Caper Hill (Glaisdale)

Distance 0.88 miles

Max Gradient 25%

Where do you find it?

This is a remote climb that you are unlikely to stumble upon by accident. You need to get to Glaisdale village and there are numerous route options open to you e.g. from Rosedale, Lealholm, Egton Bridge or you can opt for our preferred route which is to take in a route involving the Street climb. Enter Glaisdale village itself and then descend (or ascend from the Egton side) but take the turning for the church which is a right if going downhill. Then simply follow this road for about two miles along Glaisdale Side, up ahead you will see the climb up to Glaisdale High Moor as in the first photograph. When you see the sign for Rosedale take the right turn, it’s a single track road but is used by traffic as it’s the most direct road between Rosedale and Glaisdale. The climb starts almost immediately after the turning, good luck, you’re going to need it!

A map of the climb can be found here.

Description

I don’t really know where to start with this climb, other than to say:

  • Relentless
  • Impossible to find a rhythm
  • Exposed
  • No place to hide
  • Corrugated, potholed, gravelly surface with bits of grass in the middle
  • Somehow seems steeper than it looks

That said it’s not as steep or quite as hard as the Chimney (it sure runs it close though) but it is, we think, 15-25% for nearly all it’s entire length, and it’s longer than you think it will be too. Its starts in anger about 100 metres after the junction and goes up in a steep and undulating, kind of irritating way. I was constantly in and out of the saddle trying to find a rhythm but I couldn’t and just after half way when I approached the cattle grid I actually worried that I would have enough momentum to get over it, but I somehow managed to bounce over its rungs. I’ve noticed that cattle grids quite often mark the end off the serious graft, but not on this climb, a real horror and you’ll be glad when you see the junction and the top of Glaisdale High Moor. This climb was recently added to the Ryedale Rumble route and many ‘non locals’ mistook it for the Chimney, which is understandable, but imagine the psychological blow when you then enter Rosedale later on the route? What’s really unbelievable is that on the O/S map it only warrants one arrow, which implies that it has one section of around 15% and not much more. I think that they may have got this wrong!

Descent

I’ve not been down this either, and have no desire to. The surface and its steepness would make this a brakes on more or less all the way job. Not as bad as descending the Hardknott Pass in the Lakes but it would be that kind of descent I would imagine.

Dave’s Sheep Rating (out of 5)

Plenty of sheep on this climb, you’re going so slow up it that they just look at you with contempt, probably the same going down too! At the steepest point where my speed was probably lower than 5mph a sheep stood stubbornly in the middle of the road, it never seemed to get any nearer, then it just casually stepped aside when I got within about 5 feet of it. Dave said that he never saw any sheep as he was just looking at the ground in front of him to avoid having to comprehend what was ahead, ‘they were mythical beings to me on this climb’ he said, but after he’d regained his faculties he agreed with me and gave it a maximum:

SheepSheepSheepSheepSheep

Photos

The view on the approach, you can just make out the road in the centre of the picture, it goes between the two clumps of trees, right, then left, then straight up!

The view on the approach, you can just make out the road in the centre of the picture, it goes between the two clumps of trees, right, then left, then straight up!

The start of the climb, the sign says Rosedale

The start of the climb, the sign says Rosedale

The start of the steep stuff, the surface is quite good here, after this I didn’t dare stop to take a photo as I wouldn’t have been able to get going again.

The start of the steep stuff, the surface is quite good here, after this I didn’t dare stop to take a photo as I wouldn’t have been able to get going again.

Dave approaching the summit, he held it together for the camera but soon he will collapse in a heap on the verge a broken man! In the background is Glaisdale where you’ve just come up from

Dave approaching the summit, he held it together for the camera but soon he will collapse in a heap on the verge a broken man! In the background is Glaisdale where you’ve just come up from

Our Ratings and Comments

Paul – 9. I was struggling to articulate why this climb was so hard, fumbling as I was to blame the road surface, the undulations etc. when Dave simply said ‘what was so hard about that climb was its steepness and its length’ nuff said. Not quite as hard as the Chimney but close, in terms of pain I would say it’s the equal of Honister Pass from Buttermere in the Lakes and a bit harder than Park Rash in the Dales, if that’s of any help. It’s also harder than Blakey and Boltby Banks, which will be up next on the site.

Postscript 2014 – there’s been much debate on the club run since I first did this climb a few years ago about whether or not it’s harder than the Chimney and that surely I have it wrong.  Well sometimes I think it is harder, and sometimes I think it isn’t.  And sometimes I think Blakey Bank is harder, but in terms of extreme pain, albeit briefly, the Chimney is still slightly harder for me, whatever view you have they are all bloody hard!

Dave 9. I’m (insert expletive), backbreaking.

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!
  1. Ive did this climb and the chimney about 6 times each last summer and I find caper hill (sounds kind of friendly and easy!!!) The harder of the two by quite a bit.

  2. Tougher than the Chimney in my book, murderous !!!

  3. Glad you enjoyed it Paul, yes ‘murderous’ sums it up perfectly, I could have saved myself a lot of work in my write up by just saying that.

    If it’s any consolation I must have been up it about a dozen times now and it’s always been an ordeal.

  4. Climbed both yesterday for the first time, Caper is hideous but nothing could have prepared me for the Chimney. Utterly ridiculous. The hardest thing for me was keeping the bike in a straight line and the front wheel on the ground.

  5. Well done Gav, the last time i climbed them was in the Mountain Challenge, i wasn’t on a good day and i was in big trouble! Now you’ve done these the next logical step is to decamp to Eskdale in the Lakes and tackle Hardknot and then nip round to Langdale and inch up Wrynose.

  6. Er yeah, maybe next year….

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