Explore Allerdale

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Or Venue Name


image for Walking Route item typeGreat Gable via Moses Trod at Borrowdale

Walking Route

View of Great Gable from Wasdale Head

View of Great Gable from Wasdale Head


Moses Trod, the high-level path that skirts the base of Great Gable's impressive north face (Gable Crag), owes its existence to a colourful quarryman known as Moses Rigg. Before the establishment of a proper road network in the district he devised the route as the shortest way of conveying slate from the quarries at Honister Pass to Wasdale Head from where the valley road leads to the port of Ravenglass. But slate was not the only thing his pony-drawn sled carried. Hidden among the loads, he concealed his own illegally distilled whisky, which he smuggled for sale on his travels. The remains of a hut high on Gable Crag have been linked to Moses and suggested as a site of one of his stills - it is located in a very exposed position midway up the buttress to the left of Central Gully. The site is known amongst climbers as 'Smugglers' Retreat'.

This superb path climbs a steady course from the broad col between Fleetwith Pike and Grey Knotts around stone Cove to gain the base of Great Gable's northwest ridge. A high-level crossing of Great Gable can be completed by returning over the subsidiary peaks of Green Gable and Brandreth.

Duration: 5 - 6 hours

Miles: 6

Time/Effort 3 out of 5
Navigation 3 out of 5
Technicality 3 out of 5
Height gain/loss (metres) 679
OS map OS Landranger 90, OS Outdoor Leisure 4,


Cumbria Tourism


CA12 5UY


Plan route to Borrowdale using Google mapsPlan route using Google maps

Map reference: NY 252172  Lat: 54.54495 Long: -3.15699