Clough Head & The Dodds - 6th December 2008
Date 6th December 2008 Description Clough Head & The Dodds
Start Point Wanthwaite Peaks Climbed Clough Head 726m
Total Time 6hrs 00min   Calfhow Pike 660m
Walking Time 4hrs 20min   Great Dodd 857m
Stopped Time 1hrs 40min   Watsons Dodd 789m
Distance 11.30 miles   Stybarrow Dodd 843m
Moving Average 2.2 mph Start Grid Ref NY 31605 23070
Elevation at Start 153 metres Temperature +1°C to -2°C
Total Ascent 935 metres Weather Sunny - Icy - Deep Snow
Max Elevation 857 metres Walking With On Own

Wanthwaite - Hilltop Quarry - Old Coach Road - White Pike - Clough Head - Calfhow Pike - Great Dodd - Watsons Dodd - Stybarrow Dodd - Sticks Pass - Stanah - Legburthwaite - St Johns In The Vale - Wanthwaite

This was one of the best walking days with lots of snow and lovely clear blue skies. I parked near Hill Top Farm at Wanthwaite and walked along the Old Coach Road ascending slowly passing Hilltop Quarries and Clough Fold until I reached Hause Well Spring. The road/track was very icy in places and more and more snow covered the ground I progressed. At Hause Well Spring I met some guys who were assessing the weather conditions as they were part of a Paragliding team out for the day. Apparently the wind and thermal currents were not as they expected - being 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

I left the Old Coach Road at Hause Well Spring and climbed over the stile in the fence to ascend the steep mountainside heading for Clough Head. The snow was getting much deeper as I climbed. I eventually walked around White Pike and then onwards to the summit of Clough Head (726m). This is where the really deep snow (and fun) started. It was so enjoyable with such excellent weather conditions. At the summit were a shelter (covered in snow) and a triangulation pillar (S5946). I spent a short time at the summit watching several Paraglider’s trying to take off with little success. I also met up with two walkers from Cambridgeshire who had ascended Clough Head the same way as me. They were to walk with me for most of the way across the Dodds.

My next target was Calfhow Pike (which is not a Wainwright but is a Birkett) which can be seen clearly in the distance from Clough Head. The path (wherever it was!!!) to Calfhow Pike was a straight line to its summit. For much of the way across the Dodds I was finding myself using other walker’s footprints. At least you could see the depth of the snow. In some places it was as deep as my knees!! The snow was fairly easy to walk through and was icy/crispy in places. Calfhow Pike (660m) is a rocky outcrop (a good navigational aid in not so good weather conditions). After more photos I continued on to Great Dodd ascending nearly 200m to its summit. Great Dodd (857m) is the 19th highest Wainwright Fell in the Lake District. It has a summit cairn and a shelter which are at either end of its top. At this point the walkers from Cambridgeshire left my company as they decided not to walk to the next fell top.

My third Wainwright of the day was an easy walk to Watsons Dodd (789m) again following walkers footprints in the snow. The snow was still very deep. Throughout the walk the views were excellent. I wanted to stay on the fells forever – it was such a perfect day!! I then carried on ascending once more to Stybarrow Dodd (843m). I met with several skiers at the summit of Stybarrow Dodd (with its small cairn). They were local skiers and explained that the conditions were just right for skiing this weekend. Normally it would be the Alps!!! On descent from Stybarrow Dodd to the Sticks Pass I noticed a ski lift on the side of Raise. I did not know that there was a ski lift there.

When I reached the Sticks Pass I followed more footprints to descent back down by the side of Stanah Gill to Stanah. The descent was steep and very snowy. During the last quarter of the descent it became very icy and lots of care had to be taken. Eventually as the sun had just set I arrived at the B5322. I then headed back along the road back to my car. Part way along the road I was met by the walkers from Cambridgeshire coming in the opposite direction in their car. They gave me a lift back to my car. This was an excellent day full of adventure and excitement – I just did not want it to end.


Reference Books Used

Walking The Wainwrights - Stuart Marshall (Sigma Leisure)
Maps Used
OL5 Explorer - The English Lakes (North Eastern Area)
Blencathra from the Old Coach Road
Skiddaw from the Old Coach Road
Blencathra through the trees on the Old Coach Road
© Crown Copywright. All rights reserved. Licence number 100047125
Looking towards the Pennines from near the Old Coach Road
Skiddaw from the Old Coach Road
Approaching Clough Head
White Pike from Clough Head
White Pike with Great Mell Fell and Little Mell Fell behind & the Pennines on the horizon
Looking to Crag Hill and Grisedale Pike
Old Coach Road at Hause Well Spring
On the "Edge" of Clough Head
Blencathra from Clough Head
A good vantage point for a photograph - Clough Head
Paragliders on Clough Head
Clough Head Summit Triangulation Pillar
Paragliders on Clough Head
Me at the Trig Pillar - Clough Head
Clough Head Trig Pillar
Clough Head Trig Pillar
Clough Head Trig Pillar
Clough Head Triangulation Pillar with Skiddaw and Blencathra
Clough Head Trig Pillar with Skiddaw
"Path" to Calfhow Pike
Calfhow Pike with Blencathra & Clough Head
Clough Head
Calfhow Pike with Skiddaw & Blencathra
Calfhow Pike Summit
Calfhow Pike Summit
Looking back to Calfhow Pike and Skiddaw
Blencathra & Clough Head
Calfhow Pike & Skiddaw
"Path" to Little Dodd - Great Dodd on Left
Calfhow Pike Skiddaw & Blencathra
Great Dodd Summit Cairn with Great Mell Fell & Little Mell Fell
Great Dodd
Clough Head & Blencathra from Great Dodd
Great Dodd Summit Cairn
Great Dodd Summit Cairn with Clough Head & Blencathra
Great Dodd Summit Shelter
Great Dodd Summit Cairn with Skiddaw & Blencathra
Looking towards Helvellyn Range from Great Dodd
The Pennines from Great Dodd
Great Dodd Summit Shelter
Great Dodd Summit Shelter
Watsons Dodd from Great Dodd
Descending from Great Dodd
Deep Snow on Great Dodd
Hart Side and the Pennines from Great Dodd
Watsons Dodd Summit Cairn
Watsons Dodd Summit Cairn with Great Dodd
Watsons Dodd Summit Cairn with Skiddaw and Blencathra
Watsons Dodd Summit Cairn with Skiddaw and Blencathra
Stybarrow Dodd from Watsons Dodd
Watsons Dodd Summit Cairn
Stybarrow Dodd Raise & Helvellyn
Great Dodd from Watsons Dodd
Watsons Dodd Summit Cairn with Skiddaw
Stybarrow Dodd Summit Cairn
Clough Head and Blencathra
Stybarrow Dodd Summit Cairn with Skiddaw and Blencathra
Looking back to Watsons Dodd
"Path" to Stybarrow Dodd
Watsons Dodd in the Distance
Stybarrow Dodd Summit with Skier
Stybarrow Dodd Summit Cairn with group of local skiers
The Sticks Pass
Sunset on the mountains - Sticks Pass
Sunset at the Sticks Pass

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