A Few Dodds

Name of walk A Few Dodds
Date of walk 2008-04-24
Distance walked (miles) 11
Duration of walk 7 hours 30 minutes
Weather Mist then sunshine
Peaks on walk Raise, Stybarrow Dodd, Watson\'s Dodd, Great Dodd, Clough Head
Walked with On
Parking None...dropped off and picked up.
Today I had an opportunity to do a walk that was not circular. Brendan was off to Carlisle so he could drop me off and pick me up somewhere else, I chose to do the remainder of the Helvellyn range from Raise to Clough Head. Which includes Raise (2889ft), Stybarrow Dodd (2770ft), Watsons Dodd (2584ft), Great Dodd (2807ft) and Clough Head (2381ft). I was dropped off at Legburnthwaite and was to be picked up at St John`s in the Vale Church. About 11 miles.
The weather was awful, it was raining and all the tops were covered in low cloud and hill fog. It was supposed to improve in the afternoon and I was hoping that the weather would be good by Clough Head so I could get some photos of Blencathra.

I took the route up by Stanah Gill called the Sticks Pass. "View" down to Great How and the turn off for St Johns in the Vale.


Stanah Gill.


"View" back down the way I came.


I was to see no one for the next four hours, just this sheep in a sheep fold, keeping out of the weather. Who said sheep were stupid?


I found the summit of rocky Raise....I think....I ran out of "up" so it must have been the summit! Visibility was down to 25m, thankfully there was a good path most of the way to Stybarrow Dodd.


Because the next hills are Dodds (grassy round tops) there were no paths on the summits, or off them, and in such poor visibility it would be easy to go astray. Map and compass were never out of my grip as I struggled to navigate from one fell to another. Below is the summit shelter of Great Dodd where I stopped for lunch. Not that I ate much as I was too anxious of finding my way to Calfhow Pike via the summit cairn which was a short distance away but not in view. I then had to go SW for a bit then turn NW. I set off to look, missed it and returned back towards the shelter to try again and literally bumped into a gentleman with GPS. He had just been to the cairn, he`d satellite marked it and located it again for me. As I set off again another youngish chap appeared out of the mist. A Mountain Leader on a scouting trip for the Bob Graham Round, he`d just come from Calfhow Pike and pointed me in the right direction. I located the start off the path and continued. It was still very bad visibility but the path would do the navigating for me.


As I began to lose height suddenly to the north east I could see some gaps in the cloud and Great Mell Fell came into view..


Calfhow Pike also appeared before me, I needed this for the next bearing NNE to clough Head.


I sat on the summit of Calfhow Pike and waited for more of the clouds to clear. I need blue skies on Clough Head! My route from Great Dodd below with the clouds starting to clear away from the summit.


Looking towards Derwent Water.


Sunshine on Great How! Thirlmere behind.


Now the cloud was begining to move off Clough Head too! So I set off up it.


Fifteen minutes later blue skies as promised! Talk about changeable, you`d not think it was even the same day!


Clough Head Summit Cairn and the views out to Blencathra. Skiddaw on the left.


The fells of Blencathra and Threlkeld village. Below is the sharp drop down via Red Screes to Threlkeld Knotts, one of the ways off, but not for me, I`m going the longer way round.


Skiddaw and a glimpse of Bassenthwaite Lake.


Derwent Water.


Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell. The path heads towards White Pike on the left.


The path down was grassy and steep but I made it to the Old Coach Road which skirts the side of the Fell. Looking in the other direction.


I had come down on the north side of Clough Head so it was quite a walk on a very stoney path to reach the main road. I then had to cross over and head up hill to St John`s in the Vale Church which is nestled inbetween High Rigg and Low Rigg. Lambs....so cute


The Old Coach Road can be seen up on the left, Threlkeld Knotts above it..


View north from the road up to the church.


The rough west face of Clough Head, the bit I avoided decending on the far left.


St John`s in the Vale Church. The Sundial on the right dated from the 16 hundreds.



Final view of Blencathra from the church car park. I had been here less than 5 minutes when Brendan turned up. So I timed that rather well.

The 11 miles had taken me seven and a half hours. The last three hours were good, the last two tiring on the knees! I`ll have to repeat the first four hours in good weather. It is no fun at all when there is nothing to look at but the bit of ground directly in front of you. Tedious and a bit depressing. Seeing where you are going is more relaxing than working with a map and compass, that is why I try to avoid mist as much as possible. Rain, gales, snow is fine, but hill fog is horrid. Still good exercise though! Not sure walking two days running is good for my poor old body!