Great Gable and Pillar

Great Gable and Pillar

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 54.49876°N / 3.18329°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking
Additional Information Time Required: A long day
Sign the Climber's Log


YewbarrowYewbarrow from Kirk Fell

This strenuous lakeland route takes you through the heart of the English Lake District and takes in two English classic mountains seldom visited in the same day.

Starting and ending in Seathwaite in Borrowdale it involves an ascent of Green Gable, Great Gable, Kirk Fell and Pillar with a return to Seathwaite via Wasdale Head and Styhead Tarn.

The route has splendid views throughout, especially from the rarely visited Kirk Fell.

It is approximately 20Km in length and involves 1,900m of ascent but dont be put off as there is a wonderful pub 2/3 into the trip at Wasdale Head for refreshment and to top up for the final last leg.

Getting There

Great Gable and Pillar RouteRoute

Seathwaite (NY235121) is approached from the B5289 from Keswick to Borrowdale and Honister Pass.

Take the left turn at Seatoller over a small bridge. There is ample parking on the road leading to the farm at Seathwaite.

There are a number of campsites and B&B facilities in the Borrowdale Area.

Route Description

Skafell GroupScafell Group from Kirk Fell

From Seathwaite head east through the farm gate and climb up alongside the pituresque Sour Milk Gill. There are good views down into Borrowdale and then across to Gillercombe Buttress. The path levels out before steepening to the summit of Green Gable with views across to Great End and Esk Pike and also to Pillar and the High Stile Range.

From Green Gable descend into Windy Gap and then a scramble leads up to the summit of Great Gable. There is a Memorial tablet on the summit placed by the Fell and Rock Climbing Club dedicated to the members who lost their lives in the 1914-1918 war.
From here follow rock cairns to descend NW towards Kirk Fell. This brings you to a tarn in the col and then an ascent of Kirk Fell intially heading east to the summit. From the summit head NNW and descend (carefully)to Black Sail Pass. From here ascend PIllar via Looking Stead.

From Pillar summit trig point descend steeply into Wind Gap and then down a scree path on the left to Mosedale Beck and then onto Wasdale Head.

The pub is worth a visit at this point but there is still a steep ascent to Sty Head Tarn afterwards and then a return to Seathwaite via Stockley Bridge.

Essential Gear

Usual hillwalking gear will suffice. The route is probably best done in good weather as route finding on Kirk Fell can be a little problematic in poor weather conditions.

External Links

Wasdale Mountain Rescue
Lake District weather