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The Dodds et al

The Dodds et al

Postby MiniRambo » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:53 pm

Wainwrights included on this walk: Clough Head, Great Dodd, Hart Side, Stybarrow Dodd, Watson's Dodd

Hewitts included on this walk: Clough Head, Great Dodd, Stybarrow Dodd

Date walked: 14/09/2013

Time taken: 8.05

Distance: 25.2 km

Ascent: 1345m

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I did this walk with John on his recommendation of the route.

Parked at Wanthwaite, about a mile south of Threlkeld. Arrived just after 8am, booted and walking by 8.15am. A beautiful morning with clear skies and mist lifting from the valley bottoms.

At the start

Made our way along the Old Coach Road, climbing eastwards along the northern slopes of Clough Head. Met another walker called Jerome who had been dropped off by his wife and was to walk the full ridge over Helvellyn and Fairfield and to be picked up at Grasmere - cracking route!! We, on the other hand, were to do the Dodds and Hart Side, take in the head of Glencoyne back over Sticks Pass drop down to Stanah and then the 2.5 miles back along the B5322 to the car.

We walked along the Old Coach Road to a stile through the fence that would lead up a path on the broad north eastern ridge of the hill, passed White Pike and then on to the summit. Great views all around - to the east the Mell Fells and the Eden Valley, to the north Blencathra and Skiddaw, westwards to Keswick and the western fells and southwards through intermittent rising mist, Great Dodd.

On the Old Coach Road, view to Blencathra

The path up Clough Head, White Pike on the left

John and Jerome at Clough Head summit

I had a quick drink and snickers then we dropped down a good path southwards towards a little 'pimple' called Calfhow Pike before a long drag to the summit of the highest peak of our walk, Great Dodd. It has a summit cairn with great all round views and then a separate shelter cairn a hundred meters or so south. I took on some more liquid and then we set off towards Waston Dodd.

Great Dodd from Calfhow Pike

Thirlmere and Raven Crag

On route to Great Dodd, looking back to Cafhow Pike and Clough Head

From Great Dodd shelter cairn looking to Helvellyn etc

Watson Dodd is a minor high point on the ridge, we didn't stay long before our next climb up to Stybarrow Dodd. Began to meet a good number of other walkers at this point. At the summit, we bid fairwell to Jerome who would drop down to Sticks Pass and then onwards over Raise etc. Instead we continued eastwards, losing height to White Stones, a nice little hill that in my opnion is a more worthy peak than Watson Dodd. On route, we noticed a couple of army helicopters presumably doing some practice manoevers near the ski slopes of Raise.

Watson Dodd cairn

On Stybarrow Dodd towards Hart Side and Birkett Fell

Helicopter on manoevers

Catsycam and Helvellyn

Looking back to Stybarrow Dodd

From White Stones it was a simple walk over to our last Wainwright of the day, Hart Side. We had some lunch and watched a number of other walkers in the distance going over White Stones.

At Hart Side summit cairn

We then continued eastwards to Birkett Fell before descending its slopes behind a stone wall until we met a path that had come over from Dowthwaitehead. This path lead us into Glencoyne. It was a fantastic route along the hillside with a gradual incline. Great views down to Ullswater and beyond.

Glencoyne and Ullswater

John on the path around Glencoyne


It eventually brought us to a point west of Sheffield Pike but rather than dropping us to the main Sticks Pass path, it maitained its height and eventually joined the main path at a suitable point. Sticks Pass was attained on a well maintained path (steep towards the end). We then dropped down a gradual and good path, steepening through bracken before reaching Stanah. Feet were sore by this point and it was a case of getting our heads down for the walk back along the road to the car. Thanks to John for letting me have some of his water and a welcome coffee when we reached the finish.

Up towards Sticks Pass, Raise on the Left

From Sticks Pass, westwards to Great Gable etc

Sheepfold above Stanah

Dropping down to Stanah

A great walk on a good day with good company!!
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Re: The Dodds et al

Postby Alan White » Wed Sep 18, 2013 4:57 pm

Thanks for this.
I'm heading upto Patterdale tomorrow night and was considering doing most of this route as a circular from High Row above Dockray. Your excellent pics confirm what I expected the terrain to be like
I've heard the path from Birkett Fell down to Dowthwaite Head can be awkward (if it exists) and Wainwright recommends carrying on over Brown Hills and Common Fell to Dockray.
This would extend the walk a bit and mean an uphill from Dockray to High Row at the end of the day.
Can anybody enlighten me about the state of the path from Birkett Fell to Dowthwaite Head?
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