Winter Week 8: Lake District

28th February – 1st March

Present: Tom, Jacob & Lucy

Everyone had dropped out. The trip was supposed to go to Glencoe but record snowfall from the storm-front battering the UK had made for an extreme avalanche risk and the winds were set to continue over the weekend. But there was a chance in the Lakes, where a good snowpack had formed and looked to be sticking. Our highlands accomodation kindly gave us our money back and changed to the Lakes, but still no one else thought it would be worth it.

So Jacob and I set off in the non-swappable 9 seater, with Lucy too who wanted a lift to her Lake-district home.

We checked forecasts and routes after settling in the Bunkhouse. The next storm was forecast to roll in mid-day and continues strong winds until then too – but they were westerly; striding edge is on the east face of Helvellyn 😉 We decided to wake up at 6, be walking up by 7 to get up and down by 12, but wind can bend around mountains in all kinds of ways so we didn’t know. . .

The winds buffeted us all the way to Red Tarn  and the start of the Edge, but it seemed a bit weaker. Jacob didn’t fancy trying to went down by the Tarn to try Swirral Edge, but I found another hiker who wanted to cross so we went ahead. As soon as we got on, sheltered by Helvellyn the wind vanished and with the intermittent rays of sunshine it felt like a bluebird day in the little bubble we had found ourselves. We summitted the mountain and came back down Swirral, Jacob and I met up again back in Glenridding. 

Sometimes you just gotta be optimistic.

The second day brought reality back to us though, we tried the same hack on Sharp edge and got turned back by gale-forces in circling through the corrie so we diverted away and bagged a few surrounding fells.

Definitely an adhoc weekend, but 100% worth it.

Tom

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