Having had a rather fruitless time in Wales I was looking for some good winter weather to practice for my up coming Winter ML, well the Lakes on Monday didn’t disappoint. Leaving Seathwaite just after daylight I headed up the path to look at some possible winter climbing on Great Eng. With the freezing level around 500m, plenty of snow on the ground and more showers on the way it was going to be a good day. Reaching the bottom of Great End crag it was evident that the snow fall of the previous day and night had not been enough to fill the gully’s, never mind it having had time to consolidate, so it was time to head for one of the easier routes. In the end I choose to have ago at Cust’s gulley with the big chock stone in it. Even this was rather bare and with the hail now falling from the sky it was starting to run down the gulley in little flurries. With little snow and Ice the climb was difficult and the step half way up which would normally have been covered proved a little unnerving. retreat would probably have been the best option but it was a long walk round and after a bit perseverance I topped out in a white out on a very blustery Great end Summit.
With constant snow showers and white out conditions it was good for practicing my route finding and testing my gear and before to long I was on the very windy Summit of Scafell Pike.
After a bite to eat in the shelter near the summit cairn it was time to head off down the Corridor route and back to the car. The white out conditions persisted right down to around 700m and certainly gave me good map and compass practice. By the time I reached Sty Head tarn it was getting late in the afternoon, the snow had at least doubled in depth since this morning and it would be dark in an hour, so time to stop the practicing and just push on to the car. I arrived at the car 15 mins before dark, it had been a very worthwhile 7 1/2 hrs and I was looking forward to a beer.
Long may the cold up high continue, just leave the roads clean though.