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Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Mellbreak and Hen Comb


Postby icemandan » Wed Nov 24, 2010 9:42 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Hen Comb, Mellbreak

Date walked: 24/11/2010

Time taken: 4

Distance: 11 km

Ascent: 720m

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Beautiful autumn morning. Four walking days ahead. A warm up day in the Lakes before heading for Scotland seemed like a good idea.

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Parked up near the Kirkstile Inn. From this angle Mellbreak looks like a pyramid and casts a strange triangular shadow.
Mellbreak shadow.jpg
It's all an illusion, the mountain is actually shaped like a giant scrubbing brush. An entertaining scree-ish path zig zags up the nose with some good aerial views of Crummock Water.
Crummock Water.jpg
All too soon you pop out onto the summit plateau. A view out to Loweswater
Mellbreak summit.jpg
and a soggy tramp across the plateau alleviated by sheer views down to the Lake
Rannerdale Knotts.jpg
. Going into the sun, Scale Force was invisible as we dropped into boggy Mosedale. A mile of bog trotting and a steep pull up brought us to the pimply top of Hen Comb and views out over Loweswater following the long ridge down. Off the side, a slightly awkward river crossing and back to the Kirkstile which was unexpectedly open. A pint of Loweswater Gold finished off an excellent day.
icemandan
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby mountain coward » Wed Nov 24, 2010 11:44 pm

I've sat in the Kirkstile before looking at that end of Mellbreak while Richard drank similar beer (if indeed not the exact beer you were having)... what's it like? Is it horribly loose, steep and scary for mountain cowards? I keep meaning to give it a go...
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby icemandan » Thu Nov 25, 2010 1:33 am

Nothing to be afraid of. A bit steep but not too loose, no scrambling and doesn't feel exposed. You get absorbed by wondering where it is going to go next and it has some great views. Give it a go!
icemandan
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby susanmyatt » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:35 am

Nice pics Iceman and looks a lovely day, we have these two and Gavel to do, we thought that we would do Hen Comb and Gavel together, do Melbreak on its own, are all three together a possibility, about 8 to 9 miles ? :D
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby mountain coward » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:40 am

Thanks for the extra info and encouragement on the route up the end of Mellbreak - I certainly will give it a go soon :D

Susan: when I did those, I walked from the Kirkstile - missed out Melbreak as I'd already done it, went up the small end of Hencomb and then along it's ridge up to the summit. Then I dropped off the back and went via Floutern Tarn (as I wanted to see it - it's nice) and Floutern Kop up Gavel Fell. Then I did Carling Knott and Blake Fell (which to me was the best of the bunch). Then I went onto Burnbank Fell, dropped back to the beck coming down between that and Carling Knott. As I reached the forest line there was a raking path dropped down towards the end of Loweswater.
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby susanmyatt » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:26 pm

Cheers MC, did Burnbank, Blake and Carling Knott on the last visit,the views over Loweswater were wondeful, its a steep side down to the valley though, it was our first visit to that area, its gorgeous :D
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby mountain coward » Thu Nov 25, 2010 5:49 pm

Ah okay - well if you haven't done Melbreak, or want to do it again, looks like the route in this report would probably be best for you then...
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby icemandan » Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:30 pm

Nice pics Iceman and looks a lovely day, we have these two and Gavel to do, we thought that we would do Hen Comb and Gavel together, do Melbreak on its own, are all three together a possibility, about 8 to 9 miles
?

I think it would be perfectly possible to extend our walk to take in Gavel Fell. We started at 10:30 and were down by three. Be aware that it's quite a steep pull up to Hen Comb from the north although you could take the sting out of it by carrying on up to the top of the Floutern pass. From Hen Comb, it's easy enough (but a bit boggy) going over to Gavel Fell. I've not walked the Black Crag ridge but it looks like a nice easy angled descent.
icemandan
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby fedupofuserids » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:04 pm

The steepness of Melbreak can be a bit off putting, but the views more than make up for it. Great pics Icemandan.

MC the ascent up the gully is fine in ascent albeit a bit steep but a little loose in descent.

Susan the round makes for a rewarding half day but can be boggy on the valley floor if you stray from the path. If you want a longer day climb the path by Scale Force towards the Buttermere ridge and cut across to Starling Dodd then continue onto Great Borne. You can descend from here down Steel Brow following the fence (again steep) to just above Flouten Tarn (very Boggy) before heading towards Hen Comb.

There is a fair drop of height between Melbreak to Hen Comb and Hen Comb to Gale Fell, the boggy/grass pathless terrain would probably make for an unrewarding day if you tried all 3 in one go, although it is possible and I could be wrong! :D

Gavel Fell & Hen Comb can be done as a round, but you have to drop down to Whiteoak Beck - steep on both sides, or walk by the roads. I believe'know there are access problems/issues on the Ennerdale Side of Flouten Tarn and also around the base of Hen Comb. If its still there a sign warns of dogs being shot. Red Peak posted a pic of a no access sign from Owsen Fell in guess the pic the other day !
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby malky_c » Thu Nov 25, 2010 10:34 pm

Seems to be quite a collection of people putting up regular Lakes reports now :)

Never made it out to this one, but have always been intrigued by it when seeing it in guidebooks. Some nice shots 8)
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby mountain coward » Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:49 pm

fedupofuserids wrote:The steepness of Melbreak can be a bit off putting, but the views more than make up for it. Great pics Icemandan.

MC the ascent up the gully is fine in ascent albeit a bit steep but a little loose in descent.


Don't worry, I never come down steep or loose, only go up! :D
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Re: Mellbreak and Hen Comb

Postby susanmyatt » Fri Nov 26, 2010 3:05 pm

Thanks for all the help :D
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