Written on 26/12/14 by Elizabeth Oldham

Some Festive Winter Walks

With Christmas Day over and a few days holiday for most people to look forward to, here are a few ideas for bracing fell walks to blow the cobwebs away! They range from a gentle circular round over Orrest Head, to a much more serious walk to Scafell Pike by the fantastic ridge of Mickledore.

Orrest Head - the view that changed a young man's life

The view from Orrest Head on a crisp and clear winter's day is something special to behold. The Langdale Pikes can be seen away in the distance across Windermere.

Barrow and Grisedale Pike from Walla Crag
Jessie on Walla Crag, with snow capped Grisedale Pike behind

Walla Crag and the Great Wood

Walla Crag can be see from Friars Crag at the end of the promenade that starts close to the town centre of Keswick. The precipitous crag is covered in trees whilst its top is bare rock and looks out over Derwent Water to the fells beyond. Small children and dogs should be kept close at hand as the drop from this fine viewpoint is near vertical!

Grisedale Pike and Hopegill Head

Whenever we get snow Grisedale Pike is always plastered. Looking at it from Walla Crag you think I want to be up there, pointing at its distinctive shape. But when on it, of course, you don't see that. You do however get that little feeling of excitement at seeing the final section of the steep ridge to its summit. At the top its all about the views again.

Scafell Pike - Via Mickledore

What more could be said about the Pike that has not already been said before. Here in the short, dark, days of winter it is aimed squarely at those who know what they are letting themselves in for.

Obviously in winter consideration of the weather is a critical part of any walk planning. In benign conditions wrapping up well and having food and drink sufficient for your walk is sensible, as is taking a map, compass and head torch. When snow lies on the fells you will also need crampons, or at least some kind of micro-spikes, and an ice axe, as well as the skills to use them appropriately. Conditions can change rapidly, and become a matter of survival all too quickly. Have modest aims and head home satisfied but eager for more, rather than be too optimistic and spoil a volunteer's Christmas break with an avoidable MRT callout...

Check the weather here MWIS Lake District Mountain Forecast

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Participants in these activities should be aware of and accept these risks and be responsible for their own actions.