Base Brown is a fell in
England's Lake District near the head of the Borrowdale Valley. It forms
one side of the Seathwaite Valley and on the western side it is flanked
by the hanging valley of Gillercomb.
The Western Fells occupy a triangular sector of the Lake District,
bordered by the River Cocker to the north east and Wasdale to the south
east. Westwards the hills diminish toward the coastal plain of
At the central hub of the high country are Great
Gable and its satellites, while two principal ridges fan out on either
flank of Ennerdale. The western fells in effect being a great horsehoe
around this long wild valley.
Base Brown is a near neighbour of
Great Gable, also bordering onto the Southern Fells.
and its lesser companion Green Gable stand at the head of Ennerdale,
with the walkers' pass of Sty Head to their backs. Base Brown is the
summit of the north east ridge of Green Gable, standing out into
All of Base Brown's waters ultimately reach this
valley, passing via Derwentwater to the sea at Workington.
steep and rough slope descends north east from the summit of Green
Gable, dropping through Mitchell Cove to the flat-topped and rather damp
col of Blackmoor Pols (1,995 ft).
Beyond this the ground rises
again to the steep sided dome of Base Brown. On the south eastern face
are crags overlooking Styhead Gill with Seathwaite Fell across the
The north western flanks are equally steep but descending
only half the vertical distance into the hanging valley of Gillercomb.
This is the gathering ground of Sour Milk Gill, which drops over a
series of falls around the northern extremity of Base Brown. Here it
joins Styhead Gill and Grains Gill to form the nascent River Derwent.
Across Gillercomb is the main ridge continuing north around
Ennerdale, Brandreth being the initial fell.
The top of Base
Brown narrows considerably to the north of the summit, a prow-like ridge
descending toward the falls of Sour Milk Gill. There is a prominent
hanging stone here, startlingly poised over the rim of the crags.
Another feature is the Seathwaite Slabs, a set of slabs of rocks
used for rock climbing practice by novices and conveniently located only
minutes from Seathwaite.
Although surrounded by crags the summit
itself is of grass with a few boulders and a cairn marks the highest
The view is restricted by higher neighbours, but the view
north east down Borrowdale takes in Skiddaw and the Helvellyn range. The
northern face of the Scafells is also seen in close up in the opposite
direction. Water in view from the summit is restricted to Derwentwater
and part of Styhead Tarn.
Base Brown is often passed on the way
to Sty Head and Esk Hause, along the popular paths which start at
Base Brown is itself almost exclusively climbed from
this hamlet via the cascades of Sour Milk Gill.
Once the foot of
Gillercomb is reached a choice presents itself. Either the walker can
continue up the gill to reach Blackmoor Pols and then make an easy
traverse back to the summit, or a direct line can be taken up the north
Base Brown can also be used as the first step to climbing
Green and Great Gable.
routes near Base Brown