Gable and a Great Deal More
23rd October 2007
things can be too long in the planning. In the
beginning Stan had a plan. He shared his thoughts
with Bryan and then went on holiday. Bryan told
me about the plan, plus a cunning modification to take
advantage of having a second car that could seat seven
people. Then he went on holiday and would not
be joining us. Stan returned home in time to receive
an e-mail from me about the plan. But we did not
actually speak until the two travel groups eventually
met up at Seathwaite. It soon became clear that
the plan had changed out of all recognition from that
envisaged by Stan and a new one had to be improvised.
Which is one way of explaining why, probably for
the first time in Bootboy
history, we claimed one Wainwright
twice on the same walk! But even with a new plan,
flexibility is the key word. Which is one way
of explaining way today’s route is one of the more eccentric
we have undertaken!
was a stunning morning as we travelled up
the A591, recently voted Britain’s favourite
as we passed along Derwent Water but as
we approached Borrowdale, you could see
that the high central hills were still covered
dropped Philip and Tony at Seathwaite, encouraging
them to go into the farm café for
a cup of tea whilst I returned to Seatoller
to await Ian, Martin and Stan.
they arrived we went in convoy to the slate
mines at the cold and windy top of Honistor
where we left Ian’s car and all returned
this time there was hardly any parking space
left yet the farm café had not opened
and consequently Philip and Tony had had
rather a cold wait for us.
thought hill farmers were supposed to be
hard up. This one forewent a lot of
mist clearing (Base Brown on right)
revised plan placed Base Brown as the first objective
so we followed the steep trail up Sour Milk Gill for
some distance before cutting off left to take Base Brown
by the nose, near the over hanging rock. This
was quite exciting at times- some rather tricky scrambling
but fortunately not exposed. Hard work, nonetheless.
on the summit we could see Green Gable and Great Gable
emerging from the mist. It was a simple ridge walk to
Green Gable but then the serious effort started.
Gable and Ennerdale from Green Gable with Haystacks,
Brandreth and Steel Knotts
King of Gable title undoubtedly goes to Tony. I
could not believe how quickly he got up that uncompromisingly
steep climb. Stan explained that he had promised
Tony lunch at the top, which motivated him, and then
when he started to flag, he saw me approaching, thought
I was trying to reel him in and set off with renewed
vigour. Actually he need not have worried. I
was in no condition to reel anyone in.
favourite view reversed
Gable team picture
the summit we could see down Wasdale (us
becoming the subjects of Britain’s favourite
view), Ennerdale and whatever they call
the valley with Buttermere and Crummock
the Scawfells were still covered in cloud.The
novel feature of the plan that we were following
was that having dropped down to Windy Gap
from Green Gable and climbed up the steep
path to Great Gable, we now had to retrace
our steps to reclaim Green Gable
there, Stan had a bright idea. “It’s such a lovely
day”, he said, “why don’t we go over to Haystacks once
we have done Brandreth and Steel Knotts?” As this
would involve a huge dogleg and a lot more climbing,
I thought he must have got altitude sickness so to appease
him I said, “Why don’t we defer a decision until we
reach Steel Knotts?”
and Steel Knotts proved such an easy stroll that when
Stan repeated the suggestion, no-one disagreed, despite
the fact we were then less than one easy mile away from
the way to Haystacks we came across a brave lone soul
who was making his awkward way back to Honister and
was not sure he was on the right path. It turned
out he was an amputee and had found the heather tussocks
on Haystacks very hard going on his artificial leg.
had to drop down more than I had anticipated before
getting on to Haystacks but, Stan, I take it all back-
it was an inspired suggestion. It is lovely hill.
If it were not for the steep drops on the north
side, it would be a wonderful playground for kids. It
just calls out for Cowboys and Indians or wide games.
Knotts, Brandreth, Green and Great Gable from Haystacks
really pressed on up to the summit and halfway up the
final climb he suddenly accelerated. Is he trying
to burn me off? I wondered. I just about clung
on to his boot heels and then, when we got to the top,
he complained about having found the ascent hard work.
I am not surprised- talk about self-inflicted
pain. The summit is entertainingly rocky with
Crag from Haystacks
return took us past Innominate Tarn, looking delightful
in the late afternoon sunshine, where we paid our respects
and Crummock Water
then traversed on a real mountain path above
Green Crag before discovering that we had
yet more climbing to do to get up to the
disused Dubs quarry. We followed the
old Tramway up and then down to the Slate
mines car park and Ian’s 7 seater Disco,
in which to return to Seathwaite.
was a stunning day and a most enjoyable
walk despite the hordes of people that we
encountered, particularly on the Gables
and Haystacks. And the spontaneity
of route making certainly added to the event.
23rd October 2007
climbed: 4,232 feet (Anquet)
Base Brown, Green Gable (x2!), Great Gable, Brandreth,
Grey Knotts, Haystacks
For the latest totals
of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fell Book Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.
If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let
me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
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Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large
has kindly produced a log of which Wainwrights have
been done by which Bootboy
in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent
download the Excel file click on Wainwrights.
anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know
and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!
This page describes a 2007 adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature
years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as
often as possible!
As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that
our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.
As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an
item of footwear but is in memory of Big
Josie, the erstwhile landlady of
the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale, who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day
1973 and other odd evenings many years ago!
If you want to contact us, click on