Snake Pass Hill Climb

snake pass

  • Snake Pass: 6 Km
  • Average Grade: 5.7%
  • Elev Gain 348m

The hill climb version is a little shorter.

After two weeks in New York, it was a very different cycling experience – back to England and the start of the hill climb season.

I decided to begin  the hill climb season by doing a new climb, I’d never done before Snake Pass (J9/5) because it clashes with the British Time Trial Championship, but the hill looked quite inviting and I wanted to give it a go.

Basically, it’s 3.5 miles at 6-7%. The gradient is fairly steady – gently winding its way up through the Pennies. There is little respite from the 5-7% gradient -  apart from near the top it almost flattens out – allowing a little sprint for the line, if you have any energy left.

snake pass

One of the many bends on Snake Pass

Two days since arriving back from the US, I was a little nervous about jet lag. Getting up at 5am is difficult at the best of times. The previous night I couldn’t sleep before 5am, so I wasn’t overly optimistic about getting up at that time.

On Saturday, I went for a steady 25 miles and this helped sleep. Fortunately, I managed to get up on time and drove the long route up north. I had just enough time to do a quick reconnaissance of the climb before the race began.

tejvan mist

It was misty up the top. Photo Paul from Glossop Kinder Velo

I was racing on my new wheels and lightweight tubs. These new wheels and tubs have saved nearly 750grams over the old combination of Zipp 404s and Continental Competition – that’s a lot in hill climb terms. The drawback with Corsa Evo is that they are more likely to puncture. When I was warming up I was looking at road surface for any potential punctures. I intended to bring a turbo, but that got left back in Oxford.

snake pass

The weather was good – mild and gentle tailwind. When I started, I felt fairly fast on the lower slopes. I didn’t go into the red zone, but as the climb dragged on, I felt my speed slipping lower and lower. It was only for the last 0.5Km that I could pick up speed again, as the road flattened out and I was briefly able to put the chain into the big ring.

I felt I’d paced the climb fairly well. You can’t afford to go too hard early on. Just try to raise the effort levels a little towards the end, if you can. I had no idea what my time was so I free-wheeled back down (great descent by the way) into the impromptu HQ at the Prince of Wales. My time was 11.40 – which had taken about 30 seconds off from the old course record. I was very pleased with the time and position. I’ve been training hard this year, but you never know how you are going to do in actual races, until you start racing.

I really like that kind of climb – long, steep, sit in the saddle and power your way up. But, I won’t be training for this kind of hill climb. The rake is a very different climb, I shall have to try and improve my sprinting.

Prince Wales


A great event by GLOSSOP KINDER VELO. Very Good atmosphere. (though I guess any atmosphere is good when people are congratulating you for setting a new course record. :) )

Glossop Side of Holme Moss Events

Check out their local club events on Holme Moss during October  -

  • Sat 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th at 3pm. Cost £3.
  • You can turn up on the day, ‘just come and try’
  • 2.2 miles max 12.8%
  • If you live in the area no excuse for not trying a hill climb.
  • Holme moss is great fun, I went and rode it both sides after the race.
50 Tejvan Pettinger Sri Chinmoy Cycling Team M 11.40.5 1
40 Peter Tadros In-Gear Quickvit Trainsharp RT V 13.01.2 2
22 Mark Lovatt Planet XRT V 13.06.4 3
21 Harry Shackleton Team Elite J 13.37.3 4
10 Sam Clark Buxton CC M 13.46.3 5
20 Chris Baines Buxton CC M 13.46.3 6
23 Andrew Pearson Huddersfield Star Wheelers M 14.02.4 7
11 James Allen Sheffrec CC M 14.08.6 8
31 Chris Green Fibrax Wrexham RC M 14.18.7 9
30 Chris Myhill Peak Road Club V 14.35.1 10


1st Lady 
25 Diane Lee RT L 16.35.9  



2 Responses to Snake Pass Hill Climb

  1. Doug September 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    That’s brilliant, congrats! Perhaps you’re reaping the benefit of all that up-and-down hill or interval training, which I think is a brilliant way of getting into good shape.

  2. Hurumph September 3, 2012 at 11:28 am #

    That’s a massive improvement on the course record and you are way ahead of the other chaps; well done!

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