Saturday, 17 December 2011

Helvellyn Avalanche Warning.

Helvellyn it is then.   No I don't think I'm brave or foolhardy, but when Radio Cumbria mentioned huge drifts of snow and possible avalanches on Helvellyn I had to go.   I figured if I went up from the Thirlmere side , I call it the Brown cove car park, then I would be on the wind scoured side of the fell and all the big accumulations would be on the other side in the corries.  Also I have been on this route before in similar conditions and when it got too dicey I simply turned back.

As I drove to the lay-by on the main road I noticed the above one nearly full.  This panicked me a bit as this one fills up only after the one further up the road on the Thirlmere side is full.  But the reason soon became apparent and rip off Britain has reached the Lakes.

Fair enough if they've had to create a car park and tarmac it etc.  but this is just a lay-by.

As I gained height the snow depth increased and the weather closed in.

Just visible in the mirk are two walkers ahead of me.  I later overtook them as they were having crampon problems.

I hacked a seat into the summit shelter drifts, had a quick cup of tea from my Aldi flask, bugger only luke warm.  Then headed down.

I kept away from the drop off to the right and an early bath in Red Tarn as two more people approach the summit.

I emerged from the cloud near the big boulder at the entrance to Brown Cove.  Sheltering behind the boulder I ate my sandwiches,  leaving some for the raven circling above.
A call into Keswick and the Black's 25% off sale saw me heading home with a new flask.