Monday, 11 November 2013

Remembrance Sunday on Great Gable 10th Nov 2013

One of the best days last year was the first time i climbed up Great Gable with friends from the lake district for the Sunday Memorial service on Great Gable .
so as the time came around again i just had to make the trip up to the lakes again.
Tanya,Andy and a few others where meeting at Honister slate mine to walk up from there at 8.30 am.     the weather forecast was looking superb with sun and blue sky, which would make it all the better since a covering of snow capped the highest peaks a few days earlier.   
I actually managed to get up on time, but somehow , well i blame Mollster  i was late!    in fact it was 8.58 am  when i left the car park at Honister, half hour late which meant i only had a maximum 2 hours to reach the summit!
the car parks where almost full and a steady stream of people where climbing up the various tracks that lead to Green Gable firstly then through windy gap up to Great Gable.

Making my way up with Mollster on a lead pulling me, there was ice on the rocks and as i got higher hail and then snow covered the ground,  the views are spectacular :)  not sure if that is ice on Buttermere but it is below freezing up here but with the climb and sun it is really pleasant.

There is a constant stream of people and dogs , we are at the tail end of the procession and will need to make good time to reach the summit before 11 am.    stopping to take images like this give me a breather as i got home late last night and not had much sleep.   ie  I'm knackered already!

I can see Haystacks ,High crag and High stile centre of image and snow capped Pillar with cloud top left of centre.

Getting higher i can now see Ennerdale water over to the left with Buttermere and Crummock to the right

ahead of me i can now see Green gable and the summit of Great Gable, unfortunately both covered in low cloud , i do hope it clears by the time we get there.

The track is quite slippery and have to be very careful where i step, don't want to slip and fall up here. like last year..............  HERE

   Looking down Ennerdale valley and in the opposite direction where all the earlier blue sky has gone Seathwaite , Base Brown and Glanamara    i think.

Looking ahead of us is a snake of people heading up to Green Gable in the now very low cloud.  what an amazing experience to see so many people up on one small mountain range.

                Upon reaching Green Gable summit, i can see zero!   virtually  , a few different paths meet here coming up from different starting points and it is very busy !  the shelters are full of people taking a rest before the strenuous climb/scramble up to Great Gable.

 No time to stop any how, the steep path down into windy gap is ahead and already there is a queue .  it is very damp and slippery and Mollster is really pulling on her lead, but with so many people it is a slow progress down and now we are waiting in turn to climb up to and make our way up the scramble section up towards Great Gable summit , the rocks are icy making it very tricky, especially as there is no single easy way up.
Eventually i make it up to near the crowded summit , it is 10.54   made it just in time, but it has killed me!    im am knackered, almost straight away i spot Tanya,Ray,Stuart and Jimmy soon appears.  there must be hundreds of people here, quite amazing to see on the summit of a near 3000ft mountain in the snow, all here to pay respect .

Just before 11 am a member from the rock climbing club said a few words , during which i drop my Kitkat and Mollster woofs it down  ooops.   and then the two minute silence which is very moving and then an applaud from the crowd rang around the mountain top like thunder.    shortly afterwards the cloud started thinning and the magical views shone through. blue sky appeared through the cloud with perfect timing.   its not often you get clear views from here!

                    Wow!    What a view.    after about 10 minutes this is what we could see, love to see the patchwork of stone walls down in the valley floor with Wastwater taking centre stage .

    people everywhere are taking photos after the majority have started making their way back down.

                                            Mollster decides to pose for a picture :)

                       time to start making the long journey back to Honister now.

after making our way slowly and very carefully down the icy scramble section.........
Here is the view looking down at Windy Gap and Green Gable that we couldn't see on the way up, the red slippery path with a steady stream of people making their way back home.

                             And looking down to Styhead Tarn and the Langdales behind .

                                     climbing up that path Mollster decides to pose , such a good girl :)

                                                 more amazing views on the way down to the car park.

It has been a truly superb day , i am really struggling to get back down but worth the pain to be part of such a memorable day.

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