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" First Frost and Mellbreak Meander "

Date & start time: Monday  4th November 2013, 11 am start.

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

Places visited : Kirkstile, Kirkhead, Mellbreak (Nth top) and back via the traverse path.

Walk details : 3.5 mls, 1400 ft, 1 hrs 50 mins.

Highest point : Mellbreak (North top) 1655 ft ( 509m)

Walked with : Harry.

Weather : Sunshine and blue skies. The gentlest of cool breezes up top.

" First Frost and Mellbreak Meander " at EveryTrail

[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]


The first frost of the winter down here in the Loweswater Valley led on to a lovely late Autumn day with clear skies and beautiful sunshine. 

Mellbreak in the morning and a second walk in the afternoon over to Loweswater (details shortly).

First let's enjoy the crisp morning air . . .

The view over the wall.

Mellbreak to the left silhouetted against the blue sky . . . with Hen Comb and Black Crag off to the right.

They've just re-lit the fire at the Kirkstile, hence the blue smoke.

Robin on frost on stones on wall.

Frosty leaves on the Primulas.

It always confuses me what time of year these are supposed to flower.


The flowers are dormant throughout summer - they come alive in autumnal months.

Frosty . . . grass for Harry to play football on.

A female Chaffinch on the big stone in the garden.

A little carefully placed bird seeds tempts them away from the bird table.

The pink of the male Chaffinch as he looks down from the table roof.


Which shall I have  . . . . there's a bit of a choice.

Ahh . . . a black sunflower seed will do nicely.

The colour gradually brightens as the sun rises above Whiteless Pike behind us.

The warm smoke from the fire cools rapidly in the morning air and heads out horizontally across the fields.

Bright frosty sheen on the grass and long shadows from the low sun.

The pub will be offering breakfast to its guests . . . so no reason why we shouldn't have some of our own too !

- - - o o o - - -

An hour or so later . . . the weather is much the same . . . time for a walk.

Bethan is coping with her illness but is sadly slowing down compared to Harry

so I took this opportunity to sneak an extra walk in . . . to give Harry a bit more exercise and keep him a little more fell-fit.

Panorama . . . no not the TV programme . . . the view back at the start of the walk.

The two Mamores . . . Whiteside and Grasmoor are covered in a some cotton wool summit-cloud.

Pillar Box Red . . . berries.
Low Park houses in the morning light.

Chris still has his cattle out in the fields.

They were late going out this year due to the cold Spring and they'll stay out until the damp weather causes the grass to get churned up by their hooves.

The summer silage will sustain them while they spend probably four or five months indoors during the winter.

Starting the climb up Mellbreak.

In the shadow of the fell, the sun has not been able to melt the frost that has set on the sphagnum moss overnight.

Intriguing . . . even if I did get wet knees.

The air is still so there are good reflections on the small pool in the field below.

Sunshine bursting down the Buttermere Valley lights up Scale Hill

and highlights the autumnal colours on the larch in Lanthwaite Woods.

The wider picture . . . looking all the way down to Lorton and the start of the Whinlatter Valley.

As we climb (slowly . . . I'm not fell-fit either) the views open out and we can see the coast over Loweswater.

" Beauty or the beast "

Nice green energy but considered a blot on the landscape by many folk.

The distant ones are offshore in the Solway, the lower ones, just a couple of the many around Workington.

The cloud just brushes the top of Blake Fell as I look west.
North and immediately below me are the Low Park houses.

The round field is known as Peel and may have once been an island at the foot of the lake.

The marshy ground extends both sides of the green grass of this small hill.

Rannerdale Cottage across Crummock Water as Harry and I climb around the face of Mellbreak.

The green track above the out-take wall leads up into the valley, past the colourful bluebells in season.

The 'peep around the corner' from two thirds of the way up the northern face.

In the distance, Buttermere and Fleetwith Pike.

Harry reaches the northern summit and stops long enough for a photo.

A gentle breeze ruffles the surface of Loweswater, reflecting the blue of the sky overhead.

Time to be off . . . this was the view to my left as I left the summit.

The cloud effects on Grasmoor and its neighbours was delightful.

The cloud base didn't allow a view of the central fells however . . . but the visibility was otherwise good.

Through the gap between Whiteless Pike and Robinson I could just make out the Helvellyn Range.

That looks like real snow on the 3118 ft summit of Helvellyn if I'm not mistaken.

Work has a sweepstake to guess the date

of the first snow on Skiddaw.


As it happens, my pound was safe for another day

as the snow could be seen on Blencathra, Helvellyn

and The Scafells but not on the shop web cam


Skiddaw was clear of snow . . . the competition continues.


It didn't last long though . . .

Next day it rained in the valleys and snowed on the fells

and first snow on Skiddaw this year was Nov 5th.


I was to be five days out in my guess

and the winning prize went elsewhere !

Heading back down now, using the traverse path around the side of the fell.

This brought me back down to the Mosedale Valley track and Harry's Pool by the trees.

[ Too cold for a dip today for Harry and certainly for myself ! ]

Lovely autumnal colours deck the slopes of Low Fell and Darling Fell.

[ On a second walk later in this afternoon, we would all enjoy these to the full ]

Heading back to Kirkhead . . . an old gatepost.
Back out into the sunshine on the track home.
All roads lead, in a windy fashion, to our cottage.
The cows have left the woodland and are enjoying new feed.

Passing the Kirkstile once again . . . well you can't go in every time.

I think this is where we came in . . . or should I say . . . went out.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon 1100D SLR digital camera.

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

This site best viewed with . . . time enough for a fine morning walk.

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Previous walk - 1st November 2013 - Halloween & Rannerdale Ramble

A previous time up here - 2nd December 2012 Frosty Crummock Walk

Next walk - 4th November 2013 - Loweswater Reflections