Kirk Fell and Great Gable in Snow

Name of walk Kirk Fell and Great Gable in Snow
Date of walk 2010-10-03
Distance walked (miles) 8
Duration of walk 7 hours 30 minutes
Weather Cold, with some sun
Peaks on walk Kirk Fell and Great Gable
Walked with Ged and blind Kas
Parking Wasdale Head

Yesterday Ged, Kas and I went to Wasdale to climb Kirk Fell (2630ft) and Great Gable (2949ft). A walk of just under 8.5 miles.

1

We had both done Kirk Fell from the front, but not from behind via the Black Sail Pass route. Classic view again. Gable in the centre and Kirk Fell to its left.

2

The front of Kirk Fell from the packhorse bridge.

3

We head into Mosedale. Pillar ahead.

4

Snow had covered the paths so we followed the footprints. Which turned out not be be a good idea.

5

We ended up going up a gully that was fine to begin with, but beyond the view of this photo it got steeper.

6

Thankfully someone had made foot holes before the snow had turned to ice and these mostly kept to the right of the gully along the rock edge allowing hand holds to the side if needed. Without the foot holes we would have had to have made a gingerly descent. As it was, going up was the better and safer option. For the last 30ft or so we had to move to the middle of the gully as that is where the foot holes went to. My knees were like jelly, but we just had to be positive and go for it. I was rather glad when we reached the top! View down the gully. Black Sail Youth Hostel can be seen below on the far side of Ennerdale, and Grasmoor back left.

7

Close up of the Youth Hostel.

8

Looking back at the gully top. You can just make out the foot holes in the snow. I told you it was steep! Not a route I would ever repeat. I found the correct path which was just 40ft to the right of this photo.

9

Black Sail and Looking Stead in the foreground. Red Pike, High Stile, High Crag and Seat in the middle and Grasmoor at the back

10

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We headed for the north summit. Looking over to Great Gable.

13

Scafell Pike and Scafell behind Lingmell.

14

Looking to Wast Water, Burnmoor Tarn on the left. We had lunch in the summit shelter.

15

Looking over to the east top with the Helvellyn range behind.

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Ged following me down on the route to east top.

19

The Moses Trod path follows around the base of Great Gable and Green Gable to Honister.

20

View of Great Gable from the descent to Beck Head.

21

A farmer can never have enough sheep dogs! He was rounding up his sheep and moving then to lower ground. He stopped off to look down into the Ennerdale Valley.

22

Beck Head Tarn is frozen. Ged heading to look at the view down into Ennerdale. Then we head up for the Moses Trod path.

23

Our route down from Kirk Fell.

24

On the Moses Trod path looking back at Wast Water.

25

The path is below. We are heading for Windy Gap....the bit in the middle of the picture.

26

It is a steep descent!

27

View down into Ennerdale. Haystacks on the right.

28

Our route up to Windy Gap. Green Gable on the left, Great Gable on the right.

29

It is hot work!

30

At the top is the view down Aaron Slack to Sty Head Tarn. Langdale Pikes on the left, Bowfell centre.

31

Time for a breather! A glimpse of Crummock Water on the right.

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We then climb the rest of the way up to Great Gable. There was one awkward bit that was steep and snow covered, but the rest of the ascent was fine. Memorial tablet at the summit

34

View out to Wast Water.

35

Close up over Haystacks and Innominate Tarn towards Crummock Water

36

Looking over at the top of Kirk Fell. Pillar, Scoat Fell and Red Pike beyond.

37

View to Wasdale Head from the Westmorland Cairn

38

We headed off down to Sty Head via the Breast route.

39

The snow was very slippery as it was part melted and would move when you stood on it. The path could not be made out until much lower down.

40

We reached the Stretcher Box and headed off down the Sty Head path back to Wasdale Head.

41

The farmer was still gathering his sheep and had put beet and silage down to keep then in one place while he continued to round them up. Sunset was fast approaching.

42

Close up of the sunset over wast Water.

The walk had taken us seven and a half hours. A good day but tiring with all the snow!
 
Jo.
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