Decided to try and make the most of the last of the snow in the Lakes, and we were really glad we did - beautiful day to be up in the hills. I'd read the Lake District felltop assessor's report and it sounded like there was still a lot of snow, but we were sceptical driving up there as there was really very little around in general (apart from the big drifts piled up on the sides of the road on Kirkstone Pass).
Coming down into Patterdale though we got some glimpses of a very alpine-looking Helvellyn off to the left, and started to get a bit excited. Not really done any winter walking/scrambling for a while.
We set off from Glenridding up past the Youth Hostel/Ski Club hut at Greenside, heading for the path up to Whiteside Bank.
A couple of stiff bits of uphill to get to the top of Whiteside Bank, then Lower Man, and we were on the main summit ridge.
Some impressive cornices on the summit ridge, especially for mid-April in England!
Stopped for a brew in a little snow cave someone had dug on the summit - very cosy inside with a nice little seat shelf cut out.
Striding Edge was looking very alpine but we thought Swirral Edge probably a better bet for descending.
We put our spikes on as the top section was still quite compacted and icy in places - and we were glad we did - the snow was melting and going slushy pretty quickly up there though.
My girlfriend had proper crampons but having just got some new non crampon compatible boots I was just using Kahtoola Micro Spikes, but they performed really well. Dead easy to get on and off and very small and light to carry - not sure what they'd be like if it was really icy or on steeper ground.
Striding Edge in profile.
We were nearly down at about 5pm and met a couple going the other way with skis, catching the last few hours of sunshine, amazing really to be able to do that.
We polished off the last few section back down to the car then drove home via the Eagle and Child in Staveley for massive portions of fish and chips and deep fried risotto cakes, washed down with Loweswater Gold. Mmmmmm......
All in all a superb trip out - definitely one of those 'glad to be alive' days and incredible conditions for April in England. For reasons I've gone on about endlessly on here before it still feels very special to me to be able to do stuff like this. Hope you enjoy the pics.