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Thread: Steep slopes

  1. #1
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    Steep slopes

    Last Saturday was the race up Kirkfell at the Wasdale Show, which climbs about 710 metres in 1.7km (ignoring the run across the field at the start). This, the steepest race in England, has got me thinking about where else we might have a brutally steep race. Let’s consider climbs of at least 600m, and start in England and Wales. Much of what I write below is the result of me gazing at maps; I have not done all these ascents myself.

    Although there are Skyrunning races which involve serious scrambling, I will not consider such routes as suitable for a fell race; so the north ridge of Tryfan, 610m climbing in about 0.9km, is not considered suitable. But on the other side of the valley, the path up Pen yr Ole Wen has 670m climbing in 1.7km. Back in the Lake District, extending the Gategill race to the 851m spot height on the main Blencathra ridge (to satisfy my 600m+ criterion) would give about 700m climbing in 2.5km. Going up Helvellyn from the nearest point on the A591 by Thirlmere is 770m of climbing in about 2.1km.

    Finally, just two examples in Scotland. Going up Ben More from the A85 just east of Crianlarich gives a neat Vertical Kilometre in just 2.4km. But Britain’s greatest slope of all must surely be the 1200m of climbing in just 2.2km from the road end in Glen Nevis to the top of Ben Nevis. Come on, Lochaber AC: it's time to organise The Real Ben Nevis Race.
    In his lifetime he suffered from unreality, as do so many Englishmen.
    Jorge Luis Borges

  2. #2
    Master PeteS's Avatar
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    A shame about your 600m limit as there are some great shorter climbs which are incredibly steep to be had. Pick virtually any Shropshire race for a start!
    Pete Shakespeare - U/A

    Going downhill fast

  3. #3
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    The western Aonach Eagach peak, Sgorr nam Fiannaidh, if tackled directly (as in the Glencoe Skyline race) is 880m in under 1.5km

  4. #4
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    Wansfell Pike race route is pretty steep - 300 metres of up/down from the kissing gate in 0.95 km. Or just under 1,000 feet in just under 0.6 miles.

  5. #5
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    When i was in Skye i did various routes direct from the road up the north slopes of Glamaig.

    Whether they're any steeper i don't know... but they were pretty rough.

  6. #6
    Master mr brightside's Avatar
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    Moel Hebog is supposed to be beastly.

  7. #7
    Master Wheeze's Avatar
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    Hebog is wonderfully beastly but more for the massive boulder field rather than ultimate steepness, Cnicht is similarly beastly for the delightful gully full of vertical schist bedding planes...Its like running down a channel full of razor blades on edge looking up at you! God, I miss racing!
    Simon Blease
    Monmouth

  8. #8
    I have used Strava segment explore before to find steep slopes when wanting to do some hill reps. A quick look on the lakes comes up with plenty of really steep sections.

    Kirk Fell - 0.93 miles / 43.1%
    Seat Sandal - 0.68 miles / 34.4%
    Halls Fell - 1.18 miles / 31.2%
    High Stile - 0.94 miles / 29.4%
    Carlside - 1.26 miles / 28.7%
    Clough Head - 0.78 miles / 27.9%

  9. #9
    I think Wainwright described the direct climb of Blease Fell as the longest continuous slope in the lakes. Doing it from the beck to the summit it might not be the longest or the steepest but it's possibly the most consistent. I used to use it combined with a direct ascent of Lonscale Fell as Jura training.

  10. #10
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    How about from the road at Crummock Water via Red Gill to the cairn at 740m on Grasmoor? 600m ascent in 1.2km (horizontal)

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