Date & Time: Monday 8th May 2006. 10.15 am start.

Location of Start : Honister Hause ( NY 225 135 )

Places visited : Moses Trod, Gable Traverse, Great Hell Gate, Great Gable, Green Gable, Brandreth, Grey Knotts, ending with a short walk to see the Rannerdale Bluebells.

Walk details : 6.5 mls, 2,950 ft of ascent , 6.5 hrs.

Walked with : Helmut, Stephen, and the dogs Harry, Bethan, and Sam.

Weather : Hot and Hazy - very warm with a very strong and blustery easterly wind, especially on the tops.

Stephen and Helmut, deep in conversation, as we start from Honister.

 

Jill was returning home today so Ann stayed to see her leave

which meant that there was only three of us for Helmut's last day in the Lakes.

He had commented that we could always see Great Gable from wherever we walked in the Lakes,

so we decided that that would be the obvious mountain to do on his last day.

Above is Great Gable, with its companion Green Gable, as viewed from Moses Trod.

I always like this view of the two western valleys

Ennerdale and Buttermere.

The imposing summit of Pillar as seen over the heather clad slopes of Haystacks.

Pillar Rock on this side doesn't stand out as it rather fades into the hazy morning sunshine.

   
Windy Gap which would feature later on in the walk.
Ennerdale and the High Stile Ridge.

 

   
The Beck Head ascent of Gable . . .
but we opted for the Gable Traverse instead.

 

   
Admiring the view
Some un-named but shapely rocks on the traverse.

 

Helmut finding his route blocked by retrievers as he returns from a view point overlooking Wasdale Valley

Behind is Great End, Ill Crag and Broad Crag on the Scafell range.

   
The dramatic White Napes Rocks
Helmut negotiating the narrow path

 

   
Napes Needle from below
Ascending alongside the Great Hell Gate screes.

From the traverse we got reasonable views of the Sphinx Rock and Napes Needle, but due to the windy conditions and the lack of time we refrained from scrambling higher for a closer look.

Instead we continued round the middle slopes of Gable and then struck up alongside the dramatic scree slopes of Great Hell Gate.

   
Crossing the scree onto easier ground
Looking down on Wasdale as Stephen climbs up.

 

Topping out above the scree, Helmut stops for a photo of the Scafell summits.

Click here or on the photo for a larger panorama

 

   
Top of the world, balancing in the wind.
Stephen and Helmut at Gable's Remembrance Plaque.

The 3 dogs enjoying that feeling of wind swept hair.

 

   
The rocky descent of Gable towards Windy Gap
Styhead Tarn and hazy views to the Langdale Pikes.

This is where the walk suddenly got "interesting"

Up till now the forecast had been correct; warm and sunny, haze and a strong easterly wind, blustery with the possibility of sudden downdraughts on mountain slopes - yes we had all that.

It went on to say that high winds could make walking difficult in exposed places - they were absolutely right.

Come with us now to an exposed place !

Windy Gap lived up to its name. The wind speeds were the strongest I had ever walked in. Steve got blown down twice, I stayed upright by virtue of help with my treking pole as a balance, but this poor couple spent nearly 25 minutes crawling up Green Gable on all fours, a walk that should have taken no more than five or ten at the most on a normal day.

Click here or on the photo for a wild video description.

( The 1 min video should open and play in your Windows Media Player)

(Note: It may take a short while to download on slower connection speeds - please be patient )

Even on the descent of Green Gable

it was still a caseof balancing in the gusty conditions.

A moments respite from the wind,

sheltering behind the crags on the lower slopes of Green Gable.

Brandreth Tarns

The dogs were there before us, and enjoyed cooling off in the water.

We coin a new expression - " Windy enough to blow the spray off the waves on Brandreth Tarn"

 

The Brandreth Fence leads us over to Grey Knotts

making navigation easy

Grey Knotts, Helmut's 29th Wainwright summit of his holiday.

Not bad for six days.

Journeys end at the Honister Slate Mines car park - Only the short descent to go.

- - - o o o - - -

As well as climbing ALL the major peaks of Cumbria during his stay, Helmut expressed the desire to see the famous Bluebells of the Rannerdale Valley. We couldn't quite fit in all the summits, but the latter request was easier to fulfill.

The cold weather had delayed the Spring growth , but the strong sunshine of this week meant that there was at last a chance of some flowers in bloom.

   
The Rannerdale Beck
Helmut, the Bluebells and Whiteless Pike

 

   
More colour now . . .
bright Bluebells and yellow Gorse

It's going to be a good year, but another week or so will improve the display.

Still, despite their late start, they are very impressive even now.

   
Back home for tea and cakes with Ann !
Stephen shows his scars from his battle with the wind.

A parting shot.

Stephen offered Helmut a lift back to his home in Blackpool overnight, ready for his flight back to Austria next morning.

This week has been a roller coaster of a time for Helmut, but we hope he enjoyed meeting everyone

and getting more aquainted with the fells and valleys of the English Lake District.

 

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . A passport, a suitcase of clothes, and plenty of spare energy.

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Previous walk - 7th May 2006 Melbreak and Scale Force with the OFC

A previous time up here - 4th/5th August 2003 George Fisher Training with Ken Ledward