Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Great Gable via Napes Traverse and Westmorland Crag

Climbers on Pinnacle Ridge adjacent to Napes Needle

One thing that gets up my nose nowadays in fact since the great storm of 1987, is that the BBC and other weather forcasters always play it safe cos
nobody wants to be another Michael Fish so they always give you the case worst scenario....
Had been watching the weather for a couple of days it looked ok Monday, good on Tuesday, even better Wednesday thro Thursday.
So I made my plans accordingly for a crack of dawn start to go to the Lakes on Tuesday morning, Got up early, turned BBC breakfast on, Carol Kirkwood now predicted heavy rain by 11.00 and it would continue thro the rest of the day into the night.
On the strength of the latest info we had a relaxed start thinking we were not gonna get much done today. Plan B was to go to climbing at Bram Crag a recently developed venue 5 minutes walk off the road from Threlkeld down to St Johns in the Vale.
We arrived at 12.00, it was warm and sunny, we bagged 3 top quality rock climbs then a sharp downfall. Expecting this was the start of a substantial storm we retreated to the car and drove onto our accomodation at Grange in Borrowdale. The substantial storm petered out after 10 mins en route. So we had got settled in had a brew and went out for an evening walk to try and salvage something from the day it was a fantastic sunset.
WHY, WHY,WHY, can't the BBC just give us no bull(s)hit accurate weather forecasts.
Next morning we wake to misty conditions, plan A is to walk up to Napes via Taylor Gill then one of the best run of scrambles in the Lake District Threading the Needle, Napes Traverse, Sphinx Ridge then up to Westmorland Crag, topping out at the Cairn approx 200m from the summit of Great Gable. The clouds lift as we get to Taylor Gill and we are treated to incredible atmospherics. The rest of the day is hot and hazy, not enough water so we detour to a reliable spring and fill up.

Misty conditions at the wicket

Taylor Ghyll force thro the early morning mist

Traversing round to Kern Knotts Crag

Climbers above us on Tophet Wall

Looking down on Napes and Wasdale

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