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Great Gable via Moses’ Trod from Honister Pass

By Dave Roberts   

on December 29, 2018    No ratings yet.

Great Gable via Moses’ Trod from Honister Pass

Further Details

Route Summary:

A circular route up Great Gable from Honister via Moses’ Trod and Brandreth.

This walk includes the 3 Wainwrights of Great Gable, Green Gable, Brandreth

This walk includes the 3 Hewitts of Great Gable, Green Gable, Brandreth

This walk includes the 3 Nuttalls of Great Gable, Green Gable, Brandreth

Route Start Location: Honister Hause

10.43 km 683 m 5 hours

Calculate the time using Naismith’s Rule and factor in your own pace.

Activivity Type: Hard Walk

Summits and Places on this Route


Toilets and refreshments at Honister Slate Mine


Remember that we cannot outline every single hazard on a walk – it’s up to you to be safe and competent. Read up on Mountain Safety , Navigation and what equipment you’ll need.

Parking : CA12 5XN

There is plenty of parking at the Honister Slate Mine which charges £5 for the day (refundable if you spend £10 in their gift shop).

Tucked away behind the youth hostel is a National Trust car park which is free for members.

Public Transport:

During the summer season, the 77/77A Honister Rambler runs a circular route from Keswick that also stops at Grange and Buttermere.

Traveline for UK Public Transport

Recommended Maps


Great Gable via Moses’ Trod from Honister Pass Ordnance Survey Map and GPX File Download

Download file for GPS

Great Gable via Moses’ Trod from Honister Pass

The route up Great Gable from Honister Slate Mines is one of the most popular route up England’s 4th highest mountain. This circular route takes in the ascent via the easy to follow Moses’ Trod and descends via Green Gable and Brandreth to form a circular route.

Moses’ Trod is an old track that joins Honister to Wasdale Head as the fastest way to carry slates from one valley to the next. However, it was as a smuggler’s route that the track gained notoriety, and its current name. The track is named after Moses Rigg who used it to smuggle illegal moonshine from Honsiter into Wasdale. While evidence of his existence is scant that’s hardly surprising as one can imagine that a wily smuggler would hardly want his real name known to all and sundry!

The Moses’ Trod starts from Honister Slate Mines along a good track. While there’s an initial climb, it becomes steadier as the path contours around Brandreth and Green Gable gaining height almost imperceptibly. A final pass beneath Gable Crag and you’ll reach Beck Head and Great Gable’s North West Ridge. The final 250m climb to the summit is punishing, more so in comparison to the languid start to this route.

The views from the summit are superb, especially from the Westmorland Cairn. Not surprisingly, as the cairn was built by two brothers to mark the position of the best view in the Lake District. There’s also a memorial plaque to those members of the Fell & Rock Climbing Club who died in World War I with a memorial service held annually on Remembrance Sunday.

You can return via Moses’ Trod if you wish, though a better return is to descend to Windy Gap and on to Green Gable with spectacular views down Ennerdale on the way. Finally, the route passes the pass at Gillercomb Head and over the final summit of Brandreth before rejoining Moses’ Trod for the final section down to Honister. Alternatively, you can also return to Honister over Grey Knotts for a wilder finish and here’s a full description of the section over Brandreth and Grey Knotts.

For those looking for an alternative route, read our All the Walks up Great Gable in-depth guide.

Great Gable via Moses Trod from Honister Route Description

Click here to view the full description and download the route in a new window (external site).

Dave Roberts founded Walk Eryri in 2004, with the aim of providing routes that are off the beaten track. Walk Eryri is now part of Mud and Routes which continues to provide more off beat routes and walks in Snowdonia and beyond. Dave has been exploring the hills of Eryri for over thirty years, and is a qualified Mountain Leader. Dave also established Walk up Snowdon, Walk up Scafell Pike and Walk up Ben Nevis just to mention a few.
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