Friday, 9 December 2011

After the wind...

A wet snow avalanche at 300m on Blencathra

After a wild and woolly couple of days the winds eased today as I headed up for a quick ascent of Sharp Edge on Blencathra. Within 5 minutes of leaving the car I came across the remains of a reasonably large wet snow avalanche (300m, easterly aspect) which had come down during the thaw yesterday. At the foot of the ridge any turf that was exposed was frozen but everything else vegetated has been insulated by the snow leaving it very prone to damage. The National Park are requesting that climbers don't climb the traditional gully lines until they are properly frozen meaning that it doesn't look like Helvellyn and Great End will be in condition for the weekend. However the rocky Sharp Edge offered good sport today. There was some ice and plenty of verglass meaning that crampons were essential. After topping out I descended by Halls Fell Ridge.

Another view of the avalanche debris which crossed the path

Plenty of grapnel being blow around in the strong westerly.

A partially frozen Scales Tarn

Busy on Halls Fell Ridge!