Route: Mellbreak

Area: Western Lake District

Date of walk: 1st January 2019

Walkers: Andrew

Distance: 6.3 miles

Ascent: 1,800 feet

Weather: sun and blue skies

I parked in the small parking space by Church Bridge, just beyond the famous Kirkstile Inn, and walked towards Mellbreak along the lane. Seen from this approach, the fell looks like a pyramid and its north face appears quite formidable.

Beyond Kirkgate Farm the lane deteriorates into a stony track which leads into the isolated valley of Mosedale. I left the lane at a firebreak in the woods and started the climb up the initially grassy slopes of Mellbreak. I then arrived at the steep scree section which at times is a case of two steps up, one step down. The main gully has become very eroded and several minor paths have emerged as walkers have sought out easier ways to the top. If in doubt, it’s best to follow those paths which trend from right to left. Walking poles are useful on the steep ascent, though they become a hindrance further up where there are a couple of rocky sections. The lovely retrospective views over Loweswater and Lorton Vale gave me a good excuse to stop and catch my breath as I toiled up the fellside

I eventually emerged at the north top and made the easy but juicy walk across the saddle to the south top ¾ mile away. The views from the ridge are restricted by its width, but there’s a wonderful feeling of isolation. Once I arrived at the south top the views opened up again, and the prospect over Crummock Water to Buttermere and Fleetwith Pike was glorious

I descended in the direction of Scale Force and then followed Scale Beck to the shore of Crummock Water. After walking along the shore of the lake, with Mellbreak towering above to my left, I climbed up towards Flass Wood and made my way back to the start via High Park and Low Park. It was the perfect start to a new year of walks

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