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Great Gable via Moses Trod

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Great Gable via Moses Trod
Author: , Published: 14 Oct 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Cumbria, Western Fells
Walk Type: Mountains
Great Gable via Moses Trod
Length: 6 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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Probably the easiest way to ascend this Lake District giant by following an ancient smugglers route. A bit of a scree slope and an easy scramble bring you to one of the most jaw dropping places in Lakeland and the chance to see four different valleys on one walk! The walk was so good Alfred Wainwright listed it as one of his favourites and if it was good enough for him then it should be OK for the rest of us.

From Keswick follow the signs for Borrowdale and pass through the tiny villages of Rosthwaite and Seatoller. Now you head up the narrow and winding Honister Pass until you get to the very top. Here you have a choice of parking; you can park in either the National Trust car park (free for members) or the car park at the Honister Slate Mine for which there is a charge but this is refunded if you subsequently buy something from the shop.

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Walk Sections

Start to Stone Cove
Start to Stone Cove

Start point: 54.5113 lat, -3.1987 long
End point: 54.4858 lat, -3.2169 long

The first section of this walk is easy, after an initial climb out of the slate mine car park the path goes straight as an arrow and gently uphill. There is a reason for this straight and graded path for it was once the route of a tramway for transporting the slate products that were mined all around this area. Once you get to the, now ruined, building that once housed the machinery for the tramway you get a fine view down Buttermere to Crummock Water and you turn slightly left and follow the line of Moses Trod. This path was made hundreds of years ago by, according to local legend, a quarryman who not only transported rock but other more illicit products across the western Lakes. Valley number two appears on your right as you progress along the path, this time its Ennerdale you find yourself looking down.

Stone Cove to Green Gable
Stone Cove to Green Gable

Start point: 54.4858 lat, -3.2169 long
End point: 54.4844 lat, -3.2131 long

You will now find yourself under the imposing cliffs of Great Gable and you should make your way up the scree slope that heads to the pronounced notch between Great and Green Gables known as Windy Gap. The scree is steep and not easy to walk on but once you have reached the col you are rewarded with a view down onto Styhead Tarn and across to Scafell Pike. From the col turn right and follow the path which eventually turns into an easy scramble up towards the summit of Great Gable. Here you get one of the Lake District's iconic views down the length of valley number three, Wasdale.
Retrace your steps back to Windy Gap and this time climb the red coloured path to the summit of Green Gable where you get a fantastic view of the mountain you have just climbed.

Green Gable to Grey Knotts
Green Gable to Grey Knotts

Start point: 54.4844 lat, -3.2131 long
End point: 54.5023 lat, -3.2098 long

The walking is easy again now as you leave Green Gable and follow the path over the top of Brandreth and then on to Grey Knotts. Along this section you get glimpses down into Borrowdale on your right, the fourth valley of the walk. The going can be a bit soggy after rain but navigation is straight forward.

Grey Knotts to Finish
Grey Knotts to Finish

Start point: 54.5023 lat, -3.2098 long
End point: 54.511 lat, -3.1988 long

From the summit of Grey Knotts there is a feint path that heads north west and fairly steeply down hill. As you decend you can see the ruined tramway house come back into view and this is where you should head for. Once back at the ruins you then follow your outward path back along the old tram route and down to the car park.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author Colpeakbagger and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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