It was one of those misleading days of weather as we climbed up the fellside parallel to Stanah Gill to visit the three Dodds – Stybarrow Dodd, Watson’s Dodd, and Great Dodd.
In fact the weather forecast – Do you ever seriously believe them? – suggested it would be fine all day, with good visibility and rain only coming in late in the evening. A timely reminder that mountains make their own weather. The meteorologists got it wrong.
To be fair, it was everything they said as we walked up to Sticks Pass – the highest regularly used pass in the Lake District – though as Ullswater came into view, we saw the clouds rolling in over the western lakes and what looked like rain falling on Skiddaw.
On then to the summit of Stybarrow Dodd, a good place to stop for a break, with wide views across the Eden valley to the Pennines. But the wind from the west was increasing as we tramped across to Watson’s Dodd, probably the most dramatic of these three tops.
No doubt about it by now. That was heavy rain falling our side of Keswick.
We carried on to Great Dodd, the highest part of our circuit. In fact we had about five minutes of views before the rain clouds rolled in, robbing us of visibility and bringing the wet with them.
In limited visibility (mists never bother me, I served my apprenticeship on Dartmoor!), we headed back to Stybarrow and the Sticks Pass.
It’s true what they say in Lakeland, the weather often does change at Sticks. I’ve noticed it lots of times. As we descended from Stybarrow to the head of the pass the weather cleared, and on the long descent got back to the sunshine of earlier in the day.
While Sticks has its scenic moments, the three Dodds can never be described as the prettiest heights in the Lake District, and much of the walk after the initial from Stanah felt like a moorland trudge.
Perhaps the most scenic spot is the little waterfall right above Stanah itself – a very pretty spot.
We parked at Stanah Village Hall (£2 in the honesty box). Far better than the nearby United Utilities car park at Legburthwaite- daylight robbery at seven quid and with filthy public toilets..
We know we sneaked in to use them!