Walking the Wainwrights - Clough Head and the Dodds

For tremendous views, and for a sense of the great outdoors, there can be few better walks than the Helvellyn ridge, and today we tackled the northern end of the ridge.  We went with John Paterson and young Polly, who live just under the ridge and who showed us a way down from Clough Head which we hadn't done before.

Here are the pictures (you can click on any picture to get a larger version).

Starting up from Stanah.  These two people are from the Penrith Ramblers, who I once applied to join.  "Oh, yes!" they said, "you can bring your dogs.  You just need to keep them on a lead...".  It is really quite difficult to think of a more futile statement, as Stephen Siddall (and others) will testify.  I didn't bring my dogs to the Lakes in order to walk them around on a lead.  Mind you, Keswick Ramblers don't allow dogs at all...
On the way up to Sticks Pass, the views soon open up.  That is Skiddaw in the distance, behind High Rigg.

From Sticks Pass you can see down the other side to Ullswater.  Sheffield Pike is on the left.

As seen from Sticks Pass, these are the two huts of the Ski Club at Raise.  Yes, that is the ski-run on the right.  They install a tow up the slope to the far right.  Strictly for addicts only...

John and Polly on the way up to Stybarrow Dodd from Sticks Pass.  Poor old Polly had to be kept on a lead for much of the way, since she is not yet trained to ignore sheep.  By the end of the walk I think John, who had to hang on to the lead for most of the time, was convinced that getting her trained was a matter of some urgency!
On the top of Stybarrow Dodd, with the central fells in the distance.  As in this picture, Samba, Sophie and Polly kept their distance throughout the walk - no animosity, just a bit of wariness. When Polly is fully trained, they will be able to race around together...

We were having lunch in the shelter at the top of Stybarrow when this sheep brought her youngster along for a chat...
The dogs posing in front of the southern half of the ridge - a delight in store, and one they are already familiar with.

Samba, Thirlmere and the central and western fells.
On Great Dodd, looking south.

On Watson's Dood, with Bassenthwaite Lake in the distance.
A panorama from the top of Calfhow Pike.

Samba and Sophie playing with a third retriever we met on the way to Clough Head.  Her owner lived in Penrith, so we commiserated about the attitude of the local Ramblers groups - and she might just join the OFC, where of course enlightenment rules...

Polly striking out to Clough Head, the last fell-top of the walk
Looking back to Great Dodd

This cairn in the foreground marks the beginning of  the path down from Clough Head to the Old Coach Road.  You certainly need it, since the 600 yards or so to the top of Clough Head have little or no path at all.
From St Johns in the Vale, Clough Head looks like a looming mass of crags.  In fact, much of it is open pasture like the foreground of this picture.

If you would like to sponsor me and the dogs in our quest to walk all the Wainwrights for the Great North Air Ambulance Service, please click here - and thank you for your generosity!