B0609 Clough Head and Great Dodd

Thursday 27th April 2006

It was one of those good to be alive mornings.  Hardly a cloud in the sky.  Wonderful clear visibility.  Spring at its very best.  The May was out.  So clouts were cast.  Out went the thermals, face mask, goggles, winter gloves, hand-warmers etc and on went the summer trousers.  Pulling out of the gate I stopped the car.  Was it wise to go without my thermals?  So I went back for my tights.  A very good decision.

All we (Bryan, Tony and I) had planned was that we would leave Coledale for another day and decide where we were to go when we met up.  Bryan presented us with two options. The first, given that we went up Harter Fell last week was to go up the other Harter Fell from Eskdale.  However we were a little time challenged (me having been stopped by sheep and wall in the road in Natland) and it was rather a long way.  More importantly, it would be impolite, even indecent, for the Boot Boys to go over to Eskdale without going en masse to the Burnmoor Inn at Boot to pay our respects to our presumed deceased (or was it diseased?) inspiration, the redoubtable Big Josie of Boot.  So that too was left for another day and we elected to go to Dockray and tackle Clough Head and Great Dodd, totally new territory for me but another good decision.

It was a beautiful drive (other than  for  the dead badger) but when we parked up at High Row the wind was not only stronger than expected, it had a distinctly cold edge to it. Time to put the tights on.  The best decision of the day!

The Approach

High Row is another of Bryan's sneaky car parks that gain you a lot of height before you put foot to ground. But the route from here is very un-lake-district-ish.

It feels more like Scotland.  Long approaches and rounded hills.  In fact 2.3 miles of the Old Coach Road before we left it and even then we turned off sooner than we should as Tony and I climbed what turned out to be the wrong style whilst Bryan was distracted by a call of nature.

And so it was that we pioneered a new and initially slightly boggy route up White Pike and on to Clough Head where, it being past 12 o'clock and Tony's feeding time, we took lunch.

Coledale beyond Derwent Water


The views up here are fantastic.  Blencathra, Skiddaw, Derwentwater, Bassenthwaite and the Coledale hills that we had originally intended to go up.  Sadly however the day was starting to go off and the air was nowhere near as bright and as clear as it had been earlier.

Great Dodd from Clough Head

From here we had to lose height before climbing up to Calthow Pike and then on to Great Dodd.  

There is a small area up here with the most remarkable vista- from the same spot you can see four of the major lakes- Derwentwater and Bassenthwaite to the north, Thirlmere to the west and Ullswater to the east. 

We had the second stop in the shelter and then more or less straight down across the grassy fell back to Groove Beck, the Old Coach Road and the car.

As often happens, the day picked up a bit again on the way home but not for what were by now two dead badgers!

The walk seemed shorter than my computer said it was but with rather more climbing than its estimate.  Whatever, it was another good day for Boot Boys, although not for badgers.

Don, 27th April 2006



8.3 miles

Height climbed:
2,100 feet

Map reference:
See Map

Clough Head and Great Dodd.



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