Helium has a unique phase diagram and below 25 bar it does not form a solid even at the lowest temperatures. Electrostriction leads to the formation of a solid layer of helium around charged impurities at much lower pressures in liquid and superfluid helium. These so-called ‘Atkins snowballs’ have been investigated for several simple ions. Here we form HenC60+ complexes with n exceeding 100 via electron ionization of helium nanodroplets doped with C60. Photofragmentation of these complexes is measured by merging a tunable narrow- bandwidth laser beam with the ions. A switch from red- to blueshift of the absorption frequency of HenC60+ on addition of He atoms at n=32 is associated with a phase transition in the attached helium layer from solid to partly liquid (melting of the Atkins snowball). Elaborate molecular dynamics simulations using a realistic force field and including quantum effects support this interpretation.