Lakes Climbs – Lesser Climbs

A short summary of other climbs

The Lake District is of course hilly and so is brimming with a rich variety of great climbs.  I’ve written up the main climbs but below are a just a few more that are worth a visit, other climbs are also available!

Cold Fell (Ennerdale Bridge)

Length: 2.6 miles
Gradient: Never really gets much above 10%
Difficulty: 6

A tough climb just out of Ennerdale that’s on the Fred Whitton route, some steep sections, especially near the start and some draggy flatter sections, it goes on and on, difficult to know when it actually ends, but thankfully it does!

Hawkshead Hill

Length: 1.3 miles (Coniston side) 1.15 (Hawkshead side)
Gradient: max around 12% both sides
Difficulty: 5

Links Coniston to Hawkshead and is another one on the Fred Whitton route.  Challenging from both sides, though the ascent from Coniston is more attractive and slightly more challenging as it winds its way gracefully through the wooded hillside and steeper nearer the top.  The Hawkshead side starts steep but eases towards the top.

Matterdale End

Length: 1.3 miles (to Dockray)
Gradient: never more than 10%, steady at around 6-8% for most of the climb
Difficulty: 4

A classic ‘long drag’ from the shores of Ullswater up to the village of Matterdale, though it ends at Dockray really.  One of the easier climbs from the Fred Whitton.

Old Rake (nr Torver)

Length: 0.90 miles
Gradient: 16-18% on the first section
Difficulty: 6

If you’ve ever driven the road from Torver to Broughton you may have noticed a short sharp rise on a minor road branching to the right that looks almost vertical as it scales the hillside.  This is it.  Starts really steep, then eases to 6 to 8% or so, before steepening near the end.

Bobbin Mill Hill (Ulpha) also known as Oak Bank

Length: 1.09 miles
Gradient:  max 16-17%, sustained
Difficulty: 6

You wouldn’t really stumble upon this, a road only used by locals in the main, but worth checking out.  Bobbin Mill Hill sounds pretty friendly but once you are on its early 16% slopes you’ll soon change your mind!  It does ease after this initial section but soon goes up to over 10% again and keeps you honest until you crest the top.  Eventually it joins the lower slopes of the Corney Fell climb.

Red Bank (Elterwater)

Length: 0.82 miles
Gradient: max 12-14% but  6-8% for the most part.
Difficulty: 4/5

A beautiful twisty not too hard ascent from Elterwater, a pleasure to be in a place like this.  The climb gradually works its way up the hillside and finishes after the traditional cattlegrid near the youth hostel.

The Hause (Martindale)

Length: 0.5 miles
Gradient:  Nearing 20% at its steepest
Difficulty: 5

A road to nowhere, but what a road!  From Pooley Bridge take the road down the East of Ullswater to Howtown, shortly afterwards you will come across a superb little road that takes you into a little valley.  It’s short steep and has an impressive set of hairpin bends.  Great fun and it is a dead end so you will have to ride back too.

Bank End (nr Duddon Bridge)

Length: 0.65 miles
Gradient: max 15%
Difficulty: 5

A short sharp pull up from Bank End near Duddon Bridge, hard work but thankfully quite short.  Once done you can enjoy the ride into the Duddon Valley.

Watermillock to Underwood (Ullswater)

Length:1.72 miles
Gradient:  15% max
Difficulty: This is a real brute, probably a 6 or 7

I’ll be honest I’ve never ridden a bike up this, but i have run up it while staying nearby, sadly on this occasion without my bike!   So the difficulty is an estimate, but it will be hard work I can guarantee you that.  It starts quite steady but steepens towards the top and is sustained above 12% for some time!

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