Hit the Hills have teamed up with Roots Riding to offer a big mountain adventure in the Yorkshire Dales without all the climbing that comes with it. This is what you can expect….
As we reach one of my favourite sections of trail in the Yorkshire Dales, we stop to compose ourselves. It’s still early in the day, the sun hasn’t reached its peak yet and our legs still feel good despite the last hill. Behind us is the long unforgiving climb heading out from Arncliffe towards Starbotton. At the top of the climb we made our way through the gate that marks the high point for this trail, to be greeted with dramatic views out across Buckden Pike and it’s barren neighbours.
The first section of descent was relatively carefree, a flat out blast across the open moorland singletrack. I launched off a hidden drop, grinning but still well within my comfort zone. The trail ahead however required a little more concentration. The ground had turned to stone now, slippery and incredibly savage. To the right of us was a near vertical scree slope with only a few lone shrubs ableto cling to it. Ahead of us the trail steepened severely for a short period, before levelling off slightly giving way to a faster section littered with loose rocks and short, sharp little turns. Just as you adjust to the dramatic drop away and the slippery rocks, the trail changes again and it’s into the woods. Still steep, head sized loose rocks combine with moist dark mud to continue to make the trail feel well worthy of your full attention. I’m trying to think about my line through this next section but, as always, I’m distracted by the view.
I can see the van just pulling in on the road, it’s several km away in the distance, with a few hundred vertical metres of descent ahead of us yet. The sight of this makes me smile too. Not just because I know there’s cake aboard, but because it means that after this descent we’re heading straight to my other favourite trail, and then my other favourite trail after that. I have a few favourite trails it turns out.
Today the group and I are out on a Dales Uplift Day, a ride I created out of my own urge for a Big Mountain Experience close to home. The great riding spots in the Yorkshire Dales can often be quite spread out. Riding the best bits can sometimes mean long road slogs. The Uplift Day takes 3 or 4 great sections that are usually part of day rides in themselves, and combines them into one BIG day. Think of it as a treat to yourself. A reward for all the hard work it took to become the experienced rider you are.
Everyone enjoyed the descent. At the bottom it’s time for a chat with the group to see what they’d like to ride next. My local trail knowledge helps the group choose a suitable section based on trail conditions and what the group wants to ride.
Every time I put on a Dales Uplift Day, we choose a different combination of my favourite trails. I try to let the expectations and abilities of the group influence where we ride as much as possible, people usually come away having ridden a few sections of trail that they’ve not ridden before. The riders I’ve
shared this day with so far have come back beaming. The main thing people comment on is how much they’ve done and seen over the day and how the day’s trails were all killer, no filler. As I say, it’s not something we do every day, but letting the van do the roadwork for a day so you can concentrate on the good stuff is a nice little treat.
We are offering the uplift service on our Hubberholme weekend and our Chapel-le-Dale weekend. The weekend costs £199 for 2 nights accommodations, all your meals (including a packed lunch & afternoon tea) and one days vehicle supported guiding. Check out the venues and get in touch before booking: Hubberholme & Chapel-le-Dale.