Natalie White, former English & British Fell Running Champion, has been keen to work on her winter leading for a wee while now so we decided to head up to Great End. Despite Seathwaite looking decidedly unwintery the situation changed as we raced up the valley( I lost..again), with the path being pretty icy and as Great End came into view we could see all the gully lines looked complete.
We started off with Central Gully - the little ice pitch at the top of the first pitch is getting pretty thin now with really hard old ice, so if you're heading that way make sure you've sharpened your tools!!
The Left Branch is still in pretty good condition although a tad thin low down - it doesn't really matter as it only reveals some great rock footholds on the left wall.
Cust's Gully is really well filled in with massive steps so makes for a great descent route - we headed back up the right hand branch. The depth of the snow in the gullies must be up to 3 meters now in some spots as the chock-stone I struggled with a month or so ago can be tripped over!
We heard good reports from conditions on Window Gully and also spotted a couple of teams on South East Gully.
It snowed last night at least as far South as Grasmere so, fingers crossed, it should improve from here