We got parked easily along the roadside and began following the footpath past the nearby farm buildings and parallel to the river. Shortly after starting the walk the footpath seemed to disappear, although we were following the map closely. The ground suddenly became wet and boggy, and not very enjoyable to cross. We could see another footpath on the opposite side of the river which seemed to be the way other walkers were heading, so we made a mental note to use that path on the way back instead. After crossing a huge swamp, jumping a fence and scrambling across the river we eventually joined onto a proper footpath again and began the ascent up towards Styhead Tarn.
So sadly we headed down - which turned out to be just as difficult as going up! Clambering back down the rocks, clinging on for life as our feet slid around on the snow is not an experience I'd like to repeat! Eventually we were back at the tarn, navigating along the icy footpath until we dropped down low enough to finally relax. We had been defeated and it felt horrible. After so many ruined plans of going up Great Gable I finally thought this was our chance and I could at last cross this walk off my list. It really feels as though something is trying to stop us going up this mountain, but I will not be beaten! We have both agreed that we'll wait until winter is well and truly over before trying again, to eliminate any chance of the path being icy.
Although no Wainwright's have been ticked off for me recently we still managed to get out in the fresh air for a walk, and we have many plans for other walks in the future. There's only 2 or 3 weekends over the next month or so where we will be free to attempt more Wainwright's before we head off to the USA for 4 weeks of adventures! So fingers crossed we get some good weather windows and can tick off as many as possible before our big trip...
If anyone is interested in the walk from Seathwaite up to Styhead Tarn, see my route below! (In bad conditions, ignore the middle part heading up Great Gable - in good weather, give it a go if you're up for it!)