The Dodds from Sticks Pass

16th September 2017

It's been a great week after hearing that we finally have a new house which will result in a house move next month which will see my fell time drop off over the coming weeks but I wont miss Autumn out completely as I hopefully intend to sneak in a few walks in between the usual stuff associated with a house move. More good news is also on its way in that between myself and David Hall we have come together to bring back the much valued Parking Link which will appear on the home page of this website once work in progress is complete, I estimate between 4-6 weeks but it could be longer given my house move which has to take priority, or so the wife says!

So back to the walk "it's been a crap Summer" always pops up in conversation and during this weeks "where shall we walk phone call" it reared again, which left us to plan our walks around the weather which shouldn't be the case throughout the Summer months but is something that we have all got used too. David mentioned today that he is 14 walks behind year on year and although my figure doesn't touch that of Davids I guess yeah, I'm behind on my fell walking too. During that phone call David mentioned that he had an itch to scratch and that itch came in the form of the Dodds specfically from Sticks Pass, today we scratched that itch.

Wainwright Guide Book One
The Eastern Fells

-Stybarrow Dodd

Sweeping grassy slopes, easy walking for the traveller who likes to count his miles but rather wearisome for those who prefer rock in the landscape.


Ascent: 3,025 Feet - 922 Metres
Wainwrights: 4, Stybarrow Dodd - Watson's Dodd - Great Dodd - Clough Head
Visiting: Calfhow Pike - Threlkeld Knotts
Weather: Overcast to Start Turning Brighter, Brisk Across The Summits. Highs of 15°C Lows of 9°C, Feels Like -1°C
Parking: Using x2 Cars, Parking Spaces, Legburthwaite - Roadside Parking, Wanthwaite
Area: Eastern
Miles: 8.5
Walking With: David Hall
Ordnance Survey: OL5
Time Taken: 5 Hours 30 Minutes
Route: Sticks Pass - Stybarrow Dodd - Watson's Dodd - Calfhow Pike - Great Dodd - Clough Head - Threlkeld Knotts - Old Coach Road - Wanthwaite

Parking Details and Map
Nearest Post Code: CA12 4TH
Grid Reference: NY 318 218
Notes: Found on the Thirlmere side of Sticks Pass the parking spaces at Stanah can be found just off the A591 at the junction with the B5322. Look out for the red phone box which is in front of the parking spaces. Sadly there is only room for around four cars meaning parking is at a premium, my advise is to arrive early to be sure of a space.


Map and Photo Gallery


Lonscale Fell and Skiddaw Little Man from Wanthwaite 07:30am 9°C
I arrived in Wanthwaite early so I popped into the field at the side of the road to take a few morning shots of lingering cloud over Lonscale Fell.

...And Blencathra too.
We had arranged to meet early because rain was forecast around lunchtime and I was pleasantly surprised to find it so clear and bright in contrast to what had been forecast.

Looking back over Legburthwaite towards Brown How, High Rigg, Dodd Crag and a distant Skiddaw from Sticks Pass.

It wasn't long before David arrived and we greet with the usual handshake before casting our eyes on Clough Head and its incredible cliffs. It was agreed during the planning of the walk that we would use two cars one of which would be left in Wanthwaite before driving through St Johns-in-the-Vale to Legburthwaite where we would leave the second car at the bottom of Sticks Pass. It's quite a mild morning despite kitting up under the shade of the Dodds ridge.

We pick up Sticks Pass directly from the car park and crossed Stanah Gill via a stone footbridge where we stopped to view a series of waterfalls in spate. It is here, just after passing through a wooden gate does the steep ascent begin.

Views open out as far as Bassenthwaite Lake as we reach the familiar sheepfold.

Stanah Head and Stybarrow Dodd from Sticks Pass.
We really wasn't expecting to be ascending in sunshine this morning which despite its brightness really didn't provide anything in the way of warmth, those autumnal winds are all ready here.

Looking back over the top of Sticks Pass towards Raise, White Side and Lower Man.

The last half of the the ascent was pretty wet underfoot and by the time we reached the top of Sticks Pass we were pleased we went with the decision to wear long trousers, a seasonal first as we approach Autumn. Our views extended as far as the High Street Fells which are topped by cloud and further west beyond the top of Honister Pass, Pillar and its satellite summits are revealed.

It was noted earlier before we reached the top of the Pass how fast the cloud appeared to be moving over head which we confirmed when we reached the top Sticks Pass, our short ascent was met with a head on breeze which was cold enough to start thinking about adding gloves.

Watson's Dodd and Great Dodd seen over Stanah Head with Skiddaw, Lonscale Fell and Blencathra beyond.

It didn't take long to reach Stybarrow's summit from where we had a clear view of the Dodd ridge up ahead, there didn't seem to be a soul about not even a hint of movement as we peered back towards Helvellyn which seemed odd given the popularity of the area. Ok, I'm starting to lose the feeling in the tips of my fingers so for the first time since Winter I add gloves with David following soon after.

Whilst adding my gloves I noticed the two custard doughnuts that I had brought with me in the top of my pack which I had wrapped up in those plastic sandwich type bags, oh I forgot about these I said, I've brought us a doughnut each for lunch but once we had sniffed them out, they were never really going to go back into my pack were they.

Watson's Dodd as we begin the short descent from Stybarrow Dodd.
Sticky sugary fingers an all.

Great Dodd seen over the head of Deepdale.
It's all easy walking from here with only the odd boggy ground to divert around. The fell runner ahead is the first person we'd seen all morning who reaches Watson's Dodd summit before turning heel and returning back to Stybarrow Dodd.

Great Dodd and Millgill Head from Watson's Dodd summit.
The sun was by now hidden behind clouds and we thought that's the last we would see of it before the rain would arrive later, but it's short lived and soon the cloud clears bringing a little warmth although not enough I might add, to take the gloves off just yet, I asked David is he carrying his device for measuring windchill, happen we'll take a reading from Great Dodd summit.

The view back towards Watson's Dodd and Stybarrow Dodd.

Watson's Dodd.
See what I mean by easy walking, this is fantastic and is of real contrast to our last walk on the Esk Hause Fells where feet ached well into the week afterwards!

Clough Head, Skiddaw and Blencathra from Great Dodd summit.
Despite the sun re-appearing David measures the wind chill which resulted in -0.2°C or as close as to -1°C as your going to get, we admitted though it did feel much colder or is it just perhaps we're still too used to the milder Summer temperatures, either way the gloves stay on, for now anyway.

Calfhow Pike and Clough Head from the descent of Great Dodd.
Note how the grasses are starting to turn colour...this really is my time of year. "Fancy a trip to Calfhow Pike" aye why not.

Calf How Pike and Clough Head.
The sun has gone in momentarily but it wont be long until it's back out again.

The mass of Great Dodd as we approach Calfhow Pike.

Clough Head from Calfhow Pike.
It is noted how dull it's started to get towards the direction of Penrith, perhaps the rain is on its way now.

Cloud capped Great Dodd from the ascent of Clough Head.
Despite the easy walking underfoot our ascent of Clough Head seemed much tougher than it should have mainly due to how saturated the ground was underfoot causing a few detours and extended jumps over the boggy bits, David was reminded of the time he fell through ice whilst crossing this area with Andrew Leaney a few years ago and sunk almost up to his knees in bog before asking Andrew in a rather panicky voice to pull him free, yep your not going to forget stuff like that! which is why whenever David now passes a pool of water he always buries his walking pole in it just to find out how deep it I get it...

Glorious sunshine from Clough Head summit.
We arrived at the summit much the same time as the lady seen in this photo who voiced just how clear the day was turning out, we could only agree before she trotted of to have a early lunch. Feeling a little peckish ourselves we mustered the courage to leave our lunch until we reached todays final summit of Threlkeld Knotts.

The Lord's Seat Fells, Bassenthwaite Lake, Latrigg, Dodd and Skiddaw from Clough Head summit.

Blencathra seen over Threlkeld Knotts.
We steered west from the summit passing a couple in ascent where "eh-ups" were passed before continuing our descent via a singular path over grassy ground, we could clearly see the path turn below Red Screes where we descended steeply below the scree towards a cluster of boulders before making our way towards Threlkeld Knotts summit.

Yep, David stuck his walking pole in here too.
I'm kinda used to it by now.

The steep cliffs of Clough Head from Threlkeld Knotts summit cairn.
Not far from the summit cairn a stone column looks an inviting place to stop and have lunch so thats where we head next.

Blenacthra from Threlkeld Knotts.

Lunch with an amazing view.
We half expected this walk to be done in dull/murky conditions so you can imagine how pleased we were to have carried out the majority of the walk in sunshine and to end the walk we had the pleasure of this outstanding view of Blencathra.

Latrigg, Dodd, Skiddaw Little Man and Lonscale Fell seen over the vale of Keswick.

Blencathra from Threlkeld Knotts.
The threat of the rain which by now was pushing north westerly towards Caldbeck could be seen in the distance so with dark skies looming we packed up and made the short pathless descent towards the Coach Road.

Brooding skies over Blencathra from Wanthwaite.

With the darkening skies behind us we made our way back to Wanthwaite via the Coach Road, not before de-layering and enjoying the last of the sunshine before the rain arrived. We kit down before heading back to Legburthwaite for my car, I peer up towards Wanthwaite Crags looking for possible routes up but only spot ascents that only the brave would attempt before arriving back at the carpark where we chat while I pack my gear away.

Up ahead on Sticks Pass a large group is in ascent and if we listened quietly we could just about hear their voices over the wind. We chat about website stuff and my upcoming house move before moving onto where should we walk next...

...I'll give you a clue, we visited one of the summits in todays walk, but you'll have to wait until next weekend (weather permitting) to find out which route we take.


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