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Great Gable from Honister Hause

Great Gable from Honister Hause


Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed May 23, 2012 9:22 am

Wainwrights included on this walk: Brandreth, Great Gable, Green Gable, Grey Knotts

Hewitts included on this walk: Brandreth, Great Gable, Green Gable

Date walked: 20/05/2012

Time taken: 6

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 765m

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After a few weeks wandering elsewhere it was time to return to the Lakes. The original plan had been a easy day bagging Mellbrek and Hen Combe but Grace decided she fancied something a bit more entertaining so we headed to Honister to climb Great Gable.


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We set off a bit late due to an alarm clock malfunction but were still suited and booted and ready to walk by 10 O'Clock on a beautiful Lakeland morning. The approach to Gable we were using was Moses Trod, named after (for those who don't know) a legendary Honister quarryman and bog water whiskey maker from the misty past. He allegedly had an illicit distillery in his hut and used this high level route to smuggle his produce amongst the slate deliveries to Wasdale. His Whiskey may not have tasted very nice but his taste in walking routes was first class. Very quickly the classic view (best seen from Fleetwith Pike) of Buttermere and Crummock Water appears but attention is grabbed by the fine site of Pillar in all it's considerable glory.

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Grey Knotts from Drum House

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High Stile ridge

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Towards Buttermere

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Pillar

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Haystacks with High Stile ridge beyond


We followed the path making good progress until we came to a fence. This fence isn't shown on the OS map but this was our marker to head up the western slopes of Brandreth towards the so far unseen Great Gable.
Great Gable is not unseen for much longer however as it rapidly goes from peeping over the skyline to filling your whole field of view ahead.

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Gable Crag

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Ennerdale

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Grasmore and the North Western Fells


By now it was obvious that our chances of getting "The best view in England!" were reducing as the cloud was increasing, shrouding Pillar and Kirk Fell summits and creeping around the North West ridge of Gable. Undaunted however we set off up said North West Ridge from Beck Head.

IMG_9343.JPG
Wasdale from the NW ridge of Gable


The summit of Gable is hard won by Lakeland standards with this route being reminiscent of the tourist route up Blaven but as we were starting from about 670 meters it wasn't to long before we reached the stony summit. As expected views towards Wasdale were totally obscured by clouds but we did get fine views over Sprinkling Tarn past the Langdales all the way to Windermere.

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The Langdales over Sprinkling Tarn

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Grace at Great Gable Summit

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Descending to Wind Gap

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Sty Head Tarn


After an fine picnic we set off to bag the other three targets of the day on our return journey starting with the mildly scrambly decent to wind gap. The route over Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts was an easy undulating amble following the roughness of Great Gable and it provided an enjoyable return to Honsister.

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Grace on Green Gable

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Grace and Hughie on Brandreth

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View from Grey Knotts summit


That said however the final steepish decent to the car park from Grey Knotts was a bit tiresome given it was lose, a bit damp and slippy, the type of ground you just can't get any rhythm on. If you try this route striking out over the open fellside to link back up with your outward route might be a better option.
All in all a great day in the hills and ideal preparation of our upcoming week on Skye. :D
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johnkaysleftleg
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby SusieThePensioner » Wed May 23, 2012 9:41 am

I really enjoyed this report, John, bringing back the memories, especially of Moses Trod which I always found rather tiresome :lol:

Some lovely photos, particularly before those clouds rolled in; Pillar looks fantastic!! :D
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed May 23, 2012 11:12 am

SusieThePensioner wrote:I really enjoyed this report, John, bringing back the memories, especially of Moses Trod which I always found rather tiresome :lol:

Some lovely photos, particularly before those clouds rolled in; Pillar looks fantastic!! :D


Pillar did look fantastic, best view by far I've had of it. I can certainly see why it's many peoples favourite fell. Considering climbing it via the high level traverse when we stay in Eskdale for the week. Not to sure about the extent of the exposure however :problem:
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby Fellwanderer » Wed May 23, 2012 6:53 pm

Nice report, John.

I went up onto GG by that route last September when a group of us were there to make a correction to the memorial plaque. Beautiful sunny day as I recall.

It must be about five years since I last did the HLT but I don't remember much exposure - just a slog up from Pillar Rock itself to the summit.
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Wed May 23, 2012 9:16 pm

Fellwanderer wrote:Nice report, John.

I went up onto GG by that route last September when a group of us were there to make a correction to the memorial plaque. Beautiful sunny day as I recall.

It must be about five years since I last did the HLT but I don't remember much exposure - just a slog up from Pillar Rock itself to the summit.


I did see the name that had been replaced on the memorial. Looks a good job. Thanks for the advice on the HLT.
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby ChrisW » Thu May 24, 2012 7:06 pm

Great report as always JK, looks a lovely walk. It's a real shame the clouds rolled in later on as you reached the best of the views (typical) :D
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Fri May 25, 2012 8:33 am

ChrisW wrote:Great report as always JK, looks a lovely walk. It's a real shame the clouds rolled in later on as you reached the best of the views (typical) :D


Thanks Chris, wasn't to bothered about the clouds, gives me a good excuse to go up there again :D
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby L-Hiking » Fri May 25, 2012 9:09 pm

Nice report JK, I was up there in March and it was so cold. One of my favourite fells, found out my surname is on the plaque too :shock:

Cheers
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby simon-b » Sat May 26, 2012 12:43 am

A good choice that,John, I reckon, going up Gable that way then down over the other three.

Great views again.

Pillar? I think my favourite Lakeland hike ever was that mountain from Gatesgarth via the Memorial Footbridge in Ennerdale. It has superb views of Pillar Rock and joins the High Level Route at Robinson's cairn. I returned via Black Sail Pass.

Highly recommended, but not a short or easy route.

Back to your route, you say the final descent was a bit steep. I think the alternative you suggested in hindsight uses the grassy slope heading north-west from near Grey Knotts' summit. I've come down that way and it is easy.
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Sun May 27, 2012 8:17 pm

L-Hiking wrote:Nice report JK, I was up there in March and it was so cold. One of my favourite fells, found out my surname is on the plaque too :shock:

Cheers

It is indeed a fantastic fell, probably my number one so far.

simon-b wrote:A good choice that,John, I reckon, going up Gable that way then down over the other three.

Great views again.

Pillar? I think my favourite Lakeland hike ever was that mountain from Gatesgarth via the Memorial Footbridge in Ennerdale. It has superb views of Pillar Rock and joins the High Level Route at Robinson's cairn. I returned via Black Sail Pass.

Highly recommended, but not a short or easy route.

Back to your route, you say the final descent was a bit steep. I think the alternative you suggested in hindsight uses the grassy slope heading north-west from near Grey Knotts' summit. I've come down that way and it is easy.


I've seen pictures of a similar route on the stridingedge.net website, the scenery looked like something out of Jurrasic Park. Quite astonishing. Certainly leaning towards something involving Robinsons Cairn.
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby garyhortop » Mon May 28, 2012 8:17 pm

Great Report JK - I really liked the stroy of the whisky maker.....must be my scottish roots!! Some really good photo's as well despite not being as clear as you hoped...and most importantly looks like everyone enjoyed it! :D
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Re: Great Gable from Honister Hause

Postby johnkaysleftleg » Tue May 29, 2012 8:37 am

garyhortop wrote:Great Report JK - I really liked the stroy of the whisky maker.....must be my scottish roots!! Some really good photo's as well despite not being as clear as you hoped...and most importantly looks like everyone enjoyed it! :D


Thanks Gary it was a most enjoyable day.
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