Sunday, May 18, 2014

Hart Crag, Stybarrow Dodd, Watson's Dodd, Great Dodd

from Birkett Fell on Hart Side.  Once at this point, the climbs are easier and the tracks good.  Birkett Fell is named after Lord Birkett of Ulverston who defeated a plan to convert Ullswater into a reservoir.  

8 and a bit miles - great route

Jonathan has been itching to run the dodds.  We started off with a plan for a linear run and two cars but decided to give this route a while.  It's a variation of a route I did a month ago.  That route was about 11 miles but today I decided to try the track off Great Dodd back to Cockley Moor, which shortened the route to about 8 miles.

We parked at Cockley Moor and ran the mile or so down the road to Dowthwaitehead.  From here we got onto the path that goes to Glencoyne but headed off right to keep climbing.  Birkett Fell is just over the higher wall and marks the point where the tough climbing is done.  We ran over to Hart Side and from here, the route options were clear.  Raise to the left looked formidable and the wind was blowing in the other direction so we made a choice to head up right to Stybarrow Dodd's flat summit.  From here, we followed a familiar route over to Watson's Dodd.  We chatted for a while to a runner who was out recceing to support a friend on the Bob Graham Round and then ran up to Great Dodd.  I was pleased to be able to run up from Watson's Dodd to Great Dodd.  In fact, I think I am gradually getting some fitness back.  From Great Dodd we took a nice track across Matterdale Common which went gradually down to the car park.  I'm sure that this area is usually very boggy but we got away with just a few muddy dips today.

Jonathan climbing up towards Birkett Fell with Dowthwaite Crag behind and Cockley Moor in the trees behind.

Birkett Fell with Hart Side behind on the right

Hart Side summit area.  Sheffield Pike on the left with the top of Glencoyne Head on the right over the steep cliffs.  I think St Sunday Crag is the next level back with Catstye Cam and Helvellyn just making the top right of the picture.

we took the track that runs along the north of White Stones from Hart Side.  This is looking over, before we began the last climb up to Stybarrow Dodd, to the ski tow and huts on Raise on the left with the enticing path up Raise on the right.

Stybarrow Dodd summit looking over to Watson's Dodd and then Blencathra behind with Skiddaw group to the left.

Jonathan pondering on Watson's Dodd with Great Dodd behind him.

running down from Great Dodd across Matterdale Common.

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