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Lake District Walk
Whitewater Dash and Great Calva

Nat Park - Lake District - Lake District Northern Fells

Wainwrights - Great Calva

County/Area - Cumbria

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.0 miles / 11.4 km    Ascent - 1700 feet / 515 metres

Time - 5 hours 10 minutes    Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference NY249323
Lat 54.680135 // Long -3.166278
Postcode CA12 4QX (approx. location only)
what3words start intend.choirs.bloom

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Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Whitewater Dash and Great Calva
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The Back o' Skiddaw offers some excellent walking and solitude. The summit of Great Calva sees few walkers and offers some fine views of the surrounding landscape including mighty Skiddaw and the Uldale Fells to the north. The route is not for inexperienced walkers and includes some pathless terrain, a steep ascent beside Dry Gill above Whitewater Dash Falls and a steep descent over rough fellside after reaching the summit of Great Calva. In poor visibility, the route could be problematic for those lacking navigational skills.

The start of this Lake District walk is the small parking area close to Peter House Farm (grid ref. NY249323) where there is space for two or three cars. After parking, head south-east on the Cumbria Way. The track rises gently and after just over a kilometre to reach a fork (grid ref. NY261319). Take the right-hand fork signed to Dash Falls. The track heads south to reach a bridge and a gate, before swinging left to run parallel to the intake wall on the northern flank of Cockup. With valley narrowing you reach Dash Falls.

A steep and rough ascent now follows on an indistinct path climbing up beside Dry Gill. Climb steeply with the fence to your left gaining height rapidly. Reaching a fence corner (grid ref. NY276315), bear right with fence to your left and follow what becomes an intermittent path initially south-east and then north-east onto the summit area of Little Calva (grid ref. NY282314). The next section onto Great Calva is boggy in places especially near the col. I took the easiest line over this section walking roughly parallel to the fence on your left to reach the summit of Great Calva with its trig point and cairns (grid ref. NY290311).

After enjoying the view descend initially from the summit cairn in a southerly direction following the fence for about 120 metres to a fence corner. There is a path, which is hard to follow in places, and I ended up continuing south for another 200 metres before veering south west towards the shallow hillside valley containing Dead Beck. After ten minutes or so I picked up the path and completed the descent to the track (grid ref. NY283303).

Turn right along the track following the Cumbria Way to Whitewater Dash. All that remains is to follow the outward route back to the start.

Other walks nearby

Walk 1676 Ullock Pike, Long Side and Carl Side - moderate - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 2040 A circuit of 4 peaks on the flanks of Skiddaw - moderate - 5.5 miles/8.9 km

Walk 1177 Great Sca Fell via Trusmadoor - moderate - 6.5 miles/10.6 km

Walk 3283 Great Cockup and Meal Fell from Longlands - moderate - 6.0 miles/9.8 km

Walk 2041 Barf (via the Bishop) and Lords Seat - mod/hard - 4.0 miles/6.5 km

Walk 2612 Roughton Gill, Caldbeck Fells - easy - 4.5 miles/7.3 km

Walk 1073 Skiddaw & Glenderaterra Beck from Underscar - moderate - 9.0 miles/14.6 km

Walk 1244 Lonscale Fell & Latrigg from Underscar Lane - moderate - 7.5 miles/12.2 km

Walk 1120 Grisedale Pike & Crag Hill from Braithwaite - mod/hard - 8.5 miles/13.8 km

Walk 2038 Tower Ridge on Eel Crag returning via Sail & Barrow - hard - 6.3 miles/10.2 km

Recommended Books & eBooks

The Cumbria Way

The Cumbria WayA guidebook to the 73 mile Cumbria Way, an easy long-distance walk though the heart of the Lake District National Park, from Ulverston in the south to Carlisle in the north, with good transport links to either end. The route is largely low-level but this guide offers alternative mountain days to climb some of the famous fells en route.
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Great Mountain Days in the Lake District

Great Mountain Days in the Lake DistrictAn inspirational guidebook to 50 challenging walks on the high fells of the Lake District. The graded circular routes, between 4 and 14 miles in length, cover classic Lakeland summits like Fairfield, Scafell Pike, Great Gable and Blencathra, to the lesser-known High Spy, King's How and Brund Fell.
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The End to End Trail

The End to End Trail
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