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Explore the best winter Lake District crags with a Cicerone guidebook

Cover of Lake District Winter Climbs
13 Nov 2012
17.2 x 11.6 x 2.9cm
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Lake District Winter Climbs

Snow, ice and mixed climbs in the English Lake District

by Brian Davison
Book published by Cicerone Press

Essential guidebook to the best winter climbing routes in the Lake District. All the known routes in every part of the Lakes are described. From classic high-mountain gullies and buttresses on crags such as Scafell, Pillar and Great Gable to frozen watercourses and icefalls including Great Gully on the Wasdale screes.

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Size: 17.2 x 11.6 x 2.9cm
Weight: 540g

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The creative forces of the Fell & Rock Climbing Club and Cicerone have come together to provide the definitive guide to winter climbing in the English Lake District in a handy-pocket-sized format. Every known winter climb, from all over the National Park and beyond is explored, including over 200 new routes for this edition recorded only in the past few years. All manner of winter climbing is covered; from Snow and Ice to Mixed Climbing, Water Ice and Dry Tooling. There are routes for those who are new to the adventure of winter climbing, as well as challenging ascents for experienced climbers.

The Lake District is known all over the world as an area of outstanding beauty and tranquility. Winter climbing opens the door to a new world of snow, ice and rock. No less stunning than in the warmer months, climbing in the cold offers a challenging slant to a well-loved landscape. Ridges become gravity-defying cornices, crags are sheer with ice and snow, frothing waterfalls in gullies become static sculptures; all the more alluring because the climb is different every year.

The guide is divided into five different areas, with clear maps to find the crags and colour photo-topos to locate all the intricate routes. The routes range from classic high-mountain gullies and buttresses on crags such as Scafell, Pillar, and Great Gable to frozen watercourses and icefalls including Great Gully on the Wasdale Screes, Launchy Gill, Low Water Beck and Cautley Spout. And, of course, popular venues like Great End and the Eastern Coves of the Helvellyn Escarpment are described in detail. With additional sections on winter equipment, ethics and conservation, climbing walls, accommodation and a first-ascent list, Winter Climbs in the Lake District is an indispensable companion to any climber counting the days to the first snow.

  • a comprehensive guide to the best of the best winter climbing routes
  • advice on equipment, hazards, techniques and weather
  • detailed maps, photography and topos of over 950 routes


The BMC have published a 36 page downloadable pdf (4.5 MB) 'The White Guide'  with information on winter climbing safety and ethics in the Lake District.

  • Activities
    Winter climbing - Snow and Ice, Mixed Climbing, Water Ice and Dry Tooling
  • Seasons
    October to April, but climbs unlikely to be in condition before January.
  • Centres
    Langdale, Coniston, Eskdale, Wasdale, Ennerdale, Buttermere, Borrowdale, Thirlmere, Patterdale, northern and eastern fells
  • Difficulty
    Winter climbing skills required.
  • Must See
    Helvellyn coves, Great End, Scafell, Newland's Hause, Low Water Beck, Cautley Spout
We do not yet have any updates available for this book

We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).


Maps and diagrams in this guide    
Location map    
Map key    
Editor’s note   


Winter ethics    
Winter climbing styles    
Where to climb?    
Winter grades    
Dry tooling grades    
Using this guide    
First ascents or first claims?   

South Lakes   


Langdale Pikes   


The Old Man Of Coniston     
Tilberthwaite and The Slate Quarries   

West Lakes   


Little Narrow Cove   


Scafell Massif    
Scafell Pike    
Western Wasdale   


Mirklin Cove    
Mirk Cove and Wind Gap Cove    

Great Gable and Kirk Fell   

Gable South    
Gable North    
Kirk Fell   


Honister Pass     
Fleetwith Pike – North Face    
Warnscale Bottom    
Birkness Combe    
Bleaberry Combe    

North Lakes   


Borrowdale East    
Great End Area    
Borrowdale West   

Northern Fells   

Blencathra (Saddleback)    
Carrock Fell   


East Lakes   

Helvellyn Massif   

Nethermost Cove     
Ruthwaite Cove     
Cock Cove     

Patterdale and Adjacent Valleys   

Patterdale – East    
Patterdale – West    
Sleet Cove    
Kirkstone Pass    

Far Eastern Fells  

Blea Water    
Whelter Bottom     

Outlying Areas   

The Howgills   

Northern Pennines   

Dry Tooling Routes   

First Ascents    

Appendix A    Winter Climbing and Nature Conservation    
Appendix B     Procedure for Mountain Accidents    
Appendix C     Useful Contacts    
Appendix D    Campsites and Camping Barns    
Appendix E    Climbing Walls    

Index of Routes    

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