Graded List of Peak District Descents.
Inspired by @joem ‘s excellent thread Lakes Pass Graded List, and as @thegeneralist and I rode down the second thing today since we became mates that I took a solid look at and decided was beyond my abilities (the first being the top 150m of Grizedale Pike), I propose a spreadsheet of graded Peak District Descents. Hopefully, like the Lakes one, this can be something people come back to when they’re looking for new rides.
As it’s my party, I’m arbitrarily (I think helpfully) deciding the difficulty / spiciness (out of 5 chillies) is to align with the same scale on the Lakes list. So Styhead Pass to Seathwaite is benchmark 3. Wharnscale is benchmark 4.
Like a climbing guide – I’m letting you grade the quality: 0, 1, 2 or 3 stars. Not everything should get a star at all – maybe only the top 10 routes in the area.
I’ve put in three descents to get you started: Cut Gate N (1/5, 2 stars), Cave Dale (2/5, 1 star), Parkin Clough (4/5, 1 star).
Have at it. Don’t blame me if you break your neck going down Parkin Clough.Posted 2 months ago
The problem is that there so few hard legal descents in the Peak. Cavedale is about the hardest and you gave it a bloody 2!Posted 2 months agodazzydwFree Member
The ones that come to mind arePosted 2 months ago
The Beast, Potato Alley and Lockerbrook
but as above – if you’ve graded Cavedale as a 2/5 i think you’re looking at Redbull Hardline to get to 5/5crazy-legsFull Member
Cavedale is about the hardest and you gave it a bloody 2!
This ^^ !!
Your grading scale needs some work.Posted 2 months ago
Lets start with reclassifying Cavedale as a 4 or 5 and work back from there.juliansFree Member
Lets start with reclassifying Cavedale as a 4 or 5 and work back from there.
Cavedales not a 4 or 5,I’d give it a 3 thoughPosted 2 months ago
It depends if we’re baselining the grade against the Peak or the LakesPosted 2 months ago
Firstly, the spreadsheet is open to edit by all and I haven’t locked the grades – so it can be vote by consensus.
That said – the point of grades is that they should let someone know if they can get do something without getting hurt / they’re going to enjoy it.
Therefore it’s important that they’re (as close as can be) the same everywhere. No point calling something an E3 in your area if it’s actually a VS – then the poor climber goes to Northumberland and breaks their legs!
Cave Dale easier than Styhead to Stockley Bridge, shorter, and there’s no massive cliff to fall off. That gets 3. The Nan Bield Pass gets 3 (!).
If it’s 5/5, where is Parkin Clough then?Posted 2 months ago
Hagg Farm 1-2, 1 star
Cut Gate S 1, 1 star, or 2 if you take the rocky hard line at the end (would be 3 but it’s v short)
Les Arcs 1, 2 stars (1 star if you accidentally go right :-))
Added a load more for you to gradePosted 2 months agobailsFull Member
Jacob’s ladder?Posted 2 months agoseriousrikkFull Member
Sorry, can’t edit as it wants me to sign into a Google account.
Stanage PlantationPosted 2 months ago
Hollins cross has three descentssharkattackFull Member
Could you have a column with a link to a map pin or a gpx? For people like me who have no idea where most of them are.Posted 2 months agotwonksFull Member
Interesting concept and great to have something like this but, as is it is too subjective to an individuals opinion.
Could work better as a form that generates averages based on a questionnaire or poll. I believe google forms would allow this.Posted 2 months ago
@twonks if you’re an expert please go ahead. Until then I’m happy for people to effectively vote in the thread and take the consensus.
I can’t see a way around that. Google stopped allowing editing things without an account a few years ago. I’ll add them but only if you give me a difficulty and a quality mate – I can’t grade what I haven’t ridden.Posted 2 months ago
I agree that the grading is problematic.
If this is for anyone to access, then surely a 1 should be comfortably rideable by anyone with a suitable bike, a 5 is pro level stuff, and a 3 comfortable for anyone with reasonable MTB experience of ‘natural’ trails?
You could even colour code them…
5 Blacker Than Black (Double Black)
Less facetiously, maybe the issue is that just 5 levels doesn’t allow enough differentiation and subtlety?Posted 2 months agodocrobsterFull Member
I like the idea of this but agree it’s hard to give a meaningful rating for difficulty.
What is helpful though is just putting things in order of difficulty- progression I suppose. Don’t try Parkin clough until you’ve mastered cave dale… (I’ve never attempted the former but as bikes have got more capable the latter has definitely become no more than a three)
How about a column of injuries sustained- broken wrist on devils elbow, wrecked knee on stanage plantation etc- will help with risk assessments?!Posted 2 months ago
@colournoise you could have fifteen levels of grading, but the idea here isn’t to categorically define the difficulty of Cave Dale in some abstract way, but to give a rough impression of how hard something is compared to other things people might have done.
Bike parks use blue, red, black and nobody has an issue. How does 5 levels offer less information?
I was hoping for more contribution and less arguing over the fidelity of grading systems but I should have learnt my lesson from climbing forums.Posted 2 months ago
but to give a rough impression of how hard something is compared to other things people might have done.
Then maybe docrobster’s idea of just an ordered list hardest to easiest is the way to go?Posted 2 months agochestercopperpotFree Member
Bin done years ago in web page format with pictures and videos.
There’s also a three part video someone did with most, not all the main legit descents.
The thing is some of the best trails/tracks in the Peak are barely tolerated and it’s likely to upset people if you draw even more attention to some of them!Posted 2 months agoIHNFull Member
You’re missing the steps down to the canal in Furness Vale. Triple Black++Posted 2 months agoBadlyWiredDogFull Member
You’re missing the steps down to the canal in Furness Vale. Triple Black++
With respect dude, I’m not sure you should be drawing attention to descents of that difficulty on here, just saying.Posted 2 months ago
The problem is that there just aren’t many legal hard descents in the Peak, and with it being close to millions of people, putting the cheeky in is bad.
But if you insist then.
That steep one in the south peak that DCC closed. The bastards
The other steep one in the south peak that DCC closed. The bastards.
Cut Gate South
Hollins to Greenlands
WLT to Cutthroat bridge
Cut Gate north
Jacobs easy side
Descent to Rowarth
Middle Moor north
Stanage causeway ( really scraping the barrel here)
Middle Moor south
The fact that about a third of the ones above are in fact classic ascents shows how dull the legal trails are in the Peak.
< Edited to say that I’m clearly on shakey ground with my last point as Cut Gate north is indeed a fabulous descent despite also being an uber classic ascent>Posted 2 months ago
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