In search of a hard climb

ugo.santalucia
ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
I've moved to Britain from Italy and I'm still looking for a tough long climb.
I've tried the Peak District, but they're either short and very steep (like Winnats) or long but very easy (like Cat & Fiddle). I've tried the Dragon Ride, but Rhigos and Bwlch are quite easy...
Anyone knows a good 4 or more miler with a 8-10% average?
left the forum March 2023
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Comments

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    What we don't have in the UK is big climbs....we do make up for diffuculty with being very badly graded and usually very steep...

    Top West of Scotland you have the might Bealach Na Ba...thats a beast...a 626meter climb...averaging 6.5% but with 20% ramps nearing the top.

    The biggest climb in the UK is Great DunFell...its a 650meter climb averaging 8.5%...it just east of Penrith and its supposedly a brute.

    Theres big climbs all over the Lune Valler aswell..~300-400m.....but you'll be hard pushed to find anything like the continent....still...I'm still more frightened of some of our steep monsters here than I am of any big climb abroad I've did.
  • richa
    richa Posts: 1,632
    Great Dun Fell is the only climb >8% for >6k. And that is a private road:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Dun_Fell

    See here for UK & European Climbs.
    Rich
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I've moved to Britain from Italy and I'm still looking for a tough long climb.
    I've tried the Peak District, but they're either short and very steep (like Winnats) or long but very easy (like Cat & Fiddle). I've tried the Dragon Ride, but Rhigos and Bwlch are quite easy...
    Anyone knows a good 4 or more miler with a 8-10% average?

    If you tried lake district and found them too short and steep, and the dragon climbs Bwlch and Rhigos too easy, give up and go back to Italy :D Either that or go up and down Bwlch and Rhigos each way twice !!
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    RichA wrote:
    Great Dun Fell is the only climb >8% for >6k. And that is a private road:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Dun_Fell

    See here for UK & European Climbs.

    Private road? Does that mean you can't get access on a bike? Surely they won't be too fussy if you're cycling...
    left the forum March 2023
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    RICHYBOYcp wrote:
    What we don't have in the UK is big climbs....we do make up for diffuculty with being very badly graded and usually very steep...

    Top West of Scotland you have the might Bealach Na Ba...thats a beast...a 626meter climb...averaging 6.5% but with 20% ramps nearing the top.

    The biggest climb in the UK is Great DunFell...its a 650meter climb averaging 8.5%...it just east of Penrith and its supposedly a brute.

    Theres big climbs all over the Lune Valler aswell..~300-400m.....but you'll be hard pushed to find anything like the continent....still...I'm still more frightened of some of our steep monsters here than I am of any big climb abroad I've did.

    Thanks for your contribution.
    I agree something like Winnats is more challenging than the Alpe d'Huez, in a way, but it's more about surviving rather than the pleasure of a beautiful climb.

    I've mapped my local rides in Italy, both are about 12-13 Km at 9-10% average, with 14-15% max.

    http://www.bikemap.net/route/67069
    left the forum March 2023
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    I've moved to Britain from Italy and I'm still looking for a tough long climb.
    I've tried the Peak District, but they're either short and very steep (like Winnats) or long but very easy (like Cat & Fiddle). I've tried the Dragon Ride, but Rhigos and Bwlch are quite easy...
    Anyone knows a good 4 or more miler with a 8-10% average?

    If you tried lake district and found them too short and steep, and the dragon climbs Bwlch and Rhigos too easy, give up and go back to Italy :D Either that or go up and down Bwlch and Rhigos each way twice !!

    Bwlch and Rhigos are just not challenging by any standard. Nice views, though...
    I
    left the forum March 2023
  • the quantocks have alot of execellent climbs of around 200-350m climbs all in close proximity to one another, these can be linked together and you get the benefit of some great decents as well. all the climbs are reasonable steep and do'able so will give you good challenge and some nice views as well.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    adamlloyd wrote:
    the quantocks have alot of execellent climbs of around 200-350m climbs all in close proximity to one another, these can be linked together and you get the benefit of some great decents as well. all the climbs are reasonable steep and do'able so will give you good challenge and some nice views as well.

    Interesting, thank you, certainly look more challenging than the Chilterns I live by (which are lovely but climbs are hardly longer than half a mile)
    left the forum March 2023
  • fossyant
    fossyant Posts: 2,549
    Try Chunal from Glossop side - thats only about 2 miles, 1 in 10. You must try Holme Moss from both sides - that's tough, tougher coming back from Holmfirth - again it's not a massively long climb - 3-4 miles from Holmfirth, but the last two are where it ramps up to well over 10% for two miles, and has count down markers every quarter mile.
  • vermooten
    vermooten Posts: 2,697
    The B6138 going south out of Mytholmroyd is the longest continual gradient in England (?) or UK (?), about what 5 miles long? Not steep tho.
    You just have to ride like you never have to breathe again.

    Manchester Wheelers
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    fossyant wrote:
    Try Chunal from Glossop side - thats only about 2 miles, 1 in 10. You must try Holme Moss from both sides - that's tough, tougher coming back from Holmfirth - again it's not a massively long climb - 3-4 miles from Holmfirth, but the last two are where it ramps up to well over 10% for two miles, and has count down markers every quarter mile.

    Is it harder than the climb that goes to Hayfield from Charlesworth? That is probably a mile at 15-20%, I remember getting caught in a snow storm up there, not nice!
    left the forum March 2023
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    vermooten wrote:
    The B6138 going south out of Mytholmroyd is the longest continual gradient in England (?) or UK (?), about what 5 miles long? Not steep tho.

    Mytholmroid... around Hebden Bridge, right?
    left the forum March 2023
  • wildmoustache
    wildmoustache Posts: 4,010
    ugo - i agree with you on the short steep thing not being much fun. some people get off on it and there's no doubting they are hard, but there's no rythmn or beauty in 1/2m of 18% IMO ... give me a chaingang on a long alpine climb ... gunning up ... dropping one after another ... superb!!

    if you are in surrey then boxhill is like an alpine climb in gradient and switchbacks ... just 15km shorter :lol:
  • scapaslow
    scapaslow Posts: 305
    A couple of climbs i have done that have steady but not stupid gradients for around 4miles are
    1. Crow Rd (Lennoxtown - Fintry) in the Campsie Hills just north of Glasgow approx 275m of ascent
    2. Dunning to Yetts O' Muckhart in the Ochil Hills in Perthshire - approx 280 of ascent

    Most of the hard climbs in Scotland have crazy steep gradients at some point. Last week i tried the Glen Quaich climb for the first time, both ways on a long ride. (Kenmore - Amulree) near Loch Tay and it was absolutely brutal in both directions. People were looking at me as if i was mad going up from Kenmore and cheering me on! The only pleasure was in reaching the top without walking.

    The A road south from Aberfeldy that joins the Crieff to Dunkeld road looks to be a very steady 7 or 8% climb for 3 miles.

    The two i've mentioned above are actually pleasurable to ride.
  • a_n_t
    a_n_t Posts: 2,011
    fossyant wrote:
    You must try Holme Moss from both sides - that's tough, tougher coming back from Holmfirth.

    +1
    Manchester wheelers

    PB's
    10m 20:21 2014
    25m 53:18 20:13
    50m 1:57:12 2013
    100m Yeah right.
  • mmm oddly the heads of valleys road might well have that, from gilwern to the highest point it's about 4 miles, climbs a 1000ft as you pass Clydach it's marked as 5% and further on between Black rock and Brynmawr it's marked as 10% some of the hills from Dowlais Top to neath might hit the 4 miles 8% mark.

    But it's the Trunk road for the area, while traffic is low compared to say SE england i'm not sure it's most peoples idea of fun.
  • bad form to follow up, but follow the road to Beaufort from crickhowell and you'll climb from 200 odd foot to just shy of 1700 foot in about 4miles, and then a roll down to Garnlydan. slightly shorter but the climb to keepers pond from Govilon should do, about a 1000ft in climb and if sunny ice cream van parked at keepers Pond.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Thanks guys... I see there are loads of climbing enthusiasts on this forum!
    left the forum March 2023
  • JamesB
    JamesB Posts: 1,184
    re Rogers climb----That`s The Tumble isn`t it ? :) Similarly there`s adjacent Llangwyndir mtn about 1000ft, 3/4 of which forms TOBM last climb; then try Gospel Pass from Hay on Wye, about 400m climb over 4 miles; good climbs too onto The Eppynt from Trecastle (Llywel military road), from Builth wells and from Garth, just on 300m in 3km :)
    . Plenty of choice around but as our mtn aren`t as high in europe so you`ll have to settle for half or less vertical ascent---or climb them twice!!
  • Mossrider
    Mossrider Posts: 226
    Ugo,

    Someone recommended Holme Moss; what you could do is ride the Moss, then over to Glossop, then over the Snake towards Sheffield, taking a left to come over Strines and back towards Holmfirth. Plenty of climbing and a wide vaiety of gradients from long(ish) and steep (Ewden Beck) to pleasant, steady long climbs (the Snake). Best done early in the morning to miss the traffic.

    The climb out of Mytholmroyd is a good one. Turn left at the top and drop in to Ripponden. Take a right at the lights and enjoy the "wall" up to Barkisland and then follow the B6114 to Buckstones. It's a very gentle climb, but pick a windy day and you will be under no illusions as to how testing cycling can be in this area! There's a number of routes you can then use to cross back over the Pennines (I take the A62 back over to Marsden, not a pretty route by local standards, but a lovely flattish and very fast run off to Huddersfield.
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    Mossrider wrote:
    Ugo,

    Someone recommended Holme Moss; what you could do is ride the Moss, then over to Glossop, then over the Snake towards Sheffield, taking a left to come over Strines and back towards Holmfirth. Plenty of climbing and a wide vaiety of gradients from long(ish) and steep (Ewden Beck) to pleasant, steady long climbs (the Snake). Best done early in the morning to miss the traffic.

    The climb out of Mytholmroyd is a good one. Turn left at the top and drop in to Ripponden. Take a right at the lights and enjoy the "wall" up to Barkisland and then follow the B6114 to Buckstones. It's a very gentle climb, but pick a windy day and you will be under no illusions as to how testing cycling can be in this area! There's a number of routes you can then use to cross back over the Pennines (I take the A62 back over to Marsden, not a pretty route by local standards, but a lovely flattish and very fast run off to Huddersfield.
    Dome the one to Marsden, it's actually a longish on for UK standard, but the road is quite busy. As is the Snake Pass, I used to live in Chorlton (south Manchester) and it was hard to get to Glossop before the traffic begun, unless getting up at 6 AM..

    Thanks for your advice
    left the forum March 2023
  • Mossrider
    Mossrider Posts: 226
    I find that it's not usually too bad on a Saturday over the Snake.
  • Mossrider
    Mossrider Posts: 226
    Also you'll find the Mytholmroyd and Barkisland / Buckstones roads are quite quiet at most times.

    THe Holme Moss / Snake / Strines road is only busy on the Snake bit and also if you take the main road route to Holmfirth (but then only for a couple of miles that are easily bypassed if you don't mind a short nasty hill at Langsett). Strines is often virtually deserted and the Moss is quiet.
  • JamesBwmb wrote:
    re Rogers climb----That`s The Tumble isn`t it ? :) Similarly there`s adjacent Llangwyndir mtn about 1000ft, 3/4 of which forms TOBM last climb; then try Gospel Pass from Hay on Wye, about 400m climb over 4 miles; good climbs too onto The Eppynt from Trecastle (Llywel military road), from Builth wells and from Garth, just on 300m in 3km :)
    . Plenty of choice around but as our mtn aren`t as high in europe so you`ll have to settle for half or less vertical ascent---or climb them twice!!

    yes thats the tumble or at least the 2nd one, the first is the road top gear often use, with Clarkson shouting POWER....
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    The climb I enjoyed the most in UK is the Mam Tor, from Edale, also called by the locals Barber Booth...
    It's just over a mile, I would say, very hard, 15-20% all the way, but never stupidly vertical like Winnats... the scenery is superbe (although Winnats, if one had the will to look around) is even more beautiful... pretty much traffic free (as opposed to Winnats)
    left the forum March 2023
  • oldwelshman
    oldwelshman Posts: 4,733
    I've moved to Britain from Italy and I'm still looking for a tough long climb.
    I've tried the Peak District, but they're either short and very steep (like Winnats) or long but very easy (like Cat & Fiddle). I've tried the Dragon Ride, but Rhigos and Bwlch are quite easy...
    Anyone knows a good 4 or more miler with a 8-10% average?

    If you tried lake district and found them too short and steep, and the dragon climbs Bwlch and Rhigos too easy, give up and go back to Italy :D Either that or go up and down Bwlch and Rhigos each way twice !!

    Bwlch and Rhigos are just not challenging by any standard. Nice views, though...
    I

    Really? Try them in the winter then report back, if you havent been blown off your bike !! :D
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    I've moved to Britain from Italy and I'm still looking for a tough long climb.
    I've tried the Peak District, but they're either short and very steep (like Winnats) or long but very easy (like Cat & Fiddle). I've tried the Dragon Ride, but Rhigos and Bwlch are quite easy...
    Anyone knows a good 4 or more miler with a 8-10% average?

    If you tried lake district and found them too short and steep, and the dragon climbs Bwlch and Rhigos too easy, give up and go back to Italy :D Either that or go up and down Bwlch and Rhigos each way twice !!

    Bwlch and Rhigos are just not challenging by any standard. Nice views, though...
    I

    Really? Try them in the winter then report back, if you havent been blown off your bike !! :D

    Fine, with a 30 mph wind even my 3 mile commute to work becomes a challenge... this doesn't mean that the route is actually challenging.
    All respect for these Welsh "mountains", but I entered the Dragon Ride with high expectations. I was led to believe by false publicity on Cycling Weekly that it was a really tough course (sort of an Etape du Dales) with long hard climbs... they turned out to be medium sized hills with low to moderate gradients.
    I understand Mr Lunardi has all the right to sell his race, but he should be realistic on the actual proportions of the challenge. I've done harder sportives in the Chilterns!!!!!
    I wasn't the only one disappointed...
    left the forum March 2023
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,419
    your just not going to find the sort of climbs your looking for

    instead accept its about nasty sharp gradients and get on with it.. after a while you learn to ride up some of these buggers without throwing a basket of shapes..

    I was on the kirkstone last year grovelling away when some local lads came spinning past me talking as though on some far shallower gradient... I had to make a spectrum of ugly body contortions to try and go with them.. but they just rode it. I hung on by the time we hit the little langdales I was in "the zone" or at least "a zone"

    the kirkstone pass via holbeck lane has a nice profile with a gentle section through a hanging village stuck to the side of the valley.. which allows you to recover from the steep lower section before tackling the nonrhythmic upper section.. riding round the lakes is a worthy test. hardnott is a bit of a lump too far on occasion. especially its location which makes access from civilisation a bind

    riding through one of these lumpy areas say Exmoor or the lakes is a strange lesson in relativity..

    if you take on one of the stiff climbs early and blow the top of your head off you go to some fairly "far out" places in your mind.. you knew.. you've "done it"

    ride from watchet on the coast via dunster/luccombe to dunkery beacon.. the approach from dunster to luccombe is a gentle climb that you can easily get on with but the top is not accurately envisaged by it average profile on climbybike.. by the time you leave exford everything looks and feels flat.. plot a 100km+ route and ride over everything exmoor has.. the rapidity of the 16% ramps thrown in everywhere becomes a normality or rhythm different but not completely unlike the mindset/enjoyment of alpine climbs..

    its a different thing worth the effort of exploring..

    there's no point in trying to recreate some alpine experience here.. you have to appreciate cycling in the UK for what it is. and climbing is limited to these short sharp climbs..

    enjoy
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm
  • ugo.santalucia
    ugo.santalucia Posts: 28,301
    your just not going to find the sort of climbs your looking for

    instead accept its about nasty sharp gradients and get on with it.. after a while you learn to ride up some of these buggers without throwing a basket of shapes..

    I was on the kirkstone last year grovelling away when some local lads came spinning past me talking as though on some far shallower gradient... I had to make a spectrum of ugly body contortions to try and go with them.. but they just rode it. I hung on by the time we hit the little langdales I was in "the zone" or at least "a zone"

    the kirkstone pass via holbeck lane has a nice profile with a gentle section through a hanging village stuck to the side of the valley.. which allows you to recover from the steep lower section before tackling the nonrhythmic upper section.. riding round the lakes is a worthy test. hardnott is a bit of a lump too far on occasion. especially its location which makes access from civilisation a bind

    riding through one of these lumpy areas say Exmoor or the lakes is a strange lesson in relativity..

    if you take on one of the stiff climbs early and blow the top of your head off you go to some fairly "far out" places in your mind.. you knew.. you've "done it"

    ride from watchet on the coast via dunster/luccombe to dunkery beacon.. the approach from dunster to luccombe is a gentle climb that you can easily get on with but the top is not accurately envisaged by it average profile on climbybike.. by the time you leave exford everything looks and feels flat.. plot a 100km+ route and ride over everything exmoor has.. the rapidity of the 16% ramps thrown in everywhere becomes a normality or rhythm different but not completely unlike the mindset/enjoyment of alpine climbs..

    its a different thing worth the effort of exploring..

    there's no point in trying to recreate some alpine experience here.. you have to appreciate cycling in the UK for what it is. and climbing is limited to these short sharp climbs..

    enjoy

    I guess yours are wise words...
    left the forum March 2023
  • mididoctors
    mididoctors Posts: 18,419
    The climb I enjoyed the most in UK is the Mam Tor, from Edale, also called by the locals Barber Booth...
    It's just over a mile, I would say, very hard, 15-20% all the way, but never stupidly vertical like Winnats... the scenery is superbe (although Winnats, if one had the will to look around) is even more beautiful... pretty much traffic free (as opposed to Winnats)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqpKA6jI8u0

    winnats didn't look that hard on this vid.. she got up there easy enough. :wink:
    "If I was a 38 year old man, I definitely wouldn't be riding a bright yellow bike with Hello Kitty disc wheels, put it that way. What we're witnessing here is the world's most high profile mid-life crisis" Afx237vi Mon Jul 20, 2009 2:43 pm