Great Gable in Rough Weather

Today is my birthday. I am 28, I feel about 80. Yesterday I climbed Grey Knotts, walked Brandreth followed it up to Green Gable, scrambled up Great Gable back down to Windy Gap up to Green Gable again and down to Base Brown. This explains me feeling a little older than my actual year today. All of this while being pelted by gale force winds and lots of snow.

This hike was one of the most challenging I have ever done and I am pretty chuffed I managed to do it all solo, despite having a wobble with my bearing in the whiteout conditions on Great Gable. I think I need to polish my map and compass work up.

As a result of the extreme weather and it raining/sleeting/snowing from the start of the ascent of Grey Knotts I have very few photos, but the few I have I am please with as they show the sorry day I had.

The first photo was taken just after the summit of Grey Knotts, the wind buffeting my face and the rain coming in heavily from left to right. Even with the shelter of the rocks I was hidden behind I knew this would be a tough walk. In the shot are 3 of the peaks I would complete that day. This marks the last time I would see the summits of Green Gable (left) and Great Gable (right) from any other summit as the cloud and snow soon descended.


In addition to the above I also managed to get a shot of Base Brown also. Just about making out Base Brown, Green Gable, Great Gable and Brandreth.


From here the weather closed quite quickly. By the time I got to the summit of the Great Gable the visibility was poor, not terrible but relative to the way the land lies around that area I would have liked to see more than was available.

This is where I became disoriented, although it looks very obvious on the image now I followed the one cairn to the left of the image, taking me off the west face. The complete opposite direction. I wanted to follow the 3 to the right of the image. Correcting this by traversing the top edge of the cliff was not a lot of fun, in hindsight it would have been safer to track back to the summit and regain my bearing. However I managed to bump into more walkers who were en-route to Windy Gap so I tagged to the back of their group until just before Windy Gap.


Off down to Base Brown and down the sharp face to the road and back to the car. It was one big adventure resulting in everything being wet right through. However, despite the aches and amount of kit currently drying round my flat I would do it again. Just maybe with more compass readings.

Thanks for reading.