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Walking in Cumbria and Beyond

More Snow Days

More Snow Days

The snow continues. 

At least on the mountains. 

Though there is still the fickle cycle of ‘freeze – thaw’. 

Miss those precious freeze days and you’ll battle with over zealous bog.

After a Saturday on Helvellyn the snow gradually slid from the lower slopes. 

After a sixth day it only iced the tops of the higher hills.

Shipman Knotts

Yoke and Ill Bell from Shipman Knotts

We crunched across a thin icy crust and enjoyed the views across the Kentmere valley from Shipman Knotts.

Ice still clung to walls and loitered in crevices.  But it was definitely on the way out.

Kentmere Pike

Looking over to Kentmere Pike

So much so it slipped away almost entirely when we arrived at the top of Nan Bield Pass.

Nan Bield

Nan Bield

A week later and a snow free walk on Loughrigg.

Loughrigg

Loughrigg

But then – Saturday,  a disgusting day round my home at sea level.  Sunday.  Add a  hundred metres and snow, 

Scales Tarn

Scales Tarn

plus sunshine.  Once the distinct snow line was crossed the ground became solid and the snow crusted with ice.  Being sheltered from the wind to just above Scales Tarn, we felt a false sense of security. 

Blencathra

Blencathra

Then that icy blast promised by the Met Office tested resolve and clothing to their full extent.  Knee deep powder hindered our route to the brim above the tarn.  But at least we could see.

Halls Fell

Halls Fell

For a few moments  on Blencathra white mist wrapped around us and there was almost a decision to leave by the quick route.  There was not a lot to see.  But we hung around a few moments, or three.  That wickedly cold wind had a use.

Sharp Edge

Down Sharp Edge

Mist whipped away and then followed a delightful stroll over to the top of Sharp Edge, not something I was prepared to descend in the snow. A summer’s ascent was challenging enough.  We just looked.  And carried on over Mungrisdale to Bannerdale.

Mungrisdale

Mungrisdale

Catching the hills to the north.  Each line exaggerated in a sharp colour contrast as the low winter sun cast deep shadows across this intricate maze of northern hills.

Bannerdale

Bannerdale

We’ve been promised more snow but next weekend I’m wandering south.  Will it follow?

Kentmere route

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Blencathra to Bannerdale

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