Friday, 18 March 2011

Great Dodd & Watson's Dodd

Following a night in Keswick and a great full breakfast at our b&b we headed out for a Sunday on the fells. We were slightly limited in time, so I decided on Great Dodd and Watson's Dodd as they were more or less in the direction of our home journey, and the distances weren't too great.

Castle Rock from Legburthwaite

We parked up at Legburthwaite with a lovely view of Castle Rock, complete with climbers. The first section was fairly steep and Wainwright's directions were somewhat hard to follow, basically we didn't find find his suggested path around Castle Rock - and we weren't the only ones either, another couple we met on the fells later on had the same problem as us. We did head up through some magical woods before scrambling our way round the rock.

Claire's enchanted woodland

We briefly followed a path round the back of the rock that led us over towards Mill Gill ravine. I think we walked too high up the southern side of the ravine but with the help of a couple of rocks we got across the water without trouble.

Mill Gill

We had another short scramble up to the slopes of Great Dodd, and then the real hard work started! The grassy slope up Great Dodd was very long and pretty steep - a day after our adventures on Barf, Claire must have thought I was doing it on purpose! The route really went on and on, with no change in scenery and Watson's Dodd on our right hand side seemed to tower over us for hours.

hopefully this shows how steep the ascent was!

Eventually the gradient relented and we could finally see the summit of Great Dodd. The views were opening up, with Blencathra north of us, the Helvellyn range to the south and the Far Eastern Fells somewhere behind. It was a shame it was so hazy, as we couldn't really make out distant fells. it was still a gorgeous day and for early March we were really lucky.

Blencathra in the distance beyond Clough Head
The walk from Great Dodd to Watson's Dodd was the first bit of easy walking all day, just following the ridge. It was a shame we didn't have more time, having slogged our way up to the fell tops we had done the hard work and could have enjoyed a couple more fells by following some ridge routes.

looking back to Great Dodd from the summit of Watson's Dodd

Our route back down Watson's Dodd was...pretty much identical to our way up! A long trudge down the steep slopes. At least it was easier going down than up, and we soon made it back down to Castle Rock for a well deserved picnic stop.

the back of Castle Rock and Skiddaw in the distance

We then had a short walk back to the car and easy journey home. A great weekend in the Lakes!

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