A day like in a Fairy Tale: Helvellyn in Winter

Publiziert von MicheleK , 3. Januar 2012 um 23:27.

Region: Welt » United Kindom » Cumbria
Tour Datum:11 Dezember 2011
Schneeshuhtouren Schwierigkeit: WT3 - Anspruchsvolle Schneeschuhwanderung
Geo-Tags: GB   Wainwright 
Zeitbedarf: 6:00
Aufstieg: 850 m
Abstieg: 850 m
Strecke:Swirl Parking (Thirlmere) - Browncowe Crags - Lower Man - Helvellyn (969m) - Lower Man - Fisherplace Gill - Thirlspot Farm - Swirl Parking
Zufahrt zum Ausgangspunkt:Swirls Parking is easily accessed from Keswick on A591 (20min).
Zufahrt zum Ankunftspunkt:Idem
Unterkunftmöglichkeiten:Keswick or Ambleside many B&Bs for 30-60 GBP.
Kartennummer:OL5 Explorer Map the English Lakes

The second day of my Lake District Winter weekend the weather cannot be better so I plan to hike up the iconic Helvellyn from the panoramic Thirlmere side. What a great day this will become !

I start from Swirl parking at 10 am. The flank is bewteen 25 and 40 degrees and above 300m the snow cover was sufficient to don my MSR snowshoes. Instead of following like all other cramponed hikers the bends of the icy summer route, I could go up on a straight line outside  the beaten track. The last 100m are quite steep but still manageable (could be done using crampons).

I was now on the huge summit flank leading gently to Helvellyn summit cairn which I reached at 12.15. Blue sky with view of > 50Km alternating with clouds and views of Red Tarn, with green valleys, blue lakes, and the hills glittering in white... dozens of winter mountaneers on Helvellyn today... most people on crampons, some skitouring (yess), some trail running in shorts (!) and one guy with snowshoes (me...).

After spending ca 1h at the summit I then retrace my tracks to Lower Man, where I take another route down via Lower Man N ridge and up again to White Side My snow shoes are ideal for the type and amount of snow, whilst people with crampons always sink significantly (ehehe). At the cairn I descend in NW direction and I meet another solo hiker and while chatting we have a great time descending and admiring the surrounding breathtaking scenery bathed in the afternoon light. We pass the steep flank along Fisherplace Gill and end the hike at Thirlspot farm around 4pm and very satisfied I have a short stroll to the parking along the road.

I was very privileged as such days apparently are very rare in the LD...  This has been an absolute highlight and am very thankful that I could witness Helvellyn in Winter at its best. It makes the long trip to North England worthwhile!

Tourengänger: MicheleK


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