Climbers traverse Great Gable

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By Anonymous on 02/07/15 at 3:59pm

Date started:01/07/2015
Distance:9.5 km or 5.9 miles

Over the lakes yesterday. MWIS forecast had the weather as 40/50 MPH winds on the tops, rain and thunderstorms which didn't look promising. The day was an arranged meet, meeting two others so backing out wasn't an option. In the event the forecast was well wide of the mark with only one strong gust which lasted for two minutes and only spots of rain. It was a warm day around 25 c. Surprisingly the lakes was very quiet, only saw about 20 people.It was a late start not getting going until 10.45hrs. I hadn't been on this route for some 17/18 years and chose to do it to try and get back into scrambling and feel comfortable with it. I need to do the Inn Pinn in the next few years before I'm past it.

Up the rocky path to the right of Taylorgill force.

View back down into Borrowdale. Just at this point an RAF jet flew over about 100 feet above us. It was a weird sensation I was actually looking the other way and only heard it at first, on turning I saw the jet almost on its side as it banked right over Taylorgill force. It was too quick to get the camera in action

Continued up to Styhead and had bait at the rescue box

From the rescue box there are 3 paths to your right . The first on the right goes up the front of Gable to the top, the left goes back down to wasdale. The required path is the one in the middle. follow that initially on grass until you hit a clear path cutting through the rocks. You then come to the first crag. The path continues along the base of the crag cutting through the large boulders

Continue around the boulders until you come to a large scree field. There are two paths cutting across the scree, I always take the higher one as it ascends gradually at an angle avoiding a straight uphill walk further on. The path leads onto Napes crag.

View backover

As you follow the path at Napes you get your first view of Napes Needle which until now has blended in with the rocks

Easy scrambling leads to the base of Napes Needle and leads onto the open chimney at the rear of the Needle. Climb up this which is known as "threading the needle". Its about 25 feet on polished rock with plenty of handholds and footholds

Scrambling buddy coming up the back of the Needle

and then climbing down the other side a drop of about 35 feet down the cracks

After climbing down from the back of the Needle you drop into a scree filled gully and then climb back onto the rib opposite the needle. From there you get an excellent view of the Needle

The path continues along through the rocks with a few moves requiring hands on rock until you come to the Sphinx rock

You can scramble around the back of the Sphinx, I went around the front on grassy ledges and you then drop into a gully. From there I crossed the scree and onto a rib which leads up to Great Gable. I did see two blokes going up the rib behind the Sphinx

From the top we went down into windy gap and because one of the lads felt knackered due to the heat we dropped straight down to styhead and back to Borrowdale.

By rockhopper on 04/07/15 at 5:36pm

That did look challenging at times - good day for it though - cheers :)

By Anonymous on 06/07/15 at 10:26am

Thanks for that.

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