|Name of walk||Helvellyn in Snow|
|Date of walk||2023-01-16|
The forecast was for perfect mountain weather, blue skies and new powder snow! I made an early start and It had just got light, but had stopped snowing by the time I reached Wythburn car park.
Wythburn Church covered in snow, just after dawn.
I head up through the woods.
Tree felling has opened up the views along Thirlmere. It is still quite cloudy, but that won't last.
The route soon heads off up to the far right horizon. Half way up I put on my microspikes as there is lots of ice on the pitched path.
View back as the sun is now hitting the western fells.
I say hello to the snowman.
Wonderful views along Thirmere towards Skiddaw.
Some low cloud just beyond Ullscarf.
Causey Pike and Grisedale Pike towards the right.
The sun is starting to peek out, I'll soon be walking in it!
I continue to trudge up, but now in the sun.
Gusts of wind keep blowing spindrift.
I'm now on the zig zag path.
But it does get steeper! Where the powder snow has blown it can suddenly get quite deep, so more effort is required.
I have plenty of rest breaks to admire the view.
The summit plateau is ahead.
I'm now in the shade of Nethermost Pike and heading for the gap with great views of Striding Edge.
Panorama. Left click to enlarge, click again to return. An amazing view with the powder snow blowing in the air.
I stop for a coffee and a breather. The powder snow had made the ascent quite hard work. I then head up to the summit with a nice young chap called Kyle and his friendly beagle, Bane. (The Bane of his life?) They have come up from Pontefract. Bane is wearing booties, but Kyle removes them from his front paws as he keeps slipping on the ice, and needs his claws for purchase.
Kyle stops in the shelter, I head up to the summit. No one else about, so I have it all to myself.
I turn around for the view down to Red Tarn.
The summit shelter is full of blown snow.
I head for the OS cairn.
I take a quick selfie. It is -7C, -18C with windchill. The wind was 13mph, gusting to 32mph. I can't keep my gloves off for long as my hands immediately go numb.
View back as I head to the far end for the views down to Swirral Edge.
I keep well away from the cornice.
Catstycam on the left and Ullswater to its right.
Looking north to Whiteside and Raise. With Skiddaw and Blencathra behind.
This is as close as I go to the Swirral Edge exit, it is ice under my feet, my microspikes are good but not suitable for steep ice.
I head back to the summit shelter for a coffee and a snack. Kyle and Bane in sillhouette.
Summit panorama. Left click to enlarge, click again to return.
Close up of the view down Ullswater. Cross Fell, Great and Little Dun Fell and other Pennine hills beyond.
I have a coffee and a Kit Kat in the shelter. My water bottle has totally frozen! It was still frozen when I got home, a good job I packed a hot thermos too! After a break I head for the Gough memorial which is covered in ice.
Then I move down for the view of Striding Edge.
View to St. Sunday Crag.
I take an off path route down to meet the path I took going up.
Back on the path the wind is blowing spindrift. I shall be heading off to the right, deciding against a detour up to Nethermost Pike today.
The view from just before I remeet the pitched path. Skiddaw far right.
View back up to where I've been.
The steep, snow covered pitched path.
Heading back down the woodland pitched path. I meet up with Kyle and Bane again just before I reach the car park, I'm guessing they came back via Brown Cove Crags. I considered that but I think it is better to go up that route than down in snow.
The 5.7 mile walk took me five hours, but I took lots of breaks to admire the views. It only took me two hours to get back down. It is not often that I find coming down easier than going up! A superb blue sky snow day!