Hello, my name is Mal Tabb.
Thanks for visiting our web pages. Marion & I operate a small outdoor activity organisation called Canoes, Mountains & Caves. We provide activities for: adults, young people, schools, charities, families & individuals. A key aspect of our work is the provision of a "Community Programme" which is offered free of charge to participants. If you think we might be able to help please don't hesitate to contact us, you can find out more about what we do on our main website www.canoesmountainscaves.com

Sunday, 27 May 2012

An Evening in Stannah Gill

With: on my own
Weather: a fine summer evening
Where: Thirlmere, Lake District

Stybarrow Dodd From Sticks Pass Close to the Head of Stannah Gill

Well its still summer in Cumbria, in fact the sun hasn't gone in since the last post was written. 

The mini-series on gill scrambling continues - part 2 - Stannah Gill.

Stannah Gill is situated just to the north of Thirlmere reservoir and drains an area of the Dodds, its followed for much of its course by Sticks Pass. Tonight was an even later start than the recent visit to Seathwaite with an arrival at the hamlet of Stannah at quarter to eight in the evening, the temperature on the car's guage still reading an incredible 22degC. Again this route is described by Brian Evans in "Scrambles in the Lake District, Volume 2: Northern Lakes.

The gill is quickly reached, an advantage to many, by a short walk up Stannah Lane; over the stile; across the leat and on to the footbridge - continuation on the path at this point would quickly put you on to Sticks Pass. A significant part of the plan for this evening was to assess whether the gill offers a better route to the tops than the unrelenting slog up the pass. 

Stepping off the footbridge the lower section of the gill offers some straightforward scrambling from the outset, all avoidable if that is your choice and multiple options at each obstacle. The first significant hurdle is a higher fall ca. 4-5m, I had a go at traversing round to the left but had to retreat & fared better climbing vague rock steps to the right a little way off from the stream bed.

There are numerous falls (similar to picture on left) as progress is made by a mixture of walking, scrambling and optional simple bouldering. Generally the gradient is not particularly intense, however, I did find much of the rock to be quite friable, it was certainly extremely slippery close to the stream bed - one minor slip, my foot could have only moved by 12 inches, left me with cut to the jaw as I landed awkwardly. It didn't stop bleeding till the following morning!

The whole aspect of the gill is pleasant and although the scrambling is nothing special it certainly satisfies the objective of providing an attractive alternative to Sticks Pass. I continued with the watercourse to the point at which a large bowl, nearing the final slopes of Stybarrow Dodd is reached, exit to the right is up a steep grass bank and Sticks Pass is quickly regained. Stepping out at this height I was surprised by the wind - a warm easterly but strong enough to make standing upright difficult. Remembering the gradient of this path from my last descent I thought on to bring some poles tonight & found them extremely useful on the return journey (I very rarely use poles but will make them a fixture going forward - definitely easier on the knees). 

The views now down on to the top end of Thirlemre and across a panorama of Lake District peaks were superlative, attempts to photograph (below) don't really do the scene justice. 

Back at the car in just a little over two hours the temperature was still 18degC, summer continues!

 What an Evening!

Looking Down on Stannah From High In Stannah Gill

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