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" 24 Peaks Challenge - High Stile to Gable "

Date & start time: Saturday  7th 2013, 5 am start.

Location of Start : Gatesgarth, Buttermere Valley, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 193 149 )

Places visited : Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag, Haystacks, Green Gable (Great Gable) and down to Seathwaite via Stockley Bridge.

Walk details :   12.1 mls,  4875 ft of ascent, 10 hours 15 mins.

Highest point : Green Gable   2,627ft  - 801m.

Walked with : Myself,my colleague John M and eleven Challenge team members.

Weather : Wet and windy . . . most of the time !

" 24 Peaks Challenge - High Stile to Gable " at EveryTrail

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


Another mountain challenge and what a challenge they faced this weekend.

A sponsored walk for Water Aid found teams coping with very poor weather over the central fells.

Eleven planned summits today and thirteen tomorrow, a big call for these enthusiastic walkers.

Silly o'clock (5 am) at Gatesgarth but there's a full day ahead and they'll need an early start to complete the course.

Out of the back of the Global Challenge vehicles comes a banner . . . are they welcoming a star today ?

. . . no just a group picture to start the day and the weekend event.

Forgive the lack of accuracy but in there somewhere are Mike, Russ, Louise, Anja, Will, Peter plus one of the Global guys in the bright jacket.

The weather was poor and the forecast not much better as we got ready to leave.

On previous challenges where I've asked to help I've gone on ahead and set up a marshalling point.

Today was slightly different as the smaller number of teams meant that we would be able to walk with them . . . much better in these conditions.

We set off on two teams (John accompanied the other) and although the route up High Stile was in doubt (it was a poor forecast)

conditions this morning were better than expected, so we head down the Buttermere lakeside path intent on the Red Pike climb.

First light over Rannerdale Knotts . . . as we pass through Burtness Woods.

It was brighter but the conditions were poorer as we left the shelter of the woods on the Bleaberry Tarn path.

The pitched path was a great help but real care had to be taken as the rain had made the rock very slippery.

Louise heads up into the amphitheatre that contains Bleaberry Tarn.

The clouds were rising as we climbed so things were looking good.

Team photo on the shores of Bleaberry Tarn as we have a quick snack

and put on some waterproofs before entering the cloud.

What was great was that the cloud rose as we rose, so we kept a view and kept dry as well, all the way up.

Looking back, part way up the climb from the tarn to the top of Red Pike . . . just the scree bit to go.

An improving view down Crummock Water too,  Loweswater is there, to the left of Mellbreak.

My goodness what's this . . . blue skies ?

Although it was much more windy, the summit conditions on Red Pike were quite acceptable.

Summit one of twenty four achieved.

Time to appreciate the first summit and the reasonable views.

The other group were following us up a short way behind.

High Stile Summit . . . well up into the mist now.

There are several cairns on the top so the exact summit is difficult to identify.

The team heads off to the next summit,  just follow the sheep !

Actually this ended up as a short detour out onto the end of the High Stile buttress,

but the map shows this as the highest point anyway . . . and it gave the other team time to catch up !

Our required route was in fact over there, so after claiming the summit a second time we headed back to the ridge.

Burtness Combe from above . . . some famous rock climbing routes can be found on these crags.

Looking back at High Stile from High Crag summit . . . pity about the lack of views.

A quick stop prior to the descent of Gamlin Edge.

Onward across Seat, heading for Haystacks ahead.

We met up with Challenge base members on Scarth Gap (seen here from the ascent of Haystacks)

and Denise joined our group in order to walk with us to the Moses Trod turning.

Summit Tarn on Haystacks . . . summit number 4 of the morning and it is only just breakfast time !

Team Chocolate (plus Peter from Team Strawberry) on the summit of Haystacks . . . approx 10 am.

The fell ahead on the left is Grey Knotts, very well named today.

The next fell on our planned route was Green Gable, still a fair distance away, out of picture to the right. 

To get to it we headed out past Innominate Tarn (Wainwright's final resting place).

We left the main path and used the fence line as our guide, passing these two very quiet tents on the way.

Below the clouds we could see the gate near Brandreth Pools and aimed for it as a navigation mark.

It seemed churlish not to actually open it and go through . . . even though the fence wire either side had totally rusted away !

Anya celebrated the conditions as we leave the summit of Green Gable and head down to Windy Gap.

It is raining hard now and I've my back to the conditions . . . that's John's sheepdog in the background by the way . . . not an actual sheep.

Sorry no video of the wind racing through Windy Gap . . . but like Grey Knotts, it too was well named today.

In view of weather conditions we felt it opportune to split the party and I took two of the guys down Aaron Slack

so as not to slow the Great Gable summit party further.  Flexibility is the name of the game today.

While we waited at the stretcher box to meet up with everyone again we put up a storm shelter ( a nylon tent with no poles)

which provided respite from the conditions and somewhere dry to enable us to add an extra layer of warm clothing while we waited.

Oh yes . . . and we had a biscuit too.

- - - o o o - - -

At the stretcher box we met up with Roy and Tim, two fellow marshalls who would take the teams on over the fells to Langdale.

The Corridor Route, Lingmell, Scafell Pike, Great End, Esk Pike and Bowfell make up the rest of today's summits.

In view of the conditions, the route was amended to leave out the long climb to Lingmell and the Pike,

but the teams did manage Great End from Esk Hause, then Esk Pike and Bowfell

and completed their long day out as planned when they were met by the Global Challenge Team at the Old Dungeon Gill.

John and I exited stage left from Styhead taking just four team members with us down to Seathwaite.

Here Anya negotiates the path alongside Styhead Gill.

Stockley Bridge with roaring water flowing down the cascade into the upper Borrowdale Valley.

Day's end for us at Seathwaite farm at three in the afternoon . . . it has been a long but fun day.

Tomorrow the forecast was better and I heard that four of my team of six who completed day one went on to complete day two as well,

enjoying the walk across Red Screes, Fairfield and Helvellyn to complete as many of the 24 summits as the weather would allow this weekend.

Well done to all the competitors . . . and thanks to all those that sponsored them for the Water Aid charity

providing " health through clean water" in the less privileged areas of this world.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with our Canon Sureshot SX220 digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a good waterproof and trekking poles for balance if nothing else.

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Previous walk - 3rd September 2013 - Latrigg with Jo and Jen

A previous time up here - 24th December 2006 Wonderful High Stile with Anne and Andrew

Next pictures - 15th September 2013 - Four Nights at Beadnell