Great Gable Lake District

Posted in Great Gable on May 21st, 2011 by David Murphy
Back to Pre Great Gable

Wildcamp on Great Gable 19th May 2011, I thought Its about time I posted this blog because of mounting pressure by fans lol, me and Chris met up at Seathwaite farm at 12.30pm I was five mins early Chris was about 20 mins late haha. We set off hiking the Sour Milk Gill Route which is approx 2.5 miles to the summit which passes the beautiful sight of a waterfall.

About 2 hours hiking and 3 hours of standing and talking we finally walked over Green Gable down Windy Gap and up the final push to Great Gable Summit, Chris was keeping intouch with the other Chris whom we were planning to meet later on the summit. We had arrived at the top and now it was time to find somewhere to pitch three tents this proved a bit of a challenge, walking over the summit with Scafell Pike in view we seen a grassy area where we proceeded to move rocks to make three areas, pegging out the tents came the next challenge some bent pegs later we had our two tents down and was just awaiting the second Chris. Not Sure on the time our third member arrived 6.30 maybe 7pm I started cooking my Steak (below)

During this time we had clear skies very little cloud great visability and there was mention of a dark cloud in the distance then in a very short time we were covered in fog and the winds had increased and that was the end of any plans of a sunset.

I regret not having any 360 degrees footage from the top just above us not having a photo of the three of us or even a photo of myself at the trig point, I am still amazed at how swift we lost visability my plan was to get my suppa over and take some more snaps.

We talked some and retired to our tents I cannot remember sleeping any as the winds battered the tents I was supprised I didnt get a soaking as Im accustomed to receiving. Morning came 4.30am I looked out the door and the fog hadnt lifted which was disapointing we packed up shortly later (I lost my Akto tent bag the wind just swept it from my hands) and headed off down Aaron Slack Route and we drove into Keswick for some breakfast. I feel I have made two new great friends and look forward to more Wildcamps with them in the future 🙂

Above left showing the route from Seathwaite campsite, above right the Wildcamp Spot.

Back to Pre Great Gable

Great Gable
Great gable.jpg
Great Gable from Wasdale. The cliff at centre is the Napes of Great Gable.
Elevation 899 m (2,949 ft)
Prominence 425 m (1,394 ft)
Parent peak Scafell Pike
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Wainwright, Nuttall
Location
Great Gable is located in Lake District
Great Gable
Cumbria,  England
Range Lake District, Western Fells
OS grid NY211104
Coordinates 54°28′55.2″N 3°13′8.4″W / 54.482°N 3.219°W / 54.482; -3.219Coordinates: 54°28′55.2″N 3°13′8.4″W / 54.482°N 3.219°W / 54.482; -3.219
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL4

Great Gable is a mountain lying at the very heart of the English Lake District, appearing as a pyramid from Wasdale (hence its name), but as a dome from most other directions. It is one of the most popular of the Lakeland fells, and there are many different routes to the summit. Great Gable is linked by the high pass of Windy Gap to its smaller sister hill, Green Gable, and by the lower pass of Beck Head to its western neighbour, Kirk Fell.

Topography

The Western Fells occupy a triangular sector of the Lake District, bordered by the River Cocker to the north east and Wasdale to the south east. Westwards the hills diminish toward the coastal plain of Cumberland. At the central hub of the high country are Great Gable and its satellites, while two principal ridges fan out on either flank of Ennerdale, the western fells in effect being a great horseshoe around this long wild valley.[1]

Great Gable and its lesser companion Green Gable stand at the head of Ennerdale, with the walkers' pass of Sty Head to their backs. This connects Borrowdale to Wasdale, giving Gable a footing in both valleys. The Borrowdale connection is quite tenuous, but Great Gable is "the undisputed overlord"[1] of Wasdale in that it is paramount in almost any view up the lake. Once seen, the naming of the fell Great Gable requires no explanation.

The upper section of Great Gable has a roughly square plan, about half a mile on each side, with the faces running in line with the four points of the compass. The fells connecting and subsidiary ridges occupy the corners of the square.

Great Gable at the head of Wastwater. Yewbarrow (left foreground) and Lingmell (right)

The northern face is formed by Gable Crag, prominent in views from Haystacks and the surrounding fells. This is the longest continuous wall of crag on the fell and reaches up almost to the summit. Scree slopes fall away below to the headwaters of the River Liza, beginning their long journey down Ennerdale. There are few crags on the eastern slopes, although these fall steeply to Styhead Tarn, a feeder of the Borrowdale system. About 30 ft deep this tarn occupies a scooped hollow, dammed by boulders falling from the slopes above. It is reputed to contain trout and is a popular location for wild camping.[2] The southern flank of Great Gable falls 2,300 ft direct to Lingmell Beck, one of the main feeders of Wastwater. Right below the summit are the Westmorland Crags, and then a second tier breaks out lower down. These are Kern Knotts, Raven Crag and Great Napes, all footed by great tongues of scree. Finally on the west rough slopes fall below the rocks of White Napes to the narrow valley of Gable Beck, a tributary of Lingmell Beck.

From the north western corner of the pyramid the connecting ridge to Kirk Fell runs out across the col of Beck Head (2,050 ft). There is a small tarn in the depression, and sometimes a second after heavy rain. Both are blind, having no apparent inlet or ouflow.[2] Gable Beck runs south from Beck Head, while an unnamed tributary of the Liza flows northward. The main spine of the Western Fells continues along the north east ridge to Green Gable, dropping to Windy Gap (2,460 ft) as it rounds the end of Gable Crag. This ridge is rough and rocky, further worn by the boots of countless walkers. Stone Cove lies on the Ennerdale side while the rough gully of Aaron Slack runs down toward Styhead Tarn. The south eastern ridge provides the connection to the Southern Fells, across the pass of Sty Head. This is a major crossroads for walkers and climbers, the summit being at around 1,560 ft. On the opposite slope is Great End in the Scafells. Kern Knotts lies on this south east ridge, as does the small pool of Dry Tarn. The south western ridge gives to high level connection, dropping down Gavel Neese in the angle between Lingmell Beck and Gable Beck.

Geology

Lying on the edge of the Scafell Syncline, the various strata dip to the east. The summit area is formed from a dacite lava flow (Scafell Dacite), directly underlain by the Lingmell Formation. This tuff, lapilli tuff and breccia outcrops a little to the west of the summit. Around Beck Head is evidence of the Crinkle Member, welded rhyolitic tuff and lapilli-tuff with some breccia. A dyke of andesite and hybridised andesite porphyry is responsible for Kern Knotts.[3]

Wast Water seen from the summit of Great Gable, 4.5 km to the NE.

Summit and view

The summit of Great Gable is strewn with boulders and the highest point marked by a rock outcrop set with a cairn. There is a plaque set on the summit 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.[1] The club bought a large area of land including Great Gable and donated it to the National Trust in memory of these members, and the plaque was dedicated in 1924 by Geoffrey Winthrop Young in front of 500 people.[4]

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. All of the main fell groups are laid out, serried ranks of hills filling the skyline, although surprisingly Wast Water and Windermere are the only lakes visible. A hundred yards to the south west of the summit, overlooking the Napes, is the Westmorland Cairn. This cairn was erected in 1876 by two brothers named Westmorland to mark what they considered to be the finest view in the Lake District. From here ground falls away into the profound abyss of upper Wasdale. Further cairns mark the top of Gable Crag. It is testament to the high regard that many walkers have for Great Gable that the summit has become a popular site for the scattering of ashes following cremation.[5]

Ascents

Great Gable's massive bulk from the slopes of Kirk Fell to the west

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. This can be finished either via Little Hell Gate, a well named and atrocious scree gully, or more sedately via Beck Head. The walk up Ennerdale is long, unless staying at Black Sail Youth Hostel and again Beck Head gives access to the summit area. Ascents from Borrowdale or Wasdale can also make use of Sty Head pass, before slogging up the south east ridge, or the scree filled Aaron Slack. Finally Gatesgarth (near Buttermere), or the summit of the Honister Pass road can be used as starting points, crossing the high hinterland of Grey Knotts and Brandreth to arrive at Windy Gap or Beck Head. Among indirect ascents, a popular alternative is to climb Sour Milk Gill from Seathwaite in Borrowdale, first ascending Green Gable before traversing Windy Gap.[1][6]

Other walking routes

Alfred Wainwright described the 'Gable Girdle', a circuit around the fell at mid height.[1] This links a number of existing paths, namely the north and south traverses, Sty Head Pass, Aaron Slack and Moses Trod. The south traverse climbs westward from Sty Head and provides access to the Napes and Kern Knotts for rock climbers. The route is rough but allows the ordinary hillwalker to view Napes Needle, Sphinx Rock and many of the famous climbing locations. The north traverse similarly runs beneath Gable Crag with more excellent rock scenery, arriving ultimately at Windy Gap. In the west the two traverses are joined by a section of Moses Trod, running up the southern side of Beck Head. "Moses" was a possibly apocryphal trader-cum-smuggler, based at Honister Quarry. His route contoured the

Napes Needle

fellside from there to provide access to Wasdale markets for his illicit whisky. Aaron Slack by contrast does anything but contour the fellside, but provides a fast way down from Windy Gap to Sty Head.[1]

Rock climbing

Great Gable has cliffs to the north (Gable Crag) and south (Westmorland Crags, the Napes, and Kern Knotts). The Napes are important in the history of English rock climbing: W. P. Haskett Smith's ascent of the remarkable detached pinnacle of Napes Needle in June 1886 (now graded Hard Severe) is thought by many to mark the origins in England of rock climbing as a sport in its own right, as opposed to a necessary evil undergone by mountaineers on their way to the summit.

Those wishing to climb Napes Needle should be warned that a safe descent is far more difficult than the ascent as there are no permanent anchors or bolts to abseil from. Down-climbing is the only way to get from the summit to the shoulder and gear on this second pitch sparse to say the least. A relatively simple abseil can be set up to get down from the shoulder.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Alfred Wainwright: A Pictorial Guide to the Lakeland Fells, Volume 7 The Western Fells: Westmorland Gazette (1966): ISBN 0-7112-2460-9
  2. ^ a b Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  3. ^ British Geological Survey: 1:50,000 series maps, England & Wales Sheets 29 and 38: BGS (1999) and (1998)
  4. ^ Connor, J (23 October 2007). "Poppycock". North West Evening Mail. http://beta.nwemail.co.uk/news/1.156053. Retrieved 2009-03-24.
  5. ^ Hewitt, Dave (ed.): A Bit of Grit on Haystacks: A Celebration of Wainwright: Millrace (2004): ISBN 1-902173-17-1
  6. ^ Bill Birkett:Complete Lakeland Fells: Collins Willow (1994): ISBN 0-00-713629-3

External links

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Hike up Scafell Pike & Wildcamping Near Lingmell

Posted in Scafell Pike on March 30th, 2011 by David Murphy

Hike up Scafell Pike on the 16th September 09 from Seathwaite it remains to date the most challenging hikes i have done.

 

  

A 360 of Scafell Pike Summit may take a few seconds to load depending on your connection speed, when loaded click on the image to view larger size.

Next my Wildcamp near Lingmell on way back down

 

 

 

Scafell Pike
Scafell Pike.JPG
Scafell Pike viewed from Wastwater
Elevation 978 m (3,209 ft)
Prominence 912 m (2,992 ft)
Ranked 13th in British Isles
Listing Marilyn, Hewitt, Wainwright, County Top, Nuttall, Country high point
Location
Scafell Pike is located in Lake District
Scafell Pike
Lake District National Park, Cumbria, England
Range Lake District, Southern Fells
OS grid NY215072
Coordinates 54°27′15.2″N 3°12′41.5″W / 54.454222°N 3.211528°W / 54.454222; -3.211528Coordinates: 54°27′15.2″N 3°12′41.5″W / 54.454222°N 3.211528°W / 54.454222; -3.211528
Topo map OS Landrangers 89, 90, Explorer OL6

Scafell Pike (pron.: /ˈskɔːˈfɛl/) or /skɑːˈfɛl/[1] is the highest mountain in England at 978 metres (3,209 ft). It is located in Lake District National Park, in Cumbria.

It is sometimes confused with the neighbouring Scafell, to which it is connected by the col of Mickledore. The name Pikes of Sca Fell was originally applied collectively to the peaks now known as Scafell Pike, Ill Crag and Broad Crag, which were considered subsidiary tops of Scafell (which looks higher from many angles). The contraction Scafell Pike originated as an error on an Ordnance Survey map,[citation needed] but is now standard.

The summit was donated to the National Trust in 1919 by Lord Leconfield in memory of the men of the Lake District "who fell for God and King, for freedom, peace and right in the Great War".[2]

Scafell Pike is one of three British peaks climbed as part of the National Three Peaks Challenge, and is the highest ground for over 90 miles.

Listed summits of Scafell Pike
Name Grid ref Height Status
Ill Crag NY223073 935 m (3,068 ft) Hewitt, Nuttall
Broad Crag NY218075 934 m (3,064 ft) Hewitt, Nuttall
Middleboot Knotts NY213080 703 m (2,306 ft) Nuttall

Topography

Scafell Pike is one of a horseshoe of high fells, open to the south, surrounding the head of Eskdale, Cumbria. It stands on the western side of the cirque, with Scafell to the south and Great End to the north. This ridge forms the watershed between Eskdale and Wasdale, which lies to the west.

The narrowest definition of Scafell Pike begins at the ridge of Mickledore in the south, takes in the wide, stony summit area and ends at the next depression, Broad Crag Col, c. 920 m (3,030 ft). A more inclusive view also takes in two further tops: Broad Crag, 934 m (3,064 ft) and Ill Crag, 935 m (3,068 ft), the two being separated by Ill Crag Col. This is the position taken by most guidebooks.[3][4] North of Ill Crag is the more definite depression of Calf Cove at 850 m (2,800 ft), before the ridge climbs again to Great End.

Scafell Pike also has outliers on either side of the ridge. Lingmell, to the north west, is invariably regarded as a separate fell,[3][4] while Pen, 760 m (2,500 ft), a shapely summit above the Esk, is normally taken as a satellite of the Pike. The gloriously un-anatomical Middleboot Knotts is a further top lying on the Wasdale slopes of Broad Crag, which is listed as a Nuttall.

The summit of Scafell Pike, seen from neighbouring Broad Crag

The rough summit plateau is fringed by crags on all sides with, Pikes Crag and Dropping Crag above Wasdale and Rough Crag to the east. Below Rough Crag and Pen is a further tier, named Dow Crag and Central Pillar on Ordnance Survey maps, although also known as Esk Buttress among climbers.[5] Esk Buttress and Pikes Crag are well known rock climbing venues.

Broad Crag Col is the source of Little Narrowcove Beck in the east and of Piers Gill in the west. The latter works its way around Lingmell to Wast Water through a spectacular ravine, one of the most impressive in the District. It is treacherous in winter, as when it freezes over it creates an icy patch, with lethal exposure should you slip. Broad Crag is a small top with its principal face on the west and the smaller Green Crag looking down on Little Narrowcove. From Broad Crag, the ridge turns briefly east across Ill Crag Col and onto the shapely pyramidal summit of Ill Crag. Here, the main crags are on the Eskdale side, Ill Crag having little footing in Wasdale.

Scafell Pike has a claim to the highest standing water in England, although Foxes Tarn on Scafell is of similar height. The water body in question is Broad Crag Tarn, which (confusingly) is on Scafell Pike proper, rather than Broad Crag. It lies at about 820 m (2,700 ft), a quarter of a mile south of the summit.[6]

The summit ridge from Ill Crag to Mickledore is notoriously stony, the surface being composed in many places of fields of boulders. Paths are not marked by the usual erosion of soil, but by coloured marks on the rock following the passage of many thousands of booted feet. The summits of Ill and Broad Crags are bypassed by the ridge path, but it leads unerringly to the highest point. This bears an Ordnance Survey triangulation column beside a massive cairn, not now in the best of repair, but unmistakable from any distance, still six feet high and much greater in diameter. A little distance away is the lower south peak, a place to escape the crowds and marvel at the view over Eskdale.

Geology

Scafell Pike consists of igneous rock dating from the Ordovician geologically part of the Borrowdale Volcanics. The summit plateau of Scafell Pike, and that of other neighbouring peaks, is covered with shattered rock debris which provides the highest altitude example of a summit boulder field in England.[7] The boulder field is thought to have been caused in part by weathering, such as frost action. Additional factors are also considered to be important, however opinion varies as to what these may be. Clifton Ward suggested that weathering with earthquakes as a secondary agent could be responsible, while J E Marr and R A Daly believed that earthquakes were unnecessary and suggested that frost action with other unspecified agents was more likely.[8] To the north of the summit are a number of high altitude gills which flow into Lingmell Beck. These are good examples in Cumbria for this type of gill and are also biologically important due to their species richness.[7]

Ascent routes

The ascent of the Pike is most often attempted from Wasdale Head. This is at the north end of Wast Water to the west of the Pike, and is at about 80 metres above sea level. There is a famous climber's hotel here, the Wasdale Head Inn, made popular in the Victorian period by Owen Glynne Jones and others. On summer weekends, crowds of people can be found attempting this steep but straightforward walk. An alternative ascent from Wasdale approaches up a hanging valley whose head is at Mickledore, which is itself ascended, before following the path from Scafell to the Pike.

A view of the classic corridor route taken from Sty Head Stretcher box

A more taxing, but scenically far superior, approach begins at Seathwaite Farm at the end of Borrowdale, proceeding via Styhead Tarn, then taking the Corridor Route (formerly known as the Guides Route), a delightful walk along the western flank of the Scafell massif with intimate views of the fell, before joining the route from Wasdale near the summit. The return journey can then be made along a high ridge, taking in any or all of the neighbouring summits of Broad Crag, Ill Crag, Great End, Allen Crags and Glaramara. An alternative route from Borrowdale, longer but perhaps less taxing than that via the Corridor Route, runs from Seathwaite via Grains Gill and the high pass of Esk Hause.

File:Scafell Pike and Scafell.JPG
Scafell Pike (left) and Scafell (right), with the ridge of Lingmell in the foreground.

A further ascent may be made from Langdale. From the Old Dungeon Ghyll hotel, the route proceeds up alongside Rossett Gill (which perhaps has a more fearsome reputation than it deserves), past Angle Tarn, and then onto Esk Hause before joining a rocky path to the summit. Energetic walkers can vary the return route by ascending Esk Pike and Bowfell from Esk Hause and then descend Bowfell via The Band. Another variant which avoids simply returning down Rossett Gill is to head north at the Angle Tarn, over Rossett Pike to join The Cumbrian Way, and descend via Stake Pass adding a mile to the walk. The total distance is about 21 kilometres. Esk Hause is also accessible from Styhead Tarn, making another possible route from Seathwaite.

Another ascent can be made from Eskdale, the longest and most arduous way up but it has some very fine scenery. The route follows the River Esk as far as the Great Moss boggy plateau; walkers then have a choice of ascending steeply up to Mickledore, the low ridge between Scafell and Scafell Pike, or following the Esk to its source at Esk Hause. A third possible route up from Great Moss is Little Narrowcove, a steep ascent which emerges onto the ridge a few hundred metres north-east of the summit.

The view from Scafell Pike

A panorama from the summit of Scafell Pike, August 2007
View from the summit of Scafell Pike

As the highest ground in England, Scafell Pike naturally has a very extensive view, ranging from the Mourne Mountains to Snowdonia. On a clear day, the following Marilyns can be seen from the summit.

Data from the first 'external link' below.

North

East

South

West

References

  1. ^ Daniel Jones, Everyman's English Pronouncing Dictionary (13th ed.), p. 421.
  2. ^ Scafell Pike on UKNIWM
  3. ^ a b Richards, Mark: Mid-Western Fells: Collins (2004): ISBN 0-00-711368-4
  4. ^ a b Wainwright, A. (1960). The Southern Fells. London: Francis Lincoln. ISBN 0-7112-2230-4.
  5. ^ British Mountain Maps: Lake District: Harvey (2006): ISBN 1-85137-467-1
  6. ^ Blair, Don: Exploring Lakeland Tarns: Lakeland Manor Press (2003): ISBN 0-9543904-1-5
  7. ^ a b "Scafell Pikes SSSI citation sheet" (PDF). English Nature. http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1001922.pdf. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  8. ^ Hay, T (1942). "Physiographical Notes from Lakeland". The Geographical Journal (The Geographical Journal, Vol. 100, No. 4) 100 (4): 165–173. doi:10.2307/1788974. JSTOR 1788974.

External links

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