/ Great Gable Scrambling Route

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L James58t - on 08 Aug 2017
Can anyone recommend a safe-but-fun walking/scrambling route up Great Gable?

I'll be doing this with my kids and nephew aged 15-18 and the reason I ask is this... we climbed Helvelyn via Striding Edge and Swirral edge and I thought it was awesome - the right balance of fun/challenge without the risk of death.

But then we climbed Snowdon via Crib Goch and I found this quite scary - I thought it was too risky while I was responsible for the safety of three teenagers. A slip on Striding Edge would probably not end in injury but a slip on Crib Goch could end very badly indeed.

I've looked at the Climbers Traverse and threading the Needle on Great Gable and it's difficult to tell whether this would fall into Striding edge territory or Crib Goch territory but I suspect it might be Crib Goch territory.

So I wondered if anyone could comment on that or suggest a different route up Great Gable (from Wasdale).

Thanks

James
Gordon Stainforth - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to James58t:

Yes, it's more Crib Goch standard – a lot more technical and serious than Striding Edge, particularly the last bit, scrambling up the exposed and quite steep ?Sphinx Ridge (haven't got guidebook handy), which requires good route-finding ability ... scrambling rope on that probably advisable. Failing that, you have to go up the aptly named steep and arduous scree of Great Hell Gate.
bedspring on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to James58t:

I would certainly want it dry with my children.
Jon Stewart - on 08 Aug 2017
In reply to James58t:

It's a tremendous scramble and I would highly recommend it. But probably not including "Threading the Needle" which is thrutching up a polished chimney and then doing a short vertical downclimb - much harder than Crib Goch. I haven't done the end bit for a while up Sphinx Ridge - I think if you take the easiest way it's no harder than Crib Goch. If you take the easiest way, just doing the traverse and then the path up the ridge, then it's still a cracker but harder and more exposed than Striding Edge, more like Crib Goch standard. There aren't really any other suitable scrambles on Gable as far as I know.
L James58t - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to James58t:

Thanks everyone - really appreciate the feedback - I thought so - some of it looks very exposed and steep on that side of the mountain.

Does anyone know what the route up via Gavel Neese is like ? Looking at maps and photos it looks like you could probably continue straight up all the way to the summit over or round White Napes instead of taking the footpath left towards Beck Head - but again I can't see from photos if that would end up being to dangerous.
Chris Harris - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to James58t:



> Does anyone know what the route up via Gavel Neese is like ?

A slog!

One option is a variant of the Gable Girdle: start at Wasdale Head, take the valley path to Sty Head , Climbers' traverse, round towards Beck Head, traverse along under Gable Crag to Windy Gap, up to summit, down to Sty Head, back to WH via Valley Path.

Nothing too technical & gets you right in some good scenery.
Lusk - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:



> ... up to summit, down to Sty Head, back to WH via Valley Path.

You may as well go on up to Kirk Fell and down the south ridge and you end up only a few hundred yards from the pub

Greasy Prusiks on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to James58t:

If you go on the BMC YouTube channel they have recently uploaded videos of some classic scrambles. I'm pretty sure some of the routes you mention are on there.
BusyLizzie on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to James58t:

I did Striding Edge with my children (then 16 and 20) last summer and we all loved it; I have enjoyed Crib Goch but would not take the children up there. So I know what you mean and am in very much the same place.

We are in the Lakes next week, and I was thinking of Jack's Rake if (and only if) it is dry, on the basis of a video on here (also on YouTube, easy to find) - it looks a little trickier than Striding Edge but not Crib Goch territory.

Comments from thise who know it would be welcome as I haven't done it before.
lucozade - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:
Jacks Rake is very easy to follow and more than likely there'll be a few on there which may be a help. I took someone up there once and she was really helped by myself in front and a very kind Scottish couple behind who encouraged her. Can be quite wet generally. It can feel more 'vertically' exposed than Striding at times I'd say but you have options of staying quite close to the rock. On Crib Goch you have a drop off on two sides like Striding, so it's a bit different. Can be a bit polished on the rock and there is one place where you have to walk across a narrow and fairly exposed 'ledge'. Unlike Striding, there are areas where you need to reach in ways that are a bit closer to 'climbing' and of course there's no escape path. But with care and attention it will be manageable for you I'm sure. Probably only you can decide if it's right for you but hope you make it and enjoy.
Post edited at 14:50
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mysterion on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:
Jack's Rake is a fairly enclosed series of walls/steps linked by easy paths but has a couple of exposed stretches including a step across a gully straight onto a wall. Near the top make sure you follow the path until it drops a little instead of continuing up some fairly blank rock
Post edited at 18:15
Gordon Stainforth - on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to James58t:
> Does anyone know what the route up via Gavel Neese is like ? Looking at maps and photos it looks like you could probably continue straight up all the way to the summit over or round White Napes instead of taking the footpath left towards Beck Head - but again I can't see from photos if that would end up being to dangerous.

I remember once charging straight up Gavel Neese when I was young (i.e. early 20s) because it was such a good line, then doing it about 25 years later and finding it hell on earth (well, not quite as bad as Hell Gate to the right). I also remember coming down it once very easily and pleasantly on another occasion when I was young, and then again doing the same about 25 years later and finding it really knackering on legs/knees. I guess it all depends how fit and supple you are I think, btw (IIRC) you traverse left below the steeper ground high up, then back right to Westmorland's Ledge.

PS. Same comments apply to going straight up the attractive looking spur of Lingmell from Wasdale Head campsite.
Post edited at 20:38
wercat on 09 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:
I've done Jack's Rake with a 4 year old, duly helmetted and roped and with a younger child, also armoured, on my back (who easily crawled up the crux on a rope). I don't think it's too hard in itself but it's a place to be wary as there have been serious mishaps over the years.

My own theory on this is, apart from the obvious popularity and risk of stonefall is perhaps inexperienced people making mistakes when there is dry rock with the occasional wet or damp section - ie check you can trust a move before you make it. Sometimes I wonder if its safer when all wet as people know to be careful instead of having to judge what is and is not dry!
Post edited at 20:41
petegunn on 10 Aug 2017
In reply to James58t:

There's also a scramble on Westmorland Crags to just below the summit of gable which gives a good continuation from the scrambles on the napes.
petegunn on 10 Aug 2017
L James58t - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to Chris Harris:

That sounds really interesting - thanks.
L James58t - on 11 Aug 2017
In reply to BusyLizzie:

Thanks - this looks brilliant - if we don't do it this time round it's now on my must-do list for next time. ....
....

....Although to be honest I've got pictures of it open next to this window on my desk top and I keep looking across at it and I know the kids would love it. Maybe we'll do it this time.

: )

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