“Come to Calderdale, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…” What was I thinking? "Daz", good friend and effervescent, industrious founder member of the Kirklees Cycling Academy frothed about the young riders club fund raising event, the “Ronde Van Calderdale”.
Total Ascent: 3,684m
The urge to get another peak under my belt, and do some new route finding was getting stronger. I'd not bagged a peak since the Angliru and was aware that summer was drawing to a close, and the days getting shorter.
The Pico de Veleta sits at the very western tip of the Sierra Nevada, looming over the citadel of Granada. The Veleta rarely gets any credit, its the "Camilla" of mountain climbs.
Harbs chose the base camp for this years post Marmotte touring. Bormio. We planned to do the three classic climbs of the Giro: the Stelvio, the Gavia, and the Mortirolo. As climbing isn't exactly his best discipline, it was a brave choice!
"Its a terrible climb... It´s perfect for a mountain bike. On the hardest parts, I was riding a 39 x 27 and I was hurting, really hurting. The Mortirolo is the hardest climb I´ve ever ridden. My time up the climb? It's not important...." (Lance Armstrong - 2004).
"Daz" and "Bren" fancied a few days away from the rain and sleet of gloomy England
"800 metres of inhumanity. No climbs have these percentages. Pedalling does not move you forward"*
The "shits of death"... Not a very auspicious name to start such a great climb, but a decent enough warning of whats ahead in any event.
A wide open "alpine" climb with panoramic views its entire length, if you can take your eyes off your front wheel long enough...
Despernar: "to cut or wound ones legs". Not entirely sure my translation is sound, but its close enough! I love the colloquialisms given to local features and trails. This climb Despiernas Caballos - lame horses" is another colourful title to a beautiful and serene climb.
The highest road accessible peak in the park, El Yelmo stands tall with its official summit at 1,809 m. Its final kilometres affording magnificent views across a vast swath of southern Spain.
A pleasant and picturesque little climb that seems to be mostly ignored by any form of traffic.