The Dodds and Clough Head, via Sticks Pass and St John's in the Vale

The Dodds are three fells just to the north of Helvellyn and Sticks Pass: Stybarrow Dodd, Watson's Dodd and Great Dodd, coupled with Clough Head, and if you are still very energetic a wander over High Rigg, they make for a good day out. Whilst the round has paths throughout you will not find any maintained stone pitching. A real bit of mountain walking in this relatively quiet patch.

Sticks Pass, which you climb up to at the start of this walk, is so named as once upon a long time ago a wooden fence ran along some of the route, the posts of which remained for long enough for the name to stick(!). Apparently it is one of the busiest named passes, popular with both walkers and mountain bikers. It is an ancient packhorse route crossing the Helvellyn range between Legburthwaite at the southern tip of St John's in the Vale near Thirlmere, and Glenridding on the shores of Ullswater to the east.

This is a long walk with a significant amount of ascent. Once committed it's not an easy one to cut short. Even though it never strays far from the B5322 you would not want to try descending to the road directly: the way is perilous pretty much all the way between our chosen ascent and descent points.

On the day we walked this the weather forecast was for a pleasant day after early morning mist burnt off. It didn't clear at all. Unsurprisingly, we only met a few guys training for the Bob Graham Round.

The starting point for this walk is the hamlet of Stanah where the B5322 St John's road joins the A591. There is parking available here in the form of the Thirlmere Recreation Hall car park where there is an honesty box. There is also a small bit of old road on the corner which is used for parking and the Lake District National Park Authority car park at Legburthwaite just up the St John's road.