The top of the Shipden Wall hill climb
Well . . . it is . . . a WALL! The average grade over the 900 meters of this climb is a whopping 14.6% and there is a 370 meter stretch beginning at 350 meters up the climb that averages 18.2%.
Start, middle, finish.
For The Shibden Wall, just outside the town of Halifax, I parked at the ‘Shibden park located about a mile and a half away and rode in. It was quite impressive how quickly the short hills over to the route start brought me out of the town proper and into what felt like a very secluded mountain community. Just before the start point there is an old historic Inn with a dirt lot that offers up another option for parking near the climb. You’ll enjoy only a few moments of smooth pavement on the climb before it becomes ancient cobblestone with substantial gaps large enough for a 28mm road bike tire to sink into. Climb (and descend!) with caution. Traffic will almost certainly be mild as the road looks to be mostly used by the residents that live off of it. At the summit, you intersect with a ridge road that gives great views of the valley and farmlands beyond.
This is 19% and in middle of 170 m 18.2% average grade.
The climb was included in Stage 3 of the 2017 Tour of Yorkshire. Stage 3; the 3 stage race was won by Serge Pauwels, France.
2017 Tour of Yorkshire
Photo: Rick Harrison
The entire climb is along Lee Lane
The climb turns to and stays cobbles at 350 meters and stays with the cobbles to the top.
Cobbles start at 350 m (descent not recommended).
Of all things . . Halifax Ski & Snowboard Center at the top.
We do not know who first named this climb “Shibden Wall” but there is a Shibden Brook at the start of the climb and Shibden Mill Inn 200 meters before that. There is also a community of Shibden just east of Halifax, but the climb does not appear to be in or immediately adjacent to that location.
“Shibden Wall is a real brute of a climb. Half a mile averaging 15% is hard enough, but throw in some tough cobbles, and it makes it a real classic climb. It starts off on tarmac, but don’t get carried away as the cobbles will soon slow you down even more. It’s at its steepest as you take a left hander. Avoid the inside of the apex, because it is ridiculously steep.
Photo: PJAMM Cycling.
Keep on ploughing on. The last 200m offer a chance to get onto a pavement (if no pedestrians are around). But, if you really want to experience the full effects of Shibden Wall keep on the cobbles because although the worse is over, your legs will be telling you otherwise.
Personal experience of Shibden Wall
I cycled up Shibden Wall in 2014 during a very hilly ride around Halifax and West Yorkshire. Setting off from Menston I went over the moors, heading up to Trooper Lane and then Shibden Wall. It was a difficult climb with many steep climbs already in the legs.” More
“The only West Yorkshire cobbled climb to feature in the first edition of 100 greatest climbs, where it is called "The Shibden Wall" (the other was tarmacked over, about the time the book came out). It is steepest at the switchback. I managed to stall the car going up it when researching the route. Although I was probably too excited to be driving properly.” More