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" The Loweswater Double with Nigel and Jill "

Date & start time: Thursday 30th June 2016, 10.30 am start.

Location of Start : The red phone box, Loweswater , Cumbria, Uk ( NY 143 211 )

Places visited :      Mellbreak (both tops), Hen Comb, Little Dodd and back.

Walk details :         6.6 mls, 2650 feet of ascent, 6 hours 10 mins.

Highest point :      Mellbreak, 1,676ft - 512m.

Walked with :        Nigel and Jill, myself and our dog Dylan.

Weather :               Overcast, a hint of rain on Hen Comb but not worth putting coats on for. 

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Jill and Nigel are up in the Lakes and have the opportunity to finish off some of the final climbs of their outstanding Wainwright Fells list.

Today they have decided to walk Mellbreak and Hen Comb and asked if I wish to accompany them.

Ann kindly stayed back to give Harry a shorter walk, as this Loweswater Double would be too much for him now.

Also it was not a suitable walk for Ann's sister who was staying with us this week.

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Talking of Loweswater doubles . . .

Yes, our two red squirrels are in and out of the garden on a regular basis.

The only two minor problems . . . 1) you don't like to go out and disturb them so garden jobs are often delayed.

                                                                      2) good squirrel nuts are £35 per bag, that makes it even more expensive than dog food.

Red Squirrels moult their body fur twice a year (ears and tail just once a year) and when they lose their thicker winter coat it can make them look a bit scruffy, to say the least.  Hopefully the grey fur on its side is just that.

Information received from the Red Squirrel Northern England Group

You can sign up to their news-emails if you wish.

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Squirrels can't eat all day, so when I do go out there's plenty to do.


The carrier had just delivered a "Father's Day" present, a brand new

wheelbarrow, half-funded by my son who sent me a garden voucher.

(see greenhouse picture above)   What a lovely boy !


In the greenhouse the tomatoes have almost reached the ceiling

so growing tips have to be pinched out.

Seedlings have to be potted on or planted out.  New spinach seeds

need planting as the recent lot failed in the dry weather.


Colour in the fruit cage means time to start harvesting.

Today it's raspberries, looking great due to recent rain

which has nicely swollen the fruit.  Next week I'll have some

black currents to pick, but they'll be a lot more fiddly to harvest.

- - - o o o - - -

On more walk based matters . . . today's page title of "Loweswater Doubles" relates to our friends Jill and Nigel

who have come up to the north western Lakes to climb two of our adjacent local fells.

The skies above are rather overcast but there's no sign of rain as three of us leave on the walk.

Our route was decided when Jill and Nigel said they didn't want to climb down the front of Mellbreak

so it is a climb up this fell and then across to Hen Comb afterwards.

Up the summer-green lane past Kirkhead Farm.
Ahh . . . Mellbreak over the muck-spreader !
Chris's dogs were herding the sheep as we passed his field.
Then the cows started chasing the dogs.

So it was an interesting few moments . . . watching the dogs trying to round up the sheep with the cows chasing them from behind.

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" Best Foot Forward "

Early heather in bloom as we start the steep climb . . . the trick will be to avoid as much of the scree as possible.

Down in the valley is the large (white) complex of The Kirkstile Inn. The rest of the view is of the Lorton Valley.

Two thirds of the way up Wainwright points out the chance to "peep round a corner"

and see the view of Buttermere and the central fells at the head of the valley.

Looking down on Crummock Water and we can just make out three small canoes

. . . the camera sees them more clearly.

Dylan claims the high ground . . . but it is only the third highest cairn on the mountain.

The second one this end is a metre or so higher but the one in the distance is importantly a full 3 metres higher.

After recent rains the paths are wet under foot . . . so we head off-piste directly for the summit.

Their 'number 208' on their list of 214 fells . . . now completed.

From close to the summit you get another chance to check out the lovely view of Buttermere.

- - - o o o - - -

Hen Comb in summer green

Now we have to find a way down into the valley and then climb up the other side.

Summer green implies the dreaded bracken which covers the lower slopes and slows down progress.

A slightly sarcastic on their faces look as I tell them I've never walked the route in this direction.

Across the valley floor.

Progress across the valley can be achieved reasonably easily provided you avoid the bogs.

Studying the vegetation type can help . . . grass is usually good . . . moss and reeds beds are bad.

The route ahead . . .

Discussion followed about how we would all like to climb up Hen Comb . . . preferably not through any bracken.

Hold your cursor over the picture to see which way we decided.

First we make our way over to the green bridge which crosses the Mosedale Beck.

You look for one bog asphodel . . . and then a whole bus full come along at the same time.

The trees are growing in the shelter of the hidden Thrang Crags on the side of Hen Comb.

The steepest part done but the angle still demands that we zig-zag our way up.

Here's an idea of the angle of slope . . . the sheep don't seem to mind so why should we ?

Nearing the top and we regain our view out to the west.

" Nearly there now " . . . hey Dylan you said that without moving your lips !

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Jill and Nigel's number 209 out of 214 completed.


This was the big view from the top of Hen Comb today.


Click here or on the photo above

for a Loweswatercam 360 degree annotated panorama.


- - - o o o - - -

Technical note:     I use the Microsoft ICE program for stitching together panoramas

Every once in a while its decision making logic goes berserk . . . but isn't the artwork superb !

[ The same 12 pictures were used for the proper panorama and this one.]

Too windy on the summit and there's a touch on moisture in the air

so we drop down a short distance from the top of Hen Comb for a spot of lunchtime refreshment.

The slightly eroded path as I look back up the slope.
Down hill all the way now as we look forward.

Close up on the small white flowers by the side of the path.

Wainwright mentions a "fenced bog-hole".
It certainly was deep !

Little Dodd on the way down . . . I believe it is on the list of Birkett Fells but not the Wainwright ones.

Our passing is noted as we descend towards the valley.

Below we meet the Mosedale Beck once more . . . but there's no bridge this time.

You either paddle across . . . it's not that cold Dylan.

. . . or you cross by the rough stepping stones.

How many of you were waiting for her to fall in . . . shame on you . . . the girl 'did okay' and she stayed dry.

Safely across and it is back down the lane past the cows . . . placid now as the field is minus sheep and sheepdogs.

The end in sight . . . or would be if the leaves on the trees didn't hide the cottage.

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Technical note: Pictures taken with my Canon 1100D Digital SLR.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . time to stay on for supper afterwards.

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Previous walk - 25th/26th June 2016 - Lorna's Picnic in the Park

A previous time up here - 23rd June 2011 Hen Comb and Mellbreak