Winter! Snow! Helvellyn! We’ve been here before…

Yes there’s hardly a dearth of blog posts on here revolving around Helvellyn in her lovely winter coat, but today was such a cracking day that it’s an excuse to post a load of blue and white snaps.

I did my stock Lake District mountain fix, getting off the bus at the top of Dunmail Raise then ascending to Grisedale Tarn alongside Raise Beck and up over Dollywaggon and Nethermost Pikes and Helvellyn.

I’ve had classic winter days like this before, but they don’t happen very often. Grisedale Tarn looking stunning:

There was no perceptible movement in the air at all as I zigzagged up the powdery slopes of Dollywaggon, and could even feel warmth from the sun.

The mini thermometer on my camera bag almost crept into double figures at this point, but was soon back down to below zero when approaching the summit ridge.

I could have spent rather too much time in amongst the snow patterns in the cornices along the ridge, but can get a little too absorbed with things like this and I’m liable to take one step too far and go straight through them. And I was out for a walk rather than a concentrated photo session.

Understandably there were plenty of folk out and about, walkers and climbers, and many a knowing grin was exchanged. There’s almost a collective air of hill giddiness on days like this.

The stitched shot below is from the top of The Tongue on Dollywaggon looking across to the rest of the walk over High Crag and Nethermost Pike to Helvellyn. It’s over 3 feet long at full size, and you can view a bigger version atΒΒ View it full size on something bigger than a phone and count the ants on the ridge πŸ™‚

A couple more shots from skirting along the ridge…

The sunlight began to fade as I moved further along the ridge, slinking away beneath an increasing wave of high level cloud over the western Lakes. This often leads to an increase in air movement which chills things down considerably… but still…. not a breath.

As is usually the case the cross shelter on the summit of Helvellyn was banked up with drifting snow, so I perched on the top for a while watching the last of the hill stragglers begin to head home.

The only problem with leaving your winter photography until the end of the day is there isn’t much untouched snow to work with! But still, as earlier cornice photography and judging where the real edge is can be a dodgy business no matter how many times you’ve wandered a ridge…

Some weak evening sunlight was playing over the north western fells, but it was clear it wasn’t going to go down in a blaze of pink…

So with one last hug of the summit trig point it was time to head down.

In fact time had run away with me and I only had 25 minutes to get down and catch my bus.

As an ex fellrunner there’s no better way to end a great day in the hills than by tearing down at great speed in deep powder. Not even time for a post walk pint! But a grand day out πŸ™‚


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17 Responses to Winter! Snow! Helvellyn! We’ve been here before…

  1. Nina says:

    Hey Stewart,
    Looks like you had a great day yesterday! I was out and about round Coniston Old Man, off Helvellyn way tomorrow – hope the weather lasts!

    • Stewart says:

      Excellent did you get any good photos? Looks like being cold and getting colder next week so snow should stay for a while πŸ™‚

      • Nina says:

        I’m planning on making the most of this bit of snow while we have it! Was pleased yesterday as found a vantage point over Grasmere that I hadn’t been to before, just processing images now. Not been up Helvellyn in ages – any advice?!

        • Stewart says:

          Ah cool look forward to seeing them πŸ™‚ It’s my stock mountain walk and quick and easy to get up from Thirlmere side if you don’t fancy the Edges. The view along Striding at sunrise is great though, but not one I’ve managed to nail in winter conditions…. yet….!

  2. Martin Rye says:

    Snow – I want some. Superb Stewart.

  3. Claire says:

    Wow! Just… wow πŸ™‚ x

  4. steve garrett says:

    was walking Helevellyn last year in snow was fab , taken some fab photos.

  5. Great photos – quick question – what camera do you use?

  6. joe says:


    Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed looking at your pictures. My friend and I said hello to you that day as you were taking cornice pictures (I think) – we’d come up nethermost pike edge and were going down the tongue. I asked you for a card and am glad I came and looked you up. All the best mate,


    • Stewart says:

      Hi Joe,

      Yep you did, glad you had a good day as I think everyone that was up there did! Was out again yesterday, still clear blue skies but not quite as pleasant with a bitter biting wind. Thanks for browsing and leaving a comment.


  7. Mike Mac says:

    Hi Stewart, great pictures and write up, love the colours in the sky in the fourth photo from the bottom. Would love to visit the Lakes in that weather, am 20 mins from the Peak District so not too bad, but will have to try and get up there soon.

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