A big ride for experienced mountain bikers, climbing to and descending from two classic Lakeland passes on some of the best riding in the Lakes. Don't be deceived by the short distance, this is a bigger undertaking than it looks!

Statistics

Analysing terrain data

Exposure

Exposure

The exposure grade describes the potential consequences of falling or slipping off the path.

Low Exposure: The path is on completely flat land and potential injury is limited to falling over.

Medium Exposure: The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

High Exposure: Some trail sections have exposed ledges or steep ascents/descents where falling could cause serious injury.

Extreme Exposure: Some trail sections are extreme exposed where falling will almost certainly result in serious injury or death.

Description

From Staveley, a steady road and then track climb takes you up onto the open fells and some wonderful singletrack riding towards Cocklaw Fell.

A fast rutted and grassy descent, followed by a stony track takes you to Sadgill, where the long climb up to Gatesgarth pass begins.

Rough track becomes increasingly rougher and steeper as you climb upwards, but the wild and lonely feeling of this valley will help take your mind off the climb.

The last steep zigzags up require a push but from there it's down down down on a fast, rocky, loose descent all the way to Mardale Head.

The next climb up towards Nan Bield is partly rideable, partly pushable, and some neither...requiring a bit of hike-a bike.

Luckily the incredible views and unbelievably good descent from the pass more than make it worth it.

Technical rocky switchbacks, and steep drops morph into increasingly flowy but still engaging singletrack, taking you all the way back towards Kentmere; this is an absolute delight of a trail.

From here there are options to climb over Garburn Pass for an even more epic day out, to ride the Kentmere Hall climb and descent, or to spin along the quiet road back to Staveley and a well-deserved cafe or pub trip.