Distance 0.77 miles
Max Gradient around 20%, maybe even 25% for a short section
Where do you find it?
Following the A174 coast road from Saltburn to Whitby turn left before descending Carlin How Bank and go past the entrance to the steelworks, then descend down into Skinningrove village, taking care round the hairpin, then follow the main street which heads towards the opposite side of the valley. The road swings left towards the sea and goes over a narrow single file bridge, then the road goes sharp right and up. This is where the climb starts. Alternatively you can descend Carlin How Bank and take the left turn just before the bottom of the dip onto the road called Mill Lane (this will be a right turn if coming down Loftus Bank). Just follow Mill Lane and eventually you will join the other approach just before you get to the bridge.
This climb is a hidden gem, if you view a hidden gem as a steep gruelling climb that’s little known and tucked away off most cyclist’s normal routes. On the other hand you may simply choose to view it as a hideous world of pain that you will make a point of avoiding in future. I think it’s a great climb but I realise that I enjoy this kind of thing more than most. It probably starts at around 18% or so and then quickly rears up to 20% and stays like this for the first quarter of a mile, possibly reaching 25% for a short section. Just as the pain starts to get serious the gradient thankfully eases to about 8-10% for about 200 metres until you reach Skinningrove Bank Farm on your right, then it gets steeper again, probably 18%, just keep going, after all what option do you have? Once over this bit the gradient eases again and allows you to recover, it ends somewhat unsatisfactorily at the T junction, it just doesn’t seem to be a natural place for such a climb to stop.
If you turn right at the junction, then left at the next junction you will be rewarded with a wonderfully picturesque and slightly uphill route to Boulby Village, a much better option to get down the coast than taking the main A174 through Loftus.
The road surface is quite good but as a descent it’s steep and twisty near the bottom so you can’t afford to let a lot of speed build up, especially right at the bottom – see the first picture to see why.
New for this climb and any new climbs on this site is the sheep rating, 1 for no risk at all, 5 for high risk. Although rural and it passes a farm the risk seems minimal as the surrounding land is fenced in.
Our Ratings and Comments
- Paul – 7. Tough, really tough if you’re overgeared. If it wasn’t for the 8% section it would be really hard. I’d rate it at least as hard as the Scarth Nick climb up to Cod Beck, probably harder. If I allowed myself halves it would be 7.5
Note the ratings are :-
- Where’s the slope?
- No problem
- Big ring
- Spinning a gear
- It’s a difficult one (a homage to Sean Kelly)
- Light up all the boilers!
- Handlebar snapper
- Licking the front wheel
- Dinner plate required
- Fetch a nurse!