Oak Cottage - Loweswater

Retreat to the quiet of the Western Lakes

The Cottage, and  the view up the Buttermere Valley
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Date : Sunday 24th April 2005, 11 am start.

Location : Clough Head and the Dodds, the northern end of the Helvellyn Range, Cumbria, Uk.

Occasion : A walk with Anne Leaney, Jill Rowland, David Hall, Ann, myself and the dogs.

Walk details : 7.6 miles, a pleasant 6 hours, 3160 ft of ascent, mainly in the first ascent.

Weather : Blue skies but hazy.

As we met up with Anne who was travelling from the Penrith direction, we decided to take advantage of having two cars and organised a linear walk, starting here at Wanthwaite and ending at Stannah, at the bottom of Sticks Pass some 3 miles further down St Johns in the Vale.

Having just arrived back from placing the second car, we were delayed by a rambling group disgorging from two coaches. They set off up the Old Matterdale Coach Road, so we decided to branch out instead on a more direct route up Clough Head via Threlkeld Knotts, the mid-ground in this picture.

We found the route an absolute delight . . .

Turn right at the stile and make your way up through the two large quarries.

On the way you cross the old quarry railway track.

This should be walked for 50 yards before following a small path left and up parallel to an old single strand wire fence.

Behind us was an ever expanding view of Blencathra.

Suddenly the route became obvious as we skirted the second quarry and out over a stile onto the fells.

Here we had a hazy view south down the Vale, with High Rigg on our right and the steep slopes of Clough head on the left.

We climbed up towards Threlkeld Knotts on a distinct pathway.

This was an old track, well grooved into the hillside.

Although it had seen modern quad bike transport I think it was a lot older, possibly a quarry track or even an old peat road to the top to bring down peat for winter fuel?

 

 

 

 

   
We then took what was described by Wainwright as the intermediate route across the face of Clough Head.
Climbing to Buck Castle, a rocky outcrop on the left side of the Clough Head Crags.

The path climbs across the face of the fell and in so doing crosses several gullies

Here the first, looking down on Wanthwaite and Lowthwaite farms.

   
A slight rock scramble to cross the second gully, David, Jill and Ann.
The second of the two gullies looking down on Lowthwaite Farm and Low Rigg

Cresting the ridge near Jim's Fold,

the day was getting warmer but the views less distinct.

Clough Head summit and time to celebrate a good ascent using a new and interesting route.

We were grateful to that large group in the end as they encouraged us to try that different route to the top.

   
AW's self portrait - Clough Head 7 Eastern Fells
Ann Hiley's portrait 24.5.05 - sorry no pipe !

From here on it was easy going.

From Clough Head we crossed first to Calf how Pike, a rocky outcrop complete with old sheep fold.

From Calf how (left of centre) on to Great Dodd.

A second procession of ramblers passed us (also left of centre), and they also diverted to pass the Calf how Rocks.

Almost Alpine.

Blue skies and the last of the snow on Great Dodd.

The summit reached.

Time to study the view - south to Helvellyn and Dollywagon Pike.

The shelter on Great Dodd is strangely distant from the summit itself.

Behind it the full extent of the High Street ridge. Great Dodd is a fine viewpoint on a day like today.

The summit cairn on Great Dodd . . .

Note that ghostly white line to its right is not a cloud but the Penine snow on Cross Fell, penetrating the haze.

 

The route ahead.

Watson's Dodd (not to be missed !) then Stybarrow Dodd to the left, in the middle distance.

David who often walks with two Trekking poles is trying to teach Ann the finer points of pole use.

Ann is having difficulty just remembering which is left and right !

Stybarrow Dodd with its summit cairn.

Amongst a group of rocks, the odd piece of green slate stood out due to its size and dramatic colour.

No snow here so the Lake District Ski Club is closed for the season.

Two small huts and some snow fencing mark the site of the piste area.

From Stybarrow Dodd we turned right and headed down Sticks Pass

passing this sheepfold at the top of the final slope.

Skiddaw is the high fell in the distance.

Hidden gems, the waterfalls of Stanah Gill

 

Captured by the aqueduct feeding Thirlmere, Stanah Gill ends its descent in the tranquility of the collecting pool.

 

More great pictures of todays walk @

and Jill's Webshots Selection

 

Technical note: Pictures taken with a Canon IXUS 400 Digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed . . . witha cup of tea with John Patterson at Fornside afterwards.

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