Green Gable From Seatoller

28th December 2009

Two days ago in preparation before the walk this page was edited out as “Great Gable from Honnister” But sadly yet again I couldn’t make Great Gable due to three main factors: Deep snow ,Adverse road conditions & Aching aching limbs due to trenching in & out of sometimes 4ft of snow over a 6 mile period just took its toll on me mainly in my upper thighs ,it got to the point where I was taking painkillers to ease the pain something I’ve never had to do before .

But enough about that, despite the aches this walk will be repeated inc Great Gable sometime in the near future  less the deep snow of course . Today was one of those days when you actually grasp what the Lake District is all about the tranquillity & the beauty ,the fact it took us almost twice as long to get back to the car as it did to get to Green Gable for the pure reason, I felt like I didn’t want to “go home” & the longer that took the better

Id also treated myself to a Garmin Etrex GPS unit after getting myself a little wayward shall we say. I though it would be about time! Even though this is the lowest priced model at around £80 it proved decadent today with the paths not visible in any way shape or form,  as we were making our own way up we only had one set of footprints visible in front of us in the deep snow and who knows which direction they was going ? albeit they did make there  all the way from Grey Knotts to Green Gable & for that I thank that guys size 9s . but in the same breath the GPS was fantastic ,Id set myself roughly about 15 marker points keeping them relatively close together for easy navigation & with a quick check every now & again the unit had absolute no problems keeping to the path .One small problem I came across while walking from Seatoller to Honnister was it did take roughly about 15/20 minutes to track all its satellites which I’m hoping was just an area problem ,other than that it was great .


Wainwright Guidebook

The Western Fells




801 Mtrs  2627 Ft

Wainwrights: 3,   Grey Knotts, Brandreth, Green Gable

Clear Blue Skies All Day As Forecast –6 With Highs of –3

Parking: Car Park ,Seatoller
Area: Western
Walking With: Tim Oxburgh
Ordnance Survey: OL4
Time Taken:  

Map and Photo Gallery



The Borrowdale road towards Honnister made for some treacherous  driving conditions with black ice everywhere ,even driving at 15/20mph I felt the car kick out a few times, so I knew there was absolutely no way of making it up the Honnister Pass ,so we settled at the car park in Seatoller & walked our way up the Pass adding at least 3/4 Hour of our to our ascent times, another key feature why we couldn’t make Great Gable today ,Now if Mark Wier had gave us a lift up to the Mine in his green machine seen landing here right next to the car park we might of made Great Gable.


The start of the Honnister Pass & me doing my billy goat impersonation every five steps or so ,I couldn’t even begin to say how icy this road was today, something like trying to skate uphill on an ice rink comes to mind!


Wed past a couple of abandoned cars on the way up completely engulfed up to the windows in snow drift ,as you can see in this photo the snow was quite deep this was as far as you’d get up the pass before you get diverted towards the mine weather you liked it or not !


Cheers Mark! thanks for the lift ..not !

Grey Knotts, our first fell of the day,It was just a case of following the fence post all the way to the top ,If you look carefully you can just make out a our saviour, the guy was ploughing through the snow for us to nicely follow his size 9s


My walking pole buried at least 3 feet deep  I think ,as we got nearer to the summit the snow especially the drifts was lets put it this way ,My inside leg measures 32 inch & I was up to my b*****ks in it!

Looking towards Honnister Crag & what seems to be some mine vehicles stuck in the snow



Still on the ascent of Grey Knotts & the steep snow is really slowing us down. The only way I can describe it is like steeping in then out of wellington boots all day long !


Tim on a lighter section of the snow .


Grey Knotts summit cairne & what should have been a forty or so min walk had now turned into a 1hr 10 struggle ,Still cant complain look at the weather


Pillar ,with its very own windy gap in the background


And looking towards Haystacks & High Crag flanked by Ennerdale to the left & Buttermere & Crummock Water to the right from our path towards Blendreth


Again Buttermere & Crummock Water with High Crag,High Stile & Mellbreak & the Irish Sea beyond

Brandreth`s Summit with Green Gable & Great Gable behind

Looking back at Dale Head & Skiddaw beyond

As high as the sun would get unfortunately for us ,Time does not appear to be on our side & I guess at this point my upper thighs were starting to give me problems ,Here we have Green Gable & Great Gable for now enveloped in winter sun

Zooming in on Pillar Rock

The Ennerdale Valley flanked by Pillar to the left & Haystacks,High Crag ,High Stile & Red Pike to the right

Looking up towards Green Gable Summit

Green Gable Summit with a daunting Windy Gap & Great Gable to negotiate yet ,but for now Its a late lunch

From first sight all the way back at Grey Knotts I was like a dog to a bone it looked so close yet so far, the deep snow was so energy sapping & what with my upper legs giving me problems by our reckoning Great Gable & Windy Gap was another good hour away ascent & decent at our pace anyway…..Time we didn’t have unfortunately ,To say I was disappointed was maybe not as much as id thought ,we had glorious weather ,Id bagged 3 more Wainwrights, so time for an extended lunch to take in views

Looking towards the Scafells & Windy Gap below

Esk Pike & Bow Fell

kirk Fell & Pillar from Green Gable summit


Sea King Helicopter over the Western Fells ,it almost seemed like a routine check it was doing because within about 15 minites it was back ,.I cant make it out, routine checks sound expensive ?

Now flanking Great Gable


Just as we was about to head back we spotted these two making there way up through the Gable Crags ,at lot braver than me especially at this time of day, but saying that we also spotted a group of about five making there way up Base Brown with only a good hours sunlight left ,Now that’s what you call dedication or maybe ???


Looking back at Great Gable & Kirk Fell with Illgill Head & Wasdale making an appearance just below the sun .



One last look back  before we head down Grey Knotts


Dusk at Honnister Slate mine, & a long & slippery walk back to the car park at Seatoller .

Another great day spent walking on the fells ,that should keep me going for a couple of weeks or so


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