The Last Snow of Winter

Towatds the end of March of this year, I headed over the fells above Whinlatter Forest near Keswick just as dramatic skies raced in from the North West and brought the last snow of winter to the mountains of the Lake District. We’ve had snow since – notably when I was camping with the family in mid Wales – but in the way of British weather, that was in spring though it didn’t much feel like it!

My plan had been to head to the fells above Buttermere but the snow had closed the Newlands Road that morning and I opted for a shorter walk from the far side of Whinlatter instead. With blizzards sweeping the hills through the earlier part of the day it was probably just as well.

This was an easy walk of about 9 miles that visited 4 of Wainwright’s hills; Lord’s Seat, Broom Fell, Greystones and Barf and provided some beautiful views that were given a touch of the dramatic by the atmospheric conditions. This is what weather forecasters refer to when they talk about snow on high ground.

morning snowfall

Whinlatter Pass was passable with care and this was the scene that greeted me on commencing the walk

The Loweswater Fells

The Loweswater Fells appear dramatic in the snow showers. This was the region I was originally bound for.

West from the Whinlatter Fells

Lake District weather is nothing if not varied but most of the heavy showers – which were snowstorms up here – passed to one side and left me in peace

Skiddaw from the Whinlatter Fells

Looking towards Skiddaw. The threatening skies were never far away but only once did I ned to take shelter.

The Solway Coast

In the clear spells the views extended across the snow free lowlands of West Cumbria to the Solway Firth and Scotland.

Lord's Seat Summit

Looking south from the top of Lord’s seat to the mountains of Central Lakeland

Skiddaw in winter garb

Skiddaw appeared of Alpine proportions from the mists across the valley of Bassenthwaite. Bassenthwaite Lake itself is unseen behind the hill called Barf in the foreground.

Lord's seat from Darling How

What a difference a few hours makes – Lord’s Seat seen at the end of the day from the Darling How track where I had started the walk that morning in snow and grey cloud. It was now positively spring-like!

Pete Buckley May 2012


About Pete Buckley

I'm Pete Buckley the UK based indie author of "The Colonel of Krasnoyarsk" as well as a couple of travel stories recounting a camper van adventure in New Zealand and a hike through the Swiss Alps. Aside from writing; hiking, biking and photography take up much of my time when I'm not looking after the kids, and these are the main subject of these pages. Thanks for visiting.
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10 Responses to The Last Snow of Winter

  1. AJ says:

    Gorgeous photos of mountain snows! What a lucky day to be out there!


  2. Great pics, Pete – they really capture the feel of those spring snow-storms!


  3. Helen West says:

    Hi Pete, really enjoyed seeing these pics from one of our favourite walks – Helen W & Andy W (yes from your Lymm days!) Not sure how to get a personal message to you!


    • Pete Buckley says:

      Hi Helen – my email is on my gravatar profile but a few people have said it didn’t work so I’ll send you a message on here. I’m not on facebook/twitter etc. Thanks for the comment too – another fan of the Lakes yeah!


  4. LensScaper says:

    Superb drama in those first four shots, Pete.


  5. northwoodsphoto says:

    Great shots, time to get back on the trail.


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