Hen Comb from Mosedale

Hen Comb, and its natural ‘moat’, Mosedale

Height: 1661 feet above sea level.

Volume: Book 7 (The Western Fells). This was the last fell bagged from that volume.

Date climbed: 17th October 2012 (walk 67)

Bagged as number:  207 of 214. [ << Mellbreak (206)  (208) Eagle Crag >> ]

Route of ascent and descent:  Ascended from an indeterminate point in the south-western arm of Mosedale. Descended to another intederminate point in same valley, just slightly to the west, and then squelched on down to Buttermere village, reaching it about an hour and a quarter later.

Hen Comb summit cairn

Hen Comb summit. Buttermere to top right, in the background.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): “The map shows Hen Comb’s simple structure – a long ridge rising from a main valley (Loweswater) that carry streams down from a wide upland morass, a desolate tract of marshland and bog encircling the extremity of the fell like a moat, out of which rise the summit slopes as an island from the sea.

“The two becks, fed from such an unfailing source, bring down water in considerable volume, and, being without bridges above the intakes, make access to Hen Comb difficult in wet weather. In fact it may be said of Hen Comb that it is the only fell that can be put out of bounds by excessive rain.”

What I say: Which is just an interesting curiosity until you have to a) ascend Hen Comb on a pretty specific day b) have this day be a day at the end of a wet week which follows a very wet summer c) have no backup (and I hate not having a backup).

The view of Buttermere from Hen Comb

The view of Buttermere from Hen Comb, a view that I am sure is even nicer out of the rain.

Actually wetness of the surrounding countryside – though certainly a factor – wasn’t the main obstacle to getting up Hen Comb. I had a few soggy moments but it wasn’t that bad. The real bitch about this fell is that it’s actually a lot steeper and higher than it looks. Coming after having gone up and down both Mellbreak’s summits and then returned to valley level, this was a much tougher climb than I anticipated. The view of Buttermere from the summit is great, but it’s about the only real compensation. A remote and fiddly fell, this one.

By the way, it’s pronounced Hen Coom, in the same way as tomb.

[ << Helvellyn      Heron Pike >> ]


One Response to “Hen Comb”

  1. […] me bag the last two fells from Wainwright’s volume 7, The Western Fells – Mellbreak and Hen Comb – and thus leave myself only with peaks that can be bagged at any day of the year. Tough walk […]

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