Date & Time: Tues 8th July 2008. 5 pm start.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater, Cumbria, Uk. ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Kirkstile, Kirgate, Mosdale pool, Mellbreak's side traverse and back via the northern top.
Walk details : 3.36 mls, 1,300 ft of ascent , 1 hrs 40 mins.Highest point : Mellbreak northern summit 1,655 ft ( 509 m)
Walked with : Myself and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Like a poor Broome day in the Kimberley Dry season ! (overcast, spots of rain but improving)
Mellbreak's dramatic northern top, as seen from the phone box
Time to walk the dogs but fortunately the dull weather was showing signs of improvement, so I decided on a longer walk up Mosedale.
As it happened I did more than I planned in the hour and a half's local run around.
First though, an extra from our garden this morning - our Red Squirrel enjoying a breakfast of hazel nuts.
I couldn't walk past the pub without taking a photo, in fact I couldn't walk past the pub without going in !
This time the purpose of the visit was to top up the supply of the latest issue of "The Lost Sheep" .
[ If you haven't ordered yours yet, mail-order it from Pete at the OFC or click the link there to buy it on Ebay ]
Passing Kirkgate Farm, Harry stops to look through the gate . . .
. . . and the occupants of the field stop by to look at him.
Up ahead I appeared to have three dogs, but no, one has black legs.
These new season lambs are growing fast aren't they ?
The dogs always make for the gate in order to have a swim in the pool and for me or Ann to throw them sticks.
Today I thought I'd turn the tables, I swam but they didn't (fortunately) throw me any sticks. They just joined in !
From the pool, I struck up the fellside in order to join the gentle traverse up the side of Mellbreak.
A feint path soon develops across the scree and anyway the dogs guide me more than adequately.
The first of the heather is out as I look down on the Mosedale Holly.
Isn't everywhere green, especially after the last ten days rather mild and damp weather.
The path gradually rises up till it reaches the coll between the north and south summits.
Here I turn left (north) and leave the sheep undisturbed to graze another day.
Up just a little further and I gain that first panorama of Whiteside and Grasmoor.
The weather is improving all the time, but the tops are still covered in a mantle of cloud.
Hen Comb and Great Borne behind as the two wet dogs make it to Mellbreak's northern top.
The second and slightly lower northern summit cairn with Loweswater below.
Before I descend, I take a look over the edge down towards Buttermere.
As I watch, two Buzzards take off from the slopes below me
and together they soar high above Hopegill Head and Grasmoor, mewing as they went. I just stood and watched in delight.
To my right, "Peel Island", the round field on the Crummock lakeside, opposite the boathouse below Lanthwaite.
A short distance further and I now have a fine view down Lorton Valley
In the cottage below, now the weather has improved, Ann is probably regretting she didn't volunteer to walk the dogs today !
The Kirkstile Inn - Did I mention they sell copies of the latest Lost Sheep at the bar ?
Nearly down now, one dirty dog pauses on the scree path for his photo to be taken.
Darling Fell and Low Fell.
This is normally one of the first pictures of a walk like this.
As you gathered from the 'Mellbreak Backwards' info (at the start) I didn't spend the whole time walking backwards, it's just that I did the route in reverse.
We almost invariably walk this route by starting up the steep face of Mellbreak then return by the traverse. Today I fancied a change.
By the time I had climbed the side of the fell I was dry from the swim, so that worked well too.
At the final gate I met and chatted to this couple, Geoff and Jane (hope I have the names right) from Whitehaven.
They have only recently taken up regular fellwalking and are expanding their repetoire of hills.
Jane had attempted Mellbreak once before but was put off by the scree and the indistinct path.
Hopefully today they would find the route I came down, and enjoy a wonderful evening's climb.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . the lowest possible differential between river temperature and air temperature.
Previous walk - 30th June 2008 Rannerdale Knotts afternoon
A previous time up here - 26th May 2006 Mellbreak with Al and Richard, and the boys