It’s been a busy few weeks as the restrictions have ended giving way to some more freedom for travel and being people being able to move around the country again. Although the restrictions have been lifted plenty still remain there is a bit of concern as to where the Indian variant may take us. But for now it’s possible to get around and operate in the outdoors once again which has been most welcome.
The weather has felt at times that winter cut straight to Autumn. We had a good dump of spring snow, enough for the Lakes ski area to be opened for a few days in May. I enjoyed a early morning spin around the edges on Helvelyn in some surprisingly wintery conditions. Although this is not unusual in the spring and hence the phrase ‘the lambing storms’ it's quite often that when spring feels underway a sudden last cold blast can push through. Since then though the weather has been a series of wet and windy pulses passing through. Below are a few shots from a dawn walk around the edges on Hellvelyn mid May.
As the restrictions eased its meant that people have been able to get into the area and take courses which have been in the planning during weeks of lockdown. I have been out with a variety of people on skills courses focussed on either mountain skills such as navigation and also some rock days such as intro to rock, competent second. This has all been carried out in Borrowdale which offers a great wealth of climbs and all very easy to access. I did use upper Shepards for one day which I have not been to before but worked well for the day at hand. Introducing two young climbers to the sport who have autism it gave us a great friendly venue to get plenty of shorter climbs and gain some confidence before moving down to Shepards and Jackdaw Ridge. There has also been some work in Coventry and Leicester with Adventure Expeditions delivering some DofE days and some much needed access to green spaces for young people. I do find it odd that there are lingering restrictions in various places on young people's residential or camping trips when pubs and restaurants are open. Surely the benefits of young people experiencing outdoor education eclipse the opening of pubs and restaurants and would actually steer them into places where they are far less likely to come into contact with Covid.
Finally we seem to be getting some summer weather in the Lakes which is very welcome. It also looks like the high pressure may hang in for the next week. May bank holiday weekend I was out with Martin for a trip up Cross Fell the highest hill in the England out-with the Lakes and worth using some areas which avoid the crowds. The central lakes will have been heaving especially with the added factor of international travel being heavily restricted. Fingers crossed the weather and covid related issues remain stable and the summer can be enjoyed.
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