Ronald Turnbull

The Riddle of Sphinx Rock

Grand to look at, grand to look from, and grand to climb' — so Great Gable was described over a hundred years ago. Probably the Lake District's best loved hill, it receives twenty thousand ascents each year and has seen the birth of two separate sorts of hill sport. In The Riddle of Sphinx Rock, award-winning outdoor writer Ronald Turnbull asks why we find Great Gable so irresistibly attractive. His answer suggests that the greatness of Gable is far more than just a matter of getting to the top. As he walks, scrambles and climbs, he explores the subtleties of its terrain and its geology, history and myths. You'll meet characters and locations that are an integral part of its story: Wordsworth and his Wheel of Fells, Fanny Mercer and her bad alpenstock technique, the Wadd Holes and Pillar Rock, Moses Rigg and Geoffrey Winthrop Young. By turns intriguing and funny, erudite and provocative, The Riddle of Sphinx Rock was chosen by Trail magazine as one of six top titles in its How To Be Mountain Literate section: 'A boutique history of one the UK's most fascinating mountains, filled with memorable characters, classic routes and derring-do. Puts you in the historic thick of one of our most atmospheric and iconic mountains.'
146 printed pages
Original publication


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