What a beautiful day for a walk out in lovely winter conditions…
There is plenty of snow around to quite a low level at the moment and the valley roads are treacherously icy in places. I left Casper at home today (by the fire, of course!) as he feels the cold these days (he is no spring chicken) and with young Dougal by my side climbed to Wetherlam via Steel Edge and descended by way of treacherous Wetherlam Edge. It was a bit of a monochrome day with no contrast between the sky and the snow covered land making the task of getting decent photos even harder than usual!
The weather was gorgeous this morning, being really clear in the south western corner of the Lakes. There seemed to be a bit of cloud around the fell tops beyond but Wetherlam was a great walk to do on a day like this – I did have to keep well wrapped up on the Wetherlam ridge though as it was colder than it looks.
Most of the high fells appeared to be in cloud but Wetherlam seemed to stand out like a beacon of light today, so that’s where I went to get a taste of the winter conditions much of the country is experiencing at the moment. The snow was dry and powdery and the going was not too bad until the descent of Wetherlam Edge which required a bit more care to be taken. It was like the Antarctic on the northern slopes during that descent with a strong (and cold) easterly blowing across the face of The Edge.
The wet weather of last week has made way for much colder winter weather with snow lying on the high fells. The snow made it quite tough going, both on the climb up Steel Edge and the descent of Wetherlam Edge – the walk took 40 minutes longer than last time I did it in April. Once up on the Wetherlam ridge, all hell was let loose with the wind and driven sleet/snow making it easily the coldest and most extreme walk since last winter.
It’s seems like a while since I have been on the high fells due to Easter holidays and other commitments but what a glorious day for a return; the weather really was fantastic. The light was just gorgeous on the fells and it felt good to be alive up there today. The sunshine in the photos probably gives a false impression though as it was not as warm as it looks higher up and on the Wetherlam ridge the wind was pretty icy.
Everywhere but Wetherlam seemed to be in cloud this morning when I set out; it was basking under a lovely blue sky, but that quickly changed during the ascent of Wetherlam Edge. I thought it would be an interesting addition to drop down to Red Dell following the Black Sails ridge but it proved to be a tough climb back up to Hole Rake and over to Tilberthwaite.
The weather today was fantastic with clear views for miles and cold, frozen ground making almost perfect walking conditions. This is a favourite shorter walk of mine, the walks along Steel Edge and Wetherlam Edge being the best way to climb this fell. Wetherlam Edge was treacherous in places with sheet ice which could catch out the unwary.