There is no lack of drama in The Western Fells. Ancient peaks of volcanic rock rise from valley to summit in uninterupted thrusts, making this one of the most delectable parts of England's finest mountain arena - The Lake District. From the valley, there is one mountain in particular that turns heads, artracts the camera and draws admiring glances. I'm talking about Great Gable, the most visually arresting mountain in the Lakes. In fact, Gable is the centrepiece in "England's favourite view", that gorgeous panorama across Wasdale with Yewbarrow on the left, Gable centre stage and Lingmell on the right.
I could wax lyrical about Great Gable here, but this is not the Great Gable episode. That will have to wait until conditions allow me to do justice to what is arguably the finest mountain in the Lake District (it is now twice I've set off with the motivation of creating the Great Gable episode and twice conditions have said no). This episode belongs to its neighbour, the huge bulk of Kirk Fell, a mountain that is more massive but less high and much less pointy. Nevertheless, were it to be further removed from such an iconic peak, Kirk Fell would surely have its own fan club. Its summit is right in the heart of things, with Gable itself looking formidable and the rising ridge of Pillar to the west looking sumptuous.
But, for me, the view across and down onto Yewbarrow, with Mosedale Beck glistening as it snakes its way down to Wast Water, is the crowning glory of the route my friend Joe and I took on this early December afternoon. We continued onto Pillar, another heavyweight of the Lakes, another mountain deserving of a separate episode, another mountain that was completely shrouded in cloud. One thing is for certain, I will be back to the Western Fells, there is too much drama here not to.