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Base Brown & Great Gable from Seathwaite

Lake District Walk

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Western Fells

Wainwrights - Base Brown, Great Gable, Green Gable,

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 6.0 miles / 9.8 km    Ascent - 2750 feet / 833 metres

Time - 5 hours 50 minutes    Grade - mod/hard

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Base Brown & Great Gable
Click image to visit gallery of 12 images.

Great Gable is, without doubt, one of Lakeland's finest mountains. The Lake District walk described below offers a varied and interesting approach that is generally quieter than other ways to Great Gable's summit.

The start is Seathwaite Farm (Grid ref. NY235121) which is easily reached off the B5289 road through Borrowdale. After parking walk south towards the farm taking the signed footpath through the archway on your right. This leads to a substantial footbridge over the river before the path climbs steeply out of Borrowdale. The path is paved and climbs steeply with Sour Milk Gill on your right. Near the top there is a section of easy scrambling. In spate the proximity of the waterfalls can be very impressive.

Reaching the top the path levels and continues through a wide u-shaped valley towards Gillercomb. Here the path zigzags out of the valley to reach a broad grassy col (Grid ref. NY221111). The main path continue uphill but it is worth a short detour to your left to 'bag' the summit of Base Brown. Despite its unexciting summit, this Wainwright does offer a grand viewpoint for Borrowdale and the fells that surround this beautiful valley.

Return to the col and follow the path uphill. This section is none too exciting but you soon reach the main ridge path that connects Brandreth with Green Gable. Turn left on this path and the summit of Green Gable is soon reached. Offering excellent views across Western Lakeland, including Ennerdale and the High Stile ridge, the summit is sadly dominated by the adjacent bulk of Great Gable.

Descend south to Windy Gap and begin the climb to Great Gable's summit. The path is well-cairned and, in the early stages of the ascent, there are a few short sections of scrambling. However this is short lived and the cairn that marks the summit soon reached. The domed summit means that the best views are not enjoyed from the highest point and it is worth a short stroll downhill WSW towards the Westmorland cairn from where an outstanding view of Wasdale can be enjoyed.

To descend take the cairned path southeast (approx). After a short way the path is reconstructed and what used to be a tricky descent to Styhead can now be made without too much discomfort. Reaching the stretcher box turn left and gain the path on the west side of Styhead Tarn. Cross Styhead Gill using the new footbridge and descend easily to the top of Taylorgill Force waterfall. From here the path zigzags down into the valley to reach picturesque Stockley Bridge. Cross the bridge and follow the broad track back to Seathwaite and the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1065 Haystacksmoderate5.5 miles
Walk 1112 Great Gable from Honister Passhard7.3 miles
Walk 1245 Castle Crag & Grangeeasy/mod6.0 miles
Walk 1175 Combe Gill circuit from Seatollermoderate5.5 miles
Walk 3328 Eagle Crag & Seargeant's Crag from Stonethwaitemoderate7.0 miles
Walk 3133 Ullscarf and Watendlath from Stonethwaitemod/hard10.0 miles
Walk 1693 Grange & Watendlath from Rosthwaiteeasy/mod7.6 miles
Walk 1444 Great Gable (Borrowdale route)hard12.0 miles
Walk 1153 The High Stile Ridgehard10.0 miles
Walk 1289 Fleetwith Pike & Haystacksmoderate5.5 miles

Recommended Books & eBooks

Walking the Lake District Fells - Wasdale

Walking the Lake District Fells - WasdalePart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 25 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Wasdale, Eskdale and Ennerdale valleys, with highlights including Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Pillar. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
More information

Walking the Lake District Fells - Buttermere

Walking the Lake District Fells - ButtermerePart of the Walking the Lake District Fells series, this guidebook covers a wide range of routes to 32 Lakeland summits that can be climbed from the Buttermere, Lorton and Newlands valleys, with highlights including Haystacks, High Stile, Grasmoor and the fells of the Coledale Round. Suggestions for longer ridge routes are also included.
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