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Guided Winter Ascents – Lake District

By 29th December 2020March 26th, 2021Winter, Winter Walking

Introduction

Why not join us for our guided winter ascents of the major Lake District peaks? Winter is the best time in the mountains. The views are so much more beautiful and dramatic than they are in summer. Snow has a transformational effect on the mountains. But winter poses additional risks and challenges too. If you are not sure what you are doing and don’t have the winter skills, it could be easy to get into difficulty. Either way, a guide can help keep you safe and comfortable; make your experience more successful and enjoyable; and can make the day a valuable learning experience, including passing on a whole host of useful tips.

We lead guided winter ascents of all the Lake District’s peaks, balancing your needs and experience with the weather and ground conditions on the day.

Skiddaw viewed from Catbells looking over a sea of low clouds - a typical view on guided winter walk or winter skill course in the Lake District

Skiddaw seen from Catbells in winter

Booking and Prices

If you’d like to know more about guided winter ascents in the Lake District, then see our main page for more details and prices; or have a look at the Calendar for forthcoming “Open” events. When you are ready, then get in touch to make an enquiry or a booking.

We also run guided winter ascents and winter skills courses in Snowdonia and the Scottish highlands.

Lake District Guided Winter Ascents – Striding Edge and Sharp Edge

A busy day on Sharp Edge. Lots of climbers taking advantage of the conditions to practice their winter skills in the Lake District and make an ascent of this Grade 1 ridge on Blencathra.

Sharp Edge, Blencathra

For those with some experience of using crampons and an ice axe, the thrill of crossing two of the Lake District’s most famous ridges is not to be missed. Hardly anyone who knows the UK mountains hasn’t heard of Striding Edge on Helvellyn. It’s relatively straightforward in summer but winter makes it more challenging, for sure. It’s a great introduction to winter mountain ridges.

Fewer people have heard of Sharp Edge on Blencathra, but once you’ve heard about it you will be drawn to it. It’s more difficult and more serious than Striding Edge and sadly sees its fair share of accidents. But what a route. A narrow, sharp ridge (as the name suggests) followed by a short, steep climb up the headwall to reach the summit plateau. In winter, it’s a gem not to be missed.

Lake District Guided Winter Ascents – Scafell Pike

Scafell Pike in winter seen on a guided walk up Great Gable, with the dramatic shadow of Piers Gill splitting its sides

Scafell Pike in winter

Scafell Pike, the highest summit in England, is a popular choice. But this is no place to make mistakes in winter. Missing the path could lead you to very dangerous ground. The great twisting gorge of Piers Gill splits the northern side of Scafell Pike like a witch’s fingers or an eagle’s claw. One popular route is to take the Corridor Route, which meanders its way along this face and passes the top of Piers Gill.

There are easier options too, however. These are still physically hard days, but not quite so tricky or potentially dangerous. The ‘Three Peaks” route from Wasdale Head is the shortest option, and there are other longer days crossing all the high fells from Borrowdale or Langdale.

The view over Wasdale from Great Gable in winter

View over Wasdale from Great Gable

Lake District Guided Winter Ascents – Borrowdale Fells

The sun begins to set over Borrowdale in the Lake District in winterThe Borrowdale valley makes an excellent starting point for many of our Lake District guided winter ascents. For those who prefer a short day, it is quite easy to gain a reasonable amount of height quickly. This way, you can enjoy great views without necessarily having to reach the highest peaks. But for those who want the challenge of reaching the tops, many of them are accessible from Borrowdale.