Wrynose - respect!

pneumatic
pneumatic Posts: 1,989
On my way back from a business trip, I stopped over in the Lakes last night and this morning I set out to conquer Wrynose and Hardnott from Ambleside. I was a little anxious, but since I've done Galibier, the Alpe and the Ventoux, I was mostly expecting a good workout in fine weather.

At the bottom of the climb itself (it was quite an adventure just getting there!), a motorist coming in the other direction paid me the fine compliment of tapping his temple with a smile and mouthing "you must be mad!". This, of course, spurred me on.

The 25% sign was a little off-putting, but I stuck the Roubaix in bottom gear and pressed on.

Then, about a mile up it, I just blew. Nothing left. Nada. No need for a heart monitor, even the sheep could hear the terrified organ thumping against my ribs. I got on again and managed another 100 yards or so and that was it. No contest. 1-0 Wrynose.

What a daunting little strip of crumbling tarmac it is! I have nothing but respect for it.

and I'll be back!


Fast and Bulbous
Peregrinations
Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

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Comments

  • Yorkman
    Yorkman Posts: 290
    Wrynose from the East is horrible.
  • vermooten
    vermooten Posts: 2,697
    yup I've never managed it - bugger innit
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • Brian B
    Brian B Posts: 2,071
    Yorkman wrote:
    Wrynose from the East is horrible.

    Yes it is a really bad climb none worse except Hardknott west - Its a tad harder but both climbs are REALLY bad and I hate them both at the bottom and love them at the top. Wynose East just gets worse and worse as it nears the top and when you go over that bridge you are in a world of pain.

    They are the only climbs I fear in Britain. I have respect for anybody who goes nears these climbs.
    Brian B.
  • Where exactly are these beasts. Naturally as a cyclist i take a perverse pleasure in enduring extreme physical agony and therefore wish to attempt (being the operative word) these walls of pain.
    pm
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    3rd toughest climb Ive came across in the UK I reckon...did it 3 times now and managed each time...not without major difficulty I must confess...last time was start of march with full winter gear on and a terrible storm with westerly gale force winds...got blown off the bike at fell foot it was so windy..however I just managed and if I can manage it then I can probably just manage it anytime...hopefully...there is however a very similar climb which a fair bit tougher (IMO)...Bwlch Y Groes from Dinas Mawddwy in North Wales..oh dear lord that was a test...along with Hardknott West its the toughest climb in the UK...very similar to Wrynose East as it just gets steeper and steeper...but since Wrynose East ascends 270meters in 2.4kms and Bwlch Y Groes ascends 360meters in 2.4kms it tells a story...all super scary climbs which frighten the life outta ya...and I had to laugh...I got carried away once after ascending the big continental climbs and then (with no respect at all) done Bealach Na Ba with a full chest infection...near died! Never ever will I take our UK brutes for granted ever again....
  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    Where exactly are these beasts. Naturally as a cyclist i take a perverse pleasure in enduring extreme physical agony and therefore wish to attempt (being the operative word) these walls of pain.


    lake district

    http://www.thecumbriadirectory.com/Cumbria_Countryside/Passes/Wrynose_Pass/Wrynose_Pass.php

    "The unusual name, Wrynose, comes from 'pass of the stallion' and referred to the fact that the steep gradients (up to 1 in 3) needed a well-muscled horse to attain the top".

    I'm not sure its hooves would clip into spd's?
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • Fat Head
    Fat Head Posts: 765
    richy, i remember coming up the struggle from ambleside with you the other week into the headwind and saying that was as tough as anything i've done in the uk, well i remember now that i forgot the bwlch in wales! you get no rest whatsover on it if my memory serves me correct, overall its maybe tougher than hardnott west but hardnott west is unrivalled i think in terms of moments of intensity as you really need to grip the handlebars to get up the bits in excess of 30%!
  • pneumatic
    pneumatic Posts: 1,989
    thanks guys, I feel so much better for knowing that it is really as bad as I found it to be. Definitely much worse than the Bealech (although I did get blown off the bike up there.)

    I also feel very glad that I turned back at the bridge. I sat for a while watching the cars to get a sense of what it was like further up. It looked like that scene in Belleville Rendezvous where the gangster 2CV just flips over on its rear wheels.

    If my naively planned day had gone as intended, I would have tried to come back the same way, i.e. over Hardnott from the West. SO glad my legs failed me where they did!


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    Yes, all these climbs mentioned are terrifying encounters....I'm with Fathead about Bwlch Y Groes...0.4km at 12%...1km at 14%...1km at 16%...awful with not one bloody bit of respite at all.....and nearing the top I was nearly seeing stars....pure murder.

    Hardknott West...so steep at the start and finishing sections...I reckon this makes up for the unrelenting nature of Bwlch Y Groes with uncompromised steep sections..both these 2 climbs are disgracefully hard.

    Wrynose East is not far behind...first time I did it I near passed out at the top....and beleive me Pneumatic the top section is by far the worst(after that bridge)...

    The Struggle...one enormously long steep sapper...just continious ramps of 20% then the final 25% stretch to the Inn is so hard after being so drained.

    All these climbs are the 'super' climbs of the UK....and the Rosedale Chimney and Boltby Bank which are features in the Ryedale Rumble Sportif are absolute killers aswell....in fact the Rosedale Chimney is so steep its atrocious....and in the dales we have the 30% Park Rash brute...

    All of these require total respect, and I firmly beleive that much more people fail on these UK brutes than fail on the big continental climbs....although we are off to Bormio in September and we are having a pop at the Mortirolo...now THAT could ruffle a few feathers :shock:
  • Yorkman
    Yorkman Posts: 290
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    Yes, all these climbs mentioned are terrifying encounters....I'm with Fathead about Bwlch Y Groes...0.4km at 12%...1km at 14%...1km at 16%...awful with not one bloody bit of respite at all.....and nearing the top I was nearly seeing stars....pure murder.

    Hardknott West...so steep at the start and finishing sections...I reckon this makes up for the unrelenting nature of Bwlch Y Groes with uncompromised steep sections..both these 2 climbs are disgracefully hard.

    Wrynose East is not far behind...first time I did it I near passed out at the top....and beleive me Pneumatic the top section is by far the worst(after that bridge)...

    The Struggle...one enormously long steep sapper...just continious ramps of 20% then the final 25% stretch to the Inn is so hard after being so drained.

    All these climbs are the 'super' climbs of the UK....and the Rosedale Chimney and Boltby Bank which are features in the Ryedale Rumble Sportif are absolute killers aswell....in fact the Rosedale Chimney is so steep its atrocious....and in the dales we have the 30% Park Rash brute...

    All of these require total respect, and I firmly beleive that much more people fail on these UK brutes than fail on the big continental climbs....although we are off to Bormio in September and we are having a pop at the Mortirolo...now THAT could ruffle a few feathers :shock:

    The Ryedale rumble route is part of our weekly club runs, we're doing most of it again this sunday. There's a section called the cockayne loop which is approx 20 miles and not a single flat section, a real strength sapper.
  • FCE2007
    FCE2007 Posts: 957
    Helmsley to Kirkbymoorside via Cockayne?
    I cycled it with fresh legs (drove to Helmsley and started from there) and it did me!

    Please don't tell me you cycle there via Sutton bank too?

    Mucho respect if so.
    Powered by Haribo.
  • vermooten
    vermooten Posts: 2,697
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    Bwlch Y Groes from Dinas Mawddwy in North Wales..oh dear lord
    If I were to go to Dinas Mawddwy this Sunday for a mess about, where would I go to find this mythical climb? What direction or signposts would I be on the lookout for?
    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en ... 11673&z=13
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • nasahapley
    nasahapley Posts: 717
    Hi Yorkman,

    One of my favourite routes when I lived in York was to go up through the Howardian hills past Castle Howard to Cockayne, then back again on a more or less parallel route. You're right about the Bransdale loop being tough - no huge climbs but plenty of 'em - but it's still one of my favourite places to be on a bike.

    Which club are you a member of? I live over in Ilkley now but would love to ride round the moors on a proper road bike (used to use the mtb with slicks) - and to do so with a group who know the area would be even better!
  • Yorkman
    Yorkman Posts: 290
    FCE2007 wrote:
    Helmsley to Kirkbymoorside via Cockayne?
    I cycled it with fresh legs (drove to Helmsley and started from there) and it did me!

    Please don't tell me you cycle there via Sutton bank too?

    Mucho respect if so.

    Never use Sutton Bank as it's a traffic nightmare, we head from York up to Cockayne via a number of routes, some flat-ish, and some brutal.

    This weekend is brutal, via Boltby Bank.

    Nice loop though, isn't it - some gorgeous scenery.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    vermooten wrote:
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    Bwlch Y Groes from Dinas Mawddwy in North Wales..oh dear lord
    If I were to go to Dinas Mawddwy this Sunday for a mess about, where would I go to find this mythical climb? What direction or signposts would I be on the lookout for?
    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?f=q&hl=en ... 11673&z=13

    Ok doky Andy...maybe a nice smallish loop would be this mate...Head to Bala....then cycle along the B4403(side of the Lake) then onto A494 until the junction with the A470...turn right then head over the Bwlch Oerddrws and drop into Dinas Mawddwy..the turn left...head through Llanymawddwy...prepare your self...you'll see it right in front of you...same fear factor as Hardknott West...ascend..if you can..go past the turn off to the right until you reach the top..(top of the real climb)..then comeback down a 100meters again and now take the turn off down the Eunant to Lake Vrynwy...then take left and then left again for the climb of the Hirnant Pass back over to Bala....this is a swine of a climb aswell. Well worth it Andy...this climb is very unique.

    Re-Cockayne (Bransdale loop) in the Ryedale Rumble ....start of April Me and a good few other lads did the official Ryedale Rumble Ride...we did a shorter 85mile version but did take in Boltby / Bransdale Loop / Blakey Bank and the Chimney...Bransdale is superbe...brilliant scenery and very demanding...you'll see the write ups in the webiste fairly soon I reckon...the NY Moors are brilliant and have some of the scariest climbs out...Blakeys a killer aswell..Boltbys plain horribe and the Chimneys a 'monument'...but since we are talking savage climbs...another day I took in a real brute heading fopr Glaisdale frim Fryupdaye...it was a sore one.....and then I took on the infamous Sleights Moor climb from Grosmont...another traumatisng time...and that thing from Delves back over Hamer Moor was a brute aswelll...

    Hardknott / Wrynose / Bwlch Y Groes / Rosedale Chimney / Bealach Na Ba are the 5 must do climb on our Island.
  • vermooten
    vermooten Posts: 2,697
    Thanks Richyboy! I knew I could count on you. If I can motivate myself to drive the one hour it'll take to get then yes, hope to have 34x30 on my Cervelo by then so it'll be a good test.

    Cheers,
    Andy
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    vermooten wrote:
    Thanks Richyboy! I knew I could count on you. If I can motivate myself to drive the one hour it'll take to get then yes, hope to have 34x30 on my Cervelo by then so it'll be a good test.

    Cheers,
    Andy

    Oh Andy its WELL worth a 1 hour drive mate...and a wee 40 mile tough route will set you up for the following Sunday :wink: But I've made a mistake mate...at the end of the A494 take a LEFT mate...not a right as said...youll then climb over and drop scarily into Dinas Mawwdwy.....have a pop matey it will not disappoint....have a look at the 2007 Wild Wales Challenge...I did it that day and I JUST managed...95% did not...

    http://www.freewebs.com/crm_results/bwlchygroes.htm

    http://will49.zenfolio.com/p562427729/

    P.s I'm here in the Gerolsteiner shirt..photo 79 .youve no idea what I was thinking there....

    http://will49.zenfolio.com/p562427729/? ... C#80188149
  • Steve928
    Steve928 Posts: 314

    P.s I'm here in the Gerolsteiner shirt..photo 79 .youve no idea what I was thinking there....

    http://will49.zenfolio.com/p562427729/? ... C#80188149


    Is that one Brian_B of this parish alongside you? Looks just his avatar anyway..
  • Brian B
    Brian B Posts: 2,071
    Steve928 wrote:

    P.s I'm here in the Gerolsteiner shirt..photo 79 .youve no idea what I was thinking there....

    http://will49.zenfolio.com/p562427729/? ... C#80188149


    Is that one Brian_B of this parish alongside you? Looks just his avatar anyway..

    No its not me though it does look like my avatar. I have not done this climb as yet. Its on my hit list though. I am doing the Mega challenge this year but it goes up the back of the climb. I'll maybe just pop over cycle down and back up during the sportive - not :twisted:
    Brian B.
  • Yorkman
    Yorkman Posts: 290
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    Re-Cockayne (Bransdale loop) in the Ryedale Rumble ....start of April Me and a good few other lads did the official Ryedale Rumble Ride...we did a shorter 85mile version but did take in Boltby / Bransdale Loop / Blakey Bank and the Chimney...Bransdale is superbe...brilliant scenery and very demanding...you'll see the write ups in the webiste fairly soon I reckon...the NY Moors are brilliant and have some of the scariest climbs out...Blakeys a killer aswell..Boltbys plain horribe and the Chimneys a 'monument'...but since we are talking savage climbs...another day I took in a real brute heading fopr Glaisdale frim Fryupdaye...it was a sore one.....and then I took on the infamous Sleights Moor climb from Grosmont...another traumatisng time...and that thing from Delves back over Hamer Moor was a brute aswelll...

    Hardknott / Wrynose / Bwlch Y Groes / Rosedale Chimney / Bealach Na Ba are the 5 must do climb on our Island.

    Aye, there's no shortage of ways to really hurt yourself around here, it's a shame I'm not built for climbing.

    We did the Bransdale loop in the opposite direction last week, via Hutton le Hole which is in the bottom of a big valley, and as we found out, the only way is up.

    A bit of a nuisance that it's lambing time, as some of the gates were shut and we had to negotiate those, but stunning scenery at the top. Psychologically, completing that and then facing Church Houses is a real killer.
  • John C.
    John C. Posts: 2,113
    You are tugging on my heart strings, Boltby Bank, or should I say Mr B. it's only Bolby Bank after you've ridden it, respect is due :lol: . Bransdale, no big climbs but always windy and knowhere to hide, The Chimney, respect all you like it'll still try and throw you over the back of the bike.
    Back to Wrynose , Rich you told me it was flat, if this Fred Witton has any hills I'm not doing it. Will i be alright on a fixed wheeler ?
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • pneumatic
    pneumatic Posts: 1,989
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    Yes, all these climbs mentioned are terrifying encounters...

    The Struggle...one enormously long steep sapper...just continious ramps of 20% then the final 25% stretch to the Inn is so hard after being so drained.

    As I beat my defeated retreat from Ambleside with the Roubaix tucked up in the boot, my satnav sent me back North over The Struggle and down the Kirkstone Pass (which is stunningly scenic, even by local standards). I couldn't believe anyone would conceive a road so steep as The Struggle, let alone cycle up it!

    Frankly, these evil little monsters make the Alpe D'Huez seem really rather civilised.


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • John C.
    John C. Posts: 2,113
    We may not have the 10 Km plus climbs in the UK but what we lack in distance we sure as hell make up for with the gradiant :lol:
    http://www.ripon-loiterers.org.uk/

    Fail to prepare, prepare to fail
    Hills are just a matter of pace
  • yorkshireraw
    yorkshireraw Posts: 1,632
    I have a week's holiday in the Lakes in June, staying near Bowness. I think I've just worked out what I'll be spending my time doing.... hope my other half take's plenty of reading material as I'll either be on the bike or recovering and incoherent most of the time!
  • pneumatic
    pneumatic Posts: 1,989
    I would suggest, YorkshireRaw, that you get up very early to tackle these climbs. By June, the traffic density of elderly folk in saloons and beardy bards driving minibuses full of the metropolitan intrepid, will make staying on the road even more tricky than climbing up it!

    Also, that means you can breeze into the last sitting of breakfast, nick your other half's last piece of toast and order everything on the menu to set you up for the rest of the day. :D


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • yorkshireraw
    yorkshireraw Posts: 1,632
    cheers for the advice, i'll try and do that although I'm not known for being good at getting up early, esp. as I may have been to a local hostelry or two the previous evening....
    we;re staying in a friends cottage as well so i'll probabyl have to make my own breakfast which may be challenge - "have we got any bottled oxygen dear?"....

    I'm thinking the correct way for me to tackle these would be to loop round and come at them from the west, giving me a shorter run afterwards back to Bowness? Also need to look at going up Kirkstone pass but think i'll do that on a different day!
  • lugster77
    lugster77 Posts: 50
    kirkstone pass is a right buzz. i love going up/down that when i'm over there. brilliant long hill down towards pooley bridge etc but i assume you'll be going the other way back to bowness? the road down to ambleside from top of kirkstone pass is ace too but has some gravel on some of the corners and varying amounts of traffic which leads to some rather large ooohhhh sheeeeet moments! :lol:
  • yorkshireraw
    yorkshireraw Posts: 1,632
    cheers - I think for Kirkstone I would go up on the way out - maybe if I'm feeling particularly good / stupid may come back over it as well.
    All good brave talk whilst sat at a PC.... will probably have a severe case of cyclist's tourettes when half way up the first time!
  • pneumatic
    pneumatic Posts: 1,989
    All good brave talk whilst sat at a PC.... will probably have a severe case of cyclist's tourettes when half way up the first time!

    No, you won't have the lung capacity for tourettes; it feels more like a combination of narcolepsy and a kick in the scrote! :D


    Fast and Bulbous
    Peregrinations
    Eddingtons: 80 (Metric); 60 (Imperial)

  • yorkshireraw
    yorkshireraw Posts: 1,632
    cheers, I head off 5 weeks tomorrow so a few weeks to get some specific training in on the big climbs round here in Bedfordshire.....oh s**t....