I've always loved Winnats Pass, and the area around it. There’s just something stunning about how it looks. As it’s reasonably local, famous and obvious, I’d already ridden it a few times before getting the 100 Greatest Climbs book, and I wasn’t surprised it was in there.
Much as I love how the place it looks, I didn’t love riding up it the first few times. It’s seriously tough. The lead in, which looks nice and flat as you approach, quickly jumps up to nearly 10%. Then you hit the first cattle grid and it gets silly.
Twisting and turning up through the pass, it’s epic in its beauty. Not that you can admire that as you’re head down, giving it everything to keep going. It’s a really tough climb. Personally, I don’t think it finishes until the road junction at the top, but, given the number of segments on Strava there is some dispute as to what makes the Winnats climb!
These days I love it as a good chance to see how my fitness is and how deep I can push myself into the red climbing it!