Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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Occasion : A two day outdoor training course with Ken Ledward, and five other members of George Fishers staff.

Time and place : 4 / 08 / 03. 8 am start, from above Honnister Quarry, Cumbria, Uk.

Walk details : Day two - more navigation, chat and a fell walk around Gable Traverse. (Map courtesy of Anquet)

Weather :Extremely sunny and extremely hot, after a cooler early morning start.


Next morning dawned fine, but with somewhat poor visibility. Overnight we had few stars due to the cloud cover, but fortunately the few specks of rain around 4 ish never developed into anything significant. Here Dean and Andy woke up to a fine view of Seatoller and Borrowdale.


Our route took us up onto Grey Knotts, and while taking an quick break, Ken discussed the finer points of Rucksack construction with the group.

After walking the ridge to Brandreth, we took a direct compass-line for the sheep fold on Moses Trod, where we abandoned the heavy overnight packs and had a mid morning brew. (Got to keep the up the liquid intake)


Over coffee, our discussions ranged from boots to this rescue shelter made up out of parachute material. This was followed by a practical demonstration of its use. (All you need is £15, or a sewing machine and a couple of yards of nylon fabric)

The temperature was rising again, so with full water bottles topped up from a mountain spring, we set off for Beck Head and the Gable Traverse.

Group Photo - Beck Head with Wastwater behind.


Gable Traverse, with Little Hell Gate and the Great Napes Crags.

Take care crossing the screes. Make sure no one has dislodged stones down the gully above you.


Looking up we got views of Sphinx Rock and Napes Needle as we passed a little way below.


A fine spot for lunch, high above Wasdale. To our right the top of Hell Gate Screes and its central Pinnacle.

To our left, the wide expanse of the Scafell Massif - Great End, Broad Crag, Scafell Pike and Scafell, with Lingmell in front. In the foreground, the white speck on the rock is Mark, soaking in the atmosphere, and giving scale to the picture.


No mountain walk is really complete without reaching the summit, so it was up to the top of Great Gable.

Visibility was reasonable, as can be seen from the view of the Langdales with Windermere beyond. On the top is the memorial to those lost in the First World War. Erected by the Fell and Rock Climbing Club in 1924, it is still the focal point of a Remembrance Day Service every November 11th.


Just off the summit, Westmorland Cairn, which was built in 1876 to celebrate one of Cumbria's best views.

It has remained more or less intact ever since, though is looking a little disheveled on its northern side. In the first picture we had stopped just below for a photo of the cairn from a more unusual angle.


From there it was downhill all the way. Here the descent back to Beck Head.

Then it was back along Moses Trod to retrieve the overnight packs and fill our water containers again.


With a slight diversion to search for a lost trekking pole, we returned via Green Crag and Dubbs Bothy.

This gave us excellent views of Buttermere and Crummock as we passed Green Crag and Great Round Howe.


The last leg was back over the old Dram road, the old dismantled tramway, once used to transport slate over from Dubbs.

At the Honister Quarry buildings there was a good crowd of visitors, some of which were preparing for an underground tour, others just looking in the Quarry Shop or simply admiring the view.

Honnister Youth Hostel above the Quarry Car Park and our transport home.

Thanks must go to Ken Ledward for his excellent two day course during which we learnt much, experienced a lot, and discussed subjects as diverse as work and the weather.

Thanks to Fishers who sponsored the course and even paid for the first beer !!

Cheers !!

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