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Bessyboot to Great Gable 21st - 22nd - 23rd May 2010

Route.  Day 1 - Grange - Castle Crag - Stonethwaite - Hanging Haystack - Bessyboot. Day 2 - Rosthwaite Fell - Combe Head - Glaramara - Allen Crags - Great Gable South Traverse - Great Napes - Little Hell Gate - Great Gable - Windy Gap - Green Gable - Brandreth - Grey Knotts. Day 3 - Honister Pass - Seatoller.

I arrived at Grange on Friday afternoon in absolutely fabulous weather. I set of along the lovely path beside the Derwent and took the right hand turn that leads to the base of probably my favourite little fell; Castle Crag.

Looking back down the path Derwentwater and Skiddaw from near the bottom of Castle Crag.

"Probably the loveliest square mile in Lakeland" said Wainwright. Rosthwaite and upper Borrowdale from Castle Crag.

Another few square miles that are not to bad either. Looking the in the other direction over Grange.

The stepping stones on the way to Rosthwaite. After an ice cream at the Flock In tearooms I set of to Stonethwaite to start the steep climb up the Hanging Haystack route on to the Rosthwaite Fell ridge.

Looking back down Borrowdale from climb up Bull Crag.

Eventually the ground eases and you come to this amphitheatre near  the top of Big Stanger Gill. Eagle and Sergeant's Crag  appear as you climb higher.

On Bessyboot now and the sun sets over Fleetwith Pike and Dale Head

Tarn at Leaves and lovely evening light on Rosthwaite Fell.

After a very warm night Saturday brought early morning mist over the fells to the East.

Looking over my camp to Great Gable, my target for today. But first I headed for Rosthwaite Cam.

Looking back at Bessyboot from Rosthwaite Cam

The ridge over Glaramara to Allen Crags can be very confusing in mist but today route finding was easy. I just aimed across country to Combe Head and headed right to pick up the path coming up over Thornythwaite Fell. 

Looking down into The Combe.

Once over Glaramara the lovely pools at Lincomb Tarns are soon reached.

Great End from High House Tarn.

Once over Allen Crags it was time for a coffee break at Sprinkling Tarn. 

Setting of on the South Traverse around Great Gable. The first obstacle to be negotiated are the huge boulders at the base of Kern Knotts.

After the boulders the next objective is Tophet Bastion seen here over the scree run.

Wastwater comes into view as you cross the scree and start the climb upwards 

 Next comes  the crossing of Great Hell Gate, not the place to trip over your shoe lace.

Magnificent Napes Needle

Climbers on Eagles Nest Ridge (i think) with Napes Needle on the left. I couldn't mange the scramble up to the Dress Circle so this was as close as I could get 

After coming back down from my attempt at climbing to the Dress Circle I came to another gully which I was sure I could get up (and more importantly get back down again if needs be) which I climbed and came out near the base of the Cat/Sphinx Rock which from this angle looks like neither. .

After I scrambled round the base of Cat Rock I came to Little Hell Gate and set of up the arduous climb to the ridge above The Great Napes.

 A hazy Wastwater again from the end of the Ridge.

All that remains now is the climb up and left along the base of Westmorland Crags and then turn right up to summit

Looking over Haystacks to the High Stile Ridge on the left then Crummock Water and Grasmoor on the right.

 On Green Gable now and the shadows creep across Gillercomb Head

Another lovely evening. The mileage for the day was just a little under eight miles but the heat and the climbs had made it one of the hardest days I have ever had on the fells. Needless to say I had no trouble sleeping.

Sunday was another beautiful day. I had to be home in the afternoon so I packed up and set of on the short walk down to Seatoller

High Crag and High Stile from Grey Knotts.

Looking down on Honister Slate Mine