Jacobs Ladder/Edale loop – how hard??

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  • Jacobs Ladder/Edale loop – how hard??
  • I would say that on the whole, the descents are *probably* a bit harder and more techy than those around Ladybower, especially Jacob’s Ladder itself. That said, the really hard bits are mostly quite short sections, so you can always walk any bits you don’t like the look of.

    Will you be riding on your own or with buddies?

    Also, the Beast is easier than it looks. Honest.

    IHN
    Member

    Potato Alley was good but close to my limits and TheBeast a no-no.

    You sound like me. You’ll be fine, it’ll be tricky in parts but doable.

    FWIW, doing it the other way round, so you go up Jacobs Ladder, is said by some to be better.

    Said by some, but they are WRONG. Deeply wrong. Down the Ladder every time.

    the two rockiest descents around that area for me are indeed the beast and jacobs, so if your not keen on the beast id say you wont be keen on jacobs (although both are vastly overrated in terms of ‘extreme’ riding to me) (ps i dont mean i dont like them by that, just mean they arent as bad to me personally as people seem to suggest/get scared of)

    jacobs is a bit more rideable for a beginner id say than the beast, but still has big rocks all the same, id say the beast is a bit more technical personally especially in the wet its lethal, but jacobs isnt so bad in the wet at all

    Premier Icon fathomer
    Subscriber

    Cavedale is up there as well Shirley?

    Back to the question, I’ve only done Jacobs once and would say it was a bit trickier than Potato Alley but probably not as bad as the Beast.

    jools182
    Member

    If you are ok with the distance then I’d say go for it

    I’m a wuss with steep stuff and I managed it

    I did struggle a bit with the distance

    There’s only really a couple of tricky bits on Jacobs really, the rest of it is pretty straightforward. I guess the Beast is a bit more relentless.

    The only bit of Jacobs I don’t like is the very last section, after the last hairpin – whenever I try to get any speed up down there I seem to end up riding into the walls! The rest is ace, there’s a lovely little drop just before the gate.

    Oh, and watch out for the drainage ditches on Coldwell Clough.

    fathomer – Member
    Cavedale is up there as well Shirley?

    Back to the question, I’ve only done Jacobs once and would say it was a bit trickier than Potato Alley but probably not as bad as the Beast.

    yep sorry i meant over that side of the peak, cavedale is as bad as it gets i think, probably the trickiest of all especially in wet!

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    You’ll be fine. I can get down everything you’ve mentioned and I’ve got the skill and balance of a 3 legged giraffe who’s been at the crystal meth

    Yes binners,but the OP wants to do it either on a bike,or at least stood up ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

    Mary Hinge
    Member

    I’m no riding god, but Jacobs as a descent is one of my faves. The tricky bit at the top is the most difficult but is short, and you just have to commit when going over the edge and you’ll be fine. The 2nd section down to the river is like a narrower potato alley, so you just need a bit of speed.

    Rushup Edge and the drop to Coldwell Clough are good fun too.

    The Beast used to scare me but I first cleaned it in the snow, so again just needs a bit of commitment.

    Cavedale…….ooh I’d forgotten about that, yeah that makes a great descent that is probably harder than the beast.

    If you can do potato alley you should be fine on the Jacobs route if you think positive ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon binners
    Subscriber

    Last time I did Jacobs, I got down it without dabbing. God knows how, but I did. I’ve got witnesses and everyfink. I definitely didn’t dream it after a load of cheese, wine, and crystal meth ๐Ÿ˜‰

    hora
    Member

    Do it OP- anything you are not sure on feel free to hop off and roll that bit. Its got some stunning scenery too.

    Yeah – the views are awesome on a good day. Makes Ladybower feel like it’s all in a dingy wood.

    orangefatlad
    Member

    I know it’s each to their own but I prefer going up Jacobs, don’t get me wrong its a great decent but think it flows better the other way, (especially when you shoot over to Cavedale on the way out :-)).

    Anyhoo its all great riding round there, enjoy.

    We’re riding that route on Saturday….

    The only solution is to ride it twice, once in each direction to see which you like best.

    Premier Icon crazy-legs
    Subscriber

    Said by some, but they are WRONG. Deeply wrong. Down the Ladder every time.

    The route as a whole rides better the other way round. Up Jacobs but you get a better ride after it as you descend towards Coldwell Clough and more options in terms of adding in Broad Clough, Shooting Cabins, the descent off Mam Tor. Descending Jacobs means you have to climb Mam Tor which is horrendous.

    Jacobs as a descent isn’t anything special, as a climb it’s nearly impossible (or at least, only rideable in short sections) but the rest of the route is better that way.

    Poppy-cock. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Jacobs is a great descent and the climb up to Mam is fine (in the dry).

    Any which way….if you can do potato then Jacobs will be fine all rollable and if you keep to a speed you are comfy at then all bail-able or do-able on inspection…..

    Watch the drop / steep roll right at the top. It is on the cusp of rollable…..IMO

    Enjoy

    PS Cavedale to by far and away the hardest descent that I have seen and done in Peak….

    Premier Icon funkrodent
    Subscriber

    If you’ve ridden Cutgate, I can’t see that you’ll have too many problems with Jacob’s. I’ve done that loop about 20 times and love it, well worth it for Rushup, Coldwell and Jacob’s itself (as well as the descent into the valley prior to the climb up to Jacob’s). Rode Cutgate on Saturday and found parts of it basically unrideable. In fairness I’d been on the sauce until 4am on Friday and spent most of the ride trying (and failing) to manage a headache and nausea, so it’s fair to say that I wasn’t at my best. That last bit of descent off Cutgate down to the bridge over the stream – if you avoid the singletrack switchback adnd take the rocky steps – is way harder than anything you’ll find on Jacob’s!
    Do it and enjoy ๐Ÿ™‚

    Premier Icon Simon
    Subscriber

    Nothing to do with Jacob’s Ladder but I rode the Beast for the first time yesterday. Thing was I didn’t know it was the Beast until later in the ride ‘cos we’d got a bit lost!
    Point being I rode it all without a problem and really enjoyed it, sometimes bits of trail are hyped up as being difficult and you go into them almost expecting not to be able to ride them.

    tomj
    Member

    Last year I realised I lived nearer than I thought to the Peak District – and loved riding there a few times. I fancy trying the classic Edale/Jacobs ladder loop but worried it might be too much for me. Not in terms of distance or climbing but technically. How does the loop (esp descending Jacobs) compare to other Peak trails? I’m fine with Gores Farm, WLT, Cutgate. Potato Alley was good but close to my limits and TheBeast a no-no.
    I don’t mind walking a bit but prefer not to be pushing ages on the downhills. Given this is this route a doer for me and which way round to ensure I ride downhill and push up not the other way round?

    Thanks

    The route as a whole rides better the other way round. Up Jacobs but you get a better ride after it as you descend towards Coldwell Clough and more options in terms of adding in Broad Clough, Shooting Cabins, the descent off Mam Tor. Descending Jacobs means you have to climb Mam Tor which is horrendous.

    Jacobs as a descent isn’t anything special, as a climb it’s nearly impossible (or at least, only rideable in short sections) but the rest of the route is better that way.

    See, if you’re adding in different bits (ie completely changing the loop ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) then yeah, you have a point. But the “standard” loop (Edale, Hollins Cross, Man Tor, Rushup, Roych, Mt Famine, Coldwell, Kinder, Jacobs) I really wouldn’t fancy it the other way round, especially now the other side of Jacobs has been resurfaced. Down from Mt Famine is more or less a fireroad most of the way, I guess Hollins Cross to Edale would be ok but there’s a hefty whack of road down (though I guess you could go a different way).

    Nothing to do with Jacob’s Ladder but I rode the Beast Fluffy Kittens for the first time yesterday. Thing was I didn’t know it was the Beast Fluffy Kittens until later in the ride ‘cos we’d got a bit lost!
    Point being I rode it all without a problem and really enjoyed it, sometimes bits of trail are hyped up as being difficult and you go into them almost expecting not to be able to ride them.

    fr0sty125
    Member

    I took my Spanish house mate out for a ride on my 29er hardtail a few weeks ago and he managed it all fine including Jacobs Ladder apart from the very top bit but I think that was just a confidence thing.

    hora
    Member

    The Beast is not hard. I struggle on fast open trails by comparison. I’m not a fan of going fast in an open trail thats smoother. I don’t on the Beast as its less daunting than you’d think. As long as you’ve got your not over the front of the bike you can stop/put a foot down if it gets too much? On alot of trails you cant and unlike Potato Alley the stones arent rolling about under your wheels so (to do a degree) you know exactly whats where and you wont be sliding about.

    Premier Icon christhetall
    Subscriber

    Another vote for saying that Jacobs is harder than Potato Alley, has a few scary bits (including right at the top) but is a bit easier than the Beast, and much easier than Cavedale

    And it’s best done clockwise unless you are either very very good, in which you might just be able to ride most of it, or very very poor/unfit, in which case you’ll be walking most of the hills whichever way you do it.

    Most of all, it is well worth doing !!

    dave_h
    Member

    Does anyone else remember the days of just looking at the bridleway on a map then riding it? ๐Ÿ˜‰

    If it was rideable in the good old days on my fully rigid Prestige then I’m sure you’ll be fine.

    hora
    Member

    Start Edale- and clockwise with the descent from Jacobs to Edale. Thats the only way. A brilliant way to finish.

    If parts are above you- you can size them up for next time but the views make it great.

    tomj
    Member

    Cheers everyone. Looks like something to do this year. It’ll probably just be me as most of my riding time is mid week. If it’s only a few really tricky sections I don’t mind walking them – I just had visions of pushing my bike all the way from the top to Edale.
    Even more confused than before as to which way to ride it – I like the idea of doing it twice!! Is the descent the other side of Jacobs (if doing it reverse) not worth doing then?

    hora
    Member

    Its good but the last descent into Edale from Mam tor is a damp squid compared to the other way round as it feels waaaay shorter.

    Plus the bottom has been surfaced, and I can’t imagine it been a great deal of fun now. Do it the right way (down the Ladder) first then see if you fancy doing it the other way…

    dannyh
    Member

    Definitely go clockwise.

    I like to start in Hayfield as Jacobs is the ‘feature’ descent on the route (not that the others aren’t ace), but I prefer to have more in the tank for Jacobs down into Edale than Coldwell Clough down into Hayfield (although you still need to pay attention, obviously!)

    Jacobs is easier than the Beast in my opinion – there are not quite as many dead-end lines as on the Beast and a bit more gradient to keep your speed up and skimming the rocks rather than smashing into every one. The last section of Jacobs is the loosest (and so the most likely to result in a crash IMO). I got down Jacobs clean the first time I rode it on my old GT hardtail, albeit very tentatively. Jacobs is a great descent to go back to as you improve your riding – it really does have a ‘magic’ tipping point of speed where you feel like you really have got the hang of it.

    Potato alley is a different animal altogether – some skill needed, obviously, but you can point and shoot a bit on the loose stuff and rely on speed and suppleness more than having to really manhandle the bike around.

    A lot of people decry the dark peak classics as all broad rocky tracks, but there is variety aplenty (and they all seem to change a little bit each time as well).

    forzafkawi
    Member

    I’m a hopeless rider and stopped on The Beast a few times the first time down. However, after building up a bit on confidence clearing the likes of Potato Alley and some others, I found that committing with a little bit more momentum will get you down safer than being too tentative.

    I managed Jacob’s Ladder okay on my first attempt but Cavedale is another matter I don’t think I’ll ever have the bottle to clear that. That’s like riding down a stegosaurus’ back!!

    A sweaty Stegosaurus at that.

    Premier Icon charliemort
    Subscriber

    Any one got that on a map / gpx file?

    Thx

    damp squid

    My OH says that too…it’s squib, man…SQUIB!

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