/ Walking the Dodds
Hi, has anyone done the Dodds in the Lake District in winter conditions and can lend me the benefit of their experience? I‘d like to do them next week starting from Dockray but wondered if I would need to take crampons (I don‘t own any) for such grassy rolling terrain. I‘ve done winter walking in the Cheviots, Yorkshire Dales and the Southern Uplands, but the Lakes I imagine are an entirely different ball game and I presume there will be some consildated snow cover that might prove tricky on all but the gentlest of slopes.
You'll almost certainly need crampons on the Dodds if the snow cover stays as it is now. They have some pretty steep slopes.
Not been on the Dodds, but was out on the fells today. Wet low down, soft snow from about 2200 and plenty of ice on the tops. In general, if the fells are white, I won't be without my microspikes. Otherwise I'd be falling on my arse left right and centre.
Sense says to carry crampons or spikes. However the Dodds are generally lightly walked so plenty of opportunity to keep off the hard bits where the paths have refrozen. Not been up there for weeks but never felt the need for crampons in ice or snow there. All depends which way you go up or down from the main ridge. Great walk though.
if crampons look likely then an ice axe is essential.
Really, why? I'm new to winter walking, but I feel perfectly happy on the tops with microspikes.
Have a skeg at this:
... And stick with me, while I try to relocate the link for a really good article that warns about the limits for microspikes.
Great, very helpful, thanks. This winter I'll be sticking to pretty gentle terrain and if next year I venture onto anything steeper I'll kit up appropriately (and learn to use an ice axe). I've never been excited by snow before, cocking up the bouldering as it does, but now I can head up the fells I've changed my attitude to the winter. It actually needn't be 100% unremittingly miserable, maybe as little as 95%!
Enjoy... It gets addictive.
> Really, why? I'm new to winter walking, but I feel perfectly happy on the tops with microspikes.
If you need crampons, it's likely because you're in a situation where a slide is possible. A slip or trip will therefore result in a slide that can't be stopped without an axe. So often (but not always), crampons on = axe out.
Microspikes and crampons do very different jobs and I find situations where you need crampons are no place for microspikes.
Edit: hadn't noticed you'd already got a reply to that!
Fair question! They do different jobs:
Spikes on your feet aim to stop you slipping but if you do slip, they do nothing to stop your slide.
An ice axe, in addition to being a handy source of stability when walking, will (if employed properly), help stop you sliding if you lost your footing. If you want to know what to google, 'self-arrest' is the skill of using an ice axe to stop a slide.
The two should work together, in combination with the knowledge of how to use them.
Crampons can be necessary in the Lakes even on flat summits because the wind turns the surface to ice often in the afternoon. Navigational accuracy crucial in that area in the clag. The lower slopes are exceedingly wet if not frozen, which is the case at the moment.
As a slight aside, I've always thought that they really ought to rename Calfhow Pike as Ken Dodd. How tickled I'd be.
I'm going to go against the consensus and say...it depends. I lived in north Wales for nearly 10 years, and for about half of that time I didn't own (or have the ability to use) an axe and crampons. I still got out plenty in winter, by picking routes on hills with gentler slopes and no cliffs. Eventually I learned how to use winter kit (and could afford some), which made life easier, but it isn't *always* essential.
It obviously depends on the conditions on the day, but you can always give these things a go and turn back if the snow underfoot starts getting too solid or icy. Assuming you're headed for Stybarrow Dodd first, why not see what conditions are like as you go over Watermillock Common and onto Hart Side?
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