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Great Gable and Green Gable from Borrowdale

Foggy Ennerdale and Buttermere from Green Gable at sunset
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Climbing Great Gable from Seathwaite

Its very difficult to pin down which is the best walk in the Lake District but I’ll make a stab at it, in light of a recent day out – Great Gable from Borrowdale.

The day in question had a miserable dawn with loads of cloud cover and no light whatsoever … so I had a lie-in – that was a good start!

Things began brightening up around midday so I decided to head to Seathwaite in upper Borrowdale which was still shrouded in mist. Not to be put off I took the path up past Stockley Bridge but it was only when approaching Styhead Tarn that some blue sky could be seen overhead through the mist. By this time a lot of the people who where heading back down from the tops had seen me with all my photography kit and told me I was in for some great views and on seeing the blue sky my doubts disappeared too.

By the time I had climbed up Aaron Slack and onto Great Gable the mist was all below me and the views were sensational. As there were a few hours of daylight left time was on my side. I therefore had chance to walk about and just take in the expansive views before taking some photos. In the end I limited the number of photographs I uploaded from the summit to just the ‘Seatallan silhouette’ photo but there were quite a few that just failed to make it.

I chose this one as it wasn’t just a standard photograph of a view, more an evocative photograph of the fells rising out of the mist.

One which didn’t quite make the cut is the second photograph: the view from Westmoreland Cairn across to the Sca Fell range, mist filling the valley of Lingmell Gill.

misty Wastwater from Westmoreland Cairn on Great Gable
View of Scafell Pike from Westmoreland Cairn

Across Windy Gap to Green Gable for sunset

After a lot of exploring and a big slap-up packed lunch, I left the summit to head across to Green Gable for sunset and, to my mind, one of the best views in the Lake District.

Yet again I wasn’t disappointed. Whereas I had Great Gable pretty much to myself the same can’t be said on Green Gable as there was a sizeable crowd on there, the reason had become apparent on descending into Windy Gap when I noticed a line of people running down Gable behind me. In the middle of the line was a woman who was attempting to beat the Bob Graham Round record – she was sixteen hours in at that point and still plodding along. Pretty impressive! She didn’t stop to talk which was understandable and as they all ran off I was left on Green Gable with my camera and a great sunset shown in the final photograph: the High Stile Ridge rising between the Ennerdale and Buttermere valleys.

Descending from Green Gable to Seathwaite

And that was pretty much it. All that followed was the long sweeping descent past Base Brown back into Borrowdale. The last stretch is not to be recommended in the dark as it involves some scrambling (this path is much better as a way up!) but I had a good torch with me and had all night to get down. Luckily it didn’t take me that long though.

Footnote: I am not sure what time the woman doing the Bob Graham Round managed but can find no record of her time anywhere. She should have taken a break as its rare to get views as there were on this day.

Great Gable and Green Gable from Borrowdale was last modified: August 18th, 2018 by Gavin Dronfield

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