If the words Walna Scar put fear into your heart, don’t worry: this route goes nowhere near the gravity-defying carry that the notorious old road is famous for. In fact, the tarmac tramp up to it is far more challenging than the reasonably straightforward section we’re talking about here. It does, however, hint at its fearsome reputation with a short, steep and loose ramp just seconds before you break away. But it’s too little too late; just flick it the V and drop sweetly off its left-hand side to savour a delightful grassy descent instead.
A slippery and incredibly noisy slate runnel will test your nerve more than your skill, as you complete the drop, and then it’s south for a few kilometres to hurdle the quiet yet enthralling hills that make up Torver Common. This is a great area, with steep climbs, equally as steep descents and a few sections of really sweet singletrack too.
The A5094 at Blawith marks the turning point and from High Nibthwaite, it’s a big pull up to the fringes of Grizedale Forest. There are few undulations to ease the pain and the views over the lake to the Coniston fells are absolutely stunning.
There’s been a lot of work done on the track from Low Parkamoor and what used to be a bit of a slog is now one of the finest roller-coaster tracks in the whole area. This sadly comes to an end in Grizedale and there’s only way to go from here — down.
The drop past Lawson Park delivers a slow-burn method of losing your hard-won altitude, but if you like the going to be steep and rough, keep ahead and take the track that down the other side of Crag Head. You’ll be glad you invested in good suspension.