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" Mellbreak North End with Fred "
Date & start time: Tuesday 21st March 2017, 2.15 pm.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Mellbreak (almost), Flas Woods, Low Park and home.
Walk details : miles, ft of ascent, hours mins
Highest point : Half way up Mellbreak.
Walked with : Fred, Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Overcast with the odd wintery shower in sight. Cool and windy.
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Occasionally some of our regular correspondents gives us a shout to say he, she or they are over in the Lakes
and would like to walk with us, or just call in to see us and the dogs. Fred's emails have been particularly welcome as he has pointed out
several glitches that have developed with the earlier years of the web site, which have been so much easier to find and correct with his help.
The offer of a cup of tea and special Loweswater fruit cake as a gesture of thanks was enough
to encourage Fred to travel over from Bradley near Skipton to see us today.
He proclaimed he was not fit but would still love a walk up to the viewpoint on Mellbreak one more time.
He was last there fifteen years ago with his late wife . . . today the three of us walk towards the fell to see how close we can get to achieving his desire.
A quick resume of the weather so far today . . . . a phone picture about ten a.m. of dark skies over Crummock Water.
The poorer weather this last week has left a covering of snow on the high fells of Green Gable and Great Gable.
By midday the weather was looking really promising . . . hopefully for the rest of the day and for our climb up the front of Mellbreak.
By the start of the walk the weather was a little less optimistic
but the visibility was still good . . . and it wasn't raining !
- - - - o o o - - -
Time to meet our walking partner for today . . . Fred Wilkinson . . . who had travelled over for a day in the Lakes.
. . . and our starting point at the "Sir Gilbert Scott designed, classic K6 red phone box" here at Loweswater.
Better take a coat as the wind was cold
and there's a wintery shower blowing through the other side of Mellbreak and giving Buttermere a bit of a wetting.
Our route took us past the "Negative Signpost" that features in the Mellbreak chapter of the Wainwright books.
The lane takes us up past Kirkhead Farm and on towards the start of Mosedale.
As we gradually gain height we can look down on Crummock Water and the houses of Low Park.
Up through the forest break that rises opposite the final gate in the lane.
A wide shot combining the views of Loweswater, the high ground of Darling Fell and Low Fell and round to the Lorton Valley on the right.
The Kirkstile is the long white set of buildings just right of centre, now quite a distance away.
A photo call before we hit the scree . . . the scrambles and the sharp nature of the stones won't do Harry any good
so Ann opts to change direction and take him on an alternative route from here on.
Zooming in . . . the grass and bracken area behind are the slopes on the side of Hen Comb.
A peep around the corner for Dylan . . . but not the viewpoint Fred and I were hoping to reach.
High above the woods and valley below now . . . but the loose nature of the path, the angle of climb,
and the prospect of having to go down the same way, brought a halt to Fred's climb at this point.
He hasn't full fitness due to lack of fell walking in recent years, a problem he hopes to correct soon.
No need to rush . . . the fell will still be here to try again . . . next time he's up in Loweswater.
- - - o o o - - -
We retrace our steps down to the forest wall . . . and catch up Ann and Harry once again.
Dylan seeing them below, ran down and has beaten us by a mile !
Looking down the Lorton Valley through the larch trees of Flass Woods.
Further to the left is the Loweswater Valley
but the lake is hidden from this lower viewpoint by the high ground around Kirkhead Farm.
We follow the Ennerdale to Loweswater bridleway track,
one branch of which descend through the woods towards Low Park.
The sun shines on Grasmoor and Whiteside on the other side of the lake.
This area of the woods sustained the greatest damage in the storms of recent years but attempts have been made to replant.
The view across to the boathouse on Crummock
and up the Gasgale Valley to Hopegill Head and Sand Hill in the distance.
Back across the fields towards home.
The low afternoon light illuminates the old pine on Low Fell
and highlights the diamond shaped ancient enclosure at its foot.
The Kirkstile across the fields.
The fire is lit and today's strong breeze is carrying the smoke away at a rate of knots.
Back home now for that tea and cake !
Buttermere didn't suffer the poor weather long and we didn't suffer at all, in fact it was a delightful walk.
Fred didn't quite climb as high as he had hoped . . . but there's always next time.
- - - o o o - - -
Finally, just before we started our walk the red squirrel made a brief appearance in our garden . . . just for our visitor.
Sorry no photo from yesterday Fred . . . so here's one I was able to take today.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Panasonic Lumix TZ60, or my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . an excellent proof reader for our earlier reports.
Previous walk - 19th March 2017 - Padley Gorge - Grindleford
A previous time up here - 29th September 2016 - First Walks now we are Home
Next walk - 23rd March 2017 - Cinderdale to Home with Jo