Date & Time: Friday 11th July 2008.

Location of Start : Brackenclose car park, Wasdale, Cumbria( NY 182 075 )

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

Places visited : Maiden Castle, Burnmoor Tarn, Eller How, Brackenclose, Lingmell Gill crossing.

Places visited : Mellbreak North and south tops, back via the Holly Tree and Mosedale

Walk details : 7.25 mls, 1700 ft of ascent, spread over eight hours.

Walk details : 4.5 mls, 1725 ft of ascent, 3 hrs 50 mins

Highest point : Lingmell Gill river crossing, Brown Tongue, Scafell Pike 1000 ft ( 302 m).

Highest point : Mellbreak Southern Top 1671 ft ( 512m)

Walked with : Karen and her dogs, Tam and Sky, Paul (to start) plus 6 other local crew, the Global Challenge organisers and 200 Three Peaks charity participants.

Walked with : Jayne and the dogs, Harry and Bethan

Weather : A cool, damp and showery day. Cloud levels varied accordingly.

A Hair bell in rich green clover

sets the mood for a damp day with regular but light passing rain showers.


I had a day of gainful employment again, but this time outdoors, helping with the Railway Children Charity on Scafell Pike.

Meanwhile Ann was joined by Jayne for an afternoon walk up Mellbreak, where I walked earlier in the week.

Wasdale as I started the first climb of the day.

The charity will be the recipient of the funds raises by this weekend's sponsored climb of the three highest peaks of mainland Britain.

What was nice about this attempt is that the participants were travelling the length of the country by train, the use of which was itself a donation to the cause. They had arrived at Ravenglass and then transferred to La'al Ratty, the Ravenglass and Eskdale narrow gauge railway, for the trip to Dalesgarth and Boot Village.

Three of us would set off towards Boot to meet up with them and provide logistic and safety support where needed.

Kirk Fell and the head of Wasdale from the path up.

It was a grey, overcast day but the forecast was for clearing skies, a drop in temperature with the wind turning northerly as the showers pass south.

Well that was the forecast !

We crossed the high ground leaving Paul near Maiden Castle, an old prehistoric cairn, and made our way down past Burnmoor Tarn.

Bulatt Bridge (by the lake) would be my checkpoint but we were early, so Karen and I walked on till we reached a place called Eller How on the map.


Unusually, we passed a herd of cows on the track over to Boot.

Before we reached the top of the rise, their presence was evident, what's more they had been there for several days as the toadstools had had time to grow on the richly manured soil.

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How did I know they were toadstools ?

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Well . . . look at the previous picture.

There's not mushroom on the path ahead !

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Eller How, where the main path turns off towards Burnmoor Lodge.

Karen was to stay here and direct people onto the less obvious bridleway path towards Burnmoor and Wasdale.

Eskdale from Eller How.

We had a little time to spare so I went over to see what the old ruin at Eller How was all about.

A rear doorway at the upper level . . .
. . . and a main doorway on the front at lower ground level.

This was an old Peat House, a store where turf which had been cut for fuel on the hillside was stored and allowed to dry out prior to transporting by cart down into the village of Boot. Originally roofed, the peat would be thrown in at the upper level, and removed from the front when required.

I've seen this principle applied to Ice Houses, stores for winter cut ice and snow, prior to the days of refrigeration.

All we needed now was a few walkers. The radio burst into life as the first of two trains brought the walkers into the station at Dalegarth below.

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Back in Loweswater, Jayne and I set off after lunch to climb the direct route up the front of Mellbreak,

seen here as we walk up the lane.

The bracken is very prolific this year. Good for Bethan to romp around in, but no use otherwise.

In the background is the Kirkstile Inn adjacent to the Church and the square white building is theVicarage.

Jayne starts up the scree at the beginning of the steep ascent.

Further up she receives a phone call .

Watch where you're walking on this steep slope Jayne !

Loweswater with Carling Knott to the left, Darling Fell to the right.

No views of Scotland today.

A thoughtful Harry.

The weather deteriorates as we climb higher. A cloudy view towards Crummock and Buttermere.

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My checkpoint position was back at Burnmoor Tarn, Bulatt Bridge to be exact. The first chap up to Karen's position was Matt (Matt being Global Challenge)

so together he and I walked back north, ahead of the first walkers, and positioned ourselves near the bridge at Checkpoint One.

Some stopped for an early lunch, some for late elevenses, but most walked on as there was still a long way to go.

Say what you will, these two hundred walkers have been more than usually careful of the environmental impact their walk could cause.

They have travelled by train as far was possible, have taken their time and not broken speed limits, have brought employment to Snowdon, the Lakes and Scotland in the form of local transport, first aid cover and let's face it marshalling assistance, for which those involved are very grateful.

Each one of those folk above also represent over a thousand pounds of charity aid to the orphaned and abandoned kids in railway environments around the world.

200 walkers on the day, that's nearly a quarter of a million pounds money raised, a great effort.

Primary duty done, Karen and I were just commenting on how the clouds had lifted and the day cleared as forecast

when we turned round to see a grey mist crossing the lake and heading our way . . . time for waterproofs.

As we crossed back to Wasdale the shower had engulfed the head of the valley and Kirk Fell was nearly disappearing in the gloom.

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Meanwhile . . . further north . . .

We put our waterproofs on too as the rain sets in for a while.

Ahead of us is Buttermere with the Central fells looking very cloudy and wet. Roger is somewhere over there to the right !

Whiteside, Hopegill Head and Grasmoor with their heads in the cloud.

Mellbreak's higher Southern summit cairn on the skyline behind Harry and Bethan.

Jayne and the dogs make their descent towards the Mosedale Holly Tree.
The final track back towards home with Low Fell and Darling Fell beyond.

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Having reported in at Brackenclose, Kareen and I then embarked on the second half of the day, following the walkers up towards Scafell Pike.

The footbridge above Brackenclose, the path rising to Brown Tongue and on to a mist covered Scafell Pike.

Part way up we crossed through the fell gate and had the chance to look back at a view of clearing weather.

The cloud was lifting, the chances were good for most folk to reach the top, even if they may not get a great view.

The crags on Scafell too were shedding their mantle

as the last of the walkers disappeared from view up towards Hollow Stones (left).

The highest point I reached today was the crossing of Lincombe Gill.

With heavy overnight rain, the river was running quite high. Tired folk may appreciate a little help here on the way down.

One hundred and eighty or so people later, and probably fifty crossings or more of the beck ( all but one successfully !) by myself,

and everyone was safely on the way down at the end of a long afternoon.

One more footbridge for them and the minibus was waiting to take them back to their train.

For us tonight it was supper and a warm bed, for them Ben Nevis awaits !

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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon G7 or Ann's Ixus 75 Digital cameras.

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

This site best viewed with . . . two separate cameras . . . one in each rucksack !

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Previous walk - 8th July 2008 Mellbreak Backwards

A previous time up here - 8th June 2007 Illgill Head and the Railway Children 2007