Delves to Egton High Moor

Distance 1.35 miles

Max Gradient 33% according to the sign, maybe 25-28%

Where do you find it?

From Egton Bridge head south, then follow the road west to the south of the River Esk. Where the main road turns south again signposted Grosmont take the minor road that goes straight on which is signposted Rosedale. At this stage it appears to be the easier of the two options as the Grosmont road goes steeply up, appearances can be deceptive though…

Description

This is a very beautiful climb that starts in a lush valley and emerges on top of high moorland. It is probably the most challenging climb out from Egton Bridge, though none are easy, a bit like Rosedale in some ways but without the escape route of Cropton. The incline is only slight at first but then gets steeper as you approach Delves – at this point another cyclist came whizzing past me shouting ‘You’re going the wrong way!’ About two minutes later as I was getting to the top of the really steep twisty section through the picturesque hamlet of Delves I was beginning to agree with him. My spirits were raised by a family going past me in a car who wound the windows down to give me a clap and a ‘well done!’ This steep section is tough, probably a few percent short of the claimed 33, but thankfully not too long and once you’ve cleared this the real suffering is over. Don’t think your job is done though because this is a long climb and goes all the way to the head of the moor, never more than around 12% or so and with less steep sections in between that offer chance of recovery. With hedges and buildings throughout it is a sheltered climb too, the day I climbed it I had a headwind but it was barely noticeable until I crested the top. The grovel afterwards over the exposed moor to Rosedale into the headwind was in some ways just as hard as the climb.

Descent

A brilliant descent this, good surface, little chance of any sheep, not too steep or twisty at the top and hedges that act to increase your perceived sense of speed. Once you see buildings though knock the speed off because this is where the road steepens and then twists to two almost hairpin like bends – not as bad as Scarth Nick because the surface is better, but similar in steepness. Once past this section you can let the brakes off again and roll to the bottom of the climb which levels off before the junction.

Dave’s Sheep Rating (out of 5)

Not out of the question but it would have to be a renegade escaped sheep to get on the road as there are walls and hedges throughout, a stray one couldn’t be ruled out though so:

SheepSheep

Photos

Approaching the steepest section, steeper than it looks on the photo but not quite 33%

Approaching the steepest section, steeper than it looks on the photo but not quite 33%

The end of the steep section in Delves

The end of the steep section in Delves

Around 7-8% this section I reckon, it goes on for some time though!

Around 7-8% this section I reckon, it goes on for some time though!

The climb is over at this point, though it does drag on a bit further up to the top of the moor

The climb is over at this point, though it does drag on a bit further up to the top of the moor

Our Ratings and Comments

  • Paul- 7. I did this one on my own and I have to say it was a really enjoyable climb. Very picturesque throughout so it takes your mind off the incline a little, hard but not too hard. As you tackle the steep bit you start to think ‘this could get quite challenging’ but once over this the pressure’s off. I did the Street climb (number 30) before this and Delves was definitely a fair bit easier.

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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