Great Gable

Great Gable

Route: Base Brown, Green Gable and Great Gable

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 2nd November 2017

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 7.5 miles

Ascent: 2,900 feet

Weather: Sunny 

I’ve usually approached Great Gable from Honister, but today decided on a different approach. It was a glorious November morning as I drove over the Honister Pass and parked on the roadside verge before the remote settlement of Seathwaite. On reaching the farm I turned right and walked through an arch in the farm buildings, following the path to the River Derwent near the point where it starts its journey into Derwent Water. After crossing the bridge I arrived at Seathwaite Slabs, and this is where the collar work began. I made the stiff climb up the path beside Sourmilk Gill. This involved a mild scramble up the rocks, but there were no difficulties

The gradient slackened as I reached the lonely hollow of Gillercomb and from here it was a steady, but easy climb upwards. When I reached the foot of Green Gable I looked back and Base Brown seemed temptingly close, so I made a detour to the summit of the fell and retraced my footsteps. This ‘there and back’ diversion took about 15 minutes

My next target was Green Gable and as I started the climb the clouds rolled in and I wondered if I’d have any views from the summit. I needn’t have feared as they soon blew by. Having summited Green Gable there followed a steep descent to Windy Gap, aptly named today, and an even steeper ascent up the flanks of Great Gable. The initial part of the ascent involves the use of hands, but it’s perfectly straightforward and, having overcome this section, there just remains a clamber over the rocks to the summit

The visibility was good and the views from the top were awe inspiring, especially those from the Westmorland Cairn which is unseen from the summit and lies 150 yards from it. A visit to the cairn should not be omitted as the prospect over Wasdale is possibly the finest mountain view in the whole district. Having savoured it for a while it was time to turn my thoughts to the descent. A line of cairns points the way down to Sty Head and, thanks to some excellent path repairs, it’s relatively easy going. On reaching the plateau I followed the path past Styhead Tarn down to Stockley Bridge and from there back to the start

It had been a red letter day and a privilege to have climbed one of Lakeland’s iconic mountains in such good conditions

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