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" Hen Comb with Richard and Hilary "
Date & start time: Thursday 20th August 2015, 2.15 pm start.
Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )
Places visited : Kirkhead, Harry's Pool, Hen Comb and back, ending in the Kirkstile Inn later.
Walk details : 4.8 mls, 1400 feet of ascent, a leisurely 3 hours.
Highest point : Hen Comb, 1,669ft - 509m
Walked with : Richard and Hilary, Ann and our dogs, Harry and Dylan.
Weather : Overcast, a strong breeze but a warm one.
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Richard and Hilary are caravanning in the Lakes and have found time to visit us in Loweswater.
Chance for a leisurely walk ( they have no specific agenda) but we do have to be back for an evening appointment . . .
the first of what turned out to be three evening visits to the Kirkstile over the next 10 days.
Richard and Hilary with Ann
who is trying to settle Dylan for a first photo . . . the other photo attempts were even worse by the way.
Mellbreak over an agricultural landscape.
Our summit of the day was not Mellbreak itself but its next door neighbour Hen Comb, behind the trees to the right.
That's the top in fact . . . with the bump of Little Dodd on the way up the ridge.
The track continues on towards Mosedale and Ennerdale, the girls are diverting right to . . .
. . . Harry's Pool.
In for a swim so early in the day . . . but it was reasonably warm . . . the air that is, not the water.
Mid-summer now and the bracken is at its height.
The EU in the last few years has banned the chemical spray that is occasionally used to control this pernicious weed.
It covers the lower slopes, smothering the grass, denying the grazing to the sheep and cattle
so forcing them out onto the higher fell where the grazing is poorer.
Gradually we will climb above the height where the bracken can't grow.
Here, on the way up to Dodd, the moorland grass is starting to win out.
After crossing the fence Richard and I divert onto Dodd
but the girls stay on the slight quad bike track which climbs more gently towards the ridge.
The vegetation changes from bracken and moorland grass to heather and bilberry.
With the cold spring and a reasonably low rainfall summer, the heather is having an exceptionally good year this year.
The view down from Dodd.
Below is an old sheepfold and across the White Oak Beck are the workings of the old lead mine.
Hilary and I lead the middle order . . . Richard, Ann and Harry are the tail-enders.
Who's the lead batsman ? . . . . why Dylan of course he's already been to the top of the next rise and back !
With coats done up against the wind (and a spot of rain on the lens it seems)
we gather the party for a summit photograph.
Ann and I swap positions . . . for a second photo on the top of Hen Comb.
Rather than descend by the back of the fell into Mosedale, Ann strides out on the return route
following our outward path back down . . . so as to enjoy the views ahead of Loweswater and the Lorton Valley.
The weather hasn't changed much all afternoon.
Here we look across at the heather clad, northern end of Mellbreak and distant Whiteside.
In the woods near Harry's Pool they have been doing a little thinning.
The trees have been cut to three metre lengths and will go to make wood chip for paper or bio-mass burning.
I wouldn't mind a five metre length or two to cross the Mosedale stream occasionally.
Down in the shelter of the valley the wind has dropped and the sun has come out.
We walk down past the pub . . . but don't panic, we'll walk back up to it later !
Looking back at another walk completed, another summit climbed.
Warm enough now for tea and cake in Oak Cottage garden after the walk.
" I've been good today . . . do I get any cake ? "
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For supper we all adjourned, with camera, to the pub.
I think we were all talking so much that we clean forgot the picture of our delicious evening meal . . . sorry about that.
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Technical note: Pictures taken with Ann's Canon Sureshot SX220 Digital SLR.
Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.
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Previous walk - 17th August 2015 - Bessyboot with Trevor & Gill
A previous time up here - 19th January 2011 Hen Comb and the Sunset
Next walk - 29th August 2015 - Fellbarrow with Mark and Gill