To climb or not to climb ... that was the question.
Stephen wanted to re-start his hobby on his first holiday in
the Lakes for many years, so I offered to climb Mellbreak with
However the weather had other ideas and Mellbreak could not
even be seen, so we opted for a low level circuit of the fell
What can be an easy walk on a nice summer day was a lot harder
than we imagined due to the poor conditions today.
Loes and Steve at the start of the walk . .
. by the red phone box.
[ Perhaps I should have stood Loes on the slightly
higher ground to the right ! ]
Stephen and his wife Fran are staying in Rose
Cottage, seen in the background.
Wainwright's Negative Signpost directed us along
the 'no through road' towards Kirkgate Farm.
The road passed below the (empty) beer garden
of the Kirkstile Inn.
The road beyond the farm continues as an un-surfaced
track, becoming the bridleway to Ennerdale via Floutern Pass.
We will follow it along Mosedale but branch
off left at the head of the valley.
The lower slopes of Mellbreak to the left and
those of Hen Comb to the right.
The upper reaches of both fells we obscured
from view . . . but at least it's not raining !
Passing a landmark . . . the Mosedale Holly.
We've left the main track, which at this point
has already crossed the valley and can be found on the other
side near the river.
Our path climbs gradually up the side of the
fell, this bridge making one stream crossing easier.
Occasionally the streams ran along the path
which meant they were more difficult to avoid.
The walking was slow in these wet conditions.
The old gate is more or less the highest part
of the path, on the walk over to Scale Force.
The gate survives but the fence has long ago
disappeared. We are just about in the cloud.
A second iron gate over the brow is still functional
so we don't need to cross any stiles on our descent.
Scale Force, our next objective, is hidden in
the wooded cleft behind Loes and Stephen.
At this point we've join the Buttermere to Ennerdale
and are heading down in the direction of Crummock
There is a path straight down from the gate
which crosses higher the beck, but the climb up the other side
would be slippery today.
This way the path is more graded and less eroded.
The stream goes by the dark name of Black Beck,
reason unknown, but the wet rock certainly looks dark compared
to the red iron stone that appears on parts
of the adjacent Scales Beck.
Loes reaches the footbridge over Scales Beck.
You can see the red coloured stone and muddy
path in this part of the valley, which may confirm the origins
of the different names.
is hidden in the rocky cleft upstream of the bridge.
A very "handy"
looking log mid stream.
From the bridge, the classic view of the direct
path to Buttermere, which heads off through the gate.
There's an old iron mine just above the path
so the colour is quite intense.
walks closer to appreciate the falls.
It has been many years
since he was last here.
The falls have the highest single drop of any
of the Lake District waterfalls, but climbing further up today
would be very tricky.
Stephen takes the camera for this photo of myself
and the dogs.
A quick snack and we are on our way again, back
over Black Beck, just before it joins with Scales.
Even though we've been luck with having no actual
rain on the walk, the path is still very wet in places.
Sometimes it is mud like this, sometimes it
is wet and slippery rocks and boulders . . . not an easy or
relaxing walk today
Scale Knott seen above one of the old hut enclosures
that feature in this part of the valley.
There are quite a few enclosure and outlines
of 'black houses' that existed here in the middle ages
The one round enclosure that does stand tall
is a much more modern sheepfold.
[ It presumably may have been made from stone
robbed from the old houses.]
The weather looked a bit better down at lake
level as we approach Low Ling Crag.
Stephen had the opportunity to stand on the
outer end for the first time and look up the lake towards Wood
My photo of Loes is looking the other way, down
towards the cloud topped Low Fell at the northern
One of the old Hawthorn trees that can be found
close to the path, as we walk alongside the lake.
A smile on Stephen's face as Loes talked of
the improving weather.
. . . but then she can't see the rain driving
down the lake behind her !
We did get slightly damp . . . but the memorable
feature of the walk was how the recent rains had made the path
It was with tired legs that we returned to the
cottage . . . and changed to get ready for a meal in the pub,
booked for an hour's time. :o)