Ascent of Great Gable on 2017-07-25

Climber: Northern Wayfarer

Date:Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Great Gable
    Elevation:2949 ft / 898 m

Ascent Trip Report

Scramble up from Windy Gap. Into even thicker fog. Visibility at the summit was between 2-3m. Needed to use a map and compass to locate a path off the mountain. Was heading to Kirk Fell. Not sure if I started on the right path but was led astray possibly by a false cairn. The fog prevented me seeing where I was going but noted one distinguishing feature of a large overhanging rock that someone had placed some smaller stones to make it appear that the smaller stones were holding up the rock. So someone had walked where I was at that point. Eventually came to a large rock with a 4ft drop in front and about 3ft either side. Either side was shale (a place where the scree had disappeared). I had to choose left or right and knew I was going to slide but didn't know where I would end up in the fog... would it be a sudden drop? I gambled on the left because it was the easiest of the 3ft drops to get down and slid into a boulder field that eventually led to some grass. I was completely disorientated in the fog and didn't know where exactly I was. I knew I could keep the mountain on my right to find a path back to Honister. Then I heard some voices in the fog and called out to ask where they had come from and was informed Kirk Fell. I followed the voices to the tarn at Beck Head the people had gone but I could take a baring on my map. I decided after that horrendous descent that it was not worth continuing my journey over Kirk Fell to Pillar and back across Ennerdale via Haystacks and took my emergency route along Moses' Trod back to Honister.
Summary Total Data
    Weather:Drizzle, Pleasant, Calm, White-out
Extreme fog and drizzle

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