Drawing 397: Borrowdale from Great End

Direction of view: N

Notes: The foreground can clearly be identified as the top of South East Gully, just east of the summit.  However, getting the gully walls into the position shown in the sketch, without actually falling down the gully yourself, is difficult.  Artistic licence by AW, I think.

Comments: My first visit was on 5th November 2012 (see Drawing 360 for full account).  It was impossible to descend to the lip of the gully, to get the picture exactly as drawn by Wainwright, due to deep, unconsolidated powder snow.  The late afternoon light on Seathwaite Fell was lovely, however (image 1).

My next visit was on 18th October 2018, a day which started with a wild camp in Little Narrowcove (see 122).  The clear sunny morning had become cloudy and a bit hazy by the time I reached here (2.45pm), and I found messing about at the top of the gully tricky, even without snow.  I got the best picture I could (image 2), had a snack on the summit, and set off on the long walk back to Eskdale via Broad Crag col, packing up the tent, and Great Moss (149).

This scene also appears in Lakeland Mountain Drawings (445), and on page Great End 3 in The Southern Fells.  For anyone familiar with Wainwright’s penmanship at its best, the mountain drawing is almost shockingly crude at first sight.  Ironically, Wainwright progressed from five books of exquisite drawings he called sketches, to five books of sketches he called drawings.