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" Hen Comb in the Snow "
Date & start time: Friday 30th January 2015, 11.30 am start.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Kirkhead, Harry's Pool, Hen Comb, down the back and home via Mosedale.
Walk details : 5.5 mls, 1450 feet of ascent, 3 hours 15 mins.
Highest point : Hen Comb, 1,669ft - 509m
Walked with : Myself and the dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Sunshine and blue skies, clouding slightly mid afternoon.
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After yesterday's heavy snowfall, well heavy compared to the winter so far, today dawned bright and clear.
Ann had a lunchtime engagement so the dogs and I headed for the hills . . . well we all need our daily exercise after all.
Join us on a classic winter day out.
Low Fell from our garden . . . yes, blue skies and sunshine.
Then with the telephoto lens . . .
Here's one for a competition . . . name that fell (the camera is pointed north) ?
The previous shot was of Broom Fell with the snow covered Swinside with the wall.
This one is of Carling Knott through the trees . . . the sunshine really making the snow shine white.
Little Dodd . . . on the way up towards . . .
Hen Comb . . . that's a must for today I think.
We're off . . . Carling Knott from the Red phone box at Loweswater.
Looking back across the fields at the cottage.
On a day like today I would spend the whole time looking round, not just forward.
Sheep may safely graze.
In the distance . . . Whiteside and Grasmoor.
No time to stop today . . . sorry.
A broader view back from Kirkhead Farm.
Second sunrise of the morning as the sun re-appears from the side of Mellbreak.
[ Someone must have been up there and celebrating their 214 last night . . . they've left their wine glass behind on the slopes.]
The shadow of a passing cloud has left the summit of Whiteside untouched
and in consequence it's shining in the strong sunlight.
All clear again now as I head off up the lane.
The twin peaks of Darling Fell and Low Fell . . . as seen from the fell gate.
Looking forward to the climb ahead.
The drop down to Harry's Pool . . . the crossing point of Mosedale Beck.
After the dogs had a short dip in the water (mad or what !) we climbed up the other side.
For a change, I climbed half way up the bank then turned off to the left as the bracken was low and a faint track had become apparent.
Here we are, half way up the slope. I was looking up the valley but the dogs seem to be looking back to the pool.
From here the summit of Hopegill Head was now clear between its lofty neighbours.
We reached the stile in the fence that climbs up the high ground of the Hen Comb ridge.
Carling Knott and Loweswater from Little Dodd.
Little Dodd also gave us our first wide view ahead.
Taking the larger camera today meant that I had to change lenses quite often.
Here's a close up of Red Pike and High Stile.
To the right . . . a close up of Floutern Cop.
Walking on . . . passing an old enclosure on the ridge.
In the old days a fence would have kept sheep out of a boggy pool at this point.
The view back as I start the steeper part of the climb,
sunshine and snow changing a landscape so much that the camera is working overtime.
Gavel Fell in a winter wonderland.
A panoramic photo of Mellbreak.
With the snow, the traversing path that we often use to achieve a gentle descent is suddenly very obvious.
As recognisable as Causey Pike is in Borrowdale,
Fleetwith Pike and its secondary peak of Black Star command the head of the Buttermere Valley.
Steeper now and into the shade on the northern side of Hen Comb summit.
Underfoot the snow is laid on a foundation of re-frozen ice and soft turf as there hasn't been a protracted spell of zero temperatures recently.
A combination of microspikes on my boots and a zig zag approach avoiding the icy sections of path makes for a reasonably easy ascent.
Back out into the sunshine . . . the summit can't be far ahead.
Nearly there . . . but still time to appreciate the view back.
Three boys at the summit, at least I presume the snowman is a 'he'.
There's always a great view from up here. Today it is even better.
Time to say goodbye and leave our friend to the view.
Rather than re-trace our steps, the dogs and I head off down the back of the fell.
We head to the left here rather than aim in the Floutern Pass direction.
That will take us down to the head of Mosedale Valley and the bridge.
Kicking the snow on the way down provides great sport for the dogs.
Those snowballs that rolled the furthest were chased by Dylan.
Harry seemed to be enjoying the descent too.
There are a few crags and a few boggy patches on this side of the fell
so a controlled descent was essential . . . no sliding the whole way down :o(
Having slid across the wet rocks at Harry's Pool on the way up,
I aimed for a more sedate crossing of the beck on the way home.
Nearly down in the valley and the scene starts to change colour,
not because there is that much less snow but because it is hidden between the taller grasses and reeds that line the valley floor.
I chose the bridge . . . the dogs chose the river crossing !
Following the bridleway back down the valley.
To my right . . . the tree that qualifies for a symbol and its own name on the O.S 1:25k map.
We've made good time so I divert across the valley floor towards it.
Just a few bog-hopping steps to avoid the worst but the cold weather has solidified most of the boggy ground.
Now we are looking at the Mosedale Holly with a backdrop of Great Borne.
As the cloud starts to build, all we have left to do is to walk down the valley alongside the length of the fell that we had just climbed.
Looking back at Starling Dodd . . .
. . . and forward to Darling Fell and Low Fell again.
By the time we reached the Inn the cloud had increased somewhat.
We had definitely enjoyed the best part of the day . . . hope you enjoyed it too.
- - - o o o - - -
Technical note: Pictures taken with my Cannon 1100D digital camera.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
This site best viewed with . . . meeting (making) a snowman on the summit.
Previous walk - 28/29th January 2015 - Loweswater Snow and Bree
A previous time up here - 19th January 2011 Hen Comb and the Sunset
Next walk - 31st January 2015 - Two Days, Two types of Snow