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" Hen Comb and Mellbreak (twice)"

Date & start time: Thursday 23rd June 2011, pm start.

Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited : Kirkhead Farm, Little Dodd, Hen Comb, Mellbreak (Sth & Nth), The Kirkstile.

Walk details : 6.5 mls, 2475 ft of ascent, 4 hrs 20 mins including lunch.

Highest point : Mellbreak 1676 ft - 512 m, beating Hen Comb by just 3 metres.

Walked with : Lin and Chris Charnley, Neil, Haslewood, Ann and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.

Weather : Varied from bright sunshine to cool with spots of rain ... and back to bright sunshine.


" Hen Comb and Mellbreak " at EveryTrail

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


With friends over, we are a party of five as we set off to climb one of our local fells that Lin and Chris have chosen.

On the top Neil fancies bagging the next one along too before we all meet back at the Kirkstile at the end of the walk.

Group Photo outside the cottage at the start of the walk.

Ann, Neil, Chris and Lin . . . not forgetting Harry and Bethan.

Mmmm . . . the lane seems a little blocked today !
The road crew are out filling the potholes . . . much appreciated.

It would have been a picture of the Negative signpost and the Kirkstile

if Mr Trotter (Del Boy) had brought his three wheeler instead of his big works lorry !

The farm cat stands guard under the arch at Kirkhead Farm.

A wild flower wall basket, probably a feeder at one time, complete with foxgloves.

Mellbreak from the lane.

Neil though he might climb it later if the opportunity arose.

Rounding the bend, our guests were greeted by the paparazzi.

The gate out onto the fellside.

Left for Mellbreak direct . . . but we'll go right today for Hen Comb.

Neil and Ann walk up the track with Hen Comb ahead . . .
. . . but first we've got to cross the stepping stones.

Lin, confidence boulstered by two trekking poles.

Ohh . . . going so soon . . . we've hardly had time to play.

A favourite view of Grasmoor seen beyond Mellbreak as we climb up above the woodland.

Darling Fell in the background as we climb up the start of Hen Comb.

The boys divert to climb Little Dodd (a Birkett) . . .
. . . while the girls take the more graded path lower down.

The horizontal line above the girls heads is the 'traverse path' on the side of Mellbreak

that we often use in descent from the centre part of that fell back down to the valley.

A short distance later the paths converge

and we tackle the final climb together, up towards the summit.

Looking back . . . almost a reverse of the previous photo.

A quick rest on the steep ascent gives us time to enjoy the view.

First to the top . . . the dogs of course !
Chris smiles for the camera.

Lin doesn't know which camera to look at so choses the one not being used for this photo !

- - - - o o o - - -

Time for an intermission . . . lunch with a view on the eastern side of the top . . . out of the cool breeze.

- - - - o o o - - -

Afterwards Neil decides to add Mellbreak as a summit today

but the others pass in favour of a direct return to the pub . . . I mean the valley.

Lin on the way back down Hen Comb.

Lovely weather today and clear views across to Criffel in Scotland.

Lovely sunshine on the Grasmoor view that was a little gloomy earlier on.

I opted to climb Mellbeak with Neil . . . so together we set off to cross the great divide.

[ Photo by Neil . . . there's a link to his pics at the end ]

The sheepfold (number nine) looks like a good way to go.
Mosedale Beck is narrow enough to cross here.

We could have kept a little further left and used the footbridge on the bridleway

but recent dry weather encouraged us over the wide part of the valley which was not a great problem today.

The number nine looks a lot bigger on the ground when you get up close to it.

Part way up the fell side we pass the redundant gate on the old track from Mosedale round to Scale Force.

Coats are on as we had a light rain shower on the way across, which Chris and the girls missed out on.

Flora . . .
. . . and fauna along the way.

Take care . . . slow moving traffic on the road ahead.

From the level ground at the southern summit of Mellbreak there's a great view down into Buttermere.

Bright sunshine has returned

and after their second summit of the day,the dogs sit still long enough for a photo by the cairn.

Neil, this time on the northern summit . . . sunshine is the order of the day again.

Hen Comb, seen behind is the same height as this top . . . 509m exactly on the map . . . just 3m less than the southern top of Mellbreak

which therefore claims the crown as the true summit if you are intending to climb all the Wainwrights.

The third lake of the valley . . . Loweswater.

The classic view across the steep eastern side of Mellbreak

of Crummock Water and Buttermere, with Fleetwith Pike and Haystacks at the head of the valley.

Someone suggested tea was this direction . . .
. . . but we had thoughts of a more alcoholic beverage.

Lin, Chris and Ann could be seen down there in the lane . . . they'll get to the pub before us . . . not surprisingly.

We've got the steep northern descent still to do.

"Are you sure this is the right way" . . . I can remember Neil saying !
"Yes . . . but come a bit more this way."

The northern end is a lovely climb but needs equal, if not more care, when walking back down.

First you pass White Crag . . .

. . . then Raven Crag
. . . and finally avoid Dropping Crag.

The path down then cuts back across the face of the fell and drops down into the forest break

by the gate we saw at the start.

Meawhile, a short while ago, Lin was crossing back over the stepping stones.

Heading back down the lane past the cows . . . when she recieved our phone call from the summit.

We assured her of our progress and suggested the timing for that extra order at the bar !

[ That's us on the top.]

It was just a short wait in the garden . . .
. . . before two extra pints were ordered.

Neil and I had made good time down the lane and were naturally looking forward to joining the other three at the table.

- - - o o o - - -

At the start I hinted at the fact that we climbed Mellbreak twice today.

In fact it was just myself that set off, back up the fell, a short while later.

Study the photos below for a clue.

When I reached the base of Mellbreak I realised that I had lost my favourite 'Climacool' windproof jacket.

A quick look at Neil's photos confirmed that I had lost it between the southern and northern summits of the fell,

so after returning home and dropping off a few items, Bethan and I returned for a second time to the fell.

A quick trip up the middle and the lost jacket was found . . . calm had returned to the valley.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . the safe return of a favourite jacket.

Go to Top . . . © RmH.2011 . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 20th June 2011 Buttermere Round The Lake

A previous time up here - 30th Dec 2000 Sun and Snow A Walk up Mellbreak

To see Neil's pictures - click here

Next walk - 28th June 2011 Hopegill Valley and Dodd