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Fell Top Conditions on Wednesday 21 February

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 13:30

Temperature plus 3.0°C Maximum wind speed 2.8mph Wind chill plus 3.0°C Average wind speed 1.4mph Wind direction N

A stunning day out on the Lakeland Fells with wall to wall sunshine, zero wind and a birthday cake on the summit!Freezing temperatures overnight had refrozen the wet snowpack at all levels giving good conditions for walking and climbing. Throughout the day the surface of the snowpack on south facing slopes softened in the strong sunlight but generally it remained frozen and icy with serious consequences for any slip not quickly arrested. The snow level remains around 500m with good coverage on most slopes from 700m upwards especially east and north facing aspects. South facing slopes such as the Red Tarn approach to Catstye Cam are almost bare to summit level. There are harder patches of snow and ice on popular routes and paths where it has been compacted. The crest of Striding Edge is now mainly bare rock although the sides and the exit on to the plateau are still snow covered and crampons and an ice axe were essential for safe progression.Swirral Edge receives slightly less direct sunlight and is still in full winter condition. In descent it felt more serious than the spring like conditions found on Striding Edge.The summit plateau is a mixture of hard snow and bare ground with just the lightest of rime on the summit rocks. Cornices above S to E to N slopes are large and have slumped and in some cases collapsed during yesterdays thaw. The cooler temperatures have now stabilised them somewhat but they remain weak and should be given a wide berth. Avalanche debris was noted on the E face of Helvellyn and in Nethermost & Brown Coves.Full winter clothing and equipment including ice axe and crampons and the ability to use them are currently required to safely enjoy the Lakeland fells.

Lake District Forecast for Friday

Another cold, fine and mostly dry day with some long spells of sunshine, especially across northern and western fells. Cloudier at times across the south and east with perhaps a few snow flurries.

Visibility

Good or very good, perhaps falling to several kilometres in snow flurries.

Hill cloud

Around 90% across northern and western fells. Around 40% across the south and east at first and again later with periods above 450m, rising to nearer 75% by day as cloud becomes occasional above 750m.

Wind

Southeasterly 15-20mph, with gusts 30-35mph over ridges and summits giving a significant chill effect.

Temperatures

  • Valley: Around minus 2 Celsius at dawn rising to plus 6 Celsius by day
  • At 800m: Around minus 4 Celsius
  • Freezing level: 300m or less

Outlook for next few days

Saturday 24 February

Remaining cold and mostly dry with long clear or sunny spells, cloudier at times across southern and eastern fells. Occasionally strong easterly or southeasterly winds. Freezing level 300m or less.

Sunday 25 February

Some clear or sunny spells, especially across western fells, but eastern fells generally cloudier with perhaps a few snow flurries. Strong easterly winds. Freezing level 300m or less.

Monday 26 February

Generally cloudier, still some clear or sunny spells in west, with outbreaks of mainly light snow. Occasionally strong easterly then northeasterly winds. Freezing level 300m or less.



An overview to the weather in the Lake District

Summer:

The summer season in the Lake District actually runs from March to October. The driest period runs between March and June.

The weather is renowned for changing rapidly and rainfall is a predominant feature. The wettest area in the Lake District is known as Sprinkling Tarn which receives approximately 5000mm of rainfall every year!

Winter:

The wettest months run from October to January.

Snowfall typically falls from November to March. The valleys of the Lake District receive around 20 days of snow and 200 days of rain per year.

Winter is actually a beautiful time of year to enjoy the spectacular views.

It’s important to stay safe during the Winter period, especially if you are considering exploring the fells. If you’re a fan of the Lake District in Winter, why not register on one of our Winter Skills Courses? Learn more