In reply to G0TDM, John, and Keith, G0OXV:
We did make the summit…
The ‘December Meet’ on the first Friday in December has been organised by a good friend of mine for many years, I’ve been attending for around 25 years and it was going long before I joined so we’ve had lots of weather in that time. Yesterday was interesting for a couple of reasons, first, the difference in weather, valley to hill top and second, the accuracy and interpretation of the weather forecast.
We started and finished in the main (almost empty!) carpark in Ambleside. Half the group opted for a low level walk sticking to the valleys around Loughrigg Fell. They had snow most of the day with very calm wind conditions.
The other half of the party opted for the planned route up Red Screes, a walk we’d done 5 years ago on the same Friday. The high level party ascended into cloud soon after leaving the Kirkstone road and as we got higher we became more exposed to the southerly wind. On the top the wind was very strong with high windchill, horizontal snow and visibility down to 50 yards at times so we didn’t hang around. Our planned descent was to be to the NW to make the route down Scandale Fell but we soon came across ice so opted to contour round to our way up. We were in the pub before 3pm.
So we had a considerable difference in weather conditions, valley to hill top, not unusual but very marked.
On Thursday evening I printed out the mountain weather forecast for the lakes. I haven’t got it now but from memory it forecast exactly the conditions we had on Friday. Discussing today’s and yesterday’s weather with people in Ambleside YH this morning before we left, Thursday’s forecast was considered to be ‘nothing like’ or words to that effect, the real weather. It interesting how our interpretations vary.