Yesterday we went for a bumble up to Stickle Tarn to see what the winter conditions were like. It was very windy. But there were plenty of people out, including a team on Jack’s Rake. We weren’t wearing winter boots, and didn’t have axes or crampons with us, so we stuck to the trails.
Today, Sunday, we initially wondered if the sunny skies meant we might be able to go rock climbing on some south facing sheltered rock somewhere. So we waited to till about 10am to allow the rock to warm up in the sunshine. However, we soon realised that it was far too cold to enjoy any rock climbing. So encouraged by the conditions we saw yesterday we decided to head out for a fun solo ascent of Nethermost Gully, a 200m classic grade I/II snow gully that ends almost at the summit of Helvellyn. We parked in Patterdale, but it’s a fairly short walk from there in to Grisedale. There were a couple of easy sections of névé/ice in the gully to add a little technical interest.
Of course having only set off from the car at 11.30am we were now short on daylight – we finished at 6.30pm in the dark. A good day out!