Date: 6 February 2019 Weather: 6’C, overcast, breezy
Height gain: 449ft Distance: 1 mile
Time taken: 40 minutes Wainwright count: 61 of 214
Route: From the layby at The Hause on the Matterdale End to Watermillock road following the path directly up Little Mell Fell initially then along the front to join a path above the disused quarry then back more directly due south back to the layby.
It’s a cold and overcast day but we haven’t been up a hill for over three weeks so we decide that the conditions are good enough to tackle Little Mell Fell and Great Mell Fell. As we drive up towards Keswick the heavens open and it starts to rain. We decide that we’ll tackle Little Mell Fell first and see if conditions improve.
We have no problem parking in the layby at the start of the footpath. We go through the gate and negotiate the muddy start to the hillside. We follow the path directly upwards for a 100ft or so and I then spot a path which runs sideways towards the old quarry and the map suggests that there’s a less steep path up once you reach the far end of it so off we go. It is of course a narrow sheep track and is also wet and muddy but we do indeed soon meet a good path.
Up we go and in not very long at all we’ve managed the 450ft of ascent and reached the top:
The wind is quite strong and very cold and the rain hasn’t stopped. We still take some time to take in the views which aren’t too bad for a little hill – here looking towards it’s bigger brother, Great Mell Fell:
There are good views to the south east of Ullswater just peeking out with Hallin Fell in full views across the water and the start of Place Fell to its right:
The cloud is low over the higher mountains so they don’t photograph very well, take my word for it that this is a view of a few of the Dodds:
We’re pretty cold by now and decide to take the direct descent on the path we would have come up without my diversion to the sheep track.
We slip and slide back through the final muddy path to the gate and back to the car. As we try and defrost our fingers and turn up the heating in the car to stop our shivering we decide to leave Great Mell Fell for another day. Two hours of driving for a forty minute walk – but at least we did conquer a mountain today.