There had been lots of snow in the Lake District, which is always the first hurdle for winter climbing in the Lake District. On this weekend last year we were rock climbing in Langdale! However, unfortunately there was really a bit much fresh snow, which had even led to some sizeable avalanches over the previous few days.

James and I came up with a plan to head to Dollywagon North, which had lots of good looking short routes on it. Unfortunately from Patterdale the walk up to Grisedale tarn is a long way, which was made worse by endless trail braking with often thigh deep snow. After a three hour approach we made it to the top of the crag, at the same time as some other teams. Unfortunately we were all disappointed as the crag was completely buried, the approach slope was under a large cornice, the top outs looked like they involved almost vertical powder below yet more cornices. With all these negative factors it wasn’t hard to make the decision to take our climbing bags for a walk to the summit of Helvellyn.

On the summit we met up with a large group of Avon Mountaineering Club members, so we were able to have a sociable lunch. After lunch we made a quick descent down the very busy Swirral Edge, before heading back down into Patterdale for some well deserved tea and cake.

Looking back towards Patterdale

Winter wonderland

Looking back towards Nethermost Pike

A busy Swirral Edge

Looking down Swirral Edge

Looking down into Patterdale

James on the descent

Looking back up the approach