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.


Trekking Britain said...

Fab shots! Aye rip off caar parking fees in the Lakes are really sad, I seriously think twice when considering where to go now and often plan walks around avoiding certain places. Feel sorry for the local businesses really. Spoke to some in the past and they hate the extortionate charging.

J_on_tour@jayzspaze said...

Great stuff. No where to sit at the top :-(
Agreeing with the previous commenter and it's a shame about these side lanes that aren't even causing a road obstruction. Either the famous named mountain has a price tag on it's head or it's a conspiracy from the owners of the expensive 555 bus. Thanks for the warning, I'll be keeping a watch out on other places, hoping that the roll out plan is contained !

Greg said...

Thank you both fot the comments. I guess the local council must be short of cash.

Jules said...

Interesting report, and proper wintry conditions.

I'll echo the sentiment about parking charges - "coming to a car park near you" seems to be the mantra.

Pity that a negative effect on tourism doesn't follow so visitors and businesses can't gang up on the authorities and get them reduced/removed.

Alan R said...

Lakes parking prices are getting silly. I was talking to some locals about it and they are so annoyed. Similar charges on the other side of the hill too.

Good photo’s of your walk too considering the conditions. I can’t be bothered getting the camera out when it’s like that, so well done.

Greg said...

Thanks for the comments. I was quite early back down the hill and the lay by was full, so people faced with nowhere to park will just pay.

Anonymous said...

Great day out, Greg, and that’s a fantastic picture of the raven. I agree with all the above sentiments concerning parking fees. Not only is it a rip-off, but it’s reducing one of England’s last wild places to the status of a theme park or seaside resort. Perhaps someone needs to start a campaign.
Alen McF

Greg said...

Thanks Alen, sorry for not replying I've been away.
As soon as I came back I had a read about your search for the Bronze Age stones. Brilliant stuff.