Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hen Comb - Dec 2013

from the summit looking over towards Buttermere with Red Pike in cloud

easy walking

Without wanting to go on about it, I've been unwell.  So unwell that I visited the doctor yesterday, having suffered intolerable headaches for over two weeks.  The medical advice was to take it easy and carry on taking the tablets.  A trial run on Monday had confirmed that I am by no means fit to exercise strenuously and so today, with a bit of time and some decent weather at last, I headed out to walk up an easy fell.

Hen Comb was one of the last fells I bagged on my first round of the Wainwrights.  As Wainwright said, it suffers somewhat from being a neighbour of Mellbreak, a much more impressive fell.  Mellbreak is surrounded by streams: Whiteoak Beck and Mosedale Beck.  Wainwright comments that it is the only fell that can be impossible to summit after heavy rainfall.  There is a bridge over the Mosedale Beck, near to the Mosedale Holly Tree, but at the start of the walk, if you attack it in the usual way from Loweswater, you have to get over one or other of the becks.

I parked at Maggie's Bridge car park.  It was already full on my arrival at about 10.30am but I managed to squeeze my little car into the side of the track.  I headed off towards Watergate Farm, following the track along the river until I got to the wall above Nook Farm where the open fell begins.  From here I traversed east along the wall, down and over Whiteoak Beck (some skilful balancing on a log across the beck) and then climbed to the ridge which I followed to the top.  It was a bit wet but I slogged out the hills until I was at the summit cairn.  Here I took a number of pictures in different directions before heading off the steep end, initially along the path to Flouten Tarn before heading off more directly aiming for the bridge over Mosedale Beck.  This was a steep but manageable descent.  Once on the track it was an easy and level walk back to the car.

Just as I was approaching my car, the famously grumpy Loweswater farmer came up behind me in his landrover, beeping his horn.  I stepped aside to let him past and he pulled up along side me and wound down his window and shouted, "If you didn't have those f@*%ing things in your ears, you might be able to hear."  I took one earphone out of my ear and said, "pardon?"  He didn't like this but repeated himself.  I think he was astounded by my response, "yes, you're right."  He sat there for a while, glaring at me.  "Is that all?" I said.  After a while, I put my earphone back in and he drove off.  He had obviously had a rough morning.

summit shots: towards Starling Dodd middle right and the ridge to Red Pike on the left

over to Great Bourne and Herdus

Blake Fell and Carling Knott

Mellbreak north top popping out with Whiteside behind.  Low Fell on the left

Fleetwith Pike in the middle, Dale Head to the left, then Robinson.  Red Pike on the right.

and the Mosedale Holly Tree on the flanks of Mellbreak.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sale Fell - Dec 2013

Tonight's route

After a man-flu enforced lay off, it was nice to get out again this evening after work.  I set off from the usual parking spot, taking the clockwise path to the summit.  This route has steep initial climbs to the summit and then follows a nice downhill along to the nose.  I took the descent easy tonight as it was dark and not easy to pick out the path.  I usually turn right at the wall and continue descending to the road but tonight I went left and looped around on the path through the woods.  I tried the higher path in the woods (which I later found out is a Strava segment) but the fallen trees are still there.  It looks like a path has been made around them but I didn't fancy venturing into the trees on a makeshift path in the dark so I turned around and carried on the lower path.  Coming out of the woods, I fancied another loop up to the top but my toes were rubbing together a bit and I think it was a wise choice to avoid a blister and head back down the way I came up.  I put a few short hill repeats in to take the total distance up to 5 miles before finishing.

No pictures - it was dark.