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" Mellbreak - The Steep Way "

Date & start time:      5th January 2022.   11 am start.

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

Places visited :          High Park. Low Ling Crag, High Ling, Mellbreak (both tops), the Kirkstile.

Walk details :              5.5 miles, 1700 ft of ascent, 3 hours 20 mins.

Highest point :           Mellbreak, 1666 ft - 512m.

Walked with :              Myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     Winter sunshine and blue skies, cold in the breeze or when out of the sun.


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What started out as a dog walk down to Crummock Water was extended due to the beautiful winter weather. 

On reaching Low Ling Crag I could either backtrack to home or become more adventurous.

I decided to head up onto High Ling enjoying the wonderful winter views on offer this day !


Before I start may I include two pictures of a regular garden visitor.

Red squirrels don't hibernate during the winter so they search for food on a regular basis.

If they can't find easily accessible food then they'll return to previously buried supplies

that they've "squirreled" away earlier in the winter.

- - - o o o - - -

The walk today (Wednesday 5th 11am) started from the red phone box,

well actually about thirty yards short of it as I headed down the lane alongside home.

The early morning frost on the field has more or less gone due to the bright sunshine.

However in the shadows the frost remains

and that included the paddock at the bottom of my garden.

The valley is however bright with sunshine.

[ I thought there was dirt on the lens but the black specks are crows flying across the fields.]

Higher up the fells the temperature is lower, so the summit of Blake is white despite the warm sunshine.

Likewise Whiteside has a white top, high above the valley.

As I crossed the fields Hopegill Head came into view . . . it has even deeper winter covering.

The dark silhouette of Mellbreak contrasts with the bright sunshine directly ahead, as I walk towards the lake.

In the shadow of Mellbreak the frost is still crisp.
The large puddle on the bend in the road had a thick covering if ice.

My path today climbs beyond the Low Park and High Park houses

and I soon look down on the green fields of The Peel and the reflections on Crummock Water.

Bright sunlight manages to illuminate just the gate.
Here the snow on Hopegill is reflected on the surface of the lake.

An un-named beach on the shores of Crummock with Rannerdale Knotts beyond.

Rannerdale Cottage below Whiteless Pike.
A new sculpture on the side of Crummock ?

No . . . just the Iron Stone seen in an unusual light.

Here it is side on, with almost a rainbow-like reflection of the summit of Grasmoor around it.

The cause of the reflection is seen on the other side of the lake.

Looking back . . . I'm further down the lake than I thought in seemingly no time at all.

I've stayed on the upper path so I pass a different hawthorn tree this time.

The winter sun is low in the sky and almost drowns out the detail.

It also produces differing colour layers at the head of the valley.

If I'm going to walk out on Low Ling Crag then I'll need to drop down to the lake.

A red canoe was tucked alongside the bushes.
Footprints on the perfect curve of the beach
The sign said "Please do not move the boat"
on the southern side of Low Ling Crag.

It was a lovely day and great to be out.

Dylan, the steady sentinel sat on the top of Low Ling Crag.

The ever-active Dougal wanted to chase his tennis ball . . . . it bounced into the lake and so he followed feet first .

The three year old 'puppy' surfaces . . . heading for his target.

Smug smiles as he returns to shore.

Should I return home via the lower lakeside path . . . or shall I extend the walk a little further ?

I had a photo opportunity in mind so I climbed up on towards High Ling Crag.

The sunshine lit all three dogs beautifully . . . tick !

The view up the valley to Fleetwith Pike from High Ling Crag.
Tree covered 'Scale Island' in the foreground.

High Ling Crag now far below as I progressed up the steep end of Mellbreak.

The ground eases slightly as I drew level with Scale Knott.

Sunshine and green hues on this side of Mellbreak . . . white snow and frost on the shaded side of Great Borne opposite.

Even up here in the depth of winter the Herdwick still manage to scratch a living.

After a seemingly long climb I reached the crag next to the southern summit of the fell.

A few weeks away from the fells and perhaps too much Christmas indulgence, made the climb more arduous than expected.

However taking a break on the summit allows me to show you the view.

Click here or on the photo above for a 360 degree annotated panorama.

No snacks, no water just good old enthusiasm takes me on towards the northern summit.

Snow and frost on the heather between here and there.

A slightly off piste route took me past a small pool.

The reflections of the dogs caught my eye but it was distorted by the layer of ice that covers the pool.

Dylan adopts a serious pose by the reflection pool.
Later on, Dougal photographed at "Tom's Pool".

A gentle climb up the second half of the fell brings me to the northern summit and to a view of Loweswater.

Scotland in the far distance seems to be lost in the distant haze.

Back to a picture of Grasmoor but this time from that northern top.

The only way is down.

A fellow walker said to be careful as the path had a lot of ice . . . no snacks, no water, no microspikes !!!

The potentially tricky descent concentrates the mind, and I was soon down to "The Peep around the Corner".

Icy rock up high was swapped for icy scree lower down.

Knees and legs were starting to complain as the dogs and I reached the more gentle slopes at the foot of the fell.

Reaching the fell gate brought on a feeling of satisfaction of having got the best out of a great winter day.

What was needed now was perhaps a glass of re-hydration ?

Ahead was the Kirkstile . . . that's convenient.

That's better . . .

I also met several of my neighbours indulging themselves in a similar way.

We exchanged Christmas and New Years stories before I walked the short distance home for a late lunch.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . a measure of re-hydration at the end.

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 5th Dec  A Winter Ascent of Great Gable

A previous time up here - 5th April - Mellbreak before We Go

Next page - 1st January - Loweswatercam Calendar Results

Next walk - 11th January -  Round Castle Crag - with Julie