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Date & start time: Sunday 8th November 2009. 8.15 am start.

Location of Start : Honister Mine car park, Honister, Cumbria, Uk ( NY 226 135 )

Places visited : Drum House, Moses Trod, Beck Head, Great Gable, Windy Gap, Green Gable, Brandreth, Grey Knotts and back down to Honister.

Walk details : 6.75 mls, 2550 ft, 6 hrs 40 mins including lunch and the Service.

Highest point : Great Gable 2,949ft ( 899m)

Walked with : Jo, Joan, Peter, Neil, Dave, Ann, Gareth and the dogs, Watson, Amber, Polly, Harry and Bethan, meeting Ben and Richard, also of the OFC, on the summit.

Weather : Low cloud and cool but with the chance of it brightening at lunchtime.


Great Gable Remembrance 2009

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The Sunday closest to November 11th each year is celebrated as Remembrance Sunday.

Acts of Remembrance take place all over the country to remind us of all those that have fought, suffered and died in service to our Nation.

- - - o o o - - -

We started the weekend with a dinner at the Kirkstile in Loweswater the night before.

Peter (in green) then clockwise, John, Ann, Jeff and Rachel, Jo, Neil and myself ( photo by Gareth )

Peter made a surprise award to Ann and myself.
Gold OFC badges for our efforts in support of the OFC.

May we say how honoured we both are for everyone's kind thoughts which are reflected in Peter's OFC Club Page

- - - o o o - - -

Next morning, an early start as we climb Great Gable for the Fell and Rock Club Act of Remembrance.

We were part of a group of ten OFC members and friends aiming to join the large assembly on the summit of the fell at 11 am.

Leaving the Honister Mine complex.

The owner, Mark Weir, has donated car park fees for this event to the Royal British Legion

There were many people ahead as we started along Moses Trod

but we were by no means the last in the queue.

The low cloud base and a passing shower in the valley restrict visibility

except for the view of Harry in the foreground !

Joan leads Jo, Ann and Gareth along this part of the walk.

The Brandreth Fence is crossed by Neil and Dave.

Ann spots something and tells Gareth.

A brief view of Kirk Fell and onward through the gap of Beck Head.

We are aiming for Beck Head before we climb the last section of the walk up Gable itself.

Strong sunlight illuminates the flanks of Wasdale's Red Pike, seen across the top of Black Sail Pass.

We could just make out Windy Gap and the people using that route to the summit.

Clearer air over Ennerdale and maybe the weather is improving earlier than forecast . . . that would be nice.

Beck Head and the view down to Wast Water, looking lovely in the sunshine.

Ok . . . but we're heading up into the clouds.
Peter considers riding up, using Harry as a shetland pony !

Into the sunshine the climbers are silhouetted as they set off up the slope.

" Crufts on Tour " part way up the climb.

Reaching the top of Great Gable

where the crowd of walkers has started to gather around the summit cairn.

We form an unattentive group close to the top . . . someone tell them to turn around for a photo !

[ Hold your cursor over the photos to catch their attention]

Gareth supporting an extra windproof layer !
That sun may just come out.
Photos from the summit . . .
. . . a large group of 800 (?) has gathered at the top.
They spread all around the top . . .
. . . as far as the eye could see in this mist.

The representative of the Fell and Rock Climbing Club who organise this gathering each year

stands to catch everyone's attention at the start of the service.

- - - o o o - - -

I was able to capture the speach on video . . . click here or on the photos above for a short video

( The 2 min video should open a new window and play in your Windows Media Player)

( It may take a minute or so to download on slower connection speeds - please be patient )

- - - o o o - - -

Tributes are laid in Remembrance of those who died in service to their country in the two World Wars

and in more recent conflicts such as the Falklands, Iraq and Afghanistan.

Floral tributes and the summit Memorial.

I believe the group behind were members of an RAF Mountain Rescue team.

I was honoured to place a few stones from the Belgian Battlefields at Ypres at the memorial,

at the request of a Loweswatercam viewer Luc Lemiere who visited us recently, but who was unable at that time to undertake the climb himself .

The stones were collected at Polygon Woods (top left) . . .
. . . close to the town of Becelaere near Ypres.

After the 11 o'clock ceremony was over, we made our way to the Westmorland Cairn for an early lunch.

A gentleman was there sporting a flag from the " Help for Heroes " charity.

Weak sunshine penetrating the mountain mists that surrounded Westmorland Cairn.

We find a spot for lunch out of the cool breeze.

- - - o o o - - -

Afterwards we retrace our steps to the summit and then make our way across towards Windy Gap and start our descent.

John is away today but we are dog-sitting Polly.

Perhaps the caption should be " I know him . . . but it's not my Dad "

Ann and Gareth, suitably dressed against the cold weather, descend towards Windy Gap.

Ahead, Peter and our dogs are nearly there.

The cloud hasn't lifted much since we saw Windy Gap from below on the outward part of our walk.

Green Gable summit cairn . . . definitely no view today.

On the way down Peter and I met this gentleman . . .
. . . a certain Mr Henry Iddon . . . it's a small world !

Henry has recently shown his photos in the "Spots of Time" exhibition in Grasmere.

You may recollect them as the series of unusual night time photos of Lakeland towns and fells.

He has also contributed an article to the current edition of " The Lost Sheep", the OFC's own magazine.

His next project . . . full length photos of people who use the National Park for leisure . . . so a full length photo of Henry it is then ( picture 2 ) !

Base Brown as we make our way down out of the cloud.

Sunshine brightens the fields of Upper Borrowdale.

Peter surveys the scene from high above Brandreth tarns.

The forecasted improvement in the weather seems to have arrived at last.

Leaving the clouds behind, we start the ascent of Brandreth itself.

Sunshine on Rosthwaite Fells as Ann, Jo and Amber pass by.

Another slightly silhouetted shot as we take a last look back at Great Gable, still shrouded in mountain mist.

Alongside us, an indistinct Buttermere Valley.

Suddenly everything cleared and gave us a superb version of the same scene.

Click here or on the photo for a wider, annotated view

A design in Lichen - a flying Jumbo the Elephant - What do you think ?
" Very interesting . . . but it's not a Speckled Hen "

What we need now is for Neil to fall in - that would be an interesting shot !

[ Hold your cursor over the photos to try and push him in !]

Richard and Jo on the final summit of the day . . . Grey Knotts
Father and son . . . ahhhh ( "But it's still not a Specked Hen" says Polly )

Gareth has a problem with a self inflating valve on his suit so I try and fix it !

- - - o o o - - -

For all you twitchers out there . . .

I'm informed that this may be a migrant Red Wing

a relatively rare visitor to our shores

- - - o o o - - -

[ Stop press: I'm not convinced however, based on this RSPB link.]

[ Stop the Stop Press ]

Dave has cotacted me since with the following information :

The bird we saw resembles the Fieldfare a little more closely.

Same family and arrives here with the Redwings.

In my defence, in my three books the photographs of these are all different, it appears the plumage can vary quite a lot,

. . . as can my memory!

. . . and I'm also grateful to Richard Abraham for the following :

I nery much enjoy looking at your mountain walks, and looking at the Remembrance Sunday on Great Gable I noticed the picture of a bird.

It is not a Redwing but a FIELDFARE. Both are regular winter visitors to the UK, often in large numbers in the right places.

Nevertheless interesting sight. From close up picture seems like the bird was tame through exhaustion.


One last bit to go . . . as we survey the scene below.

We reach the valley and find our personal transport waiting . . . on the patch of gravel behind the helicopter !

- - - o o o - - -

An excellent walk with the added poignancy of Remembrance Day.

" Lest we forget "

- - - o o o - - -

Our friends John and Dee chose to join the Remembrance Service on Castle Crag this year and sent me the following photos :

The Memorial Plaque on Castle Crag.

There were 25 soldiers from the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment present at the event along with their Major and a bugler.

Miles from the Scafell Hotel made an emotional introduction.
At the end the bugler played the Last Post.

The Major (sorry didn't get his name) said some heartfelt words and read out the names of 9 soldiers from the regiment

who have lost their lives in active service in the last couple of years.

" We will remember them "


I think the word 'ceremony' is perhaps more appropriate than 'service' for the event that took place on Castle Crag. Although there was obviously a significant military presence at the ceremony and a couple of prayers were said I actually think the whole thing was very well judged. It is a simple truth that most of the people being remembered were in the forces in some role or other and as you say the events of the last year or so lent a particular relevance to the attendance of the soldiers on Sunday.

The major, in his short address, said that whilst there may not always be great public support for the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq, in all his time in the army he has never known such strong support for the service men and women themselves.

All in all I think it was a simple act of remembrance and whatever views on religion or the military one may have the whole thing was entirely appropriate and acceptable.

John and Dee

Many thanks for letting us share the photos from your day . . . Rmh

Hi Anne & Roger,

I am Proud to say it was me who was flying The Help for Heroes Flag on Remembrance sunday at Great Gable.

It is a charity close to my Heart.

Best wishes from Whitehaven.

Cheers Adrian, didn't recognise you in the mist !

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . the foresight gained from hindsight perhaps ?

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