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" Hen Comb between the Storms "

Date & start time:      17th February 2022.   11.30 am start.

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

Places visited :          Kirkgate Farm, Harry's Pool, Little Dodd, Hen Comb, back via Mosedale.

Walk details :              5.1 miles, 1450 ft of ascent, 2 hours 5 mins.

Highest point :           Hen Comb, 1,669ft - 509m.

Walked with :              Myself and the dogs, Dylan and Dougal.

Weather :                     The calm between the Storms, surprisingly mild and not too windy.


© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Licence number PU 100034184.


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What started out as a short dog walk in a dry spell between storms Dudley and Eunice, was extended as the weather really wasn't that bad.


The winds up top were occasionally strong as expected but the temperature was mild and the sun even came out . . . as did my foot from my boot later in the walk.


The recent rains made the ground waterlogged in places and on the way up I felt my feet were getting wet. Could there be a leak ?



Still all was looking good as I pass the Negative Signpost

near the start of the walk.


- - - o o o - - -

As I walked up the Mosedale / Ennerdale track it looked more possible that I would reach the top of Hen Comb today,

the summit of which can be seen above the wall.

The other problem today would be to cross Mosedale Beck at "Harry's Pool" after all the rain of the last few days.

The stepping stones were covered but I managed a jump across the rapids as they entered the pool (the narrows located above the middle post).

Safely over and dry shod, the dogs and I were climbing gradually up towards Little Dodd as Loweswater came into view.

That's Darling Fell and Low Fell on the other side of the lake and the Solway Coast through the gap.

The path and occasional quad bike tracks gradually reached the bottom end of the wall where a stile was found,

not that stile's are much use to quad bike drivers !

The wall doesn't go far  ... they couldn't find enough stones ... so it soon reverts to a wire fence.

Beyond it we now have a distant view of Red Pike and the High Stile Ridge.

Starling Dodd and the summit of Hen Comb ahead as Dylan tops out on the 'Birkett top' of Little Dodd.

- - - o o o - - -


The extended ridge carries me forward

towards the steep final climb

to the Hen Comb summit

at the southern end of the fell.


The path isn't exactly straight

and it twists and turns occasionally

to avoid the worst of the wet patches.


As we approach the fence below the final climb

the water is actually running down the grassy path.


- - - o o o - - -

The same patch of water can be seen below, as I look back at the walk we've done so far.

I think my boots are definitely leaking after that wet crossing !

Still despite the forecast and after a few short stops for a breather for me, we all reach the summit.

The wind was not as strong as expected and conditions were really quite nice.

The view down towards Buttermere from the summit cairn.

As I didn't really plan to be here I hadn't really decided which way to return.

The options were a simple back-track, a sharp descent down the back of the fell towards Floutern Moss or a third option . . .

I descended the summit using the path I climbed, but then swung right and headed directly down for the Mosedale Beck,

to join the bridleway which by this time was on my side of the valley, at the top of the river bank but on the wrong side of the water.

- - - o o o - - -


The damp conditions, the sharp climb

and now a descent through the winter bracken

involving some side stepping technique

(to keep me upright on the downward slope)

put extra pressure on my boot.


Sadly it wasn't quite up to the task

and on one particularly steep section

the stitching burst and the sole was suddenly

further from the ankle than it had been a moment earlier.

The feeling was like driving a car with a flat tyre !


I descended the rest of the path to the river

in rather less energetic style.


- - - o o o - - -

Re-tying the long laces under the instep improved the situation

and I was able to enjoy the river scenery as I reached Mosedale Beck.

The steep ground and sheltered position has allowed a few trees to grow here, the rest of the valley is basically too wet.

I crossed the river but I knew my boot was definitely letting in water now . . . and that water was cold !

- - - o o o - - -


A first find of the season . . .


The local frogs of Mosedale have made an early start

at courtship and egg laying.


On the Mosedale track they have laid frogs spawn

directly onto the track.


Fortunately there's plenty of water about

to keep them moist at present.


- - - o o o - - -

Back down the track and Darling fell and Low Fell feature in the views once more, as we approach Harry's Pool.

It will be a short hop back to the cottage, though hop is perhaps not the correct word

as the laces are holding everything together quite nicely. 

Just need to warm the wet feet in front of the fire when I get home.

- - - o o o - - -


Technical note: Pictures taken with my Panasonic Lumix Gx8 Camera.

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

This site best viewed without . . . an impending trip to the boot shop in Keswick !

Go to Home Page . . . © RmH . . . Email me here

Previous walk - 6th February - Stormy St Bees

A previous time up here - 19th August 2014 - Hen Comb with Mark & Gill

Next walk - 17th February - Off to the Coast - Maryport