Sunday, 3 July 2011

Hill no 37 – 84 Hardknott Pass

Hardknott is meant to be the “king” of climbs and an indicator that if you can get up it, there isn’t a hill that you won’t be able to get up.
It starts off quietly enough – a little slope up through a wooded area, over a cattle grid, but then it ramps up to a hard gradient straight away – 21% early doors and had work on the legs from the get go, you certainly know you've got a challenge ahead of you.
Hardknott had me whimpering at the start, but I knew if I could just get up the initial slope then it would level out a little bit and it did. Comparitively, but then I knew the slope would get worse the further that I got up the hill and I wasn’t to be disappointed.

Just tough, but the weather was better than earlier on in the day and two things made the pain of the climb pass quicker than anything else. 1 was the beautiful wind that did its best to blow me up the hill and to make up for the evil behaviour it had exhibited when it was in my face on Wrynose.
The other was the amazing good nature of the drivers that I met going downhill. They would brake, pull over, give me a thumbs up, shout words of encouragement and generally were courteous, encouraging and positive all at the same time.
Yeah – the climb is amazing, it is tough, it is beautiful, it is a proper 10/10 climb. But it is the reaction of people that can really make things for you. Thank you everyone I passed/who passed me!

Youtube here:
Garmin data here:
Flickr photos here: (sorry not a lot of photos this one - dog went on strike!)

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