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Digital Subscriptions > Singletrack > 107 > BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU WISH FOR

DABBLE WITH BIG MOUNTAIN ADVENTURES IN THE HOWGILL FELLS, WHILE STAYING WITHIN SIGHT OF THE M6 MOTORWAY.
PICTURES BY CHIPPS

The Howgills were a mystery to me – my experience of them confined to the view from the M6. Approaching Tebay, as thoughts turn to whether we’re far enough into a journey north to justify pies, I’ve gazed out and wondered at them. They’re unusually rounded, towering lumps of green. No craggy chunks missing, just large, smooth looking sides, like huge sourdough loaves. Definitely hills, rather than mountains, with their steep, but even sides; there’s not the same level of menace I associate with the rocky-sided proper mountains on the other side of the M6, over in the Lake District. Evenly sloping hills with soft landings on all sides, these are inviting hills I want to play in.

There’s also an air of mystique about them, as I’ve heard from the rest of the Singletrack team that there’s a descent in there that was too long to get to the bottom of... (How is that possible? Surely ‘Too much descent’ is an oxymoron up there with ‘Too much adventure’ and ‘Too much chocolate’?) So when we start to line up must-do stretches of singletrack for a series of magazine features, this ribbon of trail is a natural contender.

‘Look like you’re enjoying the climb, come on’.
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About Singletrack

International Adventure: Southern nights, endless trails: Rickie Cotter's truly epic trip down the length of New Zealand, complete with beautiful watercolour illustrations by Beate Kubitz. UK Adventure: Be careful what you wish for…" We nearly broke our editor while riding some of the Howgill Fells remotest singletrack. Classic Ride: The Dark Peak: The riding around Hope Cross in the Dark Peak is definitely on the ‘must do’ lists for every UK mountain biker. It's a Classic Ride for a reason. Not ridden it for a while? NEVER ridden it? Then you need to get yourself to the Peaks... Grouptest: GPS Units: David Hayward puts six GPS units through torture to see which is the best for trail use, mapping, Strava and finding yourself again. Bike Test: Proper mountain, mountain bikes: Barney looks at three 160mm bikes from Focus, Scott and Specialized designed to get you up the big hills and back down again with fun and style. Racehead: Scotland the awesome. TweedLove and the Fort William World Cup are proof of Scotland’s superiority over all - at least for a month every summer. Last Word: A question of perception. Tom Hutton and Matt Letch go head to head in discussing how mountain biking needs to be presented to the wider world if we’re to increase (or even defend) our trail access. And, as they say, much much more: Product reviews, columns, tests and random burblings for all!
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