Black Brow

Distance 1.41 miles

Max Gradient 25% (sign says 33% do you believe it?)

Where do you find it?

The only sensible way to get to the foot of this climb is firstly to get to Egton then take the road from the village heading eastwards that descends down the valley towards Grosmont, it is signposted. You can get to Egton a number of ways but the one we would recommend would be to follow the Esk Valley – Castleton, Danby, Lealholm – then head up towards Glaisdale and descend to the bottom of the village before ascending Limber Hill then following the road on to Egton.

Description

The approach to this climb on the descent down from Egton is a great stretch of road in itself. If you look across the valley you can see the line of the climb as it heads up to the summit of Black Brow, so you know what you are going to be faced with and will have worked out that it’s going to be a bit of the slog.

This is a climb of great contrasts as it starts in the bottom of the valley at the level crossing in the village of Grosmont itself before winding up through walled country lanes then finishes on the top of the high moor. Along with Blue Bank this is the furthest east of the big moor climbs.

The first section through the village is hard, steep at around 18% or so (there was no sign that I could see at this point that marked the gradient). Once out of the village you take the road that heads right signposted for Goathland and Pickering, here the incline eases before steepening again going left at first then sharp right at a small cluster of houses at around one third of a mile into the climb. You are then faced with a sign which informs you that the gradient is about to steepen to 33%! Its does get steep here but the first bit of good news is that this section is quite short, the second bit of good news is that it is probably 25% rather than the claimed 33%. After this steep section the gradient relents all the way to the top, probably varying between 6-10% for more or less the whole way. It is hard going (although I had a slight headwind on the day) and a long pull up to the summit of the moor but the real hard work is over and you know that the top will come. Once past the cattle grid the character of the climb changes as you are now on open moor, great when the weather is good but very exposed to the elements. Once you’ve crested the top you are presented with a wonderful panorama with views extending in all directions across the moor and over towards Whitby. The road carries on to the junction with the main Whitby to Pickering road and you have the option of heading right towards Pickering or left towards Sleights and the great descent of Blue Bank.

Descent

For the most part it is a good surface and you can pick your line quite easily until you get to the corner after the 25% section. After this you will need to take care as you approach the junction and you will need to kill your speed as you enter the village as it is steep here, quite busy with traffic normally and there is a rather bumpy level crossing to negotiate right at the bottom.

Dave’s Sheep Rating (out of 5)

As I said a climb of great contrasts and sheep inhabit the upper section, once you’re over the cattle grid (on the descent) you should be safe.

SheepSheepSheep

Photos

A view of the climb from the approach descent, it goes all the way to the top!

A view of the climb from the approach descent, it goes all the way to the top!

The start of the climb, when the crossing gates opened I exploded out of the blocks and flew to the top!

The start of the climb, when the crossing gates opened I exploded out of the blocks and flew to the top!

At this point you’ve just exited the village, you go right here, left takes you straight to Sleights and is an escape option

At this point you’ve just exited the village, you go right here, left takes you straight to Sleights and is an escape option

At this point you’ve just exited the village, you go right here, left takes you straight to Sleights and is an escape option

At this point you’ve just exited the village, you go right here, left takes you straight to Sleights and is an escape option

The dreaded 33% sign! Not quite though, but tough enough

The dreaded 33% sign! Not quite though, but tough enough

The view looking back after you’ve crested the summit, exceptional isn’t it?

The view looking back after you’ve crested the summit, exceptional isn’t it?

Our Ratings and Comments

Paul- 7. Tough start to the climb, and at the steepest section where you really have to work, but you do get breaks so it never really has you in big trouble. It is long though and would be difficult if you had a strong headwind. I have to say that from a scenic point of view this is one of the most satisfying climbs that I have done on the site.

Note the ratings are :-

  1. Where’s the slope?
  2. No problem
  3. Big ring
  4. Spinning a gear
  5. It’s a difficult one (a homage to Sean Kelly)
  6. Light up all the boilers!
  7. Handlebar snapper
  8. Licking the front wheel
  9. Dinner plate required
  10. Fetch a nurse!
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  1. Paul Christon

    This is the climb that they did on the 2016 Tour de Yorkshire, referred to as the ‘Cote de Grosmont’ in the 100 Other Greatest Climbs book they call it Sleights Moor. I must have been in decent form when i originally did this to give it a 7, having just done the first section again riding up to watch the stage and then watch the pros struggle up it it might be worth an 8, or at least a 7.5! Still several harder climbs on the North York Moors though, will Caper Hill ever be in the race? I’d love to see it!

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