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Great Dun Fell: big climb

Discussion in 'Sportives' started by Christopher, 25 Jul 2009.

  1. Christopher

    Christopher Über Member

    I feel inspired! This is a climb in the Northern Pennines up to the radar station on top of the fell. It starts not far from Penrith, near the village of Knock. It is a private road but is bridleway for most of its length and is good tarmac all the way. Stats are:

    Start elevation 215m, end elevation 848m, 7.5km in length. Can be extrememly windy/cloudy/rainy up there, it is Cumbria's version of Mount Ventoux!

    There's a gate about 2/3 of the way up, shut but unlocked. It is a very narrow road with passing places here and there, amazing views but quite steep in places (I spent most of Sunday pushing a loaded tourer up it). I am quite keen to attempt it on the lightweight road bike. It did feature in Cycling Weekly's 'Killer Climb' series but it was not clear that it was paved all the way up...
  2. longers

    longers Veteran

    Ooh, I know where you mean, I always wondered if there was a road up to it.

    Do you fancy some company if you do it? - a no will not offend :tongue:
  3. OP

    Christopher Über Member

    Sure longers (and anyone else that wants to suffer horribly on some wretched hill in Cumbria). However I am committed every w/e from now until Saturday 22nd August. I would prefer a Sat'day for 2 reasons:

    1)To visit the cafe/bakery in Melmerby, it is supposed to be good
    2) Better train service that day, the Sunday service to Penrith is a bit sparse to say the least
  4. ColinJ

    ColinJ Hillfinder General

    I heard of Great Dun Fell a few years back and had plotted a fantasy route to take it in.

    I'd take my bike on the Settle-Carlisle railway to Appleby-in-Westmorland and tackle the Fell early on (it's not something you'd want to do late in a ride!). After that, take in Hartside (cafe stop up there?) then descend to Alston. Next, tackle Yad Moss on the way round to Middleton-in-Teesdale and Barnard Castle. Follow that with another tough climb over The Stang to Arkengarthdale, then over Reeth Low Moor to Swaledale. Ride up through Gunnerside, Muker, Thwaite and Keld then over Birkdale Common to catch the train back from Kirkby Stephen.

    161 km (imperial century!) with about 3,250 m of some of the finest hills in northern England!

    Why a fantasy? I'm not fit enough to do it yet! There is only 8 hrs 15 mins between the first train to Appleby and the last train back from Kirkby Stephen and this is a really challenging route. For now, it will have to remain on my list of must-do-before-I-die rides... :rolleyes:
  5. Skip Madness

    Skip Madness New Member

    There is a thread featuring this climb over in a thread on the Altimetrias fora by their user morgar, where some Spaniards came over to ride the Fred Whitton Challenge and took in some other climbs during their stay. They made a profile of the Great Dun Fell:


    And they took some photos:


    It would be great to see a climb of this length and difficulty as a stage finish in the Tour of Britain.
  6. longers

    longers Veteran

    Good find that Skip, I can't understand the lingo but like the pictures :smile:

    22nd would work for me. I might be able to borrow a car in Carnforth or a tranny van or else it's the choo choo.
  7. OP

    Christopher Über Member

    hi longers
    22nd it will be then, provided the weather isn't going to be too bad... We could car-share if possible (I'd pay my way, natch), we will see.

    I'll put it on the calender: Grimpe Grande to the Estacion Radar on Pico Great Dun! Cheers for the profile and pics Skip Madness, I had thought the steeper bits were very steep.
  8. longers

    longers Veteran

    ;) I've compared the hill and it's figures to hill I rode today. Not good.

    One bottle only, no matter how hot it is.

    Any one else fancy it? :blush:
  9. HelenD123

    HelenD123 Veteran

    I've walked it. Does that count for anything? And, no, I wasn't pushing my bike up:smile:. The road surface was pretty good from what I remember. Have fun! The scenery's fantastic round there.
  10. I like the look of that! Not far from me either, been meaning to have a trip to the pennines. I work with a couple of fellow preverts who will like this.
  11. montage

    montage God Almighty

    oooo .... im tempted to travel up from down south to do that
  12. Ball

    Ball Active Member

    Hendon, N London

    As am I, it looks well worth a trip. I love the profile they made too, looks similar to the Ventoux only 14km shorter! I'm planning my visit already, nice find.
  13. beastie

    beastie Veteran

  14. longers

    longers Veteran

    PM sent to Frustuck re possible travel details in case you've been lurking :sad:
  15. longers

    longers Veteran

    We Dun it :biggrin:

    More details later as there's been some beer earnt today.