• This topic has 299 replies, 19 voices, and was last updated 1 month ago by Sanny.
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  • Riding the Wainwrights
  • Sanny
    Free Member

    I rode Dale Head, High Spy, Maiden Moor and Cat Bells a few years back after coming over Styhead Tarn as a point to point from Ambleside to Keswick. It was mint.

    One of my first ever adventures in the Lakes on my first gen Santa Cruz Heckler was a loop of Cat Bell to what was either Hindscarth or Robinson. I think it was the former. It was a great September bank holiday day and super quiet. Lots of carrying though so an acquired taste.

    As a bagging day that is also awesome, you can start with the steep carry up Causey Pike then head via Scar Crags to Crag Hill via Sail (the steep switchbacks are all rideable), out and back to Grassmoor, down Whiteless Pike, knock out Rannerdale Knotts as a quick out and back before a steep but short carry onto Whiteside (Gasgale Gill is an option but I am not sure how washed out it is these days), Hopegill Head then Grizedale Pike to finish.

    A variant that is probably easier with less carrying at the start is to begin at Braithwaite and take in Barrow and Outerside before taking the track up High Moss and doing Causey Pike as an out and back. I make that a lucky 13 summits. It is actually a bloody great day out too which is the whole point, after all.

    Planning on doing it again in the next couple of weeks if the weather is kind.


    @fergal

    Apologies. I meant North East to follow the track in this link that Joanna did in reverse and carried up. Doh!

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Has anyone ridden Kentmere Pike in either direction? It looks like there is some high level riding for a good distance. Actually, how about the Kentmere Horseshoe? And in which direction?

    Also, is there any love for a traverse of Grey Knotts, Brandreth, Green Gable and Great Gable to finish with the Styhead Tarn descent of much loveliness?

    Cheers

    Sanny

    johnx2
    Free Member

    Has anyone ridden Kentmere Pike in either direction?

    Done it once, heading over Harter Fell from the top of Gatescarth (not much fun getting up there). Was going to head down to Nan Bield but saw bike tracks heading south down the ridge and thought I’d give it a go.

    Anyway, it was a lot of fun – easy angled blast from Harter Fell, easy riding over Kentmere Pike and a fast peaty blast down, with some drop offs into channels in the peat in places. It had been bone dry for ages when I did it and I’d not go near it right now as it feels more like dales than lakes riding, until you get to the drop down to Stile End where the path splits and gets hard to follow, though I managed to find a ridable way down.

    thenorthwind
    Full Member

    I see I missed the point a little bit with my first reply to the OP, jumped to the conclusion that you weren’t talking about bagging them all.

    This is turning into a very useful thread though! Will be back for riding ideas once I’ve finished bagging the final few on foot in the next couple of weeks. Did Skiddaw and all the Wainwrights on the massif, plus Great Calva on the bike last Friday. Ullock Pike classic as ever.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Old Man of Coniston (Walna Scar Rd > Dow Crag > Old Man > Low Water > Church Beck > Dixon Ground)

    Can you confirm the exact route for the last two bits? I assume you descend the tourist path from OMC to the crossroad at Crowberry Hawes and then go straight on?
    Which goes east and then south east onto the right bank of Church Beck

    ‘Zat right?

    There’s a slight chance I might be trying this on Friday 11/11. If anyone is free then please shout.

    fergal
    Free Member

    Hi thenorthwind the OP has no intention of doing all the Wainwrights! only the rideable very Alpinesque descents to die for!! Good effort getting out on the tops on friday a long awaited small window, opted for gravel & tarmac in the end.

    thenorthwind
    Full Member

    Yeah, I got that when I read your post properly!
    Cheers, it was a proper weather window in an otherwise very mixed week… Got up at 5 to make it over. Perfect temperature inversion in Borrowdale at sunrise.

    45 minutes later and the cloud was coming in:

    An hour after that first pic, normal service resumed:

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Has anyone done any of the descents off Great Gable, Pillar or Yewbarrow? The contour lines look favourable…….

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    In fact, just looking at the Mosedale Horseshoe appears to promise some spectacular views if done in an anti clockwise direction. I reckon from Red Pike down could be lovely but would love to hear from anyone who has done it?

    fergal
    Free Member

    Hi Sanny had plans to do Pillar down to Black Sail pass as this would make a logical extension down to Wasdale, it looks great on the map in reality most of the ridge is blocky with loads of boulder chokes. To do the Mosedale horseshoe anti clockwise would be mainly carrying all the way round to Scoat fell, Red Pike may well offer a reasonable descent, would probably be best in isolation though.

    PS. Yewbarrow is a scramble and very steep, only descent possible would be from the col between Red pike & yewbarrow down to the right, haven’t been down this, if coming off the pike this is the only way down.

    johnx2
    Free Member

    as this has bobbed back up again meant to answer

    Actually, how about the Kentmere Horseshoe? And in which direction?

    Gets ridden a lot in both directions, though usually missing out the Kentmere Pike ridge (see above). The descent from Nan Bield is a classic which is why I’d favour clockwise personally.

    The last two, three times I’ve done it from Staverly I’ve taken the road up from Ings then track past Dubbs reservoir, to get to the top of Garburn from the Troutbeck side which is 100% ridable and I think the easiest way up. Great feeling of riding into the hills. Then the ridge, and when it gets to High Street the decision to plod on to the top or contour the top of Kentmere to Mardale Ill Bell. Both worth doing. The descent to Nan Bield I’ve yet to 100% clean, and to be honest I’ve never 100% cleaned the hairpins either though they’re what folks go up there for. Then if time’s short, road back past Kentmere, but much better is the easy climb up and over Stile End to the Cocklaw bw, fork right to Birk Rigg then fork left to the fun plantation descent. All gets ridden a lot as I say.

    looking back to yoke I think:

    halfway down the fast bit of nan bield

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    and to be honest I’ve never 100% cleaned the hairpins either though they’re what folks go up there for.

    Anyone else think they’ve done work on the hairpins recently?

    We did them in spring and they seemed much easier. In particular that thin diagonal rock that kicks the frontwheel on one of the sharp lefthanders was gone….

    much better is the easy climb up and over Stile End to the Cocklaw bw, fork right to Birk Rigg then fork left to the fun plantation descen

    Am thinking that’ll be very damp at present. No?

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Yeah, Nan Bield has seen some work recently (in the last year or so). However, it’s one of the rare instances that what’s been done has actually improved things without taking away from the character of the existing descent!

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Trying to decide for tomorrow. Coming from Manc, so gotta be southside… but nearly all the thread recommendations are northside.

    Walna,Dow,OmC is one option. Don’t think the tourist path will be toooo busy just before dusk in November will it?

    Fairfield anticlockwise with the mellower descent by Alcock Tarn looks nice. Still no input from anyone on that initial Eastern climb up from Amblesude. Anyone?

    Doesn’t seem to be much love for Kentmere Pike in these soggy conditions, and I’ve done the Garburn to NanBield bit recently, so want something newish.

    Someone said Wetherlam is a bit grassy plodder…

    Any other recommendations on south side ?

    johnx2
    Free Member

    Anyone else think they’ve done work on the hairpins recently?

    Trying to think now when I last did it. Could have been as long ago as some time last winter on a day when bikes were being blown horizontal, so if I’m out of date, great.

    Cocklaw bw, fork right to Birk Rigg then fork left to the fun plantation descen

    Am thinking that’ll be very damp at present. No?

    The middle bit i guess. I’m based in Ilkley and used to riding sludge half the year.

    stevedoc
    Free Member

    Sunday funday

    Keswick 8.30am
    North and South Whinlatter.. up Grisedale pike and off Sail and Causey back to the car and a face full of food .. Defo a bit of both day. Id be Interested to here how Rigg Beck is at the moment ? my betting is a river / slopfest

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Rigg Beck is the same as Nan Bield – even in the middle of a drought it’ll be wet. I’ve never found it to be a slop fest though – it always drains reasonably well except for a couple of minor sections towards the bottom.


    @thegeneralist
    – Are you talking about the climb up to Sweden Bridge? Done it a couple of times – it’s not too bad, definitely worth doing if you’ve not done it before. And from what I’ve heard, Kentmere Pike isn’t a patch on Harter Fell and Nan Bield so I wouldn’t bother at the mo

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Are you talking about the climb up to Sweden Bridge?

    Pretty much. Not sure if I’d go to the bridge then cut West, or just go straight up the ridge?
    Then onto Low Pike and round the horseshoe.

    Sunday funday

    Keswick 8.30am

    Part of me is trying to work out if this is a statement or an invitation 😉

    fergal
    Free Member

    @thegeneralist Don’t think there is much to be gained by doing the Horseshoe on Fairfield, certainly scenic on a nice day, but didn’t take you as a rambler with a bicycle as an accessory. A lot of pushing/carrying to the top of Fairfield on that round.

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Nonsense! The fairfield horseshoe is a cracker! I think I prefer it clockwise, but both ways are good

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    Saturday clockwise, Sunday anticlockwise 🙂

    fergal
    Free Member

    Well if @thegeneralist does it i would love to here his opinion, my ratio of riding to carrying is obviously greater than yours, it’s a great walk though and a bit of a slog* imho.

    *with family

    PS. The wet bit on Rigg beck has always been in the top half when i’ve done it, great to see the local art of sandbagging is still going strong!.

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    True – rigg beck is usually a small stream at the top, then starts to dry out after the step with a few larger puddles/muddy bits as you get closer to the road

    As for Fairfield, if doing it clockwise then more of the climb is rideable, although there are a few sections you have to carry down on the eastern ridge once you start descending. Doing it anti clockwise then the climb from Sweden Bridge becomes a carry after a while, but all of the western ridge is rideable as a descent, whether you head via Alcock tarn or carry on down the ridge all the way to Rydal.

    not entirely sure what the “local art of sandbagging” is, so you’ll have to enlighten me there. Sounds like the dubious third album from an Oxford indie band in the mid 90’s

    stevedoc
    Free Member

    A loosly based statement on the hopes I can get jobs done 🙂 then it will be Keswick 8.30 ish am 🙂

    continuity
    Free Member

    Brief review of two of the suggested ‘more esoteric’ (or lesser ridden) descents from today.

    Atkinson Pike into north of glendermackin. A bit loose at the top, but not super interesting. Nothing really technical (couldn’t find that rock slab in the photo). 1/5 stars. 2/5 chillies. Not worth the push, probably more fun to ride back down Blease fell or then tourist path.

    Doddick Fell. Starts with photogenic, sinuous Singletrack on the ridge-side, then drops into more varied rocky tech and switchback after switchback. Some loose, mostly good bedrock. Consistently steep. A few fantastic stopper moves. Very, very good. 4/5 stars, 3-4/5 chillies. Must do.

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Oooh yeah, Doddick is one of all time my favourites!

    Having ridden the Fairfield horseshoe today, I’m going to say it once and for all. Anti clockwise is better than clockwise. There, I’ve said it. The climb up the western ridge is nicer, but the descent is also better. Too stop/starty in the middle over on the eastern ridge. Still an absolutely class day mind you

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    So….

    Old Man of Coniston (Walna Scar Rd > Dow Crag > Old Man > Low Water > Church Beck > Dixon Ground)

    Hmmmm. Did this on Saturday and I’m afraid it falls into the never again category ( or at least not as described)

    I **** up on the bike maintenance front and my rear brake was pulling all the way to the handlebar. It did firm up after 20 or so pumps but would fade again within seconds of the lever being released. This led to some terrifying moments on Dow Crag on the up and down sections where I forgot to preload. Apart from that it was cloudy and damp and we never really found a rideable trail off Dow.

    Top of the Old Man was heaving and we had serious misgivings about the tourist path. In the end we started down it with the bail out option of heading sharp right after the first bit.

    Long story short, it was too hard, way too hard. I could have ridden more if I’d been more in the zone, and it wasn’t damp, but the top bit looks utterly impossible on any sort of bike that you’d ride up Walna on. As ever, we didn’t take many photos of the top walkie bits but this gives an idea of the easiest bit that we walked further down. (The top is much steeper)
    PXL_20221112_140153153.MP
    The angle does decrease loads as you descend and so becomes more rideable. There were some great sections.
    IMG-20221113-WA0000
    .
    PXL_20221112_141012361.MP

    The bit across to Church Beck was really good, and the path on river right takes you to Coniston pretty easily.

    I’d love to see someone good try the top section. I know I could ride more of it if I was in the zone, but still not enough to make it worthwhile.

    thegeneralist
    Free Member

    My viewpoint on Blencathra ( with Conti)

    Push/Carry/ride up the west side. Gain a fair amount of height on the road, and a bit of riding on the path. Quite a civilised way to get up a big hill.
    Lovely rideable ridge on top.
    IMG-20220319-WA0003
    Easy across to Atkinson Pike
    PXL_20221113_124314520.MP
    The descent from here was loads of fun. Top bit was sharp turns on scree,
    PXL_20221113_125142591.MP~2
    then a bit flatter
    PXL_20221113_125146904.MP

    I enjoyed it as a nice mellow ride, bit if you were after gnarr then you’d be disappointed. As Conti said no idea where the rocky slab photo was taken.
    Nice mellow runout along Glendmaclinn (sp) River. Then a climb back up to col then back up Scales Fell for the main course ( stopping to take a photo of some young dudes on the voie normale
    PXL_20221113_141911760.MP
    So Doddick Fell…. wow. Utterly terrifying. The start traverse is lovely though you wouldn’t want to fall left, then some nice stuff down the ridge which varies between hard and bloody impossible.
    PXL_20221113_143408751.MP~2
    .
    PXL_20221113_143832624.MP
    I bottled big chunks of it, but still did enough to generate adrenaline overload
    IMG_20221113_144514-1
    .
    There were occasional easy bits.
    IMG_20221113_144214
    But mainly not 🙂
    PXL_20221113_142925108-2
    On and on
    PXL_20221113_144115238.MP
    .
    PXL_20221113_144051212.MP

    I was still riding in this odd skiddy manner as I had to keep pulling and letting go of the brakes just to keep them pumped. But since it was all downhill I luckily didn’t get out of the habit and have a nasty accident

    Anyway, yes, Doddick…. looking forward to going back and having another go.

    And also thinking my suggestion of going for a ride with Bieber may have been misplaced. Judging by your enthusiasm für Doddick I’ve concluded you’re a helluva better rider than me.

    Did you ride most, some nearly all! of it?

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Ha. Still need to make that ride happen I reckon! There’s one left hander into a bit of a drop that I’ve never managed to make on Doddick, but I’ve seen others do, and there are other bits I can get if I’m having a good day. It’s only a few short sections though, and I’ve seen riders clear all of it so I know it’s all doable. I do tend to go out with fully working brakes mind you – I couldn’t imagine doing any of the steep Lakes tech with marginal brakes.

    As for the elusive rocky slab photo – that was taken on Doddick. Specifically one of the trickier bits.

    stevedoc
    Free Member

    Some cracking pics above . I added a few here https://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/weekend-ride-pics-2/ of my more sedate Grisedale round after a play in Whinlatter .
    No images of Crag Hill down the Scar to the top of Sail was interesting with a side wind and no room for error to the right. And the last run down Stoneycroft gill was like a boulder field. Well worth it though.

    continuity
    Free Member

    @justinbieber

    Recognise the photo now – that was one of the more ridable bits! Only one bit I regret walking; and that was a tight V shaped rock chute. Runout was fine, just one of those where you lose pace, stop, and then get stuck trying to clip in and track stand into a bit of difficult tech. One for flat pedals and a sunny day!

    That and a couple of stupid tight hairpins lower down I literally just couldn’t fit my bloody bike in!

    fergal
    Free Member

    Fantastic weather at the weekend Doddick looks so inviting! Blencathra is one of my favorite local hills was up there yesterday, have to admit was a little disappointed when i did Atkinson pike a couple of weeks ago thought i was just having an off day, the first bit gets you into the mood then it’s very forgettable, the trail into Mousthwaite combe from the col is always fun though. Its not one i would repeat, perhaps it’s better to continue over Bannerdale.
    To be honest the two voie normales, Scale & Blease fell are fantastic fast flowy descents and very popular with locals for a quick blast, nothing technical but like Alpine blues with switchbacks and singletrack galore with views to die for.
    As for Doddick it amazes me that a few of the hardcore locals can get down most of this, i just can’t see it, way above my pay grade.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Any love for Robinson down into Buttermere?

    Also how about a loop of Robinson then heading onto Hindscarth to drop down to Newlands Church? Looks tempting!

    Doddick Fell just added to the list. Looks like one for the ultimate traction benefits of my Surly fat bike. It may not be light but it is my weapon of choice when things get steep and rocky.

    Cheers

    Sanny

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Robinson

    This is the Hindscarth route I am contemplating…….

    continuity
    Free Member

    @sanny

    If you can get down doddick on a rigid steep fat bike – much respect.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @continuity

    it is a Surly Ice Cream Truck with suspension forks and Jones bars. It is actually way more capable than you might think………

    continuity
    Free Member

    @sanny

    I’d say it was a step up from: ullock, wharnside, Birk side, dollywagon or nan Bield. If you’ve cleaned those without trying on it give it a go mate! Enjoy!

    Sanny
    Free Member

    @continuity

    Not expecting to clean it judging by the pics but hopefully will have lots of fun trying it!

    justinbieber
    Full Member

    Judging by this weekends recent snowfall on the northern fells, I’d be tempted to say that’s Doddick out of action until the new year.

    Sanny
    Free Member

    Has anyone ridden down the Blease Fell track off of Blencathra? Looks fast and flowy but not remotely technical. Also like the look of Bannerdale Crags and down the Tongue into Mugrisedale.

    Re Red Pike. Any experience of riding down via Bleaberry Tarn. I remember riding past the red scree slope and thinking the fat bike would be the bike of choice for maximum slow speed grip. Or is it a carry down and then a million steps of despair?

    Cheers

    Sanny

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