Starling Dodd

Starling Dodd, as seen from Gavel Fell

Height: 2085 feet above sea level was given in the first edition but it has shrunk a little in the second to 2077′.

Volume: Book 7 (The Western Fells)

Date climbed: First visit: 28th July 2012 (walk 60a). Second visit: 7th July 2018 (walk 148).

Bagged as numberFirst round: 184 of 330. [ << Great Borne (183)  (185) Red Pike >> ]. Second round: 153 of 330. [ << Hen Comb (152)  (154) Great Borne >> ]

Starling Dodd summit

The summit of Starling Dodd and its unusual ‘cairn’. Mellbreak and the Grasmoor range behind.

Route of ascent and descent: First visit: Approached on the ridge from Great Borne and continued along the ridge to Red Pike.

Second visit: Ascended from Floutern Pass, via Red Gill. Left along the ridge to Great Borne.

What Mr Wainwright says (from page 2 of his chapter): “Starling Dodd, between Buttermere and Ennerdale, is one of those unobtrusive and unassuming fells that are rarely mentioned in literature or in conversation, that never really make an impact in mind or memory, that most visitors to the district know vaguely, from a study of maps, without ever wanting to know well. Its neat rounded summit surveys exciting landscapes but remains shyly aloof as though aware of its own limited contribution to the scenery.”

Starling Dodd and Ennerdale Water

Starling Dodd and Ennerdale Water. Picture taken on walk 43a.

What I say: There is, indeed, not much to see here: the summit is just a grassy mound that you go up and over on the way to better things. However, Starling Dodd does have two claims to fame. The first is the only real example of creativity I’ve seen with a summit cairn as the design brief: see the picture. (The medium of the second cairn being old fence-posts).

The second is that according to his own testimony in the “Personal Notes in Conclusion” at the end of The Western Fells, Starling Dodd, on 10th September 1965, was the very last walk Wainwright did as part of his fieldwork.

[ << Stainton Pike     Staveley Fell >> ]


One Response to “Starling Dodd”

  1. […] 148 which took me round some of the more obscure fells in Wainwright’s volume 7: Hen Comb, Starling Dodd and Great Borne. It’s a logical walk though, heading south from the foot of Crummock Water […]

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