All the Fells: Great Dodd

Great Dodd – The Eastern Fells 2,807′ (155)

Date: 16 August 1992

From: Watson’s Dodd

Despite its impressive height, there’s not a lot to remember about Great Dodd and little to celebrate. It was the last of the three Dodds immediately north of Sticks Pass, a walk that was grassy throughout, carried out on a Sunday outing from Manchester to Legburthwaite in the Thirlmere valley. The walk could introduce me to Sticks Pass and from this side the Dodds were sufficiently closely grouped as to pick up all three in an easy stroll. From Watson’s Dodd, all I had to do was to follow a primarily level path along its northern ‘wing’, above Deep Dale until it passed beneath the summit of Great Dodd, then break off upwards. The summit was the further and slightly higher cairn, just as Stybarrow Dodd had been less than an hour before. It was early yet and I looked at the northern extension of the range, to Clough Head, clearly visible but clearly lower. There was no difficulties to the walk, on grass, broken by the curious outcrop of Calfhow Crag. If I were going back to a bed in Keswick that night I might have chanced it. But two miles there, whilst not in itself a bar, was two miles back, given where my car was parked, and not just two miles back but a considerable climb back to Great Dodd. Not without reluctance I turned away. There was a direct route down, invisible from above but safe enough if steepish. I found the path, descended endless grass slopes alongside Mill Gill, the Castle Rock of Triermain appearing to my left at last. I thought of crossing to it, finding its summit, but I’d missed the one breach between the two ravines that could have offered me a safe crossing, the ravine of the beck was by now too steep and off-putting. It was the same when I got to the intake wall. I should have crossed it and made my way back south to Legburthwaite but I couldn’t get across the rocks without more risk than I was prepared to essay. So I went in the opposite direction, hoping to get down to the road, which I did eventually, trepidatiously crossing a narrow field guarded by a notice saying that it was a shooting range. Nobody shot at me and I got through a gate and onto the Vale of St John road to walk back.

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