Drawing 286: The top of the Napes, Great Gable

Direction of view: SW

Notes: The viewpoint is Westmorland Cairn.  In 2014 I was unable to find the exact rocks in the near foreground, but it appears that these may have become overgrown by moss and grass.

A photograph of this scene is the first photo in Ex-Fellwanderer; it also appears on page 106 of Fellwalking with a Camera and page 183 of Memoirs of a Fellwanderer, where it is placed together with this sketch for comparison (and they are very similar).  Another sketch of the scene is on page Great Gable 13 in The Western Fells.

Comments: I first took this photo on slide film on 26th May 1992, on a walk with Peter Messenger: see Drawing 264.

I took this picture with a digital camera on 31st March 2014 on a walk with Peter Watson (see Drawing 173 for an account of the day).  The weather was hazy, but this is a relatively close up view, and I was pleased with the picture I got.  We encountered several walkers clutching sheets of paper and looking for Westmorland Cairn, so presumably it had recently featured in an outdoors magazine.

In the County Archives in Kendal is a large book.  It looks like a hotel Visitors Book, and it was indeed kept at the Wasdale Head Inn; but its purpose was for climbers to record their new routes.  One entry, dating from early September 1913 is in bold, confident writing, and records the ascent of a new route on Abbey Buttress on the Napes.  The entry is signed by George Leigh Mallory.  He would have been 27 at the time.