Valley Rd/Ridgeland Drive Linked Climb
Metres Climbed: 180
Avg Gradient: 8.4%
Road Quality: Average
Done Norton Summit (https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/norton-summit/) a hundred times, but don’t really want to kill yourself up Woodland Way (https://adelaidehillclimbs.wordpress.com/2013/02/15/coach-house-drivewoodland-way/)? This neat little climb is a happy in between, harder than Nortons – with some very steep sections, but substantially easier than slogging your way up the top of the ridge. To reach the climb, start going up Norton Summit as you normally would, and then about a third of the way up, instead of taking the bend around to the left, turn right up Valley Road.
You’ll immediately launch into a section about 300m long, at over 10%. At a couple of points it hits 12 or 13%, and you’ll notice that the road here is very rough. Almost nobody lives up here, and it seems that there isn’t much interest in maintaining the road. After this steep section, the road turns sharply to the left, and becomes much flatter. In fact for the next 400m or so, the road is a real flat (not one of those nasty false-flats). Sadly, this ends all too soon, and the final part of Valley Road jumps up at around 13-14%. It’s short though, and then the road descends briefly to a T-intersection.
Turn right, and keep on climbing, you’re not even halfway done yet. If you turn left, you’ll drop onto Norton Summit Road at about halfway up, so I suppose that’s a good opt-out if your legs feel like jelly. The steepest part of the climb is up the first of two switchbacks. If you take an inside line, you’ll reach about 20%, but if you go around the outside, it’ll be a more reasonable 12. Through the rest of the switchbacks the climb is about 11%, and afterwards you’ll get a brief respite at about 3%. The Road steepens twice more though. First at about 15% for around 100m, and then at about 10% for the last 400m.
Google Images failed me for the first time, but the climb finishes as you pass the turnoff to Woodland Way
You’d be coming from the left in the photo above. From here you could, if you wanted to gain a strong understanding of gravity and the limits of breaking power, turn right and descend Woodland Way, but a better idea is to follow the road around to the left, where you’ll meet up first with Teringie Drive, and then Norton Summit Road.