Winter Walking Skills

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Last weekend we saw the first hint of snow on the mountain tops across the region. It didn’t hang around for very long but as we go into another cold weekend, more snow has fallen on the tops around our self catering Lake District cottages.

Langdale Pikes in the snowSnow on mountains is hugely pretty. But it can turn a simple walk into something a bit scary if you are ill prepared, inexperienced or even just if the weather changes quickly from nice to nasty.

We asked local mountain leaders Jill & Nick from More than Mountains for their top tips on winter mountaineering.

1) Always check a mountain weather forecast (e.g. www.mwis.org.uk) before you go out.  Don't rely on the TV forecast - the weather can be very different in the hills.
2) Make sure you understand the avalanche risk and plan your walk accordingly.
3) Carry a head torch and try to make sure you get back before you need it - it gets dark much earlier than you think.
4) Your ice axe should be in your hand or somewhere you can reach it easily; not tied to the back of your rucksack.
5) Practice good footwork in crampons, step cutting and self-arrest with an ice axe regularly so you can do it when you need to.

Ice Axe Walking in the Lakes

If you are unsure about any of these points then we would recommend that you learn from a qualified instructor before you head out.  Then you will be able to have fun and enjoy the extra challenges and beauty that winter brings.

More than Mountains operate courses and individual tuition across the Lake District, convenient for all of our self catering Lake District cottages.