Greenup Edge – is it really that bad?
Interested to hear views on the climb up from Borrowdale over Greenup Edge and down into Grasmere. There seems to be quite a bit of “once ridden never again!” comments.
Is it really that bad? There seems to be no love for it and I was wondering why that was the case? Really keen to get some opinions on this.
sannyPosted 2 years ago
Yes, a once only job. Virtually nothing rideable on the way up, beyond the Langstrath turn and then on/off for seemingly most of the very disappointing descent. Others doubtless rate it, but I’ve not met them yet.
While you’re here – Ben Lomond: up the tourist path (Sron Aonaich) and down Ptarmigan?Posted 2 years ago
I think it’s been resurfaced recently Sanny, so no longer as polarising as it used to be.
Posted 2 years ago
@boxelder – yup, that’s the way to do it.
The stonethwaite side of Greenup hasn’t been resurfaced, perhaps your thinking of stake pass over to Langdale? I *think* coming down off Greenup towards stonethwaite might have some fun potential, but have only been there on foot. It’s a slog of a climb up though, as boxelder says.Posted 2 years ago
So Ben Lomond
I did that route a while back. It is less flowy andand a bit tricky in p!aces. I enjoyed it although the very top is a short carry down.
I think there has been path building on it since I was last up. Most folk prefer the tourist path.Posted 2 years ago
I *once* went up from the grasmere side to see what it was like and then went back down to grasmere again. It was shit and there was not much riding (but it was simultaneously icy and grim)Posted 2 years ago
PS I’m sure you could make quite a nice STW shortarticle out of disappointing bridleways. It looked great on the map! Reality somewhat differentPosted 2 years ago
I did the mbr(?) route once, never again. Loads of push / carry and very little decent riding. Would have been a lovely walk without a bike.Posted 2 years ago
On the Ben Lomond thing – I’d have thought the chief issue with the Ptarmigan is that several sections of the lower path are now in quite a narrow ‘trench’ that’s developed, so might be unrideable for all practical purposes. The NTS have done some work putting in stone stepping on some sections, but the trench sections hadn’t been filled the last time I walked up earlier this year.Posted 2 years ago
Back in the 1980s when mountain biking first became “a thing” and the bikes were basically road frames made from beefier tubing a friend went out with a local group over the Greenup Edge BW. He said that there was very little riding.
It’s one of those traditional BWs used as an occasional packhorse route between valleys, there are footpaths that are more rideable.Posted 2 years ago
PS I’m sure you could make quite a nice STW shortarticle out of disappointing bridleways
If you do can you add Doctor’s gate to the list.Posted 2 years ago
I’ve ridden the bridleway descent from Greenup to Grassmere about a month ago, but approached it climbing past Easedale Tarn and High Raise.
There is Fix the Fells pitching work underway on the top section.
Below that, as you drop into Far Easedale Gill, it’s not a particularly bad descent. Nothing technically challenging/interesting though.
Would I do it again? Probably not. I do like my hike-a-bike, that’s what I do most weekend…. but on balance, this descent wasn’t worth the hike up. Felt a little short changed, so hiked up the other valley side to get the Heron Pike to Rydal descent after.Posted 2 years ago
Heron pike to rydal is terrific. A fine choice.
So in the interests of disclosure, I rode the Greenup Edge and Stakes Pass loop last weekend with three mates. We all really enjoyed it. Lots of lovely rock sections to play on. There was very little in the way of bog while the fix the fells stuff we saw was pretty decent. The slow speed tech made for some committing line choices but even on my Turner Sultan, I didn’t feel underbiked. Between us. I think we rode virtually everything. Hence my asking the question. It was nothing like the horror show of unrideable despair that I was led to expect.
My front brake failed so was giving limited control at times. There was a bit of “auch f#ck it!” and just going for it.
would i do it again? Absolutely. I am looking at the pics – we were definitely on the bridleway. I suspect bikes and skills have greatly improved over the years making it more of a doable ride. Not necessarily my first choice for the hike a bike newbie though.
I don’t fancy it from the grasmere side though. That would feel like a very long climb indeed! The route up from Seatoller is a lot shorter and not so unrelenting. The carry to descend ratio is much better i would suggest.
stakes pass was a peach on the return leg. The endo hop switchbacks were terrific in the evening sunshine.
SannyPosted 2 years ago
So you went from Stonethwaite, over Greenup and down to Grasmere, along to Langdale, up Mickleden and over Stake Pass back into Langstrath? If you rode virtually all the climb up from Stonethwaite under Lining Crag etc, I must go back and have a look, but great effort.Posted 2 years ago
Rode on the descent. Sorry. I wish I was that good!
We rode a fair bit of the climb but there was a lot of carrying!
I genuinely enjoyed the descent. Everything about it just worked. I expected a horror show but came away with a bit grin on my face.Posted 2 years ago
I’ve not been for years and last time we just did the first bit of the descent and then made our way over to Steel Fell. May have to take another look (if I can face the climb).Posted 2 years ago
Nice article Sanny – good read and Tristan’s pics are lovely. Looks like work has been done to sections. You’ve inspired me to go back, though only having a HT just now, and being underpinned in the skills and bottle departments, I’ll probably struggle again.
p.s. after the bottom of Stake, it’s better to cross the river and come down the true left bank – becomes rocky farm access track fairly quickly.Posted 2 years ago
Nice article Sanny
+1. I enjoyed reading that – thanks!Posted 2 years ago
Riden it twice this year – its a much better fell run I reckon !! Some parts are rideable / some are walking – depends on how wet and slippery sections are / how brave I am feeling. I would not rush back to ride it and I am based fairly local… I think the trail work done on the Langstrath bw is pretty awful – those tight switchbacks atop of the rivetments are for me pretty unrideable. You have to be a very good rider to do it / Stake Pass clean. Greenup Edge can be a nav nightmare in the wrong weather and any fall up there could be quite serious. I would advise going up there unless you have great weather and decent mountain craft and like a hike a bike.
PaulPosted 2 years ago
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