Friday, 23 October 2009

Walk 11

34. Hart Side LDW-061 2480'
35. Stybarrow Dodd LDW-021 2766'
36. Watson's Dodd LDW-041 2589'
37. Great Dodd LDW-019 2812'
38. Clough Head LDW-074 2382'

Phil & Judy walked 11.6 miles with 2780 ft ascent

This was the first and only dry day on a long weekend when Judy (XYL) and I stayed in Keswick. When we both travel over the Lakes I can't get away with leaving at 6.00am when Judy comes along. We get up later and leave home later but on this day we did quite well and were leaving the car at High Row near Dockray just before 10.30am. 

Good parking place at High Row NY 379219
We took the straight field path south west of Crookwath to Dowthwaitehead - a place without parking. As you walk this straight path through several small fields you see what is to come right before your very eyes - and today was clear enough, just about, at least to see it  - the "Dodds" which consisted of Hartside, Stybarrow Dodd, Watson's Dodd, Great Dodd and Clough Head which is thought of as the northern outpost of the Helvellyn range.  All the summits fall between 2300 and 2800ft. 

Cairn and plaque on Birkett Fell
Once we found the path which runs south of Watermillock Common we were fine and at 320193 we turned to head north west along a dry stone wall up to Birkett Fell (not WOTA) on our way to Hartside LDW-061.  On our way there we encountered two walkers from the north east who immediately noticed my antenna and said "We saw a bloke like you a couple of years ago on The Cheviot". The activator was described and there was no doubting this was my very good friend John Earnshaw G4YSS from Scarborough. It's a small world.... As we reached the 2000 ft level the mist starting rolling in and that was it until we were on our way down from Clough Head in late afternoon. Such is fellwalking in Lakeland.  At least the mist doesn't prevent signals being radiated to the avid Chaser sat at home waiting for a contact with the Wainwrights. We reach the top of Hartside at just after midday after a walk of 3.2 miles to complete just three contacts with G4WHA/M, Geoff Penrith, GM0TDM/P (John taking a holiday) and Keith G0EMM in Workington.  It wasn't pleasant and we were getting damp stood around so we moved off with guidance from my GPS, in the direction of Stybarrow Dodd. We skirted the side of White Stones. I was told that the view from here down into Middle Tongue was worth a look - sadly not today. Couldn't see a thing. due to clag.  
Stybarrow Dodd was a little higher than Hart Side though and we made 8 contacts to prove it - including one with a Norwegian station on 2m FM. Fantastic! This was Halvard LA1DNA/P operating from 3 miles away on LDW-210 High Rigg!
Calfhow Pike

That was a much more valuable contact than one with Norway as I gained a summit to summit contact and a vital Chaser point for a summit that is extremely hard to work from anywhere else!  Just after that I worked Mads M/LA1TPA/P who was in Keswick. The guys were in the UK to attend the QRP Convention in Rochdale and were sampling the Lake District before they journeyed on to the industrial heartlands of the north. 

The footpaths were wide and stony all the way across to Clough Head via Great Dodd and we visited the intriguing Calfhow Pike which stands well, being most prominent, at more than 2100' ASL but is not listed by Wainwright as a counter, being eclipsed by the higher summits of Clough Head and Great Dodd. Calfhow Pike certainly has its own distinctive character and this picture taken close in does not do it justice. 
We had our lunch in this shelter on Great Dodd LDW-019
Our last Summit was Clough Head - the northern outpost of the Helvellyn Masif and another grass topped hill with scattered stones around the place.  This is one summit that always catches the eye when one is heading to Keswick on the left side of the A66 near to Threlkeld.

Judy - seeing the mist clearing on LDW-026 Clough Head
Muriel Bridge on the Old Coach Road
Only four contacts were completed from Clough Head and without our Norwegian friends it would only have been two. Thank's to Mads and Halvard again for making our day and also to John G0TDM and Geoff G4WHA for being there when we needed them and spotting us on the WOTA Website.

We now had a 3.5 mile walk back to High Row and we took off to scamble over White Pike and we joined the Old Coach Road at 348229.  We crossed Muriel Bridge and found this was an enjoyable steady walk to our car in clear conditions with the road taking us back consistently at around the 1300' - 1400' level to High Row, which was reached just short of 5.30pm.  No grumbles from Judy - an excellent walk, enjoyed by both and great activating with 29 stations in my logbook. 

The next day was not good weather wise and Sunday was even worse, once again an optimistic weather forecast cost us on and 73 for now....

Route profile of the Five Wainwrights around Matterdale

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