Borrowdale Great Gable Loop

Fells: Eagle Crag, Sergeants Crag, High Raise, Rossett Pike, Great Gable, Green Gable, Brandreth, Grey Knotts, Dale Head.

18.92 miles / 30.45km

7293ft / 2223m elevation

6 hours and 14 minutes

I planned this run as my partner was going for a long weekend in Spain, so I seized my opportunity to head up to the Lake District on my own and have a full day running on the fells. I wanted a challenging route that would take me around some of the biggest fells, and to explore an area in the Lakes that I don’t seem to end up very often.

I decided to set up camp at the Chapel House Farm campsite in Borrowdale, a campsite that was new to me. The campsite is situated amongst the fells with plenty of directions to choose from for my run. I arrived at the campsite on Saturday afternoon and soon after managed to end up at the pub! The Scafell Hotel / Riverside Bar was a lovely environment with friendly staff, and absolutely amazing fish and chips! Plus within a 5 minute walk from the campsite. Once I finished my food, I went on a walk and watched the sunset from a rock on the side of the footpath heading up to Bessyboot, overlooking the valley where in the distance was a farmer hard at work herding his sheep.

The morning soon came and I was packing my gear into the car before setting off on my run. Brewed a quick coffee and had some breakfast, then I was on my way. I was very happen with the weather conditions, some cloud but I had some blue skies too. I headed out of the campsite and headed down the valley towards Eagle Crag, the first fell on my run. The path was straight up the face of the fell, it was a 30 minute slog from the foot to the summit, but I suppose that was the quickest way to gain some climb.
It wasn’t long until I reached the next fell, Sergeants Crag, which is when I found myself hidden amongst the clouds. I was hoping this wouldn’t be the case. The clag made navigating my way to High Raise very tricky, especially as the path wasn’t well trodden. I spent most of the next part of the run with boggy water up to my ankles and my eye glued to my map trying to work out where the path had gone. Eventually giving up on finding a path (I want to say there wasn’t one, I couldn’t find it!) I followed the GPS on my phone towards the summit of High Raise. I couldn’t believe it, I found a solid path! My feet were drenched but my spirits were lifted. Soon after arriving at High Raise, and leaving the cloud behind me, I could see the blue skies again!

The next fell was Rossett Pike, by this time the cloud was long gone and I was proper chuffed. I nearly cut my run short 5 minutes prior, having just dealt with getting lost in the cloud and bogs, I’m glad I didn’t. The next leg was fantastic, following the path past Angle Tarn and Sprinkling Tarn at the foot of Great End, until I reached the foot of Great Gable.

Great Gable was a seriously tough climb. According to Strava the segment from Sty Head Pass to the summit of Great Gable took me 35 minutes and 5 seconds. It felt a lot longer! At the top I rewarded myself with a galaxy bar, it was delicious. Before long I was back on my feet and heading towards Green Gable. From the summit of Great Gable, I joined the leg 4 path of the Bob Graham round, which takes me to the summits of Green Gable, Brandreth and Grey Knotts, then down to Honister Pass.

It was this section of the run that I had doubted when planning the route, the last climb from Honister Pass up to Dale Head. Not knowing how my legs would be holding up, I chose to bring poles just in case I was hobbling at this point of the run, and to my surprise I was holding up pretty good! A very hard 31 minutes later, I was at the cairn of Dale Head. I perched at the top, looking down the valley with Skiddaw in the distance.

It was downhill from there, all the way back to the campsite. I took in the views with a big smile on my face, all I can remember though is deciding where to buy a pork pie from on my way home, also the beer I had saved myself as a reward for completing my run.

6 hours and 14 minutes, I was back where I started at Chapel House Farm, drinking a beer in the sun and already planning my next run in the Lakes.

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