Teacher Will Salisbury will attempt 48 ascents of Winnats Pass in under 48 hours in July to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK

It’s one of the toughest hills in the UK, but that’s not stopping Cambridge teacher Will Salisbury attempting to ascend Winnats Pass 48 times in one day in July.

The brute of a climb sits just west of Castleton in the Peak District. It looks unassuming from far off, but as you get closer you can see just how challenging it is.

After a tough start, the hill then ramps up to 10 per cent and only gets steeper from there, reaching 20 per cent in places. May riders struggle doing the climb once and then vow never to try it again, but Salisbury wants to do three or four ascents an hour on July 4.

Salisbury will complete the full 1.8km Strava segment each time, with 48 ascents equalling 10,000m of climbing in the day.

Screen Shot 2016-03-07 at 14.14.59>>> 13 Tour of Britain climbs to conquer on Strava

He is doing it to raise money for Prostate Cancer UK, a condition that his father was diagnosed with, and hopes to raise £1,000.

Salisbury, who has survived cancer himself, has enlisted the help of JLT Condor performance manager Tim Kennaugh for coaching, as well as a few masseurs and nutritionists to help him on the day.

Donate to the cause on the fundraising page here.

  • Balb0wa

    It will take some doing, its ok people saying and quoting watts , its a tough hill, its hard enough walking up it for a fit person, but doing 48 reps and fatigue (jelly legs) setting in, like Patrick said, you get a lot of traffic going up and down it, ive seen cars come to a standstill on there, grid locked, if something big trys to go up or come down it.

    I think i will go down and take some pics of him doing it, love winnats, you would think being July it will be a nice day, having said that i was on top of Mam Tor in August one day, it was hell, wind, rain…. 🙂

    I saw this bloke going up it one moring, 7am ish, you cant pick and choose your route during the day 🙂

  • J1

    Mental. What’s your warm up? Wrynose? Kirkstone?

    All the best with it!

  • Michael

    Well, like I say – if you can’t spin your smallest gear then you can’t do it – i.e you’d need a smaller gear.

    It sounds like it would be a bit of mixture though, i.e that there are some sections which are so steep you might stand up and mash them.

    I suspect the guy will have lower gearing either by getting something specific for this, or maybe even just having a triple instead of a compact.

    That would, of course, lower the speed and make it take longer – but it shouldn’t make it take twice as long (not the least because the descents won’t be affected)

    Of course, some weekend warriors might stand up and mash their lowest gear at 50-60rpm one time up the hill and then in their mind the hill is really tough etc etc, but that would be a dumb way to do 48 repeats.

    A hill is really no tougher than any other bit of road. It’s how many watts you are generating that makes it tough or not.

    I think you’re out on your wattage figures though – because when you see Froome et al motoring up mountains at 450w they are not in their lowest gear – they are moving at a pace.

    Either way, if he went at half the speed, and taking into account I was massively conservative on the time taken to do the descents – you could ride on the flat faster than double the speed – he should have more than enough time to complete it.

    And he said himself he’s aiming to do 3 or 4 an hour – all I did was show how that could be done.

    Whether he can complete it is a different story.

    Logic there says you can output your FTP for an hour – that is, after all what your FTP is – so no one is riding for 8 hours at high wattage, certainly not an amateur cyclist and he will need to be well under threshold to finish 48. Which, of course, is not tough per se. It would probably be harder to do a smaller number of repeats above threshold than it would to ride slowly up a hill.

    Albeit, it’s like when you do base training, you set off holding yourself back for a few hours because it feels really, really easy, and then you realise you couldn’t go faster if you wanted to, and by the time you get close to home what felt easy is now tough and you’re absolutely knackered at the finish. But it’s not like this is 48 repeats of an interval with your legs and lungs screaming – he simply won’t manage that feat and nor would anyone else.

  • Patrick Murphy

    All that goes out the window when you’ve got a car trying to squeeze past you and a mouth full of fumes. In my opinion you don’t choose how you ride this climb, it chooses for you! It’s a battle from the start to the finish, hopefully the wind will be kind. I may try and get along and ride an ascent with him.

  • Will Salisbury

    Hi Andrew. Thanks so much for this. Yes that sounds awesome. I aim to do it on the best weather day of the week commencing July 4th. I will be in Castleton for that time anyway both preparing and ready to go on the best day. I have a few friends coming to help with individual hours/reps etc and some members of my Spondon based cycling club-Cyclomonster so the more support and helpers the better. Many thanks again. All for a great cause.

  • Andrew Jones

    Your logic is correct, but don’t forget, it’s a big, bloody steep hill. Pushing 34×32 at 90rpm is pretty hard. Depending on the riders weight probably somewhere between 300-450 watts and would put him in the top 1% of times on the Stava segment for each rep. For reference, the KOM is 5.44 at 16.1kph, averaging 14kph would put you in the top ten of over 9,000 riders. I think this will be really, really hard and deserves sponsorship .

    Good luck Will, you’re going to need it! If you want some local support and people to ride a few reps with you, get in touch with 7Hills CC or some of the other local clubs and I’m sure we can get a few people out.

  • Riley Harvey

    Certainly doable the way you put it across, but for me and most other people I’m sure, it’s not looking like an enjoyable day in the saddle 😉

  • Riley Harvey

    No problem, good luck. Article has given your cause some good exposure. Could of been written a little clearer. Keep ’em spinning.

  • Michael

    Easiest way is to see it’s 88km he’s riding.

    Considering that

    34×28 is about 14kph at 90 cadence
    34×32 is about 12kph at 90 cadence

    So in the lowest gear of your average compact road bike it’d take about 6.28 to 7.333 hours. Let’s say 8 hours because our average cadence drops a bit for some tougher sections.

    Of course, you’ve got to get back down each time, which won’t use much energy. You should trivially be able to double your speed going back down so 4 hours for that.

    12 hours seems reasonable iff you are fit enough to spin the lowest gear on your bike for that length of time. If you’re not, there’s probably not a lot of point doing the challenge (Because if you try to grind your way up I’d say you’d probably do less laps)

    Although I suppose you could get lower gearing.

    If you can spin a higher gear then you’ve no problem.

    In terms of having the time to complete it in 24 hours, that’s pretty obviously the case. As it is the guy has plenty of time in the remaining 12 hours to budget for stopping for drinks, food toilet breaks or whatever else.

  • Will Salisbury

    Thank you so very much for the sponsorship. Very much appreciated. Best, Will

  • Riley Harvey

    Poor blogging journalism. If you check out his funds raising page it’s one day, 4th of July, and he’s actually doing it 49 times. Aiming to climb 10000 metres, and raise 10p a metre. Worth a fiver, don’t ya think

  • Andrew Bairsto

    If you read the article it says 4 times in an hour that will only be 12 hours I am as confused as you are.I think I could do it in 48 hours I certainly could not in 12 hours.

  • Chris Williams

    Confused by title and sub title – is it 48 climbs in 1 day or 48 climbs in 48 hours??
    Anyway – Good luck 🙂