Author Topic: Great End via The Band  (Read 582 times)

Brandywell

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Great End via The Band
« on: 17:20:16, 18/10/17 »
Quite a few Wainwright baggers choose Great End as the final fell to complete their round, perhaps attracted by its name.  Most though tick it off early on their round because it can be easily climbed from Esk Hause on the way to Scafell Pike.  For those saving it for last, a direct climb along The Band and up the craggy northern face above it would mark a memorable end to their quest to complete the Wainwrights.  Alternatively, you can make an epic ascent via Skew Gill and Cust's Gully, but that is hardly a pedestrian route.  The Band is much easier and can be reached from Sty Head.



Lots of walkers were heading off from Seathwaite Farm along the track to Stockley Bridge no doubt bound for Scafell Pike.  To avoid the crowds I turned off through the farm's barn arch to cross the footbridge over the Derwent and followed the path to the impressive Taylorgill Force and on to Sty Head



Great End, Broad Crag and Scafell Pike from the path to Sty Head



Styhead Tarn



The Band and Great End from the path to Sty Head



There's no need to go all the way to the top of the pass, you can take a short cut to join the path to Esk Hause



Styhead Tarn from the path to Esk Hause



 The Band flanked by the crags of Spout Head.  Skew Gill is the dark cleft on the right.



I continued on the Esk Hause path to the point where it crosses a stream and then turned up the slope to reach a small col on the crest of The Band



Looking up The Band from the col



Lingmell from the col



Great Gable and Green Gable from the col



Wasdale Head from the col



I followed a vague path along the left side of The Band.  Although the best views are to be had on the right side of the ridge above the Spout Head escarpment, this one is easier. 



Sprinkling Tarn from The Band



Looking back to Styhead Tarn.



The Band comes to an end above a narrow col at the head of Skew Gill.  Though it's not named on any map, the col has a place in the history of Winter climbing in the UK.  The Victorian members of the Alpine Cub used to pass over the col after climbing Skew Gill, they called it Col de la Grande Finale.  Their 'grand finale' would have been Cust's Gully or possibly Great Gully on the north-eastern face of Great End.  Alpine Club member W.P. Haskett Smith wrote in 1894  "To go by Skew Gill and so up Cust's Gully, has been for many years the regulation expedition for the first day of a winter sojourn at Wastdale Head "   The first recorded ascent of Cust's Gully was made in 1880 by a party of over 20 members of the Alpine Club led by Arthur Cust.



Lingmell from the top of The Band



Kirk Fell and Great Gable from the top of The Band



' Col de la Grande Finale '



From the col my 'grande finale',  the ascent of the north face, looks a bit daunting but there is clear path which threads its way through the lower crags

 

Looking back over the col from the start of the climb of the north face



Looking across to Allen Crags



Great Gable from the path through the crags



A small cairn set on a rock marks the end of the initial steep section of the climb, it helps locate the path through the lower crags if making a descent of this route.   



Above the lower crags the path is less clear, it veers over to the left towards the upper buttresses



Looking back over The Band to Styhead Tarn



The Langdale Pikes and Windermere across the north-eastern face of Great End



The path heads up a gully passing the head of Branch Gully as it rises to an open bouldery slope which leads directly to the north-western cairn on Great End

 

Looking over to Lingmell



Looking back to Sprinkling Tarn



Skiddaw and Derwent Water from the north-western cairn.



Ill Crag, Broad Crag and Scafell Pike from the north-western cairn



Lingmell from the north-western cairn



Wasdale Head from the north-western cairn



The summit of Great End from the north-western cairn



The head of Cust's Gully



 
Watch where you are putting your feet : AW

Percy

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #1 on: 17:36:51, 18/10/17 »
Very nice TR Brandywell. And also very timely for me. I'm planning to go up this way in the coming weeks so it's fantastic to see the route, and have your description, as I've not been up this way before.

snoopdawg

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #2 on: 21:27:57, 18/10/17 »
Excellent trip.

Did it in snow last Nov, great day!

Its certainly a different way from the usual.

Ridge

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #3 on: 22:24:09, 18/10/17 »
Lovely photos of a great walk  O0
Over hill, over dale. Thorough brush, thorough brier....
I do wander every where

Strider

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #4 on: 02:01:46, 19/10/17 »
Thanks for posting Brandywell, looks a great walk, one for the spring meet perhaps.
Not all those who wander are lost

adalard

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #5 on: 08:39:13, 19/10/17 »
Excellent TR, Brandywell.  O0  Looks like a fantastic walk and the photos are superb - the light in some of them is just breathtaking.

sunnydale

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #6 on: 09:25:51, 19/10/17 »
Lovely photos O0
***Happiness is only a smile away***

Brandywell

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #7 on: 09:28:44, 19/10/17 »
Very nice TR Brandywell. And also very timely for me. I'm planning to go up this way in the coming weeks so it's fantastic to see the route, and have your description, as I've not been up this way before.

Thanks Percy, I'm glad you've found it useful for your upcoming walk, good luck with that.  O0   Look carefully at photo No.20 and you will see a walker and his dog descending through the crags.  They are also in No.16 but more difficult to spot.

Excellent trip.

Did it in snow last Nov, great day!

Its certainly a different way from the usual.

Respect,  O0 I've never attempted under winter conditions

Lovely photos of a great walk  O0

Thanks Ridge  :)

Thanks for posting Brandywell, looks a great walk, one for the spring meet perhaps.

Thanks Colin,  If the meet is in Wasdale,then that's the best starting point especially if you take the old path to Sty Head above Spouthead Gill, the views up to The Band from there are fantastic.  O0

Excellent TR, Brandywell.  O0  Looks like a fantastic walk and the photos are superb - the light in some of them is just breathtaking.

Thanks adalard, I'm glad it remained clear, it looked as it might have rained at one stage.  :)

Lovely photos O0

Thanks sunnydale  :)
Watch where you are putting your feet : AW

April

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #8 on: 12:27:19, 19/10/17 »
Fab report Brandywell of a fab route  O0 Lovely pics too  :)

I've done it once solo and the second time with beefy when we were carrying our camping stuff and I wished I hadn't chosen such a steep (in parts) route  :)
"Who would've thought...... you are light and darkness coming through" words by Tim Armstrong

GeoffB

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #9 on: 15:02:15, 01/11/17 »
Thanks for sharing this. The photos are excellent. This one is going on my list for my annual week in the Lake District next autumn  O0

Welsh Rambler

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #10 on: 19:37:06, 01/11/17 »
That looked a challenging trip Brandywell and some great photos of fabulous scenery. Thanks for sharing  O0  What was your total distance?


Regards Keith

beefy

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #11 on: 19:52:35, 01/11/17 »
Great pics  O0

43 wild camps last year 32 this year ( ͡ᵔ ͜ʖ ͡ᵔ )
Plus 2 campsites :)

Brandywell

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #12 on: 15:45:43, 02/11/17 »
Fab report Brandywell of a fab route  O0 Lovely pics too  :)

I've done it once solo and the second time with beefy when we were carrying our camping stuff and I wished I hadn't chosen such a steep (in parts) route  :)

Thanks April.  I remember not being able to face that climb when backpacking back home over the fell tops between Catbells and Coniston Old Man.  I thought it might have resulted in a late pitch on Long Top Crinkle Crags, that's my excuse anyway.  ;)
Thanks for sharing this. The photos are excellent. This one is going on my list for my annual week in the Lake District next autumn  O0
Thanks GeoffB.  It can be climbed equally well from Wasdale Head, the way I've usually climbed it in the past.  O0
That looked a challenging trip Brandywell and some great photos of fabulous scenery. Thanks for sharing  O0  What was your total distance?


Regards Keith
Thanks Keith.  The northern crags are not as difficult as they appear from the top of The Band, I think there is just one steepish step early on.  The total distance was 6.75 miles returning to Seathwaite via Esk Hause and Grains Gill.  :)
Thanks Beefy.  Have you ever had a wild camp beside Lambfoot Dub which is accessable from the top of The Band.   Weather permitting, a sunset from there would be spectacular.  8)
Watch where you are putting your feet : AW

GeoffB

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #13 on: 16:28:08, 02/11/17 »
[size=78%]Thanks GeoffB.  It can be climbed equally well from Wasdale Head, the way I've usually climbed it in the past. [/size] O0

How did you know that's where I'd be starting from? Burnthwaite Farm is my regular lodging for a week every September  :)

Explore More U.K.

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Re: Great End via The Band
« Reply #14 on: 18:27:23, 02/11/17 »
Love it! Some excellent pics. ;D