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" Floutern Tarn without a summit "
Date & start time: Saturday 28th April 2012, 2.45 pm start.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Mosedale, Floutern Tarn, back via Hen Comb traverse.
Walk details : 6.6 mls, 1275 ft of ascent, 4 hrs 10 mins.
Highest point : Hen Comb traverse path, 1365 ft - 420 m.
Walked with : Jo, Ann and the dogs, Jodie and Amber, Harry and Bethan.
Weather : Sunshine and shadows, a cool easterly wind in exposed places.
[ Alter the settings to zoom or change the Map, use Everytrail to download the Gps route ]
The forecast is for strong winds and rain this weekend.
It has become colder and windier, but here in the north-western Lakes the weather is holding up
so Jo travelled over from the cloudy eastern side for a walk in the sunshine.
The sun is out and the cherry blossom is starting to form on the trees in the Kirkstile beer garden.
It's the Kirkstile Inn Beer Festival Weekend and there are extra cars and people about today.
The houses at Low Park shine brightly compared to the boathouse and Lanthwaite Woods behind
currently languishing beneath the shadow of a passing cloud.
Today's walk is unusual in that we have no particular summit in mind.
Our aim is to walk to Floutern Tarn using the Loweswater to Ennerdale bridle way around the back of Hen Comb.
At the top of the Mosedale Valley is the lone holly tree . . . with Buttermere's Red Pike behind.
The Ennerdale bridle way turns at this point and crosses the valley
which gives us time to look back at the view.
Only our second gate since leaving home.
We've walked up Mosedale to a point almost in line with the summit of Hen Comb . . . Low Fell is far behind.
Time to cross the convenient iron bridge as the beck is still too big to jump across.
We have an audience as we pass.
The level nature of the ground causes the stream to meander and the ground to become less well drained.
Welcome to the head of the broad glacial valley and what could be termed "Floutern Moss".
The bridle way continues on, less distinct than before
but to avoid the damp ground we take to the grass up the slope, slightly to the right.
Floutern Tarn nestles in the basin under Great Borne ahead.
Looking across the top of Mosedale to Gale Fell . . . behind it and out of sight is Starling Dodd.
On the fellside opposite there is an old building just to the left of the prominent stream.
The map marks it as a sheepfold but local rumour tells me it is the ruin
of old worker's cottages from the days of iron exploration on the side of Gale Fell and Great Borne.
We climb up towards Floutern Pass and as we do so the Buttermere Fells start to emerge.
High on the side of the Gale Fell / Great Borne ridge the map highlights old mine levels.
It will need a visit in person, not just via a zoom lens, to ascertain the extent of the old mine workings.
Always a classic foreground, a real sheepfold.
This one is near the fence as we join the Buttermere to Ennerdale path high above the moss.
Big boulder . . . Small Ann . . . caused by perspective I hasten to add.
Today's object of desire . . . Floutern Tarn . . . and time for a bit of chocolate biscuit for our efforts.
We seem to be under a dark shadow and this high up the wind is remarkably chilling, so it is gloves on after undoing the wrapper !
Floutern Tarn nestles high under Great Borne's northern crags, remarkably close to the highest point of the pass over to Ennerdale.
And the point of your photo is ? . . . " Well I just thought it looked a nice setting ! "
Up slightly and across a stile to the other side of the fence.
The light and shade down the valley was constantly changing due to the fast moving clouds.
A few moments later it was Red Pike's turn to be in sunshine.
It's like Back o'Skiddaw up here with all this grass.
Our route would stay clear of the boggy ground of White Oak Moss
as we aim for the horizontal traverse on Hen Comb ahead.
A circular mound of ancient vintage . . . noticable due to a change in vegetation.
A short while later and we reached our highest altitude today as we walk along the traversing path in the previous photo.
Great Borne is behind us now and the hollow containing the tarn seems to be in strong sunlight.
Round the side of the fell and our valley comes into view once again.
Suddenly a large bird takes to the skies just 50 yards ahead. A few strong wing beats and in the stiff breeze it climbs rapidly.
It was too large for a sea bird or peregrine, too white for a buzzard . . .
Light and shade again as we round the corner and reach the path down from Hen Comb summit.
Less wind, more sunshine . . . that's a bit warmer.
The Mosedale holly tree is briefly illuminated by the sun.
The well defined crescent of trees borders the track back down to the Loweswater/Lorton Valley.
Beautiful clarity in the sunshine as we look across to Mellbreak and Grasmoor .
Ahead is the cottage and late afternoon tea, or perhaps an early supper.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Fuji Finepix Compact or my Canon G10/1100D camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . a possible cover photo for next year's calendar ;o)
Previous walk - 22nd April 2012 Maryport and the Titanic Exhibition
A previous time up here - 4th March 2008 Hen Comb in the snow
Next walk - 29th April 2012 Castle Crag Before the Rain