Yesterday I walked over to Great End from Langdale having a look at Bowfell Buttress. The freezing level yesterday was around 800m, with the turf being solid in places and soft in others although Bowfell Buttress and other crags nearby (Oxford and Cambridge), were hoared up quite nicely. Ice was also starting to form above Angle Tarn, although nothing climbable yet.
After having a look at Great End (not much going on), I traversed across Bowfell and Crinkle Crags where I got an amazing sunset over the sea. I also noticed that the Helvellyn Massif looked as though it had a better covering of snow than the Langdale and Scafell areas, which is often the case early season.
As the weather is due to warm up tonight, we thought we'd try our luck with a route on Red Tarn Cove, Helvellyn, with Striding Edge being a good alternative if conditions weren't right. The temperature at Red Tarn was -1C, although not all the turf was frozen. We left crampons off and headed up to see what v-corner was like. There was a fair bit of ice forming around the corrie and the turf was a lot more solid than it was down at the tarn. We chose a line to the left of gully 2 which gave nice, fun climbing (grade 2/3ish). We topped out to beautifully clear Lakeland skies with views spanning the rest of the Lakes, up to Scotland and across the sea.
Unfortunately, it is due to warm up tonight and re-freeze towards the weekend which could give some good climbing as freeze-thaw cycles are what is needed for the rest of the winter. It has been the best start to the season for a few years though, so here's hoping for more Northerlies!