Holme Moss towards Holme Moss transmitting station
|Elevation||524 m (1,719 ft)|
|Parent range||South Pennines|
Holme Moss (1,719 feet/524 m a.s.l.) is a moor in the South Pennines of England, on the border between the High Peak district of Derbyshire and the Kirklees district of West Yorkshire. Historically on the boundary between Cheshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is just inside the boundary of the Peak District National Park. The moor is crossed by the A6024 road between Longdendale and Holmfirth, whose highest point is near the prominent mast of Holme Moss transmitting station.
The water seeping from the surrounding moorland Rake Dike is the source of the River Holme. Rake Dike rising from Kay Edge on the moor flows through the village of Holme and into Brownhill Reservoir, about a mile below the moor, and passes down through the Holme Valley to Huddersfield, where it flows into the River Colne. The upper part of the moor continues into Black Hill which is crossed by the Pennine Way north–south footpath.
The Holme Moss transmitting station is the highest in England and provides VHF coverage of both FM and DAB to a wide area around the transmitter including Derbyshire, Greater Manchester and West Yorkshire. When originally erected it also transmitted television signals, which travelled much further than their intended service area. They were received on the Isle of Man and in parts of the Irish Republic, mainly Dublin and Wicklow. Emley Moor (55.44°, 15.53 km) and Moorside Edge (348.22°, 11.56 km) transmitters can be seen from the location.
The Holmfirth Harriers Athletics Club organise an annual "Holme Moss Fell Race" on and around Holme Moss in the summer. The race starts at Cartworth Moor cricket ground, crosses Ramsden Clough to Holme Moss, crosses and descends to Crowden before returning via Bareholme Moss, Laddow Rocks and Black Hill. It is a classic local race.
In the winter Holme Moss frequently gets a covering of snow, while the surrounding valleys do not. The top car park is a popular spot for bringing children to do sledging, or even more serious snowsports. With heavier snowfall, the road over the moor is usually the first in the area to be blocked. This is not helped by two local councils needing to keep the road clear of snow across the moor. Kirklees Highways dept will clear its side of road as far as the border with Derbyshire. Derbyshire County Council Highways Authority are responsible for clearing the southern side of the road.
To British cycling enthusiasts, Holme Moss has become synonymous with the A6024 (Woodhead Road) which crosses the moor, between the village of Holmbridge to the north and the Woodhead Reservoir to the south. The northern side in particular is one of England's best known bicycle ascents, and has acquired a reputation as among the country's more difficult climbs. It has often been used for domestic competition in British road racing and mountain biking.
Details of the climbs
Starting from Holmfirth, to the north, the climb is 7 km (4.3 mi) long, gaining 394 m (1,293 ft) in altitude, at an average gradient of 5.6%, although the penultimate kilometre is at a gradient of 11%.
From the south, the climb starts at the junction with the A628, from where it is 4 km (2.5 mi) long, with a height gain of 274 m (899 ft) at an average gradient of 6.9%.
"Le Col de Moss" bicycle race
Although not comparable in distance to the famous cols of European bicycle racing, the length and difficulty of Holme Moss relative to other British climbs has made it a frequent and popular inclusion in British races, including the Tour of Britain. For many years the (now defunct) Leeds Classic race saw internationally renowned riders (many of them, such as Bjarne Riis, veterans of the Tour de France, hence the moniker Le Col de Moss) tackling the climb.
Tour de France
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