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Great Gable - Kirk Fell

Great Gable - Kirk Fell

Postby Phooooey » Sun Apr 25, 2010 11:39 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Great Gable, Kirk Fell

Hewitts included on this walk: Great Gable, Kirk Fell

Date walked: 07/03/2010

Time taken: 5

Distance: 12.2 km

Ascent: 1112m

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Wasdale Head - Great Gable - Kirk Fell

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As I couldn't see the top of Great Gable for mist and cloud before I set off I should have realised today was going to be a bit difficult. From Wasdale Head, Damson (the dog) and I headed up the valley following Wainwrights guide and up what he refers to as the direct route turning left and up at the footbridge to Ill Ghyll.
Wast Water and Wasdale from lower flanks of Great Gable
Great Gable
Got some great photos of Wasdale and Wast Water on ascent but ran into the cloud as we approached the pass between Great Gable and Kirk Fell.
Wasdale & Wast Water
Cloud at pass between Great Gable and Kirk Fell
Visibility diminished on push up Great Gable - View back to Kirk Fell
It was very shortly after turning right here and heading up last section of Great Gable along the ridge and worrying about Damson throwing herself over the side that the camera packed in. Maybe it was just as well I couldn't see more that 5 yards in front of me and there were no photo opportunities. At top of Great Gable, I decided to come straight back down as wandering around up there may have become tricky and descended the way I came up back to the pass.
As I had dropped below the cloud again at this point, I made the worst decision of the day and crossed pass and up Kirk Fell. The climb to the top was fairly easy but the mist on top became a problem as I couldn't find the cairns marking the top for quite a while. After wandering around a while up there, the path back was very unclear and map and compass weren't helping much to find tight route down. I could however hear Ill Ghyll in front of me and descended down the scree bank on Kirk Fells front face heading for the sound of the water. Letting Damson of the lead to do her own scree surfing, we descended pretty quickly and ended up quite a way west of where we should have been but found our way across to the ghyll and followed that back down the fell side to Wasdale. To add insult to injury, it chucked it down as we got back into the valley so instead of heading to the car, we veered right and grabbed a welcome pint at the pub and a towel down.
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