routes - such as Striding and Swirral Edge - an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
15th Dec 2012 Blencathra summit 1.8 -6.1 27.3 22.8 Wind direction: Southwesterly. Above 450m there are extensive patches of ice on paths and exposed rocks often have a covering of verglas, even below the snowline. The snow on the fells is continuing to thaw, but a substantial amount of snow remains above 600m. Above this level the snow coverage and depth varies considerably depending on aspect, but reaches up to 80cm in drifts and hollows on east-facing slopes, with an average of around 20cm at 900m. There are small cornices above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge where these cornices exist. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical routes, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
14th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -1.0 -8.3 23.4 SE 9.5 Snow was falling and settling above 550m, later it was settlng down to 400m, although at lower levels the snow was wet. Above 600m the snow depth increases with height although the actual depth varies considerably from a couple of centimeters to 80cm in drifts and hollows with an average of around 20cm at 900m. The snowpack had consolidated earlier in the week, but with fresh snow falling in a strong Southeasterly wind, conditions will be very different on Saturday. On Thursday, there was evidence of windslab, especially on southern and eastern slopes such as the exits to Striding and Swirral Edges. These will now have a covering of fresh snow. There are small cornices above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow-line and attempting or traversing steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential. With snow still falling, extra time should be allowed for routes above the snowline. For those interested in the wind measurements, once again, the wind was stronger on the way up. In addition owing to the lack of visibility the readings were taken just short of the summit itself.
13th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -4 -12.1 19.4 14.3 South The snowline remains at 600m, although there are patches of ice on paths at all levels especially on popular routes above 400m where old snow has been compacted into ice; however below 500m many paths are dry. Above 600m the snow depth increases with height although the actual depth varies considerably from a couple of centimeters to 80cm in drifts and hollows with an average of around 20cm at 900m. Although the snowpack has consolidated considerably over the past 4 days there is evidence of windslab, especially on southern and eastern slopes such as the exits to Striding and Swirral Edges. There are small cornices above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge as these will weaken with the forecasted milder temperatures. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow-line and attempting or traversing steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
12th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -4.1 -11.7 13.8 11.4 Although the snowline is at 600m, there are patches of ice on paths at all levels especially on popular routes above 400m where old snow has been compacted into ice; however below 450m many paths are dry. Above 600m the snow depth increases with height although the actual depth varies considerably from a few centimeters to 80cm in drifts and hollows with an average of around 20cm at 900m. The snowpack has consolidated considerably over the past 3 days especially on shaded, eastern slopes with some good neve being reported by climbers. Both Striding and Swirral Edges are covered with snow and ice. The east facing exit ramps from both these edges - but particularly Striding Edge - are guarded by large accumulations of hard snow. There are small cornices above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge. Upland tarns, such as Red Tarn, have frozen but are unsafe to walk on. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow-line and attempting or traversing steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
11th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -0.1 -0.2 2 1.4 Expect ice on paths at all levels, although below 400m many paths are dry. On popular paths above 400m old snow has been compacted into ice. Above 600m there is lying snow the depth of which increases with height to reach 80cm in drifts and hollows above 750m, with drifts of over 40cm commonplace. The snowpack has consolidated over the past 2 days especially on shaded, eastern slopes; less so on southern facing slopes in the sun as the temperature inversion today meant that it was warmer on the summit than in the valley. Both Striding and Swirral Edges are covered with snow and ice. The east facing exit ramps from both these edges - but particularly Striding Edge - are guarded by large accumulations of snow. There are small cornices above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow-line and attempting or traversing steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
10th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -3.4 -13 34.5 20.5 Snow is currently lying on the fells above 600m; ice can be encountered on paths below this height, especially between 450 and 600m on popular paths where the old snow has been compacted. Below 400m many paths are dry. Above 600m, the snow depth increases with height to reach 80cm in drifts and hollows above 750m, with drifts of over 40cm commonplace. The snowpack has consolidated over the past 24 hours and, hopefully, this process will continue through the week with the forecasted lower temperatures. At present it is still common to break through a hard crust to softer snow beneath. Both Striding and Swirral Edges are covered with snow and ice. The east facing exit ramps from both these edges - but particularly Striding Edge - are guarded by large accumulations of snow. Cracks have appeared in the cornices above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow-line and attempting or traversing steep ground, an ice axe and crampons are also essential.
9th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -.6 -8.9 25.1 11.8 There has been a thaw at almost all levels, but especially below 800m. Snow is currently lying on the fells above 600m; the depth increases with height to reach 80cm in drifts and hollows above 750m, with drifts of over 40cm commonplace. The snowpack is mainly wet and heavy with ice above 900m and on popular paths where the snow has been compacted. Previous drifting has created significant accumulations especially on southeast through to southwest facing slopes and gullies. Both Striding and Swirral Edges are covered with a considerable amount of loose snow combined with patches of ice . The steep exit ramps from both these edges - but particularly Striding Edge - are guarded by large accumulations of wet snow. Cracks have appeared in the cornices above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow-line and attempting or traversing steep routes, an ice axe and crampons are also essential, especially if the wet snow refreezes which it is forecast to do. Please note: To avoid damaging nationally important and rare vegetation, please wait until climbing routes are in full winter condition before attempting gully routes or climbing on ledges where the turf remains unfrozen. Unfortunately, the gullies today were full of wet, loose snow NB For those on the fells today and surprised by the wind measurements - it was much stronger on the way up!
8th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -0.4 -9.3 31.2 27 Snow is currently lying on the fells above 400m, although this morning there was ice at all levels. The snow depth increases with height to reach over 80cm in drifts and hollows above 750m, with drifts of over 40cm commonplace. From midday there was a partial thaw, especially below 600m, and this was making the snowpack wet and heavy, reducing fresh drifting. Previous drifting has created significant accumulations especially on southeast through to southwest facing slopes and gullies. Both Striding and Swirral Edge are covered with a considerable amount of loose snow and exposed rocks are plastered with rime ice. As is usual in these conditions, the steep final exit ramps from both these edges - but particularly Striding Edge - are guarded by large accumulations of windslab. Cornices are also forming above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge. Full winter clothing and footwear are essential for anyone venturing out onto the fells. For those going above the snow-line and attempting or traversing steep routes, an ice axe and crampons are also essential. Please note: To avoid damaging nationally important and rare vegetation, please wait until climbing routes are in full winter condition before attempting gully routes or climbing on ledges where the turf remains unfrozen. Unfortunately, the gullies today were full of wet, loose snow.
7th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -1.3 -11.1 31.2 20.7 Snow is currently lying on the fells above 400m and there are considerable accumulations above 600m. The snow depth reaches up to 40cm in drifts and hollows above 600m and well over 80cm above 750m. The strong northerly wind is depositing large amounts of windslab onto southeast through to southwest facing slopes and gullies, adding to significant amounts from previous days. Both Striding and Swirral Edge are covered with a considerable amount of loose snow and exposed rocks are plastered with rime ice. As is usual in these conditions, the steep final exit ramps from both these edges - but particularly Striding Edge - are guarded by large accumulations of windslab. Cornices are also continuing to form above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. Please note: To avoid damaging nationally important and rare vegetation, please wait until climbing routes are in full winter conditions before attempting gully routes or climbing on ledges where the turf remains unfrozen. Anyone heading onto the high fells should be adequately prepared, with clothing and equipment suitable for winter conditions and remember to factor in the extra time needed to plod through deep snow above 600m. An ice axe and crampons are essential for those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical ground.
6th Dec 2012 Swirral Edge (830m) -1.0 -9.0 42.4 14.4 Strong gusting winds and poor visibility prevented the fell top assessor reaching the summit of Helvellyn today. Fresh snow is currently settling above 400m and there are considerable accumulations above 600m. The snow depth reaches up to 30cm in drifts and hollows above 600m and well over 60cm above 750m. The strong westerly wind is depositing large amounts of windslab onto east facing slopes and gullies, adding to the already significant amounts from previous days. Both Striding and Swirral Edge are covered with a considerable amount of loose snow and exposed rocks are plastered with rime ice. As is usual in these conditions, the steep final exit ramps from both these edges are guarded by large accumulations of windslab. Cornices are also continuing to form above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. Please note: To avoid damaging nationally important and rare vegetation, please wait until climbing routes are in full winter conditions before attempting gully routes or climbing on ledges where the turf remains unfrozen. Anyone heading onto the high fells should be adequately prepared, with clothing and equipment suitable for winter conditions. An ice axe and crampons are essential for those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical ground.
5th Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -5.2 -13.8 18.0 14.8 The ground is frozen above 350m paths above this level have extensive patches of ice. Fresh snow is lying on the fells above 400m. The snow depth increases with altitude to just a few centimetres at 500m to well over 60cm in drifts and hollows above 700m. South and east facing slopes have extensive accumulations of windslab, which is lying on the previously frozen old snow creating a potentially very unstable layer. There is also a substantial buildup of loose powder in east facing gullies. Both Striding and Swirral Edge are covered with a considerable amount of loose snow and exposed rocks are plastered with rime ice. As is usual in these conditions, the final exit ramps from both these edges are guarded by large accumulations of steep windslab. Cornices are continuing to form above east through to south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. Anyone heading onto the high fells should be adequately prepared, with clothing suitable for winter conditions. An ice axe and crampons are essential for those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical ground.
4th Dec 2012 Blencathra summit -0.4 -7.9 18.3 13.5 Snow is currently lying on the fells above 700m, with more possible over the next 24 hours. The snow depth varies depending on the scouring action of the wind, but reaches up to 60cm in drifts and hollows above 800m. Cornices have formed above east through to south facing slopes and these are continuing to build in the northwesterly winds, so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. The surface of the snowpack from previous days' snowfalls has partially thawed and re-frozen, leaving a glazed crust and some exposed rocks have a covering of verglas, making for very slippery underfoot condition, particularly where the ice is covered by more recent snow. Anyone heading onto the high fells should be adequately prepared, with clothing suitable for winter conditions. An ice axe and crampons are essential for those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical ground.
3rd Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -1.0 -10.6 34.1 23.8 There has been a slight thaw of the recent snow at all levels. However there are still extensive patches of thick ice covering paths above 350m, which will be slow to melt. Snow is currently lying on the fells above 700m, with more expected over the next 24 hours. The current snow depth increases with altitude to approximately 60cm in drifts and hollows above 800m. Both Striding and Swirral Edge are covered with a substantial amount of snow and ice. The surface of the snowpack has partially thawed and re-frozen, leaving a glazed crust and some exposed rocks have a covering of verglas, making for very slippery underfoot conditions. Small cornices have formed above east and south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. Anyone heading onto the high fells should be adequately prepared, with clothing suitable for winter conditions. An ice axe and crampons are essential for those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical ground.
2nd Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -2.8 -6.6 4.8 2.7 Winter conditions have returned to the Lake District Fells and the ground is currently frozen above 350m, with extensive patches of thick ice covering paths above this level. Snow is lying on the fells above 700m, with the depth increasing from just a light dusting at 700m to approximately 60cm in drifts and hollows above 800m. Both Striding and Swirral Edge are covered with a substantial amount of snow and ice. Small cornices have formed above east and south facing slopes so please keep well back from the edge in these areas. Anyone heading onto the high fells should be adequately prepared, with clothing suitable for winter conditions. An ice axe and crampons are essential for those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical ground.
1st Dec 2012 Helvellyn summit -4.3 -11.6 15.6 11.4 Winter conditions have returned to the Lake District Fells. The ground is frozen above 350m, with extensive patches of thick ice covering paths above this level. Snow is lying on the fells above 700m, with the depth increasing from just a light dusting at 700m to approximately 60cm in drifts and hollows above 800m. Both Striding and Swirral Edge are covered with a considerable amount of snow, with exposed rocks occasionally covered with verglas. Anyone heading onto the high fells must be adequately prepared, with clothing suitable for winter conditions. An ice axe and crampons are essential for those going above the snowline and tackling steep or technical ground.