Fell Top Conditions on Thursday 23 February

Readings from Helvellyn summit at 10:40

Temperature minus 3.7°C Maximum wind speed 51.9mph Wind chill minus 15.9°C Average wind speed 38.0mph Wind direction W - NW

Given the warnings about Storm Doris, the Assessor made an earlier ascent of Helvellyn than usual, and managed to avoid most of the bad weather.

Overnight rain has filled the becks, and brought a light dusting of snow to the higher ground in the Central and Eastern Fells. This fresh snow was laying above 700m, and was nowhere deeper than 1cm - just a smattering during the morning. There was also a little frozen ground in places above 800m, on rocks on both Striding and Swirral Edges, but this was not sufficient to hinder safe ascents or descents.

During the late morning further heavy rain brought more snow above 600m, as the storm force winds picked up. This is likely to continue throughout the rest of the day, so it will be interesting to see the extent of the fresh snow when the Assessor goes up tomorrow.

With wind speeds picking up through the morning, it was with some relief that the Assessor today reached his car before lunch. Certainly the speeds recorded on the descent were far greater (in excess of 65mph) than were recorded on the summit just an hour earlier.

Anyone heading into the fells should bear in mind that we are now in the grips of mid-winter, despite the changeable conditions we've had so far this season. Full waterproofs, clothing and equipment are essential for anyone going walking, and an ice axe and crampons should be carried by anyone heading above the snowline.