Thursday, 12 February 2015

Cock Hill Quarry (Glossop)

Glossop is great for accessible, technical moorland riding. The descent from Cock Hill is split into two parts - the first part consists of singletrack across moorland. The trail is natural but not particularly rugged, so it's fast and mostly non-technical. It's still good fun, though. The second part is between two field boundaries of drystone wall. There's a ditch with a singletrack path alongside. This part is slower and more technical, with some rocky section towards the bottom of the descent. It's still not hugely technical - it'll present a challenge to less seasoned rider, but it's still fun for the experienced among us. It's never so steep as to be sketchy- you never have to drop your saddle and pray for the right line.

This ride is accessible straight out of Glossop, but still feels like the proper, desolate moors in winter, at least. In summer, it's possible that crowds will spoil that illusion.

The map below shows only the descent, since I haven't identified a good route up yet, although the Strava global heatmap has a route that looks promising. If you can be bothered trying to decipher those blue lines.

We hike-a-biked through an old quarry. Some mild scrambling whilst hauling bikes was also required. Like I said, I've not found a particularly good route up. This one is picturesque, but there's gotta be an easier way.

IMGP1108

The Gravel road to the top, which you Must Not Ride.

IMGP1114

The wind was blowing. The hut offered little shelter, to be fair, it only had about one full wall.

IMGP1118

The singletrack descent starts near the hut, and it's pretty obvious once you're on it. You can detour to the trig point atop Cock Hill.

IMGP1119

It's not particularly technical, but it's got enough twists, and you can rip and run.

IMGP1125

IMGP1133

The second part of the trail between two drystone walls. The trail is often at an awkward camber, but it's mostly alright, some parts need you to carry a bit of speed to clear. I reckon it'll be prone to getting pretty soggy when the weather's bad.

IMGP1136

It gets rocky down the bottom, but it's mostly solid. A couple of fun, chunkier sections, but never overly technical. Although there's a drop at the very end with a super awkward landing (yeah, I walked).

IMGP1141

Another small quarry right before you get back into Glossop.

IMGP1144

I like this descent, it can be done in a few hours, although getting to the top takes quite a while. It's a definite step down in difficulty from somewhere like Doctor's Gate, but it's still got a little bit of that rugged, rocky, natural trail. There are probably loads of little runs through the quarry, but the piles and piles of loose rock make many of the paths unridable. I'll update when I find a good way to the top.

Friday, 6 February 2015

Dove Stone Reservoir Cliff Ride

Dove Stone Reservoir is a scenic reservoir just outside of Greenfield, on the western edge of the Dark Peaks. It has a great, but fairly rocky, trail on the overlooking cliffs.

There's an old road, which turns into a gravel road leading up to the higher Chew Reservoir, and then you turn back upon yourself to join a trial that leads along the top of the cliff edge, heading roughly north in a crescent. This trail rocks. If you like rocky technical fun and awesome views, then this trail is for you.

There are a couple of boggy patches, but that's not exactly a surprise in mid-winter in the Peaks. Or in midsummer in the peaks, either, really.

The descent shown on the map is mostly just singletrack cutting through the grassy hillside, it's not technical, but it is steep. Watch out for walkers, especially since this isn't any kind of bridleway. MTBers seem to be well-tolerated, so let try nad keep it that way.

The road up from Dove Stone reservoir to Chew reservoir.

IMGP1057

Looking down the road, toward Greenfield. The road turns from concrete to gravel as you get higher. Not remotely technical, but it seems to take a hell of a long time to get to the top grinding away in low gears.

IMGP1059

Chew reservoir, at the top. There are a couple of different trails starting from this junction.

IMGP1061

The trail conditions vary between either muddy, or rocky, or a combo of both.

IMGP1063

Since most of the trail is along the edge of the cliffs, overlooking a valley with Dove Stone reservoir at the bottom, you get get view pretty much the entire time.

IMGP1070

Mudpocalypse.

IMGP1082

IMGP1075

From the descent on the southern face of Ashway Hey, looking back over towards Great Dove Stone rocks and Dean Rocks.

IMGP1101

The descent is grassy and steep, but not technical. There are a few different ways to descend though, and I haven't exhausted all of them yet.

IMGP1105

IMGP1103

Dove Stone is a great ride and a really easy trail to get to from Greenfield station. There are a bunch of trails coming off of the old road leading to Chew reservoir at the bottom and top, but the cliff ride is definitely recommended. Once the snow melts, anyway...