Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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Date : Remembrance Sunday 13th November 2005

Location : Great Gable Summit, Cumbria UK.

Occasion : A walk with OFC friends and several others from Honister Slate Mines to Gable for 11am..

Walk details : 6.5 miles, 2,600 ft of ascent. 5 hrs including lunch and pauses while we enjoyed the view.

Weather : A classic fine autumnal day from first light to last. Clear skies and wall to wall sunshine. Hardly any breeze.

The Memorial to fallen colleagues at the summit of Gable.

A perfect start to our day,

Sunrise over Fleetwith Pike as we drive to Honister.

Early sun catching Melbreak and a hint of mist rising from the lake.

Gathering of the Clan

John Patterson, Jo Hall and Ann, waiting for everyone to gather after parking their cars at the mine.

An early and frosty start, well 8.30 am. is early for some.


The morning sun as we progress, or should that be process,

up the old Dram Road heading for the Gable path.

Jill R and Jill B
Ann and Jo with her dog Jodie.


Peter Rigg and his dogs, our dogs and Stephens dog.

You try and work out whose is whose !!

Bright weather and stark contrast between light and shade as we walk along Moses Trod above Dubbs Bottom.

Haystacks, the High Stile Ridge and the Loweswater Fells in the distance.

A close up of the Buttermere Valley

Thin wisps of cloud hang on Rannerdale, but Melbreak is now in full sun.

Ennerdale Valley seen over Haystacks.


Clear reflections in Blackbeck Tarn on a still morning.


First view of Great Gable in the morning sun.

We aim to pass under the Gable Crags (facing us) and climb the right hand skyline from Beck Head.

Others had taken a more direct route up Green Gable and via Windy Gap.

By the look of the numbers, it was going to be a good turnout on the top.

Climbing the rocky path from Beck Head
Looking back to Beck Head and its tarns.

The cold night air had set a heavy frost which has remained a serious consideration when walking,

especially on the rocky paths and those slopes that had not yet seen the sun.

A panorama of the summit of Gable shows that more people have made this mornings walk than last year. I estimate 800 to 1,000 people gathered together to spend a few moments to remember the fallen in the First and Second World Wars, and subsequent hostilities around the world.

( Scroll right for a full view )

A colourful scene at the summit.

A great gathering of like minded should, but not overcrowded

as the fells are bigger than all of us.

We were graced by a visit from the RAF Rescue helicopter who was also out to mark the occasion.

On the summit is the Memorial plaque, suitably decorated with poppies.

The Fells in this part of the Lakes were purchased after the first War by the Fell and Rock Club as a lasting memorial to their colleagues that had been lost. Subsequently bequeathed to the National Trust to be kept in care for the nation. The fells stand as a permanent reminder to us all.

Click here to read the Speech of Dedication from 1924

At 11am a representative of the Fell and Rock Club gave a brief address before everyone removed hats and observed the two minute silence.

Click here to hear and see video of this year's narrative.

After the ceremony we made our way a short distance south west from the summit to enjoy one of the famous views of the Lakes, the Westmorland Cairn overlooking Wasdale.


Click here or on the photo for a full 360 degree panorama from the top of Great Gable.


Refreshments were called for, and readily consumed after our early start. It also meant we could linger and enjoy the view for just that little bit longer.

The top of Great Hell Gate and the Napes below Westmorland cairn.


Distant views of the Yorkshire Hills and Windermere,

with the Langdale Pikes and Allen Crags in the foreground.

The OFC Summit team, minus a member of two

who seem to have been mislaid !

Time to go as we descend to Windy Gap.

Ahead was the short but steep rise to Green Gable.

To our left was Styhead Tarn and the path down Aaron Slack

This was one of the first routes I took as a kid as we climbed the big mountains on family holidays.

( Whatever happened to those cloth badges we used to be bribed with for every summit we climbed ?)

A straggle of fellwalkers as we leave Green Gable.

The valley to our left is Seathwaite, the top end of Borrowdale.

Our route however went right from here to rejoin Moses Trod.

An old fencepost casts longer shadows as we return past the Buttermere view.

A mackerel sky heralds a slight change in the weather for tomorrow,

but today has been a superb autumnal day out for us all.

This area of the Lakes is famous for its slate production.

This is one of the 'above ground' parts of the Honister Slate Mines complex, cutting fresh slate and re-cycling old waste tips into chippings.

Back to where we started - Honister Hause.

Thanks must go to the Honister for opening their facilities for extra car parking today.

Gable from Loweswater at the end of the day.

Still in the sunshine, but definitely without quite so many people.


Our walk today was the culmination of a short weekend with the OFC.

Click here to view yesterday evening's photos at Cockermouth.


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 the satisfaction of a classic walk done on a classic day.

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