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" Hen Comb with Mark, Gill and Neeni "
Date & start time: Tuesday 19th August 2014, 1 pm start.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Kirkhead, Harry's pool, Hen Comb and return via the Kirkstile.
Walk details : 4.8 mls, 1425 feet of ascent, 4 hour including stops.
Highest point : Hen Comb, 1,669ft - 509m.
Walked with : Mark, Gill, Ann and Abi, with Neeni, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Sunshine and blue skies, but with fast moving clouds in the cool air.
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Mark and Gill, who we have got to know through the website and me meeting them in Fishers,
have accepted an invite over to Loweswater for a walk.
Today's fell is Mark's suggestion as he is working through the Wainwright fells and Hen Comb is still un-climbed by them.
Climb this one today and he will have just forty five or so to go !
Our party today . . . Mark, Abi (our granddaughter) Ann and Gill.
The confusing thing here is the look-alike Neeni next to Harry, fortunately Dylan is easier to tell apart from his older canine friends.
[ Oh yes . . . the postman in the background apologises but he's still working and can't join us for the afternoon.]
So for us it is on with the walk . . . Hen Comb here we come !
[ To re-cycle an old joke . . . I suppose you could call that "Thirst after Righteousness" ]
Below the pub is Wainwright's Negative Signpost
which singularly fails to give any positive information (mentioned in Mellbreak 4 in the Western Fells book).
In Wainwright's day both arms said "No road to the Lake". . . nowadays the second one says "No through Road".
The 'No through Road' changes to a lane and becomes the bridleway to Ennerdale, a walk or canter of nearly five miles.
First a river crossing . . . so it is down to Harry's pool.
By the look of it the dogs are already down there.
They are already enjoying a swim.
It seems Neeni, the same age as Harry, enjoys the water with equal passion.
All safely across the stepping stones and we'll set off once the dogs have finished playing.
As we climb up onto the lower end of the Hen Comb ridge we reach a swath of fine purple heather.
Always difficult to catch the richness . . . I hope this get somewhere near.
The three dogs on the first rise, with Carling Knott behind.
That's Neeni, then Harry and then Dylan . . . or are the first two the other way round ?!
Beautiful visibility today as a light north westerly breeze brings clear air in from the Atlantic.
The fells are High Stile and Red Pike with the "Mosedale Holly" in the foreground.
Looking back at the panorama of the Loweswater and Lorton Valleys.
Abi and I break off and climb directly up to Little Dodd, classed as a Birkett in the lakeland list of fells.
The view across to Loweswater as we climb up the ridge.
In the distance, a clear view of Scotland across the Solway Firth . . . you can even make out the field patterns.
Below us the remaining evidence of the old White Oak lead mines, long since abandoned.
The major footpath seen running across the bracken covered slopes below would have been a water channel,
a 'mill leat' to divert river water to drive the waterwheels used to power the mine and the crushing plant.
The ladies have taken the gentler direct path towards Hen Comb.
Neeni seen surging ahead in the last photo is holding back in this one . . . surely not shy of the camera ?
Ahead, like the rounded pudding basin of Silbury Hill rising above the Wiltshire countryside,
Hen Comb summit stands out from the flat ridge walk and just cries out to be climbed.
Following the path up . . . it is steeper than it looks.
On the way up we get our first view of the Isle of Man.
From near the summit and with a higher zoom, the twin summits of Snaefell stand out across thirty miles of sea.
They are in fact more like fifty miles away from our viewpoint here on Hen Comb.
Destination reached . . . another delightful summit climbed for Mark and Gill.
There's quite a cool breeze up here as Gill and Abi sit for a summit photo.
Abi was having a bit of a bad-hair-day now we are up on the exposed summit.
The wind doesn't prevent me from presenting you with the widest possible photo.
Just down from the summit, in the slight shelter of a small rock outcrop, we paused for a late lunch.
[ What do you call a hair brush used by ladies ? . . . a Hen Comb of course !! ]
Enough of our humour . . . time to retrace our steps.
Here's that same panorama of the Loweswater / Lorton Valleys but from near the summit as we start our descent.
Striding out . . . it was slightly cooler as the cloud occasionally went behind the clouds.
Back to Harry's Pool and the stepping stones . . . not standing fully proud of the water any more after the winter floods.
Classy footwork and balance as Mark crosses the underwater stones.
The dogs don't see what all the fuss is about.
They just want another game !
Chris and Susan at the farm have planted up some very old boots with a selection of flowers.
Back at the negative signpost and time for a classic photo.
[ l to r : Loweswater Gold shandy and a pint of new Cascadian Dark Ale ]
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Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220, or my Nikon P520 digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . .A Hen Comb to do your hair on the summit.
Previous walk - 12th August 2014 - Bowness Knott in Ennerdale
A previous time up here - 24th Dec 2009 Christmas Eve on Hen Comb
Next walk - 23rd August 2014 - Fellbarrow with Paula, Al and Abi