Winter 2010 ascent of Scafell Pike
Q. I am 19 and a fit, experienced walker and climber, though not in winter conditions. I wish to gain experience of winter walking in particular in the snow, and would like to test my survival skills. With that in mind I am considering an ascent of Scafell Pike next week with another similarly experienced friend. We are thinking of taking a tent and camping overnight in order to allow 1 day of ascent and a 2nd to complete the descent. Can you tell me whether in current conditions this is a realistic target?
George Kearl, Newton Kyme
A. Well, let's see:
a. You don't have any experience of walking or camping in winter conditions.
b. The UK is currently (January 2010) experiencing the coldest winter for over 30 years.
c. Of all the 178 Mountains and countless hills in England that you could begin gaining some experience on - you want to start with the highest one.
Please, please don't. You would be far better off starting with a low level winter walk and then working your way up increasingly bigger and bigger hills & mountains, gaining valuable experience along the way.
Hope this helps