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Hill 2 - Hunters Hill

mr_poll's picture
on Thu, 20/03/2014 - 22:17


Hunters Hill, unlike hill1, Stoney Lane, is a short steep brute that suits any rider who likes a lung busting punchy climb. It essentially climbs Parbold Hill from the North side and the full climb finishes at the Rigbye Arms where the Stoney Lane climb ends. It was used by HMCC in 2012 for the annual hill climb where we rode from The Farmers Arms to The Rigbye Arms. The climb can be attempted as a short burst from a farm to Hunters quarry but I will cover the "Pub to Pub" route to replicate the 2012 hill climb.
How to find it.
As per directions for #hill1, from Ormskirk head to Newburgh and then Parbold. Turn left into Parbold, past the row of shops on the right, up the Common turn left at the top and continue past Stoney Lane to Hilldale. As you leave Hilldale you will come to The Farmers Arms, take a breath as the climb starts here.
What to expect
You pass the pub and the road immediately bends round to the right, at this stage the road is fairly flat, but as the road straightens you will immediately see the top of the hill ahead and realise the challenge that awaits. The gradient starts to increase but as you start to pass the farm on your left it never gets much above 3/4%. With the farm behind you the gradient steadily increases and as you pass Jacksons Lane on your left your legs will be starting to feel the incline. The road bends again to the right and you will immediately be faced with the real challenge. 
The stone wall running the length of the strip of tarmac provides a measure for how steep the main climb is, however keep your eyes on the road and your attention on your pedalling as the road swiftly moves from 6% up to 12%. As your speed slows finding a good rhythm is essential here, the gradient stays in double figures and with the lactate building Hunters has a little surprise near the top. The road again bends right and up and kicks at close to 16% for several metres, out of the saddle this can be conquered swiftly, once over this the gradient relents and you pass a solitary dwelling on your left. 
However as the road turns left you are faced with another little kick of around 7% as you pass Hunters Hill quarry. With the lactate burning your legs will be hurting but this is the last kick so ignore your legs and push over. Congratulations you have conquered Hunters Hill, but I did say we were completing the pub to pub run. The good news is that once over the last little rise the road drops down allowing you a little rest (unless you are attempting to set a Strava KOM time). The road chicanes right then left, then straigtens and you are immediately faced with the last sting in the tail, a short section of incline averaging 6%, ordinarially this wouldn't pose an issue but with Hunters still fresh in your legs won't thank you for it. Carrying what momentum you can from the previous respite attack this part with everything you have and as you crest the rise the road levels and the Rigbye Arms comes into view signifying the end of one of West Lancashires steepest efforts.
Who to beat.
It is HMCC's "own" Martyn Gordon again who holds the club record and at the time of writing the 2nd best time ever, not bad considering he set it from a standing start at the 2012 club hill climb. If you want to test yourself against your club mates then look for Hunters Hill (Pub to Pub)
Many thank to Dan Monaghan for the photograghy         


danmon_81's picture

another great insight into one of my more hated local climbs. cheers Neil

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