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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 119 > ULTIMATE HELVELLYN

ULTIMATE HELVELLYN

This is a Classic Ride you’ve got to work for, but it’ll be worth it. Really, there’s just a bit more up…
PHOTOGRAPHY JAMES VINCENT

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace.

While many areas of the Lake District are somewhat bereft of bridleways in favour of footpaths, leaving you with just one or two obvious routes in a certain locale, the Helvellyn massif has no such problem. Putting aside the precarious Striding and Swirral edges that even the likes of Danny MacAskill would think twice about riding, there are bridleways heading away from the summit and criss-crossing the ridge in almost every direction. What’s more, each one leads to an absolute belter of a descent that poses its own unique dilemma – speak to ten different mountain bikers, and you’ll end up with ten different routes, with each rider adamant that theirs is the best.

Real mountain biking, on a mountain.
What’s that white stuff?

“Ride along the Dodds, then you spend most of the day above 750m on a great ridge ride before descending Dollywagon and Grisedale Beck…”

“No, no, no – the Dodds will be boggy as hell, unless we’ve had six months of dry weather. Climb up Sticks Pass, then hit the ridge and descend Dollywagon…”

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About Singletrack

Going to Extremes It’s always hot and dry in Utah, right? Except when you’re caught in a flash-flood summer thunderstorm. Washed away, baked dry, and sweating, Adam Klimek and pals take on the White Rim trail. Tramping In Torridon Joe Delves packs friends, bikes, camping gear and a dog and seeks a low cost getaway in Torridon, where the trails are good enough to be worth the effort getting there. Tour de France The Fun Way While the roadies are pedalling up these classic TdF climbs, enduro rider Jerome Clementz is whooping his way back down them, taking the rocky switchbacks and forest trails. Classic Ride: Helvellyn Which way should you go up this Lakeland must-do? And which way should you come down? There’s much debate to be had about the best routes on Helvellyn, but everyone agrees you have to ride one of them at least once. James Vincent takes us on his pick of the options. Staying Professional Geoff Waugh talks to Scott Beaumont about getting – and keeping – sponsors. Behind the Insta-bangers and high fives, it’s more businesslike than you might think. Bike Test: British 29ers British manufacturing ain’t dead. We test out three full suspension 29ers from Orange, Robot Bike Co. and Swarf that showcase the range of modern manufacturing skills and processes currently happening in the UK. Interview: Dan Stanton Ian Bailey talks philosophy and company ethos and ‘a different kind of capitalism’ with the man behind Stanton bikes. Malvern Magic Chipps dons his tie-dye T-shirt and Oakley Mumbos and reminisces about the original Malvern Hills Classic ahead of the new version of it, returning to our fields this year. The First Trail Centre Chipps tells the story of the UK’s oldest trail centre: Coed Y Brenin, where the first trails still offer great riding, with the bonus of being away from the crowds. Hutchinson Tyres James Vincent goes on a whirlwind tour of the French home of Hutchinson tyres.