Sunday, 5th March 2017

Walk: Valley of St Johns in the Vale, Old Coach road to Dockray, Clough Head,
Calfhow Pike, Great Dodd and snow laden paths to Sticks Pass for our descent
Start Point: Legburthwaite Grid Reference: NY 318 195 
Distance: 12.5 miles Ascent: 3,500 feet
Time: 7 hours
Weather: Some sun in the morning turning cloudy in the afternoon with the promise of rain. Cold on the tops but whilst the rain did arrive it passed us by leaving us dry.
Comments:

Passing the Bridge End farm cafe our path took us almost to the Youth Centre by Low Rigg. Turning North East, passing Bridge House for the Old Coach road to Dockray. This path gave us good views of Blencathra with Skiddaw off to the left. Some sections of this path have been badly affected by recent storms, leaving deep ruts, although this did not seem to have affected the 4x4s. At Hause Well Spring we turned South for a steep climb up to White Pike and then on to Clough Head for lunch.
Our next port of call before Great Dodd was Calfhow Pike and from there on, we were walking on wet snow or wet sticky soil making the going very hard. Having reached Great Dodd we started our descent to Watsons Dodd, but with heavy clouds forming and rain forecast to start by 2 pm, it was decided to miss out Watsons and Stybarrow Dodds and make as hasty a retreat as possible. Having reached Sticks Pass, nine weary walkers plus Ian, who seemed to have boundless energy, finally made the steep descent back to Legburthwaite with the rain clearly seen falling on Threlkeld.

Legburthwaite C.P. and ready to go

Kath concentrating hard making sure
I am on the right path.

Bridge End Farm Cafe but it’s too early for a T stop

Blencathra from St John’s in the Vale

There are clear signs . . .

but it looks like 4 x 4s are still using the road

Skiddaw from the Old Coach Road

John points out our route as we pause beside White Pike

Looking north/east as we ascend to Clough Head . . .

our wind swept lunch spot

Calfhow Pike with Clough Head behind and Blencathra in the distance

Great Dodd and John joins the group for the photo

before starting the descent

Stybarrow Dodd followed by Raise and Helvellyn in the distance

The Ski lift on the slopes of Raise and in full use

Descending to Sticks Pass

Almost down

The snow has to go somewhere when it melts

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