Great Gable routes

Great Gable routesGreat Gable is probably the most iconic peak in the Lake District. It is also one of England’s highest mountains at 899m above sea level. When seen from Wasdale, Great Gable takes on a pyramid shape from which it gets its name. When seen from elsewhere it appears dome-shaped like an elevated giant resting on the shoulders of its fellows. You get what you see with Great Gable. It holds few mysteries such as a hidden tarn or unknown waterfalls. All its wares are openly displayed. Due to its central position within the Lake District and great prominence the summit has some of the best panoramic views of any peak in the area. Routes to climb to the summit start from all of the main dales that radiate out from central Lakeland. From Wasdale the south-west ridge up Gavel Neese provides the obvious, and consequently steep and rough, line to take. The final part of the ascent can be made either via Little Hell Gate, between the mighty crags of Great Napes and White Napes, or more sedately via Beck Head. Another route up from Wasdale is by following Lingmell Beck eastwards to Sty Head from where there are a number of options.  The walk up Ennerdale is long, with access to the summit via either Beck Head or Windy Gap. It is, however, the ascents from the north, from Borrowdale or Honister Pass, that are more satisfying. Great Gable from Honister is a wonderful walk. With the added attraction of starting a little higher at Honister Slate mine this route makes the high summit more attainable. This walk follows the ridge of the three neighbouring Wainwrights of Grey Knotts, Brandreth and Green Gable. Throughout the walk the views are varied and fascinating. The summit of Green Gable is a place to pause and consider the shadowed precipice of Gable Crag on Great Gable’s north face. The ascent from Borrowable, starts in either Seathwaite or Seatoller, goes up Sour Milk Gill and then onto Green Gable before a rocky climb from Windy Gap with some scrambling involved. Once you reach the summit, you will be looking at some of the best views possible of the highest peaks in England. The summit is strewn with boulders and the highest point marked by a rock outcrop set with a cairn. There is a plaque set on a rock commemorating those members of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club who died in the First World War; an annual memorial service is held here on Remembrance Sunday. The most stunning viewpoint is from the Westmorland Cairn about 150 metres distant. From here you can peer into Great Hell Gate and see the jagged Great Napes. Lingmell and the Scafells are superbly seen, as too are Wasdale and Wastwater.