This was the second day of the all too brief sojourn my sister and I recently enjoyed in the Buttermere area. The fell chosen for ‘part two’ of our stay was intended to provide an introduction to all that is best about Lakeland fell-walking - which, by and large, especially given the less than ideal weather conditions, turned out to be the case! Mellbreak is the ‘guardian’ fell that lines most of the western shore of Crummock Water. Though not as obviously spectacular as its neighbours occupying the equivalent position alongside Buttermere (Red Pike, High Stile and High Crag), it nevertheless has a noble north-facing profile, and its ‘overhanging’ south-eastern rim in particular provides wonderful panoramas of Crummock Water and Buttermere and the other fells in the area. There is also a very pleasant grassy descent from this ‘viewing gallery’ down to Scale Force, the Lake District’s highest waterfall, and then a choice of path either to Buttermere village or back along the remote western shore of Crummock Water. (It should be noted, however, that if taking the former, the apparently well-made path which starts out very obviously from the bridge at Scale Force soon deteriorates markedly, and so it is better to continue down either side of Scale Beck until one of the two additional bridges is reached, and to take one or other of the paths nearer the shore from there.)Ascent was from near Loweswater village, up the north face, then, through torrential rain and strong winds, along the top to the south-east rim, where, fortunately, conditions soon began to improve, yielding ever-better views from this excellent look-out point. Then down to the ‘parting of the ways’ at Scale Force, with my sister Dell making it back directly (not without some difficulty, however, due to the misleading nature of the path, as indicated above!) to Buttermere village, while I returned along the lonely and highly scenic Crummock Water shore to pick up the car and drive back. All in all, an excellent introduction to the typical conditions both underfoot and in the air that both beset and enthral the intrepid Lake District fell-walker!Highest point (Mellbreak): 1680ft/512m. Distance: 5.52 miles/ 8.9 km with return to Loweswater; 4.9miles/ 7.9 km if ending at Buttermere. Ascent: 1852ft./564m.
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