Westerdale Road – 2nd climb (Hob Hole)

Distance 0.43 miles

Max Gradient around 15-18% (sign says 20%)

Where do you find it?

You will probably have just ascended the first Westerdale Climb (Artist’s Cottage), so it is just a case of following the wonderful descent, which essentially just follows the rise and fall of the moors in the traditional North Yorks Moors way i.e. just build a road straight over them, none of this winding your way up to even out the gradient nonsense! You can also join the descent part of the way down from the Castleton side by following the road that goes past Dibble Bridge Farm.


It would be a much easier climb if you could carry all the speed from the descent into the climb, but you can’t. Well you can in theory, but that theory involves going through the ford at the bottom of Hob Hole without slowing down. Even when dry this would be risky. I have been on this road after heavy rain when the water has got up to four feet and have had to take the footbridge on the left rather than opt for a bit of swimming.

So the reality is that you will be tackling the bottom of the climb, which is the steepest at around 18%, with no momentum whatsoever. Top tip here is to change down to the small front ring on the descent just before going through the ford rather than afterwards and risk grinding to a halt and falling of in an embarrassing heap just afterwards as you fumble with your gears. That said this is the easiest of the three Westerdale Road climbs and once you are up the short steep bit you enjoy about 100 metres of flat before the gradient rises again perhaps to around 6-8% for a short section. After this you can get your breath back and ease your way up to the top of Little Hograh Moor. You are now faced with another great, fast, straight descent before tackling the third, and by far the hardest of the three Westerdale Climbs. Good luck!

This descent could certainly catch you out if you didn’t know the road, having had the benefit of reading this you will now know that there is a left onto the steepest section, followed by a ford at the bottom. Go into this carrying too much speed and you will be in for an exciting experience.


The upper part of the climb viewed from the approach after the first Westerdale climb
The upper part of the climb viewed from the approach after the first Westerdale climb
The start and steepest section of the climb, footbridge an option!
The start and steepest section of the climb, footbridge an option
The drag up to the top
The drag up to the top

Our Ratings and Comments

  • Paul – 4. Once up the steep bit just after the ford the job is more or less done, save your energy for the next one.
  • Dave – 4. A short sharp one, not to difficult as long as you drop your gears before entering the ford, is more difficult if you have to dismount due to the water being deep. It doesn’t seem that difficult but can trick you over the top!

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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