Fresh out, here’s a video look at the “Isle of Skye” climb, the first of three monster climbs on the Autumn Skylark Sportive, on 28 September 2014. There’s lots more on this climb below, including why we think it’s a fitting companion to the better known tour climbs in the area.
This climb would not have looked out of during the Tour de France’s recent visit to the area. It gains a similar amount of height as the other two and is steeper than Cragg Vale but more consistently graded than Holme Moss.
So, it’s a fitting third member of an unholy cycling trinity you’ll have to face on the 28 September. We rate it highly as a climb, not only for its difficulty (it grinds you down with its sheer relentlessness and scale), but also for the jaw-dropping scenery.
Whilst Holme Moss has its distinctive switch-backs and exposed run to the summit and Cragg Vale has its lengthy journey from lush valley bottom, through woodland to the exposed upper reaches of heather moor, the Isle of Skye climb (named after a long-gone pub), edges its way up one side of a huge rift in the Western escarpment of the South Pennines, with stunning views of craggy cliffs and rocky scree, overhanging giant reservoirs. Throw in the pine woods and the uncanny straight-rule edge to the moorland and you have one of the very best landscape spectacles in England. Yet it remains little known.
What better way to explore it then in the Autumn Skylark on Sunday 28 September 2014.