UKC

Yorkshire Dales - mountain biking between sports cliffs

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After a fun day mountain biking between various Peak District sport climbing venues (we rode 50 kms, as much off-road or un-surfaced road as possible and visited 5 crags. I did a 6a at each one, my mate did either the same 6a or harder line at each), we thought we might try something similar again, but away from home-ground.

The Yorkshire Dales seems an obvious possibility. I know there are plenty of bridleways, including some that are meant to be good mountain biking, and lots of sport cliffs, or at least cliffs that have some sports routes on them. I originally picked sport climbs simply because it means carrying a lot less climbing gear on the bikes.

I've been looking in Rockfax and cross referencing with the map, and can see quite a few of the crags do have bridleways that go relatively close to them, so it definitely seems possible. I'm sure there must be some folk here who both mountain bike and climb in the Dales and might have suggestions for crags that would be nice to ride between? I don't know the area particularly well - I did a trad climb at Malham over 20 years ago; sport climbed at Castleberg Crag a couple of years back (I know it's currently closed after the accident); walked up Pen-y-ghent a few years ago and have done some touristing around the Dales with my family a few times - so local beta would be really helpful.

I'd aim to do a 5c or 6a at each crag, although Tony can onsight considerably harder. What made our Peak day good was that it wasn't mainly about either the climbing or the biking but rather both. So we only did one route at each crag, but did some decent mountain biking going in between them. So there only needs to be one decent route in that grade range at a venue, but if there was some good techy singletrack to get there, as opposed to boring farm track bashing, it would still be totally worth visiting that crag, even if it was just to tick a lone route.

Cheers all.

 Ross Barker 24 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

I remember seeing  a video with Steve McClure doing the big three Yorkshire 8a routes in a day, cycling between them, not sure how informative it would be but it'd probably get you psyched!

 Emilio Bachini 24 Jul 2021
 dunnyg 24 Jul 2021
In reply to Emilio Bachini:

Kilnsey to Malham or the other way round would involve mastille lane which is good fun on a bike? There are low 6s at both. Could include attermire, castlebergh, and possibly giggleswick ( have a google of settle mtb loop). Could possibly add in more wharfedale crags but not sure about bridleways, dib scar has low 6s, there might be a low 6 at loup scar? Gordale is obviously very close to malham too and has a few 6s.

Post edited at 20:04
 Dave Ferguson 24 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

lots of road rather than bridleway but you could start at Robin Proctor's scar, onto Moughton Nab, Gig North, then Gig south, Attermire, Comb Hill Crag and finishing at High Stoney Bank. There are 6a's at all those crags.

 DaveHK 24 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

There's a good bridleway that takes you very close to Trow Gill.

Have a look at the Vertebrate Publishing Dales guides if you haven't already.

Post edited at 21:01
In reply to Dave Ferguson:

I have been looking at a number of them, but hadn't looked at Stoney Bank. Do you, or anyone else, know what the track or trail just north of there is like (marked with the confusing dots that show some sort of access right, but OS doesn't say if it's bridleway or footpath or byway)? The one that goes through the marked Roman camp?


In reply to DaveHK:

Cheers Dave, that's one of the bridleways I was looking at on the map earlier, and funnily enough just ordered that guide this afternoon! I've used Vertebrate guides in the Peak a lot, and have the Lakes and Pennine Bridleway ones already for planning and inspiration - but hadn't got the Dales one yet.

 DaveHK 24 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> Do you, or anyone else, know what the track or trail just north of there is like 

Is that not Mastiles lane? If so it's a pretty popular MTB route. Key says 'other route with public access'.

Post edited at 21:38
 Dave Ferguson 24 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

its a gravel track if memory serves me correctly although its been a while, so no guarantees

 Lankyman 25 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

It's the Mastiles Lane which is OK for cycling. There's a notice board about the Roman camp (or there was some years ago) where you can stop and ponder eternity and the futility of empires before going to bag your route.

In reply to Lankyman:

Cheers - Stoney Bank definitely going on the list then. Do you happen to know what the bridleway NE across the moor is like from there? Riding over to do one of the easier routes on Blue Scar looks attractive from the map at least.

 DaveHK 25 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

It's a good track, a mix of stone, gravel and grass. I've ridden it on the crosser easily enough.

 Lankyman 25 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

> Cheers - Stoney Bank definitely going on the list then. Do you happen to know what the bridleway NE across the moor is like from there? Riding over to do one of the easier routes on Blue Scar looks attractive from the map at least.

I've not been on it but as Dave says it looks alright. I've not climbed on Blue for over 10 years but I think there may be some sort of permit required to climb there now (with proof of BMC membership required)? Another example of modern bollox.

In reply to Lankyman:

Thanks, I'll read all the access info carefully before deciding on a route. On our day out back in May, we forgot to check all of them and turned up at one with a voluntary BMC bird ban, so had to scratch that one off the list!

 Seymore Butt 26 Jul 2021
In reply to TobyA:

I posted a MTB loop i ride fairly regularly on UKH a few years back. Its title is Crummackdale Loop. I'm not sure how to link it to this posting. But this is a list of some of the crags it passes.

The ride is approx 20mls starting in Settle and passes faIrly near to the following crags - Gigg south & north, Robin Proctor, Trow Ghyll, Crummackdale (trad only), Panorama, Moughton Nab, Langcliffe skyline and quarry, Victoria Cave, Attermire Scar and Castleberg. All in that order. 


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