St John's in the Vale - Clough Head - Great Dodd - Stybarrow Dodd - Sticks Pass

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St John's in the Vale - Clough Head - Great Dodd - Watson's Dodd - Stybarrow Dodd - Sticks Pass - St John's in the Vale

This great walk starts off with a lengthy progression through the beautiful St John's in the Vale. It starts by following a footpath around the base of Naddle Fell above the river, with lovely, low-level views through the valley to Blencathra and up to the surrounding fells of Clough Head and Great Dodd. The last part through the vale is along the road, to pick up the old coach road route in the direction of Matterdale. You follow the coach road for only a short way before taking a small path to the base of the biggest challenge of the day, Fisher's Wife's Rake. The rake is simple to scramble up, being fairly grassy with a few rocky sections. Overall I would rate it Grade 1, but it was in winter I did this walk... which is not advised without experience! If you think the scramble is a bit too much for you, a much easier route is available by following the coach road for about 2.4km and turning south and then south-west to summit Clough Head (keep to the right of White Pike).

Clough Head is a tremendous viewpoint with the whole south face of Blencathra in view. Skiddaw, the north-western fells and the Pennines are all well seen from this great viewpoint, but the view south is restricted by the huge hulk of Great Dodd, the next peak of the day. Great Dodd is a broad, grassy mountain standing high at 857m above sea level. The summit is not the most interesting place, but on a clear day the Pennines and eastern fells are well displayed. The walk then continues to the lower peak of Watson's Dodd and then up to Stybarrow Dodd to make it four Wainwrights for the peak-bagger! From Stybarrow Dodd it's a short, sharp descent to Sticks Pass, which is a high mountain crossroads. Raise is directly ahead with its ski tow just over to the left and two huts (one now with a toilet for skiers!) You will see many people skiing in this area during the winter season, as the snow lasts longer on the north-facing slope. The descent back to St John's in the Vale is very simple from Sticks Pass and offers lovely views over the vale. The last section is steep but ends at a lovely little waterfall, the perfect place for a short rest!

This is a walk for fair weather, with the scramble far more hazardous in rain and cloud and no real escape route off the felltops other than the chosen route of descent for the walk. Experienced walkers will have no problems with the route in poor weather.

England - North England - Cumbria - Lake District - North East

Features

Great Views, Hills or Fells, Mountains, Public Transport, River, Waterfall

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