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THE toughest climb you ever rode and how did you fare ?

Ezy RiderEzy Rider Posts: 415
edited March 2014 in Road beginners

doesnt matter if it was fargo street in the usa, zoncolan in italy or the steepest climb 5 miles from your door. where was the most mentally and physically exhausting climb you completed or fell off the bike in utter exhaustion and gave up on ?

tell us about it


  • ductionsductions Posts: 274
    Whinlatter hill on c2c carrying about 20kgs of stuff on the back of my bike. Managed to get a good way up but just couldnt turn my gear (34x25) any more so I had to have a break. As soon as I cooled down and my friends had caught up I managed the rest of it.

    The descent was amazing though.
  • doing the C2C last year....coming out of Pately Bridge in Yaaarkshire and heading West towards Grassington you come to Red Brae Bank and it is an absolute killer. I think of the 14 riders who were doing it, only 2 made it to the top (these were good riders too) ... 84,,0,8.22
  • Peak Hill in Sidmouth, it's not an especially big hill. It's just steep and as you think you have got into a rhythm and you can cope it gets steeper as it goes on. I'm sure a one point my heart popped out of my chest, I had to stop for a breather (2-3 times:( ).

    If it's not pissing down I am going to do the Exmoor Beast this year, I know that has some brutal climbs.
  • tkptkp Posts: 2
    On a tour from Hanoi to Kunming in china I had one which gains about 1800m in 55km. I was taking it pretty easy because I had a long day to ride but it went on for bloody ages. I hurt myself far more when I'm climbing little hills on my mountain bike.

    Got plans to ride Manali -- Leh as fast as I can next year; I'll let you know how that goes!
  • Butterd2Butterd2 Posts: 937
    Not necessarily the toughest but I did Hellfire pass in North Wales last week. 1.6 miles at an average of 13.5% with sections of 25% meant it was certainly up there.
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  • When riding the Galibier a few years ago, one of the photographers near the top asked me if I was OK! Bearing in mind they spend all day taking photos of people struggling up the climb, I must have looked in a bit of a state! And then he told me the final bit was 14%...
  • Came up a hill the other day, 7km long at about 15% average, never below 14%. Without a compact, that destroyed me.
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Wrynose pass swiftly followed by Hardknott pass in the Lakes. I'm no stranger to Alpine climbs, I go there every summer. But Wrynose and Hardknott see me off every time.
  • dodgy wrote:
    Wrynose pass swiftly followed by Hardknott pass in the Lakes. I'm no stranger to Alpine climbs, I go there every summer. But Wrynose and Hardknott see me off every time.

    Hardknott pass is a killer!
  • PepPep Posts: 501
    The second of two consecutive day I climbed Norikura.

    One hill, 30km, almost 2500m climb.
    Hard because I did it the previous day the other side, with 100miles per day.

    I averaged 5mph over two hours.

    How I felt? Very tired and very happy.
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Ditchling Beacon on the L2B, not because it's big or particularly steep, but because it's littered with [email protected] stopping in the middle of the road without warning.
  • Winnat's Pass, Peak District, on a 39/25. Fell over in my pedals when I couldn't turn the cranks any more.

    I am a wimp.
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    I often find the second time up a climb ('cos I'm often stupid enough to go back down and have another go) is often the worst. First time up Hardknott is tough, but you don't know what's coming - 2nd time when you know the worst bit is the bit you can't see somehow makes it worse!
    I go down to East Cornwall a fair bit and there's the lane that goes out the back of Polperro towards Talland Bay that is unrelentingly tough - over 1km about 25% - to make things worse, its very narrow, one-way against the oncoming traffic, plus there's often peds struggling to walk-up which you have to weave around. The only good thing is a handrail that you can hang onto as cars pass because if you put a foot-down you're screwed! I have a 40km circuit that climbs over 2,000m most of it at 20%, mainly on tiny lanes/bridleways.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Asterton Bank, Long Mynd, Salop.

    This is the steepest one km in the UK- 17% average. ... 133&page=6

    I went up in 34x28 at 3.8 mph and 169 bpm. I couldn't wait for the climb to finish. Managed to ride up. My first attempt in 1983 I stopped to let a car down but was secretly relieved as I could get my breath back. If I ever did it again I'd fit a rear SRAM Apex and a 32 rear sprocket.

    My left knee swelled up after the climb and is still swollen 2 1/2 weeks after the climb.

    I'm surprised it did not make the 100 Best Climbs in the UK book.

    You can try it on the Kidderminster Killer audax in September!
  • Peddle Up!Peddle Up! Posts: 2,040
    One close to me, Bushcombe Lane . It starts off reasonably enough, then bites yer bum (and legs). Has me off every time. :cry:
    Purveyor of "up" :)
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,415
    No idea what this is called but it had me off on the Cannock Chase Evans ride it last year. Went back and did it this summer though but it hurt, a lot! Really slippery under the trees in the autumn when I first attempted it. 36x25 bottom gear for me.
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  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Ridden Asterton Bank and it ain't as tough as Hardknott, for example.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
  • Cairn o Mount killed me the first time I did it. Made it to half way up the hairpin, put my foot down and that was it. ... =18&page=2
  • t5nelt5nel Posts: 365
    From reading the above posts I dont think I have ever been on a really big climb.

    Best effort I can think of is Bathwick Hill or Widcombe Hilll (about 9% average over 2km)

    But what they lacked in steepness or length I made up for in journeys up them. I cycled up to Bath uni most day for 2 years - Bath must be one of the universities that has the fewest cyclists as most approaches to campus are up ridiculous hills.

    Was also fun hitting 40+mph everyday on way home

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  • esudfuesudfu Posts: 35
    I'm only a newbie, and I haven't been very far afield yet.

    This is my hardest so far, the road from Haresfield to Haresfield beacon in Gloucestershire. I'm not sure what the maximum gradient is but there's a 25% road sign at the base.

    I failed to get up it in one go the first time but returned recently and did it in one. It's only a couple of miles but it is very steep!

    I've done the other various ascents of the Cotswold ridge (Frocester, Upton St. Leonards, Selsley, Uley) but Haresfield is the hardest.

    I think a trip down to the Brecons one weekend to get something more impressive is in order!!
  • NickelNickel Posts: 505
    For me it's probably Crowcombe Hill in Somerset, only about a mile long but pretty much solid 25%, come the last 30m I was struggling to turn the pedals.
  • Col de portet - d'aspet finished me off at the end of a big week, Port de Bales was a tough nut especially after blowing my beans in the first 8km!!
  • Butterd2Butterd2 Posts: 937
    Col de portet - d'aspet finished me off at the end of a big week, Port de Bales was a tough nut especially after blowing my beans in the first 8km!!

    Funnily enough I found Portet d'Aspet ok but it was half way through the tour so I'd got my legs but was not knackered yet. In the Pyrenees the Col de Marie Blanque always kills me, the gradient just keeps on increasing as you go up with no respite until the top.
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  • APIIIAPIII Posts: 2,010
    For me, the worst experiences have been long climbs combined with suffocating heat. The one that sticks in my mind is the Tourmalet on the 2009 La Pyreneene sportive. I hadn't ridden very much prior to the event for a start, so had chosen to do the middle route, or soft option according to some. I got to the water fountain in Campan after 50 miles and having tried a little too hard to stay with groups through the Baronies. It was 35 degrees and I was sweating buckets (I am the typical pastey Brit abroad, btw). I felt like I wanted to stop there and then, but pressed on anyway. There were people littered along the climb sitting in the numerous mountain streams trying to get cool. Both hamstrings started cramping about a third of the way up. I must have stopped a dozen times or more and for at least 10 minutes in La Mongie, trying to revive myself with cold cokes. Somehow I managed to get over the top, and I can't quite put into words the relief when it came into view!
  • iplodiplod Posts: 83
    Not ridden any major climbs but there is one local one that i cant get up. Church hill, which runs from Glyn Ceriog to Llangollen in North wales. Averages 14% with a section of 25%.
    SOLITUDE. It's not for everyone.

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  • MattC59MattC59 Posts: 5,433
    I'll tell you in a couple of weeks. I'm off to the Lakes next Friday, so I'm going to have a crack at Hardknott, Wrynose and Kirkstone :D
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  • The road up from Hunters Inn up to Martinhoe, North Devon.

    It is just a solid wall up with two wicked bends. I completely blew up half way near the little national trust car park thing. I was struggling to breathe and shaking, I could barely walk my way up the damn thing.

    There are probably steeper (maxes out at 25%) but that climb just got attitude.
    "That's it! You people have stood in my way long enough. I'm going to clown college! " - Homer
  • tormstorms Posts: 7
    cycled all over the world , hardest climb ive done is pla adet in the pyrenees, next to that mount enos in kefalonia both are brutal
  • Omar LittleOmar Little Posts: 2,040
    Ventoux, Galibier, l'Alpe d'Huez etc i have found difficult but been able to manage the suffering enough to get up them. Hardknott on the other hand broke me, i had to put a foot down otherwise i'd have fallen off - It is an absolute censored - The thing is if the surface is wet then the descent is even worse than the climb!
  • dodgydodgy Posts: 2,890
    Glad to see it isn't just me that fears Hardknott. I've been up Col de Joux Plane quite a few times, but it's nothing - NOTHING compared to the double act of Wrynose followed by Hardknott. Yes, your typical alpine climb is longer, but the grade stays pretty much constant (look on any Garmin elevation profile of most alpine rides, it's just like a a perfect 2d profile of a pyramid shape), these brutes in the lakes though, I truly fear them :twisted:
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