Snowy Lakes

We had our lunch in the cross-shelter near the summit of Helvellyn

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.

The water collection point for the new hydro electric generator in Stickle Ghyll
The water collection point for the new hydro electric generator in Stickle Ghyll
Pete near Stickle Tarn
Pete near Stickle Tarn

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!

Pete in Nethermost Cove approaching our climb
Pete in Nethermost Cove approaching our climb
Laetitia in the open middle section of Nethermost Gully, we were lucky and there were no other tracks up the gully
Laetitia in the open middle section of Nethermost Gully, we were lucky and there were no other tracks up the gully
Pete near the top of the route approaching the looming cornice which we dealt with via the notch on the left
Pete near the top of the route approaching the looming cornice which we dealt with via the notch on the left
Laetitia topping out on Nethermost Gully
Laetitia topping out on Nethermost Gully, with Striding Edge looking precipitous in the background
We had our lunch in the cross-shelter near the summit of Helvellyn
We had our lunch in the cross-shelter near the summit of Helvellyn
Looking west from the summit of Helvellyn the views were stunning.  Actually, looking in all directions was amazing!
Looking west from the summit of Helvellyn the views were stunning. Actually, looking in all directions was amazing!
Laeitita on route to Grisedale tarn - we made a day of it and descended from Helvellyn via Grisedale Tarn
Laeitita on route to Grisedale tarn – we made a day of it and descended from Helvellyn via Grisedale Tarn

6 thoughts on “Snowy Lakes”

  1. Hi, great pictures on Nethermost! Were conditions reasonable in the gully? I’m hoping to head over Friday and take my fiance out for her first winter climb up there. I don’t want her to be put off with an epic! Did the snowpack seem stable and was the snow in good condition for the steep section below the cornice? Understand it was a few days ago but I get the impression conditions haven’t changed a lot.

    Thanks!
    Ben

    1. I think all of the public access will be protected, so that’s good. Do you fancy buying it then Paul? The price is not so bad really – £20k – if you see yourself owning your own little piece of the Lake District… 😉 Maybe you could start a fishing club? They think the fish stock came from fish that were dropped in to the tarn by birds! 😯

      1. 1) Well, that’s a relief. 2) Tempting! 3) I didn’t know there were fish in it! I can’t help feeling a bunch of anoraks (apologies to serious fisherpersons) would spoil the view, though.

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