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Date & start time: Saturday 12th December 2009. 12.30 pm start.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Kirkhead, Mellbreak north and south top, High and Low Ling Crags, Low Park and back via the Kirkstile Inn.
Walk details : 6.2 mls, 1850 ft, 4 hrs 35 mins including lunch. (Mulled wine time extra)
Highest point : Mellbreak South Top 1,676ft ( 512m)
Walked with : Anne and Andrew (Leaney) Jo, Ann and the dogs, Jodie, Amber, Harry and Bethan.
: A beautifully sunny
This was a classic winter Lake District walking day . . . cool, frosty, great views, great company and blue skies from dawn to dusk.
A winter high pressure and two days of cold weather has left a heavy ground frost which never cleared from some areas for the whole of the day.
Pre sunrise . . . don't panic, we're not breaking the habit of a lifetime . . . this is 8am and the sun's not yet up.
Looking down the valley and the sun breaks through the only bit of cloud in the sky.
The silhouettes are Rannerdale Knotts, Brandreth, Green and Great Gable with High Crag to the left.
The object of our desires today . . . Mellbreak.
The sun has started to add colour to that first photo and the world is looking a (slightly) warmer place.
By the time Anne and Andrew had arrived for the walk it was well and truly out.
The negative signpost as we walk past the pub at the soon after the start of the walk.
[ Walk past the pub ? . . . we put that problem right at the end of day!]
We had this fine view of Grasmoor from the Mosedale track soon after passing Kirkhead Farm
Frost on the walls as I look over to Whiteside.
Today's walking party, Andrew, Anne, Ann and Jo . . . not forgetting myself behind the lens.
The pace slows slightly as the slope increases.
Even after just a few weeks away from fell walking, a slight lack of fitness is showing itself.
A slight breeze over the lake forms rippled areas on the surface of Loweswater.
Clear blue skies over the Loweswater Fells of Blake and the darker brown Carling Knott.
- - - o o o - - -
Time passes I took theses three pictures as we climbed the northern face of Mellbreak
The shadow of Mellbreak moved slowly across the valley as the sun traverses the sky behind us.
The shadow never clears this area for several months in the winter so the white colour is an accumulation of two days of heavy frost for them.
The classic view of Crummock and Buttermere as we round the side of the fell.
Another group photo as we reach the cairns on the north summit.
Time for a doggy photo call too . . . if only they would all stay still and look at the camera for a moment !
[ Hold your cursor over the picture to see Ann's picture ]
After lunch below the far summit we walked the length of the ridge.
Here Ann and Andrew near the frozen boggy section before the final rise to the summit.
Distant views of the Helvellyn Range through the gap between Whiteless Pike and Robinson Fell.
The summit cairn, restored to a respectable shape during our visit.
The photographer at work.
Grasmoor with Wandope summit behind, taken just below Mellbreak summit.
Andrew joins Jo at another vantage point.
Views down to Rannerdale Farm and Crummock Water far below.
Crummock, Buttermere and Fleetwith Pike.
Three convenient 'Derry Brabbs'
form a colourful foreground for this frosty view of Wood Hose and Buttermere Village.
Rather than visit Scale Force today we decided to cut down directly to Ling Crags.
The cool shadows on this side of the hill contrasted with the strong afternoon sunshine on the fells opposite.
We're heading for High Ling Crag, the slight rise on the bracken covered slope below us.
Looking back up the slope as we stop and chat on the top of the crag.
The view from the top.
Looking across too Rannerdale, casting it's shadow on the 'Bluebell Valley' behind the farm.
A northern perspective as Bethan and Harry sit patiently on High Ling Crag while I take photos.
The blue streak at the far end of the lake is smoke from a garden fire near Scale Hill.
Frost on the grass and bracken as we look directly down on Low Ling Crag.
Too good not to take another photo of these colourful reflections.
A wider southern perspective as we make our way down.
Sunshine just catches the top of Rannerdale Knotts as we descend to the lake.
Bow-waves on the lake as two geese set off across the water, leaving the other six behind.
Andrew on Low Ling Crag, note the tide line on the grass slope.
An extra three to four feet of water during the floods must have meant that Low Ling Crag was an island on the night of the storms.
If the whole lake was three to four feet deeper due at this point, no wonder the valley lower down and Cockermouth in particular was so badly flooded.
Artistic curves of water, shingle and frost at Low Ling beach . . . with the reflection of Rannerdale Knotts in the water alongside.
Time to be making our way back.
The Iron Stone captured in front of the late afternoon reflected sun.
Zooming in on the rock a short distance off shore.
Under the flanks of Mellbreak the sun had not penetrated all day and the sharp frost was still evident.
Just time now to call in the Kirkstile for a seasonable hot Mulled Wine.
It would be dark by the time we made it home a short while later.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a forecast of more of the same please.
Previous walk - 3rd/4th Dec 2009 A pre-Christmas return via Tickhill
A previous time up here - 5th May 2008 Mellbreak and the two Jens
Next walk - 13th Dec 2009 A frosty but cloudier Low Fell