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A little trip up Great Gable

A little trip up Great Gable


Postby dav2930 » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:22 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Great Gable, Green Gable

Hewitts included on this walk: Great Gable, Green Gable

Date walked: 20/01/2018

Time taken: 6

Distance: 9.2 km

Ascent: 877m

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With lots of snow everywhere during the last few days and a decent forecast for Saturday, it seemed a shame not to get out. Word on the grapevine, though, was that the snowpack was very unstable, meaning dangerous conditions in the gullies, corries and on steep slopes. The fell-top assessor for the Lakes had, apparently, turned back from an ascent of Helvellyn by Striding Edge due to the state of the final slopes leading up to the summit plateau. So caution would be the watchword. Karl and me were also anticipating some hard graft wading through drifts of soft snow, so we kept our objectives modest and decided that a simple walk up Great Gable might make a rather nice preamble to our forthcoming trip to Lochaber.


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In the Penrith area the snow was piled up at the roadsides and covered the fields, but in Borrowdale the snowline was rather higher. We were surprised to find that the path up beside Sourmilk Gill was not at all icy and had only a smattering of slushy snow on it. The snow didn't really start in earnest until we reached the entrance to Gillercombe.

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Seathwaite from Sourmilk Gill


At this point the weather deteriorated a little, the tops were clag-bound and it began to snow. We stopped to put our waterproofs on. Luckily the trail had already been broken by someone before us. It was still hard work though, as the prints were very deep. But there was no hurry. We just took our time.

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Base Brown


As we got higher up the combe it stopped snowing and the cloud began to lift off the tops. It looked like we might get some views after all.

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Gillercombe


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Glaramara


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Great End, Ill Crag, Broad Crag, Scafell Pike


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Skiddaw


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Great Gable from Green Gable


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Ennerdale from Green Gable


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Grasmoor group


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Blencathra


The summit was clear, the views were fantastic and conditions were benign, so we settled down among the snowy rocks for a very long lunch stop.

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Yewbarrow, Seatallan and Red Pike from Great Gable summit


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Wast Water


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Karl on Gable summit


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Mosedale Horseshoe


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Haystacks, High Stile, Crummock Water


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Ennerdale


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Ennerdale and Crummock Water


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Helvellyn range


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Great End


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Langdale Pikes


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Scafell Pike and Scafell


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Piers Gill, Lingmell and Scafell


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The Scafells


After about forty minutes two other fellas appeared, just as we were preparing to head off down. They'd come all the way from Glasgow! After a bit of a chat we bid them a good day and set off down the Breast Track for Sty Head. It was great fun stomping down the snowfields in the brightening sunshine. We stopped to talk to a woman on her way up, who asked us which way we'd gone up. She'd come via Glaramara and Allen Crags - good going! She was pleased to hear from us that the path down beside Sourmilk Gill was pretty clear of snow and ice, that being her intended route back.

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Descending into Borrowdale


So what at first didn't look too promising turned out to be a perfect winter's day - well, apart from the gullies being out of condition. :D
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dav2930
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Re: A little trip up Great Gable

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:41 pm

That looks a tremendous day to be out, the shots of the Scafells catching the light while looking alpine are excellent :clap:
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Re: A little trip up Great Gable

Postby trailmasher » Sun Jan 21, 2018 4:30 pm

Some great shots there of a good day out on a fine walk indeed. Snow always adds to a photo and I particularly like the shot of Ennerdale :clap: :)
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Re: A little trip up Great Gable

Postby malky_c » Sun Jan 21, 2018 9:11 pm

Lovely :D . A load of us were in Dubs Hut on Friday night, and I nipped up Fleetwith Pike on Saturday morning. Unfortunately I was back down at Honister before the sun came out. I bumped into a couple of friends on the way down who were off to try and climb something on Great Gable - I would imagine they would have struggled to find anything safe. As you say, the snow was in a pretty rubbish condition - unconsolidated and not really cold enough.
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Re: A little trip up Great Gable

Postby Guinessman » Sun Jan 21, 2018 10:51 pm

Excellent Dav, I was up on Seathwaite Fell, Esk pike, Bowfell and Allen crags on the same day helping a mate with his Wainwrights haul. Great day to be on the hills.
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Re: A little trip up Great Gable

Postby Alteknacker » Mon Jan 22, 2018 1:26 pm

Superb stuff - I love all the pics of the different hills in white. Haven't been out this year due mainly to sickness - I'm now quite desperate, just as the country seems to be heading for a warm spell :( .

You must have some really effective warm gear to be able to site around on summits for a long lunch in this weather :roll: . I invariably freeze in a few minutes, warm gear notwithstanding...
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Re: A little trip up Great Gable

Postby Fractral » Mon Jan 22, 2018 2:33 pm

Looking very atmospheric up there! I was over on the Coledale horseshoe that day, didn't quite make it all the way round due to more snow than I've seen in the lakes for quite a while! But it was a lot sunnier than it looks to have been further south in the lakes.

Hopefully the good conditions persist for a few weeks when I return to Borrowdale :D
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Re: A little trip up Great Gable

Postby dav2930 » Mon Jan 22, 2018 8:28 pm

johnkaysleftleg wrote:That looks a tremendous day to be out, the shots of the Scafells catching the light while looking alpine are excellent :clap:

Thanks JK, I'm well chuffed that you like those pics as I was quite pleased with them myself :D
We were glad we got out that day as it turned out, though it didn't look too promising at first!

trailmasher wrote:Some great shots there of a good day out on a fine walk indeed. Snow always adds to a photo and I particularly like the shot of Ennerdale :clap: :)


Thanks TM. I guess if I couldn't get a few decent shots on a day like that then there's no hope for me! :lol:

malky_c wrote:Lovely :D . A load of us were in Dubs Hut on Friday night, and I nipped up Fleetwith Pike on Saturday morning. Unfortunately I was back down at Honister before the sun came out. I bumped into a couple of friends on the way down who were off to try and climb something on Great Gable - I would imagine they would have struggled to find anything safe. As you say, the snow was in a pretty rubbish condition - unconsolidated and not really cold enough.


Thanks Malky. I've often wondered about overnighting in the Dubs Hut! Hope your friends got something out of the day and got back safely. We were maybe a bit overcautious, but figured (hoped!) the snow might become more consolidated in a week or so - if it isn't all gone by then (we're off up to Glencoe etc. next week). :D

Guinessman wrote:Excellent Dav, I was up on Seathwaite Fell, Esk pike, Bowfell and Allen crags on the same day helping a mate with his Wainwrights haul. Great day to be on the hills.


Thanks GM. It certainly was a great day for it. Sounds a great round of summits you and your mate bagged there; it wasn't the easiest of conditions underfoot! 8) :)

Alteknacker wrote:Superb stuff - I love all the pics of the different hills in white. Haven't been out this year due mainly to sickness - I'm now quite desperate, just as the country seems to be heading for a warm spell :( .

You must have some really effective warm gear to be able to site around on summits for a long lunch in this weather :roll: . I invariably freeze in a few minutes, warm gear notwithstanding...


Thanks AK, sorry to hear you've not been so well :( Hopefully the snow up in the Highlands will last a while yet, there's been that much of it. As regards warm gear, yes I've refined that over the years. Thin wicky, thick wicky (e.g. Powerstretch), fleece pullover, windproof (e.g. Marmot windshirt) or if it's really cold, an insulated jacket (e.g. Rab Photon). A good trick is not to wear too much when you're exerting yourself so you don't sweat too much. When you stop, the sweat cools and that will make you feel cold.

Hope you able to get out and about soon :D

Fractral wrote:Looking very atmospheric up there! I was over on the Coledale horseshoe that day, didn't quite make it all the way round due to more snow than I've seen in the lakes for quite a while! But it was a lot sunnier than it looks to have been further south in the lakes.

Hopefully the good conditions persist for a few weeks when I return to Borrowdale :D


Thanks Fractral, yes it was quite an atmospheric sort of light. We looked at Grisedale Pike etc. on our way through Keswick etc. and were quite tempted to go for the Coledale Horseshoe as it's one of my favourite walks and looked superb with all the snow on it. It will have been hard going in the soft snow. Hope the snow is still there but has consolidated a bit on your return. 8) :)
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