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" Mellbreak with the Girls "
Date & start time: Saturday 23rd June 2012, Midday start.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Mellbreak North and South tops, Scale Force and back alongside the lake.
Walk details : 7.25 mls, 1825 ft of ascent, 4 hours 45 mins.
Highest point : Mellbreak South summit, 1676 ft - 512 m.
Walked with : Elli, Jen, Carina, Helen, , Alice, Chloe ,Ann our Jen and the dogs, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : A clear and dry summit to start but the wind and rain increasing as the day went on.
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
After a damp day last year and hoping for better weather, our daughter and six friends their visit to Loweswater for a June weekend.
The theory proved wrong . . . it rained even harder !
However today we thought Scale Force would be great to see in spate and it wasn't actually raining so we set off up Mellbreak.
By the end of the day conditions were more like those that I experienced yesterday in Wasdale
and those they drove through on the wet drive over Whinlatter Pass the previous evening !
A dry start from the red phone box ( NY 143 211 )
Elli, Jen, Carina, Helen, Ann, Alice, Chloe and our Jen . . . plus Harry and Bethan.
Ahead is the familiar (to us) outline of Mellbreak but most of the girls have never climbed it.
Some looked at the steep climb with the same trepidation as many visitors do who are climbing it for the first time.
We take the path up to the base of the climb.
We'll follow the track diagonally up to the left to start our ascent.
That looks like the first spot of rain on the lens . . . as we zig-zag up the scree and heather face.
Looking across at Loweswater . . . the lake . . . with smaller lakes dotting many of the fields locally.
Looking down on the northern end of Crummock Water and the Lorton Valley.
Note: the water is backing up against Scale Hill bridge and flooding the valley alongside Lanthwaite Wood.
The wall and path to the Pump House seems to be under water too.
The brown Park Beck we crossed earlier is pushing silt into the lake as it emerges from the straight cut.
The centre of Loweswater . . . the Kirkstile, the Church, the Vicarage, the Cottage . . . depending on your point of view.
[ The 'postcode' centre of the village is in fact the Village Hall just out of sight to the left ]
Many of the photos today have been taken by the girls by the way but I've not credited anyone individually.
[ I've combined the output from five cameras to produce this walk report . . . never again !]
We're about half way up and someone asked where we go now.
Hold your cursor over the picture and Jen will tell you the answer . . . .
Harry's foot pad is healing nicely but the home-made Gortex bootee is there for protection from the small grit on the paths.
Bethan is first to the viewpoint . . . closely followed by Carina.
Everyone else wants to be in on the photo too.
Hold your cursor over the picture again to see it 'through the lens'
'High five' as Helen reaches the northern top of Mellbreak.
A 'high ten' from Jenna in response !
We set off towards the true top at the southern end of the fell . . . passing "Tom's Pool" along the way
A rock outcrop and time to 'bond' having climbed all the way up the fell.
Ann takes centre stage to balance the photo.
- - - o o o - - -
By this time the weather has started to close in and we are up in the cloud . . . the wind is increasing too !
Smiles all round for a successful climb.
Helen and Chloe have a group hug which also helped to protect each other from the wind and driving hail.
. . . that the true south top is thirty yards away . . . at that proper cairn up there !
Cause for another group celebration and get-together.
True summit photo.
The weather is starting to have a real effect now on the exposed top of the fell.
Through the cloud we get a brief glimpse of . . . Bethan in the distance . . . who says dogs don't appreciate a good view.
This one is of the head of Crummock and the start of Buttermere . . . note the two lakes are trying to join up due to the flooding.
Off the far end of the fell . . . and Ann's heading down to the Black Beck crossing.
The weather has definitely taken a turn for the worse . . . less cloud, more rain !
Down the slippery slope and up the other side onto the Mosedale Track to Scale Force.
Ahead is the landslip that occurred a couple of years ago and we'll need to climb around it before reaching the waterfall in the woods ahead.
Carina by the lower falls . . . it is too wet and slippery to climb up safely today.
Holly . . . I mean Elli . . . Holly is the tree above her !
Chloe removes her woolly panda hat especially for the photo.
Time for a little light lunch seated near the falls.
Lovely sandwiches, savoury cheese & celery pasties, biscuits and rhubarb muffins plus a drink and a quick bit of subliminal advertising.
Alice was so busy chatting that she managed to overfill her cup and pour coffee all over her leg !
Still we can't hang about all day eating . . . so time to head down to the lake.
"Flood Repair Grants" have allowed the National Park to replace all three of the bridges that cross Black and Scales becks.
This is the top one crosses Black Beck above the point where they join.
[ Hold your cursor on the picture to see the old problem ]
Mmm . . . we're looking a bit wet now.
The mild weather has meant it is a good year for foxgloves however.
That dreaded bracken is creeping up too.
The middle bridge . . . this is on the official bridle way path from Buttermere to Ennerdale it seems.
Clearer air as we reach Low Ling Crag.
There's a large party of canoeists but just two canoes hauled out on the beach.
They are swapping gear so maybe it is a combined walking / paddling expedition.
Jen(2) I think it was, pointed out these two alongside the path by the lake.
As the soils are so poor, the sundew supplements its diet by catching flies . . . a plant that eats midges . . . brilliant !
Streams flowing off Mellbreak where streams are not normally found.
All the water of the last few days has caused the lake level to rise.
Check out the difference between today and last August by moving your cursor over the picture.
Down by the Pump House bay the water level is about eighteen inches higher
perhaps even more than it looked from our vantage point on Mellbreak earlier in the day.
" Hold on Dad . . . are we crossing that way ? "says Jen.
" There's a good path . . . look . . . and it's only a few inches below the water level ! "
" I hope you're right "
"Told you so !"
Walking on Water photo . . . " Oops . . . forgot about the waves ! "
Still, you can drain the water out of your boots, back into the lake so nothing is lost.
The girls point out the "Danger Deep Water" bit as they bypass the flooded footpath.
That path to the gated road was knee deep so we continued on towards the Park Beck river wall.
That too was over-deep so it was back to Plan A . . . the field crossing to the gated-road bridge.
Oh well . . . we were wet anyway!
- - - o o o - - -
Back home and time for a change of clother, a hot chocolate and relax.
Some relaxing more than others
[Move that cursor again and see how many times she yawned ! ]
- - - o o o - - -
Saturday evening and time to get all dressed up and hit the pub scene . . . Loweswater style.
They brush up well when they want to.
We're joined by Jo (and John) for the meal this evening.
Concentration after a busy day on the fells.
Big smiles from John as he receives his 'pud' !
I think Elli is just pretending that she had pudding . . . or is she drinking with a spoon ?
I'll leave the last caption to you as the evening draws to a close.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Alice's, Chloe's, Carina's, Ann's or my digital cameras.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a meal at the Kirkstile ... and no washing up.
Previous walk - 22nd June 2012 Railway Children Challenge 2012
A previous time up here - 20th October 2010 Mellbreak with Bethan
Next walk - 24th June 2012 X-treme Team Climbing