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Last Updated: Sunday, 6 January 2008, 11:23 GMT
Mountain conditions 'still risky'
Helvellyn
Soft snow could still cause avalanches above 600ft
Conditions have improved on England's third highest mountain following an avalanche warning, but climbers are still being urged to take extra care.

On Saturday, the Lake District National Park Authority warned of "lethal conditions" at all levels of Helvellyn.

A thaw has since set in below 600m (1,968ft), but there is still a risk of avalanches above that level, according to Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team.

Inexperienced climbers should avoid the peak, said team leader Dave Freeborn.

He added: "There's a lot of very soft snow at higher levels, which is not really suitable for climbing.

"If you're a very skilled climber then it's still risky, but if you're not experienced then it might be a good idea to go somewhere less avalanche-prone."

On Friday there was a wind chill of -15.9C on the 3,117ft (950m) peak.

At the time, fell top assessor Craig Palmer said conditions were the worst he had ever seen and urged even experienced climbers to avoid Helvellyn.

On Saturday, those who ascended the mountain without ice axes and crampons were reported to have encountered difficulties.



SEE ALSO
Avalanche warning for Helvellyn
05 Jan 08 |  Cumbria
Climber makes daily peak ascent
19 Nov 07 |  Cumbria
Walker injured in Helvellyn fall
20 Nov 06 |  Cumbria

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