The Big Freeze

After the floods came the freeze. In Cumbria it feels like we have had an awful lot of weather of late. The first snows fell on Saturday 19th December and temperatures plummeted as low as minus 22 degrees celcius in Scotland. Nearly four weeks later the snow is still lying on the ground and many roads are still blocked with snow. I’m sure folk on the continent will laugh at all our obsessions with the big freeze but in the British Isles you have to go back to the winter of 1962, since we had snows lying at low levels for such a length of time.

Here in Ambleside, the mountain rescue team have been rescuing stranded motorists, ferrying the ambulance service personnel around and even taking food to remote outlying houses that have been cut off. For some there has been disruption, for others fun. I’ve been ice climbing on frozen waterfalls that have not frozen over for decades and been on my cross country ski’s up to 2800 feet on Great Dodd on the Helvellyn range.

A farmer clearing snow from a track above Ambleside, Cumbria, UK.

A farmer clearing snow from a track above Ambleside, Cumbria, UK.

Arctic conditions on Wansfell, Lake District, UK.

Arctic conditions on Wansfell, Lake District, UK.

Looking towards Hawkshead from Wansfell at sunset, Lake District, UK.

Looking towards Hawkshead from Wansfell at sunset, Lake District, UK.

Mike Withers ice climbing on Fisher Place Gill, Thirlmere, Lake District, UK.

Mike Withers ice climbing on Fisher Place Gill, Thirlmere, Lake District, UK.

Mike Withers ice climbing in Fisher Place Gill, Thirlmere, Lake District, UK.

Mike Withers ice climbing in Fisher Place Gill, Thirlmere, Lake District, UK.

Frankie Burgess takes a tumble whilst playing in the snow.

Frankie Burgess takes a tumble whilst playing in the snow.

Jill Cooper walking up Red Screes, Lake District, UK.

Jill Cooper walking up Red Screes, Lake District, UK.

An empty salt gritting bin in Ambleside. Salt supplies were low in many counties as demand became unprecedented.

An empty salt gritting bin in Ambleside. Salt supplies were low in many counties as demand became unprecedented.

Langdale Ambleside mountain Rescue team members and the North West Air Ambulance evacuate an injured walker who had fallen in the snow, Langdale, UK.

Langdale Ambleside mountain Rescue team members and the North West Air Ambulance evacuate an injured walker who had fallen in the snow, Langdale, UK.

Snow drifts on the side of Kirkstone Pass which has been closed for weeks, Lake District, UK.

Snow drifts on the side of Kirkstone Pass which has been closed for weeks, Lake District, UK.

Snow on the Kirkstone Pass road, Lake District, UK.

Snow on the Kirkstone Pass road, Lake District, UK.

Charlie Middleton clears snow on Kirkstone Pass, Lake District, UK.

Charlie Middleton clears snow on Kirkstone Pass, Lake District, UK.

Ambleside from Wansfell at dusk, Lake District, UK.

Ambleside from Wansfell at dusk, Lake District, UK.

Mike Withers cross country skiing on Great Dodd, Lake District, UK.

Mike Withers cross country skiing on Great Dodd, Lake District, UK.

Bruce Corrie upskiing on Great Dodd, Helvellyn Range, UK.

Bruce Corrie upskiing on Great Dodd, Helvellyn Range, UK.

Posted on January 13, 2010 at 12:03 pm by ashley · Permalink
In: Uncategorized