The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Grey Knotts, Brandreth, Green Gable, Great Gable and Kirk Fell

Wednesday 7 September

What a disappointing morning I had today. Quite terrifying at one point too.

My objectives were the Marilyns of Great Gable and Kirk Fell (with a question mark on my route sheet as to whether I would continue on to Pillar) and, having opted to start from Honister Pass the most obvious route that jumped out at me was via Grey Knotts, Brandreth and Green Gable.

Even though it was grey and cloudy as I set out at 8am, I had faith, based on the weather forecast, that the cloud would quickly lift, leaving me with a fine day.

It didn't and thus what I saw from my summits was nothing but my immediate surroundings.

The sunglasses proved overly optimistic!

A chap had been ahead of me as I set off up the attack-the-hillside path to Grey Knotts, but he peeled off. A woman was passed as I made my way up to Green Gable. They were the only people I saw until I was back at the pass below Kirk Fell, on my return leg. The last twenty minutes of my outing was not lacking in company, as I approached the Slate Mines.

As you may gather from the title, I opted not to continue on to Pillar, on the basis that the tops were still under cloud and showing no signs of clearing. I almost didn't make it to Kirk Fell either. It turns out that if, in appalling visibility, you stray slightly from the correct line off Great Gable, you can find yourself on dangerously steep scree slopes. That was an experience I hope never to repeat, and it nearly caused me to abandon the rest of my walk altogether. However, once I'd decided that onwards was going to be as easy as retreat, and once I'd reached blissfully unsloping grassiness at the pass, I thought I may as well continue at least to Kirk Fell.

My return leg, taking the Moses Trod path which skirts the hillside below my morning's tops, was straightforward and featured views. Whilst the three highest tops of my outing remained stubbornly in cloud until they were out of my sight, I did drop below it on my return.

Reaching Colin (and Mick), patiently waiting for me just below the pass, I had covered 8.4 miles. I've not yet looked at the ascent figure.


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