Saturday, 10 December 2011

Lakes Ski Touring

After a good freeze last night, we opted to check out the touring conditions on the Helvellyn range. We were able to ski from the sheep fold at 480m on the Sticks Pass path from St John's In The Vale despite most west facing slopes having been scoured by the wind. Some careful route choice and we were soon up and over the col to the ski tow on the side of Raise where a band of volunteers were hard at work digging out the tow and generator shed from some deep drifts in the lee of the ridge. We traversed Raise before very lean conditions on Whiteside forced us to retrace our steps and skin up onto Stybarrow Dodd. By now the lift was running and around 20-30 skiers were enjoying some good snow. Our descent back towards Thirlmere had just enough snow to allow us to descend all the way back to the sheep fold. There were plenty of folk out today including a couple of other groups touring on skis plus plenty of fell runners recce-ing the route for next weekends Tour de Helvellyn, a 38 mile ultra.

Further north the high winds of the last few days have caused plenty of problems and now reports are coming in that the CIC Hut on Ben Nevis has lost its roof.