Friday, October 08, 2010

Great Dodd, Watson's Dodd & Clough Head

Yesterday we set off to climb a few new fells to us. As we drove over, the higher peaks were all in cloud but the sun was doing its best to burn the mist off. The fells we were to walk are the northern end of the Helvellyn range, Clough Head is one we had wanted to do for a while but hadn't found a sensible circular route from Thirlmere. David Halls website is one we frequently look at & spotted he had walked it from High Row in Matterdale. It was further to drive but had two advantages, firstly we could pick a near circular route which avoided touching a road at all & even better you start at 412m (higher than last Fridays walk up Helm Crag!). We park right by the gate onto "Old Coach Road" & are straight onto the bridleway This is one of the few routes in the Lake District where 4x4 & motorbikes are allowed off road. The downside to this is how they churn the path up & after all the rain we have had there were lots of quite large puddles We leave the Old Coach Road here by Groovebeck Fold, many of the sheepfolds in this area are named on the map Great Dodd our first fell is the summit to the right
Looking back at Great Mell Fell & Little Mell Fell
And across to Clough Head with Blencathra in mist behind
A panorama to the west from the summit
Great Dodd (857m), for once both dogs make the summit photo even if the camera is a bit wonky
Looking east to Gowbarrow Fell & a small part of Ullswater
And North to Clough Head with the last of the cloud resolutely sticking to Skiddaw & Blencathra
And South towards Helvellyn (unfortunately into the sun)
We had planned to go onto Clough Head now, but having made such good progress decided to take a detour to Watson's Dodd (the summit to the left)
Watson's Dodd (789m) & it was a doddle with less than 20m ascent
Part of Thirlmere comes into view from here
Looking over High Rigg to Keswick
We retrace our steps but instead of re-climbing Great Dodd we contour round on a path
Looking back at Watson's Dodd
We are sheltered from the wind here so decide it is a good lunch spot
Following the track down to Calfhow Pike where we begin the 100m height climb to the summit of Clough Head
Skiddaw & Blencathra now out of the cloud & the summit of Clough Head in the foreground
We reach the summit, looking across to Blencathra
Skiddaw & Blencathra
And a panorama of the two fells
Andy, Bess & Crag in the small shelter at the top, looking towards Keswick, Derwent Water & Bassenthwaite Lake
Skiddaw with Lonscale Fell in the foreground
Bess had gone for a wander & returns
Clough Head (726m), our 160th Wainwright Fell
A movie of the 360degrees view from the summit
We start our descent, for the first time today we are not on a path, we decided to make a direct descent to Mariel Bridge which is where the Old Coach Road crosses Mosedale Beck It is relatively good underfoot, just a bit marshy like much of the route before had been
On our way down we spot some badger setts
With lots of spoil heaps outside them
We pass above a spring where this beck starts
We are down on the Old Coach Road now, looking back at Blencathra & the road in the other direction heading to St John's in the Vale
We have just over 2miles to walk along this back to the car
Back to where our path split off earlier & the dogs enjoy a splash in the very clear but peaty Groove Beck
We hadn't spotted this assortment of fungi earlier
A lovely 10mile walk & two exhausted dogs, Bess even being brave & sleeping in front of the fire
Finally three pictures from Tuesday when we were back at Ennerdale removing more fences. The weather wasn't as kind as last week hence the lack of pictures
Crag waiting patiently for a stick to be thrown
We were assisted this week by a quad bike driven by Malcolm (or is that The Stig) to help remove the posts
We removed about 250m of fence staples & wire, a good but tiring days work

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