Lake District Walks
Red Screes via Middle Dodd
Date: 13th April 2008
Distance: 7.0 miles
Ascent: 2689 feet
Time: 4 hours 40 minutes
With: On my own
Start Grid Ref: NY402133
Route Summary: Cow Bridge - Hartsop Hall - Middle Dodd - Red Screes - Scandale Pass - Little Hart Crag - High Hartsop Dodd - Hartsop Hall - Cow Bridge
Walk Summary: As usual when I have been in the Lakes for an extended stay I get bitten by the bug again and so I was pleased when Lisa suggested I went out for this walk especially after a stressful week at work. When I arrived at Brother’s Water it was fairly overcast but as I approached the twin ridges of Middle Dodd and High Hartsop Dodd the cloud began to lift right on cue.
The climb up Middle Dodd was one of the most relentlessly steep I have yet done but the retrospective views were ample compensation. It was one of the first climbs I have done in which I got my walking poles out early on. As I was a bit concerned about my knee on the steep ascent and descent I had already decided I would do this to give it as much protection as possible. It worked because I didn’t have any problems for the duration of the walk.
I think Middle Dodd is one of the most satisfying climbs I have done purely down to the steepness and the top itself was quite nice with some excellent views, particularly northwards. It is a shame that lack of drop down to the col with Red Screes means that this excellent fell does not even qualify as a Nuttall.
In comparison to the earlier climb the walk up to Red Screes was fairly easy with some good views of Red Screes north east combe. The summit was a fine place with a tarn, a trig point (a rarity among the big fells in the Lakes), a good sized cairn and an excellent view. I’d planned on eating my lunch on Red Screes but it was reasonably busy and I got talking to a few other people. In the end I decided to have lunch at Scandale Tarn and so headed off in the direction of Scandale Pass on a path that provided a surprisingly muddy descent. By this time the cloud had greyed over a bit.
Scandale Tarn was a nice quiet place with good views of Scandale and the upper section of Little Hart Crag. The latter top was the rockiest of the day but felt a bit underwhelming, perhaps I would have enjoyed it more if I had come here before Red Screes. However the climb up to the latter from Scandale Pass would have been duller than the way over Middle Dodd.
High Hartsop Dodd from Little Hart Crag has to be one of the easiest Wainwright’s to bag. Despite the aspect from the valley it really does not deserve separate fell status which is a shame because it is a fine little ridge and it provides a fantastic descent into the Hartsop valley. It also provided excellent views into Dovedale and of Dove Crags to the north and Middle Dodd to the south.
From the foot of High Hartsop Dodd it was a simple matter of retracing my steps back to the car. While the ascent and descent were as steep as I expected this worked as a circular walk far more than I had hoped. It really was a fine outing and the ascent of Red Screes via Middle Dodd will hopefully last long in the memory and despite the effort involved is one I would hope to do again.
1. Hartsopp Dodd
2. High Hartsop Dodd, my route of return later in the walk
3. Middle Dodd
4. The wonderful view of the Hartsop valley from the climb up Middle Dodd
5. Little Hart Crag
6. The top of Middle Dodd
7. Red Screes from Middle Dodd
8. Looking back at Middle Dodd
9. The small tarn on the summit of Red Screes
10. The top of Red Screes
11. Little Hart Crag
13. On the top of Little Hart Crag
14. Red Screes from Little Hart Crag
15. Dove Crag
16. Looking along the High Hartsop Dodd ridge
17. Middle Dodd from High Hartsop Dodd
18. The Hartsop valley from the descent of High Hartsop Dodd