It is rare to have so much snow as the Easter holidays approach.
For the experienced this offers some intriguing opportunities for challenging mountaineering objectives, however, there are also hazards and it is important to consider these before venturing above the snow line.
Many will be familiar with the need to carry an ice axe and crampons to prevent or arrest slips on ice and as a general rule it is good to take these whenever there is significant snow on the fells. Much of the snow was hard packed by Sunday, particularly higher up on Scafell Pike and will be getting icier each day this week.
Be aware that mobile phone batteries run down faster in the cold. This seems particularly true for modern smart phones, particularly if you use the GPS or take lots of photos. Make sure your phone is well charged before setting off and/or consider a backup.Perhaps the most striking risk at the moment is avalanche. The combination of wind-blown snow has created ideal avalanche conditions, particularly on west facing slopes and gullies and the final approaches to the main summit ridge on Scafell Pike, eg : Mickledore are potentially at risk. The photos below show the approaches to Mickledore highlighting some of these features.
Finally, walking in deep snow is hard work! Exhaustion and tiredness are possible. Coupled with the cold energy usage is high.
We hope everyone has a safe visit to Wasdale, Eskdale and the rest of the Lakes this coming weekend. The fells are in great condition for winter sports but please consider all the risks before setting off and go well prepared, both equipped and ready to use your head.