A Wander in the West

Wainwrights: Base Brown, Brandreth, Green Gable, Grey Knotts
Hewitts: Base Brown, Brandreth, Green Gable

Date walked: 21/04/2021

Time taken: 4.75 hours

Distance: 10.8km

Ascent: 800m

Following last weeks breaking of my Lakeland exile, another fine forecast saw me head over to the Lakes again in the name of making hay while the sun shone. This time Hughie wasn't given the option of bolting upstairs and having a duvet day and happily seemed full of beans when we arrived at Honister on a beautiful morning

Honister morning

The National trust car park was almost empty when we arrived (and free as the machine was turned off) and we were soon heading upwards for a day in the hills. The original plan for this walk, before Covid 19, lockdowns, travel restrictions et al was to take in, not only the four fells I had planned for today but also the rocky monsters of Kirk Fell and Great Gable. If that round was well within my capabilities before the world turned upside down it most certainly isn't at the minute :lol: so the big lads got left to another day to allow are more staged return to the fells.

The last time on these fells we descended from Grey Knotts, a route which in my memory was a right pain, this time I decided to go up this way first and found far more of a built path than I remembered. If it was here or not nine :shock: years ago or we somehow missed it I can't recall.

Hughie seems up for it

Quarry Road

Honister Pass

View towards Borrowdale

And a last look back to Honister

The clunking and clanking of the mornings activity at the quarry remind you of where you are on the way up but once the route levels off the sounds are left behind leaving nothing but empty, quiet, desolate fell top, lovely :D
A short stroll up the now gentle slopes took me to the somewhat chilly summit of Grey Knotts, where I hunkered down out of the wind and had breakfast enjoying the view to the West.

Leaving it all behind

Dale Head from the slopes of Grey Knotts

Panorama from Greystones - click for big version

We meandered along the ridge following breakfast as there was no particular hurry, before another gentle ascent took us to Brandreth's largely flat top. The Views and light were very nice indeed but we didn't linger and made our way down to Gillercomb Head.

Gable and the Scafells from Grey Knotts

A Moody Glaramara

Another nameless tarn

Some Pretty rocks on Grey Knotts

View to Buttermere

More of those Pretty rocks

Looking back to Grey Knotts

Hughie on Brandreth

The Gables from Brandreth

Show me the Way

Ennerdale from Brandreth

My next target was Base Brown, somewhat of an outlier to these fells, and necessitating a fair loss of altitude. In order to mitigate this I ascended the slopes of Green Gable till I was above the worst of the steep, craggy ground and contoured across and down towards the easy upward slopes. Reaching the summit was fairly uninspiring in all honesty, more of a trudge and a tick than any sense of attainment. If you have only climbed Base Brown from this direction I would strongly recommend the route up via the Hanging Stone. it's what this fell, so shapely when seen from Borrowdale, deserves and is infinitely more fulfilling.

View down Gillercomb

Base Brown

Hughie on the way up Base Brown

Base Brown Summit

Seathwaite Fell and Great End from Base Brown

The route to Green Gable involves re-gaining the height lost in visiting Base Brown so it felt a bit of a relentless toil upwards before Green Gable's familiar summit came into view. It was fairly nithering in the wind so I made my way to the top of Green Gable Crags, found a sheltered spot and enjoyed lunch taking in one of my favourite views down Ennerdale as well as studying the mighty Gable Crag.

One of the locals

Gable Crag from Green Gable

Lunch time view, perched atop Green Gable Crag

No Hughie, these are my sandwiches!

Epic Hughie shot

Styhead and Sprinkling Tarns from Green Gable

With Great Gable so close there was a degree of temptation to carry on but I stuck with the plan and slithered down the scree from Wind Gap towards Moses' Trod and the route back to the car.

Crags of Great Gable, Kirk Fell and Pillar

Wind Gap from Stone Cove

Up to this point I'd only seen less than half a dozen other walkers, I'm sure I'd have seen plenty more atop of Great Gable if I'd made my way up there but down on the route named after the famous whiskey smuggler of days past it was deserted as we bimbled back to the car, taking in the views and enjoying being free to roam the hills in such a relaxed fashion.

Hughie on Moses' Trod

The Great and the Green

Pillar from Moses' Trod

Towards Buttermere and Crummock Water

Sunny Slopes of Grey Knotts

Honister Crag

This wasn't so much an exciting walk but it was very pleasant and relaxed. If I felt any regrets at not venturing up Great Gable they were tempered by the feeling that I'd expended enough energy, given my fitness levels, for the day.
I'll be back in Lakeland in May as we've managed to book a cottage for a week for a reasonable sum, probably because it's rather close to a certain nuclear facility :lol: Hopefully we might, as a family, rewind the clock and have a few short hill adventures together.

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Comments: 2

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Location: County Durham
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Ideal day out: Ridge walk without to much exposure.
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