After switching our days off to catch what had been forecast a clear sunny day, so glad we did, as it was a superb winters day, clear blue skies, clear visiblity, lots of snow in places but above all a stunning part of the Lakes to be on the perfect winters day. We had decided to start from Seathwaite, up past Styhead Tarn, across the craggy southern face of Great Gable across to Napes Needle and the Sphinx Rock, then up onto Kirk Fell. Halfway up on the journey from Preston, yours truly realised he hadnt packed his crampons!! but we decided to go on as planned and hoped as it was south facing the snow and ice wouldnt be as bad, and I pretty much got away with it. We had originally intended to have a look at 'Threading the Eye' of Napes needle but decided against it as there was alot of snow in the shaded descent side of the climb which was not in great condition, and not good without crampons. But it was an entertaining scramble on the crags around it across to the Sphinx rock. Stunning views from here right down Wastwater and across to the Scafells. Some photos below of the day.
Todays objective, Napes Needle.
An early morning start with the locals at seathwaite farm.
Yours truly up at Styhead Tarn
Styhead Tarn, frozen completely, as the sun comes up lighting up Great End
Looking across from Styhead to Lingmell, and its deep gash down its side, Piers Gill
Tom on the high level Climbers traverse path to Great Napes.
The Sphinx rock overlooking Wastwater and Wasdale far below.
Great Gable from the climb up Kirk Fell
Pillar from Kirk Fell
A distant Skiddaw from Kirk Fell
Blencathra and the Helvelyn ridge
Scafell Pike across from Kirk Fell
A zoomed in shot of Scafell and Mickledore
Blencathra looking good in the far distance
To the left a zoomed in Skiddaw
Ennerdale valley, with Wainwrights favourite Haystackes in the foreground
Pillar with Pillar Rock prominent, from the lower slopes of Green Gable
From where we had just come from, Kirk Fell
The shaded cold north face of Great Gable
As we start the drop into Seathwaite, this lone tree was growing out of the rock at the top of SourMilk Gill.
The waterfall in Sourmilk Gill