• This topic has 87 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 1 day ago by mark88.
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  • Lakes Passes Graded List
  • Premier Icon joe-m
    Full Member

    So a bit of idle musing on a rainy Tuesday. Borrowing from rock climbing, which traditionally has a list of the climbs featured in a guide book at the back going from easiest to hardest, can we come up with a list of the lakes passes from easiest to hardest?

    Premier Icon joe-m
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    Thread not showing, is this still a thing?

    Premier Icon mick_r
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    On road?
    Off road?
    Up?
    Down?
    Legal?
    Cheeky?
    All of above? 🙂

    Premier Icon joe-m
    Full Member

    Lets keep it relatively short by only including the legal off-road ones for now, mainly in descent but we should consider the inevitable climb that riding down them will entail.

    Premier Icon neilc
    Free Member

    Well there goes the rest of my working day thinking about this…

    Does it have to be named as a pass? E.g walna scar road is a pass but not named as such

    Premier Icon joe-m
    Full Member

    Entirely up to you, I’d include anything that qualifies as a significant pass, so I’d probably include the Walna scar road but not the bit of the Borrowdale bash from Watendlath to Rosthwate

    Premier Icon ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    letter for climbing difficulty, number for descent technicality?

    A – trials skills needed
    >
    D – seated granny gear spin

    4 – mandatory drops and/or nosemanual corners
    >
    1 – recently refurbished to a near tarmac finish

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Since everyone else is fannying around asking questions instead of getting on with it, I’ll chuck down my initial ill considered thoughts for descent (obvs)

    Garburn west
    Walna east
    Walna West
    Gatesgarth north
    Garburn east
    Nan Bield South
    Nan Bield north
    Rosset

    Premier Icon honeybadgerx
    Full Member

    Would it not be a bit like grading climbs? E.g. one for how hard the riding is, one for the consequences of a fall (such as face first into a peat bog or off down a rocky gorge)?

    EDIT: Further fannying around by me 😉 – there’s potential for a sub-category using bouldering grades just for dealing with water bars

    Premier Icon joe-m
    Full Member

    I think a grading system for water bars could be the most useful thing to come out of this discussion, could save a lot of “do I need a rim protector” threads.

    Edit: it also appears that over on the New Nevis blue thread that the Top Cheif Black/red is rapidly becoming Mountain bikings Three pebble slab.

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Top Cheif Black/red is rapidly becoming Mountain bikings Three pebble slab.

    PMSL. 😃

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    For ****’s sake. Just put all the descents in a list with the easy ones at the top and the hardest ones at the bottom

    🥳🤗

    Premier Icon neilc
    Free Member

    Initial stab at this, may need more thought. I’ve ommited stuff that doesn’t clearly cross a col of reasonable altitude, though probably being a bit pointlessly strict on what counts as a pass. Listed in order of difficulty of descent. Stuff with an asterisk is something I haven’t gotten round to actually riding. I’ve missed out a couple of options where you just wouldn’t bother doing it in that direction too.

    Garburn pass to troutbeck
    Walna scar to seathwaite
    Gatesgarth pass to sadgill*
    Gatesgarth pass to mardale
    Garburn pass to kentmere
    Walna scar to coniston
    Stake pass to Langstrath*
    Styhead pass to wasdale (ignoring short unrideable section near the top)
    Scarth gap to ennerdale
    Blacksail pass to wasdale
    Nan bield to kentmere
    Styhead pass to seathwaite
    Sticks pass to Glenridding
    Grizedale hause to Glenridding
    Stake pass to langdale
    Scarth gap to buttermere
    Greenup edge to stonethwaite
    Greenup edge to grasmere
    Nan bield to mardale*

    Premier Icon joe-m
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    I was surprised to see Greenup edge so far up the list, but I’ve only looked at it on an OS map in a fairly casual way.

    Premier Icon neilc
    Free Member

    Ummed and ahhed about Greenup. The descent to stonethwaite is excellent and very amenable if you’re comfortable with the rest of the list, but it has a section near the top where you’re almost scrambling down the side of lining crag. I guess I could have just noted that as I did for styhead pass,in which case it’d be in the middle somewhere.

    Going into grasmere the trail surface is really crap in a lot of places, especially as the gradient eases and you don’t have gravity on your side quite so much. Last time I was there was a few years back but there were repairs in progress higher up. Unfortunately it looked to be the classic giant boulder steps built with no regard for mtbers

    Premier Icon stevedoc
    Free Member

    I read legal .. now I need to remove my self from the tread ..

    Love Lakes threads 😉

    Premier Icon joe-m
    Full Member

    I’d been considering it was part of a loop with stake pass, worth noting the scrambling aspect hahaha.

    Premier Icon ampthill
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    For ****’s sake. Just put all the descents in a list with the easy ones at the top and the hardest ones at the bottom

    Isn’t it hardest at the to of the list?

    That’s how climbing guides work but it’s been a while

    Premier Icon neilc
    Free Member

    I’d been considering it was part of a loop with stake pass, worth noting the scrambling aspect hahaha.

    If you haven’t done it, a potentially better loop would be up Rosset gill, over to sprinkling tarn and down styhead pass to seathwaite, then back over stake pass. The climb up Rosset is long and arduous and you’ll be carrying the bike most of the way. For stuff like that I tend to use the shoulder straps off some army ammunition belt so I can carry the bike like a rucksack. If you’re happy with hike a bike then it’s definitely a good loop.

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Full Member

    For ****’s sake. Just put all the descents in a list with the easy ones at the top and the hardest ones at the bottom

    That wouldn’t be any fun though!

    Great idea op. Way better/more fun than black/red/blue

    Premier Icon thestabiliser
    Free Member

    Don’t go near greenup unless you’re an askrigg meets McCaskill super being. It’s not exposed or owt but after the initial drop from the edge it just an unrideable collection of rocks. All the way down. Until it becomes a flat tractor track. Soul destroying.

    Premier Icon thestabiliser
    Free Member

    NeilC has pretty much nailed it though. Have known people to ride down (most of) Rosset but I wouldn’t try it.

    Premier Icon neilc
    Free Member

    Tried descending Rosset before. Took my dh bike, complete with armour jacket and full face helmet. This did not feel like overkill…
    There’s a couple of nice sections. There’s a giant boulder jammed across the path near the top that would likely give even Danny McCaskill some trouble to get over. The sections of big steps ruin it for me though, crazy steep and not particularly fun to ride.
    My current dh bike is 15 years old, so might give it another go at some point on something more capable. Should be taking it easy at the moment though, still recovering from mangling a knee in a skiing accident a couple of years ago.

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
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    This thread makes me want to find those two little guide books and put pipe lagging on my bike!!!

    Premier Icon stevedoc
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    Rosset is a pain in the rear to Hike up , nothing fun about it compared to others in the lakes the other side isnt anything to scream home about either.

    Premier Icon thekettle
    Free Member

    I love some of these ones getting slagged off!
    Anyway I would add Sticks descending West to the list, about the same difficulty as Stake into Langdale. Much steeper than sticks East for a bit. Also Hammer Pass, from Wasdale into Miterdale, excellent and not hard. Possibly the Burnmoor tarn pass from Boot to Wasdale Head (either direction is good). Does Warnscale into Buttermere count as a pass? Or Boredale Head pass by Ullswater?

    Premier Icon neilc
    Free Member

    @thekettle

    I love some of these ones getting slagged off!

    I love them all! Each in their own different ways..

    Some good suggestions there.
    Not ridden sticks west, though walked up it quite a few times. Didn’t feel qualified to rank it.

    The name Hammer pass is new to me, always just called it Mitredale. I’d put the South side just before Walna scar to coniston and the North side just after (not descended the north side in ages so might be misremembering).

    Ommited Burnmoor tarn originally cos the top of it is a bit of a bog slog and doesn’t feel quite as pass like to me (but does actually fit with the arbitrary definition I gave). I’d say the north side would go between Garburn pass to troutbeck and Walna scar to seathwaite. South side between Gatesgarth pass to mardale and Garburn pass to kentmere maybe.

    Not sure if I’ve ridden Boredale Hause, care to place it?

    Hope it doesn’t seem like I’ve appointed myself keeper of the list here, just enjoying discussing it 🤣

    Edit: forgot to add Wharnscales to my original list, though did think about it. Its sort of a pass… Maybe just above Scarth gap to buttermere?

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Full Member

    Boredale Haus into patterdale is good fun, not particularly hard.
    Into boredale it’s hard and steep tech at the very top but then quickly turns into a rubble run, smoothing out to farm track

    I haven’t done all the passes on neilc’s list however into patterdaleI reckon it’s about the same as stake pass into langdale.
    Which IMO is way too far down the list. Found it pretty easy to be honest. Easier than sty head into seathwaite anyway

    Premier Icon el_boufador
    Full Member

    Warnscales a though one! Maybe it’s because I’ve only ever done it in the pissing wet, but I’d have rated that much harder. Towards the bottom anyway.

    If we can have warnscale can we have watendlath into rosthwaite?

    Premier Icon mark88
    Free Member

    I like the idea of this. I’ve been meaning to do something similar for a while for my own ride planning, so hopefully people get on board with doing this collaberatively.

    I’ve put together a Google sheet based on the above, and added some of my own info where I could. I’ve also added columns for the OS area for ease of locating/planning and any well known rides the descent features on.

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pr_OLGth5HJbDDEJGCPlzUqvFqJSDk58kUxPwBWM2tU/edit#gid=0

    Premier Icon joe-m
    Full Member

    Sounds like a great idea, you’re settings mean you need to grant access btw.

    I have to admit that as well as generating an interesting discussion I was hoping it would help with my planning, as in “I felt that descent was right on my limit maybe I won’t try that one much higher up the list” or the opposite “that was really fun and well within my comfort so the ones lower down shouldn’t pose a problem” nothing worse than getting out of your depth and having to carry the bike down as well as up.

    Premier Icon joe-m
    Full Member

    I’m probably just being dim but what’s the distinction between Warnscale and honister? I assume the road hasn’t got THAT bad 😉

    Premier Icon mark88
    Free Member

    I’m probably just being dim but what’s the distinction between Warnscale and honister? I assume the road hasn’t got THAT bad

    Just making sure you’re paying attention. Now updated

    Premier Icon joe-m
    Full Member

    Is Blacksail pass just completely unridable into Ennerdale just not seen it mentioned.

    Premier Icon justinbieber
    Full Member

    @Joe-m – it’s doable, but I see absolutely no reason why you’d want to do it that way. You’d lose most of your height on grass, with a few tricky rock sections. Drops you into the arse end of nowhere too

    Premier Icon justinbieber
    Full Member

    @neilc – funnily enough, that route you describe (Langstrath, Stake, Rossett, Styhead etc) features in the next edition of the mag. It’s a brilliant loop, one of my favourites

    Premier Icon justinbieber
    Full Member

    @mark88 – I still can’t seem to edit that sheet

    Premier Icon mark88
    Free Member

    https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pr_OLGth5HJbDDEJGCPlzUqvFqJSDk58kUxPwBWM2tU/edit?usp=sharing

    Sorry – first time using Google sheets. Hopefully this time.

    If that link works, and there’s any mods here, could you correct in m previous posts please

    Premier Icon thegeneralist
    Free Member

    For ****’s sake. Just put all the descents in a list with the easy ones at the top and the hardest ones at the bottom

    That wouldn’t be any fun though!

    Great idea op. Way better/more fun than black/red/blue

    Yes, agree on both points. Sorry, was just impatient to see the lists. ,😃

    can we have watendlath into rosthwaite?

    I think we should. Apart from anything else, it’s probably going to be the one most people on here have actually done.

    Also, I know it’s not a proper pass, but please can we have Birkside on Helvellyn included. Pretty please, because it is awesumz

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