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Hardknott and Wrynose...............................eek

davelakersdavelakers Posts: 762
Im entered for the Lakeland Loop in April so my riding partner and I thought we would take a look at the 2 worst climbs and see what we have in store.

I wish I hadnt bothered............................. :(:o

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The pictures dont do it justice at all. I have never seen anything like it and I really dont want to do the ride anymore. I really dont fancy walking up them............
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  • vermootenvermooten Posts: 2,697
    Way hay!!!! Great pix. I think only th picture of wall can do the climb justice.

    You MUST do the Lakeland Loop! I'll be walking up hardknott, so will most other riders probably. Everybody except Ken Night walks up Hardknott. Don't believe me? Looky here: http://www.fredwhittonchallenge.org.uk/gallery.html

    Wrynose isn't so bad though.

    Time%20to%20walk.jpg
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I'VE SAID IT A 100 TIMES...HARDKNOTT PASS IS ONE OF THE SCARIEST CLIMBS OUT THERE...but it can be scaled...I've did it a few times now and I always seem to just manage it...on the triple of course with 30x27 lowest...on last years FWC I got tested to the absolute max on it...its hard enough but at 100miles its just plain awful. Wrynose afterwards is a just taking the piss...but its nowhere near as bad (on this approach anyway -different story other side)...have a go!
  • daowneddaowned Posts: 414
    I was down having a look a few weeks ago and I am enterted in to the Lakeland Loop. I am heading down with a 34x27 the only thing that I worry about is that I get the 3 seconds on the Hardknott it takes to clip out before I blowup.

    I hope the weather is good to us the Lakes is a lovely place.
  • Steve928Steve928 Posts: 314
    I won''t manage to get down for a recce before the ride..

    On Hardknott & Wrynose, how long are the really steep bits (say those over 20%)?
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    StevenCP wrote:
    I won''t manage to get down for a recce before the ride..

    On Hardknott & Wrynose, how long are the really steep bits (say those over 20%)?

    Hi SteveNcp.

    Are you doing the FWC or the Lakeland Loop? If its the FWC then Honister Pass is another to really worry about.

    Honister Pass...the 1st kilometer is absolute brutal...non relenting 20-25% slog...then it levels for a km..but the legs are pretty shot...then youve got one last final 20% slog to the top...very hard climb.

    Hardknott West - no point in explaining this...photo's don't cut it...you've simply got to see it to beleive it...when you look at it with bare eyes on the approach it simply staggers beleif...and although a 300meter climb don't sound much when you see it in its entirety it look miles up...I'm more frightened of this than any continental climb i've ever did.

    Theres 3 parts to Hardknott West...the 1st part is brutal...passed the red telephone box, over the wee bridge and up at 20%...25%...30%...25%..30%...oh jesus its awful! its even hard to get rests at the corners.(arouns 0.7km of this) after this trauma...it levels..your then faced with another 0.7kms of much gentler gradient...but the legs are gone...and theres tons of really steep wee bits and bobs here aswell...the your face with the wall..and it is a wall...it kicks straight upto 30% thru a wee chicane...then sharp left and your on the 35% part(no words explain how steep this is)...make it up this then sharp right and your on a long 25% ramp...a wee levelling before the last but not least brutal last steep ramp...this is 30% and IMO is the worst part of the entire climb...many,many fail here...its like the climb is not allowing you to escape...get over this the thats it..this last steep section is around another 0.7kms....one of the toughest climbs in the world!

    Wrynose West - Not so bad...after cockley beck...your rising gently...then it kicks to around 15-20% upto a sharp right...its here the very steep 25% solid ramp starts...get up this then its a sharp left..a wee bit more steep stuff then thats it...easy said!

    I see you live in Fife...theres nowt in Scotland to compare to these climbs...closest you maybe get to expected steepness is the wee road from Dunning to Path of Condie...and at the very steepest part of that road falls way behind these Lake brutes...another good training hill would be Glen Quiach from Amulree over to Kenmore and back...pretty steep...but again miles away...other well worth mentions would be the Glendaruel Climb over to Otter Ferry on the Cowal Pininsula and Cairn O Mount from Clatterin Bridge...but considering these 2 climbs are very tough...they take 3kms to do 300meters...and they have no flatter sections...Hardknott West takes only 2kms to ascend 300meters...and a full 3rd of the climb is a whole lot flatter...sums it up eh?
  • nasahapleynasahapley Posts: 717
    davelakers wrote:
    Im entered for the Lakeland Loop in April so my riding partner and I thought we would take a look at the 2 worst climbs and see what we have in store.

    I wish I hadnt bothered............................. :(:o

    The pictures dont do it justice at all. I have never seen anything like it and I really dont want to do the ride anymore. I really dont fancy walking up them............

    Chin up mate!

    I rode the Lakeland Loop route (starting & finishing in Keswick) a few weeks ago as a reccy for the FWC. When I first clapped eyes on Hardknott I felt pretty much the same as you - in the few kms leading up to it I really did think that maybe I'd bitten off a bit more than I could chew and my heart sank! Anyway, a short while later I'd beaten the censored , and didn't have to use bottom gear until 'the wall'. I'm definitely not a 9-stone natural climber either, so just fit some tiny gears and give it everything. As Vermooten said there's no shame in walking if you have to, you'll be in good company, and the rest of the Loop route is not to be missed!

    Good luck :D
  • Steve928Steve928 Posts: 314
    Hi RichyBoy - many thanks for such a comprehensive answer: that does indeed sum it up! I've read your posts before and you certainly do manage to well convey the awfullness of it. It's the Lakeland Loop I'm doing so don't have to contend with Honister- just H & W West.

    Dunning to Path of Condie is indeed steep but it's just a short wee dig up the steepest ramp though. Glen Quaich, Cairn o'Mount, the Bealach too are all steep in parts but are all survivable out of the saddle in a relatively big gear. I guess that's the difference.

    It sounds like Hardknott really is in another league: I really don't want to walk so it looks like I may have to go shopping for lower gears..

    From the Lakeland Loop site: "Experienced cyclists will require a gear ratio of 39/27"!
    Guess I'd better take the 26 off the back then :P
  • shane pshane p Posts: 5
    I've entered into the FWC and the Lakeland Loop so spent this last Easter weekend doing a recce of the route. It took me 5.30 hours to get to Braithwaite near Keswick when I called it quits for Saturday. On Sunday I rode in from Gosforth over Hardknott and Wrynose back to Ambleside.

    I rode it all on a 39/53 (not sure of cassette size off the top of my head) dipping a foot on Honister and Hardknott once each but getting going again. A howling headwind accompanied me most of the day too. The hills are tough with Hardknott and Wrynose being brutal after a nights rests let alone after the 100 miles.

    It is a good move to ride the route before as I will now definately get a compact for the latter parts of the ride. In decreasing levels of pain I would rate the climbs as Hardknott (most of the climb), Honister (the first part), Wrynose (from left hand turn onwards towards the top) and the slog up from Buttermere after Honister.

    The road surface on most of the climbs is not so great either and when you are hauling on the bars, the ripples of the tarmac or crumbling edges can catch you unawares.

    Will the roads be closed for these events? 500 or 1000 riders pouring over the top one after another will cause mayhem with the sightseers coming the other way in their oblivious air conditioned comfort.
  • Is there oxygen at the top!!! I have entered this Lakeland Loop thinking i should be OK, but i gave up reading the other posts as i was getting poo scared.

    Now one thing i am not is a natural climber, and hauling my 120kg carcass over these tortuous climbs is going to be a killer. And i have to drive home afterwards!

    I would pull out but i have booked and paid for my B&B now.

    Oh its only pain......for how many hours?
    Just a fat bloke on a bike
  • a_n_ta_n_t Posts: 2,011
    shane p wrote:
    Will the roads be closed for these events? 500 or 1000 riders pouring over the top one after another will cause mayhem .



    doesn't look like it!

    Hardknott%20madness.jpg
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    they look like they're struggling to WALK! :o
  • Ken NightKen Night Posts: 2,005
    vermooten wrote:
    Way hay!!!! Great pix. I think only th picture of wall can do the climb justice.

    You MUST do the Lakeland Loop! I'll be walking up hardknott, so will most other riders probably. Everybody except Ken Night walks up Hardknott. ............Wrynose isn't so bad though.

    So kind :D
    hardknott-big.jpg
    Here is my fave pic of Hardknott-I like it because it gets steeper where the photographer is standing!

    the rider has about 100yds to go to the top, it swings round to the right and then the left, before easing

    I did half a dozen sportifs in each of France and UK last year-FWC has it, for the ride with the mostest-only spoiled by that part on the main road on the northern section

    Wrynose isn't too bad, and the descent is sensational
    Wrynoselittlelangdale.jpg
    “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best..." Ernest Hemingway
  • daowneddaowned Posts: 414
    See that guy in the first pic that is when my other half stopped praying and gave thanks for our safety when we went over it in the car last time.

    However I would feel alot safer going over it on a bike than a car, I think the only thing that could go up that thing with no fear is proably a mountian goat :)
  • popettepopette Posts: 2,089
    daowned wrote:
    See that guy in the first pic that is when my other half stopped praying and gave thanks for our safety when we went over it in the car last time.

    However I would feel alot safer going over it on a bike than a car, I think the only thing that could go up that thing with no fear is proably a mountian goat :)

    Hi A - the etape sounds like it's going to be easy in comparison to this 8)
  • davelakersdavelakers Posts: 762
    vermooten wrote:
    Way hay!!!! Great pix. I think only th picture of wall can do the climb justice.

    You MUST do the Lakeland Loop! I'll be walking up hardknott, so will most other riders probably. Everybody except Ken Night walks up Hardknott. Don't believe me? Looky here: http://www.fredwhittonchallenge.org.uk/gallery.html

    Wrynose isn't so bad though.

    I have no intention of dropping out, Im just crapping it at the prospect of it all!!

    Im considering the options on my gearing. Not sure if I can get a bigger rear cassette or sort myself out with a triple chainset. Im a fairly serious cyclist who can get up 99% of hills 99% of the time, even at 100kg, but Im thinking these are out of my league and I need all the help I can get. My mate has one of those bikes with an electric motor attached. I wonder..........................
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    davelakers wrote:
    vermooten wrote:
    Way hay!!!! Great pix. I think only th picture of wall can do the climb justice.

    You MUST do the Lakeland Loop! I'll be walking up hardknott, so will most other riders probably. Everybody except Ken Night walks up Hardknott. Don't believe me? Looky here: http://www.fredwhittonchallenge.org.uk/gallery.html

    Wrynose isn't so bad though.

    I have no intention of dropping out, Im just crapping it at the prospect of it all!!

    Im considering the options on my gearing. Not sure if I can get a bigger rear cassette or sort myself out with a triple chainset. Im a fairly serious cyclist who can get up 99% of hills 99% of the time, even at 100kg, but Im thinking these are out of my league and I need all the help I can get. My mate has one of those bikes with an electric motor attached. I wonder..........................

    See to be very honest...this climb is as much in the head as anything else...I reckon lots of lads who are fitter than me fail on this as they mentally give up...I simply won't allow myself to be beaten....Christ I could have got off many times on these brutal lake killers but I don't? I reckon I'll take a heart attack one time as I never give up...and I keep thinking if I give in this time it could open a door to giving in many more times...I've got up this a good few times now...and for me when I get up the 1st steep section I reckon I've got 70% in the bag...even though an even steeper section awaits its just what goes on in my head? 3 weeks ago we did a non stop pass bagging killer of a route...we dropped off the 25% wallend to the foot of Wrynose...then ascended Wrynose East...this approach of Wrynose is nearly every bit as tough as Hardknott West (many arguements about what is more difficult)...we did it into a Gale...i got blown off my bike at the bottom...but I kept going as i wouldnt give in...its either madness or mental strength...got over it...then up the East Hardknott...pound for pound must be the steepest in all the lakes...again into a gale...but again I made it...and I'm 6'5" and very far from a great cyclist...I use gears to suit and I don't give in.....it works for me so far...but i'll never be smug with these climb..there will come a day...
  • LeighBLeighB Posts: 326
    As ‘Richboy’ says these climbs are possible if you keep trying. I have done Hardknott and Wrynose from both sides on a bottom gear of 39 x 28 without walking. I use a 75 mile training route from where I live round and over these passes with a couple of other climbs thrown in. The worst thing I find with Hardknott is the last bit to the top after the very steep section; my brain says I’ve made it after the steep bit but then my body thinks oh no there is more. I think Wrynose East is a harder climb than Hardknott West; it may not have the two 30% sections but it keeps on going up without a break, you get a rest at the Roman Fort on Hardknott.
  • rdaviesbrdaviesb Posts: 566
    Even I can get up both these....with the right gears. Suffice to say 34 x 25 isn't anything like low enough.
  • rdaviesbrdaviesb Posts: 566
    Even I can get up both these....with the right gears. Suffice to say 34 x 25 isn't anything like low enough.
  • Brian BBrian B Posts: 2,071
    LeighB wrote:
    As ‘Richboy’ says these climbs are possible if you keep trying. I have done Hardknott and Wrynose from both sides on a bottom gear of 39 x 28 without walking. I use a 75 mile training route from where I live round and over these passes with a couple of other climbs thrown in. The worst thing I find with Hardknott is the last bit to the top after the very steep section; my brain says I’ve made it after the steep bit but then my body thinks oh no there is more. I think Wrynose East is a harder climb than Hardknott West; it may not have the two 30% sections but it keeps on going up without a break, you get a rest at the Roman Fort on Hardknott.

    The jury is out on the Hardknott West/Wrynose East - I personally think Hardknott myself but think that the Wrynose East is is almost as bad. When you get to that bridge it just gets harder.
    Brian B.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    I've climbed Hardknott West 4 times, I've climbed Wrynose East 3 times...not much in it...but I must admit I reckon Hardknott West to be the tougher...its just soooo steep...yes you do get a break in the middle but the rest descends in pure survival..Agreed about Wrynose East...that thing just gets steeper and steeper....both monuments..I've often wondered what direction would be worse at 100miles?(like the FWC)....as Hardknott East is MUCH tougher than Wrynose West...both directions about the same I guess :?:
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Depends which way the wind is blowing too - if it's a howling westerly, Wrynose from the East can be a very slow and painful effort. The changes in pitch on Hardknott forces you to get out of the saddle and change rhythm. The first time up either is painful, the second worse because you know what's still to come!
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Rich K47Rich K47 Posts: 62
    I went out and rode Wrynose East for the first time [in horrible weather!] yesterday after reading this. I couldn't imagine it would be as hard as Hardknott west and it definitely isn't. Very steady for the most part with only the top section at all steep. Hardknott is just brutal, especially after 90 odd miles!
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Rich K47 wrote:
    I went out and rode Wrynose East for the first time [in horrible weather!] yesterday after reading this. I couldn't imagine it would be as hard as Hardknott west and it definitely isn't. Very steady for the most part with only the top section at all steep. Hardknott is just brutal, especially after 90 odd miles!

    All depends..but I must disagree....I think Wrynose is steep all the way...not sure what you call steady?....that long ramp upto the Bridge aint steady....its awful IMO with 1:4s galore.....and the top section must be near 30%....I can't sit down there.......no rest at all...first time I did Wrynose East, I'd been up a few well tough climbs beforehand..and it near killed me...next time I hit it fresh...nowhere near as bad....its all about how your feeling when you hit it...

    Now if you had Wrynose East at 100miles after all the brutes on the FWC then this climb would take on a very different nature...especially with Hardknott East afterwards....I reckon again that 90% would be walking...

    For me though Hardknott West is tougher...but not by a long way...
  • Rich K47Rich K47 Posts: 62
    I did it fairly fresh so that probably explains it. Wryose and then Hardknott East to West would be a different thing altogether! Has anyone ridden that?
  • LeighBLeighB Posts: 326
    I am a bit of a luddite when it comes to cycling gadgets; has anyone used a heart rate monitor and cycle computer to ascertain what these climbs do to you?
  • giant_mangiant_man Posts: 6,890
    I will do these climbs before I die, this i have decided! Has to be done!! Great thread chaps!
  • le_patronle_patron Posts: 491
    My report from the Lakeland Loop last year. http://homepage.ntlworld.com/mowakeling ... ortive.htm

    They are very amusing climbs.....but not when you are actually doing them.
  • AnonymousAnonymous Posts: 28,799
    Rich K47 wrote:
    I did it fairly fresh so that probably explains it. Wryose and then Hardknott East to West would be a different thing altogether! Has anyone ridden that?

    Yeah mate,

    Did it twice that direction...last time was only 3 weeks ago..me and a good few mates did it into a bloody gale(it was the day of that dreaded storm)...we started in Grasmere and then did the steep brutes of Red Bank / Blea Tarn which dropped us onto Fell foot farm..at bottom of Wrynose...we then started off Wrynose...I got blown off the bike at the bottom such was the wind force...Struggled up this...then Struggled up Hardknott East...this direction of Hardknott is much easier than the FWC direction but its just so steep...after that we kinked left and took in Birker Fell / Stickle Pike / Stephenson Gorund / Hawkshead / High Close to get back to Grasmere....toughest 50miler I've ever done!

    Its a open jury for which direction is tougher...I beleive they are very much the same.

    Going the FWC way...Hardknott is murder.(10/10)..Wrynose is fairly straight forward.(5/10)

    Going opposite way...Wrynose is terrible (9/10) Hardknott East is also tough ( 7/10)

    So very much same amount of torture...

    One things for sure...between Boot and Little Langdale...that 8kms of tarmac is the toughest strech of road in the UK...no matter which direction you do it :shock:
  • pedylanpedylan Posts: 775
    I will do these climbs before I die, this i have decided! Has to be done!! Great thread chaps!

    Let's hope it's not a case of ...."these climbs and then I die" :wink:

    I too have them earmarked. Taking son and friend hillwalking to Little Langdale. I'll leave them their for an afternoon whilst I do something stupid nearby. :D
    Where the neon madmen climb
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