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" Great Gable on a great day "
Date & start time: Good Friday, 2nd April 2021. pm start.
Location of Start : By the red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Honister, Grey Knotts, Brandreth, Green Gable, Great Gable, Moses Trod.
Walk details : 6.4 mls, 2575 ft of ascent, 5 hrs 10 mins (approx).
Highest point : Great Gable 2,949ft - 899m
Walked with : Jenna, Matt, Abi, Martin and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.
Weather : Blue skies all the way . . . a lovely spring-like Easter day but a cool breeze.
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The weather, though cold, has brought clear blue skies and the strong sunshine adds just the right amount of warmth to make fell walking a real pleasure.
The visibility and the views are 'great' so we head off up a "great" mountain to appreciate all there is on offer.
Our starting point today was Honister Hause, parking at the National Trust car park next to the mine.
- - - o o o - - -
First we have to drive there . . . via the Buttermere Valley.
The High Stile Ridge that Paula, Abi and I walked yesterday.
[ The Burtness Crags where we saw the base jumper yesterday are centre picture.]
The Buttermere Pines.
Looking stunning today.
- - - o o o - - -
My fellow walkers today . . . Abi, Jenna, Matt and Martin.
Our route . . . a walk across the car park and storage area and then take a path straight up the fence line.
The summit of Grey Knotts is out of sight, but the path continues upward after passing between the two highest crags seen here.
We would return via Moses Trod and the Dram Road, which re-enters the valley above the white gabled end of the mine building.
Looking across to the Honister Youth Hostel as we leave the busy car park.
The Honister Rambler bus is working again but sadly it doesn't pass my house so a car is essential today.
Soon we are looking down on Honister from above.
From here the distinctive outline of Blencathra comes into view.
The wider view from near the summit taking in the northern perspective.
Abi is the first (human) of our party to reach the summit of Grey Knotts.
Soon to be joined by everyone else.
While they were there I captured the wider view, this time including our onward route to Great Gable.
The optical illusion, of Gable being higher than Scafell Pike in the distance is just that, an optical illusion !
The route across to Brandreth is relatively level and therefore can hold quite a bit if surface water.
There's a pool to the right with High Stile seen beyond.
To our left is another with Bowfell and Esk Pike as a backdrop.
. . . and the one that is more difficult to avoid, where we have to clamber along the fence line.
It would appear, by the look of his peaty coat, that Dougal has chosen to go straight across through the peaty water.
The cairn on the summit of Brandreth includes a few metal and wooden fence posts.
Second summit of the day, the next two can be seen ahead.
Between us and them are the Brandreth pools . . .
. . . and an abandoned gate.
The wire fence has long gone, rusted away by the weather, but the gate is made of sterner stuff.
A redundant as the gate are these two wooden gateposts over a stream near the pool.
They do however make a good bridge and a photo opportunity for the youngster of the party.
The older, more sensible crowd have gone on ahead, leaving us two to catch up.
A classic glacial hanging valley, high above the green fields of Borrowdale.
The valley is Gillercomb and the stream, Sour Milk Gill, both names also used elsewhere in The Lakes.
Base Brown flanks the valley on the right hand side.
On the final, slightly more stoney climb to the summit of Green Gable.
An old fence post, the same vintage as the gate seen earlier, has been adorned with a stone tower by a passing walker.
Summit number three of the day . . . Green Gable.
Time for a little lunch . . . somewhere around here will be good.
To the right there's a great view across to Pillar Fell
and we can actually see the top of Pillar Rock sticking out above the Ennerdale side of the fell.
To the left are the impressive Gable Crags.
In the middle and in your face is someone who also fancies a bit of lunch ! Photo by Jenna
One from Jenna with Matt photo-bombing the selfie by the low wall of the lunchtime shelter. Photo by Jenna
Looking across to Sprinkling Tarn . . . the headwaters of The Lakes Distillery's water supply.
How much of that water makes it into each dram of their whisky is a very mute point . . . but the concept sounds good.
While the big lens is on I check out the view over to the Langdale Pikes, Windermere and some very distant Yorkshire peaks.
Down one side, up the other.
Fortunately it is not too windy as we cross Windy Gap.
Sty Head Tarn seem at the bottom of the rough upward path known as Aaron Slack
Climbing up the dome of Great Gable and the views back become more extensive
even though the fell is not one of the Lakeland three thousand footers.
That doesn't bother Abi as the summit is in sight. Photo by Jenna
Time for another celebration . . . for reaching the summit of a favourite fell on a perfect walking day.
Martin ticks off another of the summits that he can see from the front door of the Loweswater Vicarage
that he and Shelagh are renting at present.
With not too many people crowding the summit I get chance to record a full panorama from the top.
Happy faces on top of the world. Photo by Jenna
We walk a short distance down from the highest point
to show Martin the view of Wasdale from the Westmorland Cairn.
Someone advise him not to get too close to the edge !
Looking down to the Great Napes Rocks and the scree run known as Great Hell's Gate.
The cairn and the classic view down Wasdale.
There seems a good crowd up on Scafell Pike today . . . but it is a bank holiday after all !
I bet there are not anywhere near that number of folk climbing Black Comb away to the south west.
Between here and there are the Eskdale Valley and the Ulpha Fells, with summits like Buckbarrow and Whitfell.
Matt opts for another high vantage point as we leave the cairn and start our return route towards home.
There's plenty of walking between now and then
and the first part of that takes us over the edge and down towards Beck Head tarn far below.
Even further below is Black Sail Hostel.
We're dropping downquite a long way but fortunately not that far, as it would be a big climb back up to get back to the car at Honister.
Jenna takes to the high ground this time.
Part way down the descent.
Ann and I had an earlier version of this photo made into a wall poster years back.
Steep slopes and deep contrasts . . .
as we drop below Gable Crags and look across to our lunch spot on Green Gable opposite.
Nearly down . . .
. . . but someone else wants to have their picture taken with Wasdale before then.
Not much water on the summit today so the dogs take advantage of what they can find at Beck Head.
From here on we'll follow the famous Moses Trod all the way back to Honister.
You can see the path traversing the slopes ahead and eventually heading away to the left.
Passing below Windy Gap.
We are not the only ones on the fell,
but we don't plan to sleep out under the stars as they do every night.
More locals, first year Herdwick sheep, a breed hardy enough to cope with the high fells.
Looking back at the classic outline of the Gables, well behind us now.
Big skies as we progress along the trod . . . but be careful . . .
as the path becomes a little less distinct and you could end up heading off towards Haystacks if you are not concentrating !
Another balanced stone graces the top of an old fence post once again.
Look out for this post, it is a great way marker . . . but I can't promise the stone will still be there for you.
Moses Trod takes us around the upper slopes of Dubs Valley where we can see the quarries once again.
Back to the Dram House and the quarry road.
We turn right and join the old railway track, down through the cutting and back to Honister.
We were facing the prospect of heading home thirsty at the end of the walk again . . .
but a sign and an open window gives us access to a rather welcome take-away cuppa before we leave.
The world is slowly getting back to normal.
Technical note: Pictures generally taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . appetite refreshed after a great walk with plenty of Easter sun.
Previous walk - 1st April - The High Stile Ridge
A previous time up here - 8th July 2017 - Seafarer's 24 Peaks Event - Day 1 Saturday -
Next walk - 3rd April - Blencathra via Sharp Edge