In 2012 I had the pleasure of reporting from The North Face Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc following The North Face athlete Jez Bragg around the course as he attempted to repeat his 2010 win. (Link to blog). In 2013 I'll be back but to attempt the CCC, a shorter version of the main event featuring a 100km route from Courmayer to Chamonix via Champex with 5950m of ascent

Sunday, 2 December 2012

A stunning winters day on Helvellyn

 Looking down to Grisedale Tarn from Fairfield

35km & 2000m of ascent today over a spectacular Helvellyn range. It's always interesting to see what your fell running fitness is like after an extended period in the Himalaya so not too bad today. There was some new snow over the old frozen pack which gave good running for around 60% of the time - the rest of it was postholing through a breakable crust! I had my spikes with me but only needed to use them on the very icy paths around Rydal Water in the valley bottom

The east face of Helvellyn was incredibly quiet considering it was a weekend with a perfect forecast. The few teams who were out reported reasonable conditions on most of the major gullies plus V Corner. The turf is frozen where the snow pack is shallow but remains soft in some of the larger bays. Plenty of unconsolidated snow to play with but overall things are pretty stable. Away from Helvellyn there was some action on Rampsgill Head where conditions were reported to be pretty good.

 Red Tarn from the summit of Helvellyn
Walkers on the west ridge of Catstycam

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