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Buttermere, Scale Force, Floutern Tarn, Starling Dodd, Red Pike, Dodd, Cumbria.
[15.7 km]  Thu 29 Aug 2019

Lat/Long: 54.542045, -03.274346
OS Grid ref: NY 17654 17056
I had a windy drive to the start of my walk from Buttermere. On the final approach the rain started and was extremely heavy but as I got ready in the car it eased and almost stopped as I began my walk. I descended down the road and passed the Fish Hotel then along the track towards Buttermere.

Buttermere Church

Scale Force
A sign said that the Dubbs Bridge ahead was closed for repair but I wasn't going that way and took the right branch along the track to Scales Bridge. Once over I continued downstream to follow the track towards Scale Force waterfall. The first part is easy to follow and good walking but after taking the left branch for the waterfall it becomes indistinct in places and very rough and stony.
Bridge below the Force
I stopped briefly at the Scale Force waterfall then continued along the path which in places is surrounded by deep ferns. Away up ahead towards Floutern Cop I could see two large groups of people with rucksacks approaching. They were young people out backpacking and after seeing the fourth group I stopped to ask where they had started. They said Ennerdale. My original plan was to walk over Floutern Cop and turn left to follow round to the south side of Floutern Tarn.
Sheepfold and Mellbreak
 However, I decided to leave the main path and take a direct route to Red Gill and up to the outlet of the tarn. It turned out to be a good choice as the walking soon became fairly easy and it was away from the main path. There was no path as I crossed the outlet to the tarn as I headed up to the steep Craig's ahead on the route of an earlier walk I done some time ago. I continued east towards Starling Dodd although I was in the middle of nowhere I was surprised to get a good signal on my phone but there was no path to follow.
Floutern Tarn outlet

Starling Dodd in the strong wind

Mellbreak and Crummock Water
 I headed up above Redgill and eventually reached the main path towards Starling Dodd but the wind was now getting extremely strong and on the summit the cloud had dropped meaning I had little visibility. I descended down to Little Dodd and the visibility improved slightly but my next objective was Red Pike up a head which was completely covered in cloud. It is a steady climb and the last section is a steep scramble to the flat summit area. All that marks it is a stone shelter.
Red Pike summit
 I had no views so continued on over to descend the very steep route to The Saddle which was quite tricky in places due to being very loose underfoot. It was here that I started to see many people who were now climbing up the route I was descending. I made a short detour out to Dodd which is stuck out on a short promontory and gave reasonable views of Buttermere and Crummock Water. I returned to The Saddle then started my descent down the minor path to the north west.
From The Dodd looking north
 It starts off fairly easy and obvious but then further down it became more indistinct. I wouldn't describe it as an easy descent and is probably best just use for a way up. Eventually I reached the cross wall where I had to climb over and then through an area of very deep ferns I reached the main descent path near Ruddy Beck. From here on it was straightforward and easy to follow but still quite steep in places.
The Old School being painted inside
The lower section is through the woods and once out of those I reached the main path by Buttermere Dubs. I turned right and returned over Scale Bridge and back to Buttermere the old School Building which is always closed when I pass was opened. When I checked there were workmen inside who were painting the windows, apparently it is only used for meetings and the main room was a large pile of tables and chairs. The parking area at the bottom of the pass road was full and many cars had parked on the narrow steep climb
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