27th August 2004

Great Gable from Wasdale Head


Walk Overview
Time 13.55 to 17.35
Duration 3 hr 40 min
Distance 5.9 mile
Ascent 2900 ft
Walking with On my own
Wasdale Head - Wasdale Head Church - Burnthwaite - Sty Head - Sty Head Tarn - Great Gable - Beck Head - Beck Head Tarn - Gable Beck - Wasdale Head Church - Wasdale Head
Fells visited
Directory places visited

Starting Point Information Centre
Car park, Wasdale Head

Wasdale can boast possession of the highest mountain, the deepest lake and the smallest church. What I'd like to do is add the busiest car park onto this list. During the summer months this is an incredibly popular place, particularly in June when the three peak walkers are out in force.

Unbelievable I know, but parking is actually free. This tiny hamlet also has a hotel / pub, a shop, a camp site and all the facilities you expect to find with it.


Route Map

Great Gable (center) and the slopes of Kirk Fell (left) from the path leading onto Sty Head Pass. The path I followed down from Beck Head runs beside the the beck you can see between the two fells. It started to rain just after I took this picture, but it only lasted a couple of minutes.

Wasdale Head and Yewbarrow

And again looking very dark from further up the route.

Sty Head Tarn. This is about the highest point on Sty Head Pass. From here I could see the central fells had quite a bit of sunshine on them, but the scafells and the southern fells were still under a lot of cloud. From here I took the path that leads up from the mountain rescue stretcher box.

Looking down to the Borrowdale side of Sty Head Pass. The fells in the distance are the Dodds and Clough head.

Sty Head Tarn from the route up to great Gable. From here route to the summit is very easy to follow and most of it is on a good well maintained path. You can just make out a couple of tents near the tarn.

From the summit looking down to the head of Ennerdale Valley, with Kirk Fell and Pillar on the left and Haystacks, High Crag, High Stile and Red Pike on the right side of the valley. On the right of the picture you can see Crummock Water.
It was very windy with some strong gusts on the summit. It was so bad I had to sit on the ground to hold the camera steady.

From the summit again, this time looking over Sprinkling Tarn to Allen Crags, the Langdale Pikes and Windermere. The large fell on the right is Great End with Esk Pike and Bow Fell befind.

Ennerdale Valley again from a little way down the route off Great Gable.

From the route down to Beck Head, looking over Haystacks and Fleetwith Pike towards the North Western fells.

Beck Head and Beck Head Tarn. The path leading up onto Kirk Fell is the one I came down the other week on my Kirk Fell walk.

Looking back up my route off Great Gable. The path is very steep, very rocky at the top and on loose scree on the bottom half.

Wastwater with Illgill Head on the left and Yewbarrow on the right. The picture was taken from just above Beck Head.

Haystacks and the Grasmoor fells from the start of the path down from Beck Head.

Looking down the route to Wasdale Head. Very easy to follow, but also very steep. On this part of the path I needed to watch every step, because the path was just sliding away under my feet.

One last look back up the path. I've walked down to Wasdale from Beck Head may times before, but this is the first time I've used this path instead of the main path that runs higher up the side of Great Gable.

David Hall -
Lake District Walks