Merrivale mainRundlestone (Merrivale to Princetown) is the second part of the Rundlestone climb and you will have already completed the gruelling Pork Hill to get to this point. Although not quite as steep as Pork Hill, it is a longer climb which provides a stiff test for tired legs. Rundlestone is one of the highest road points on Dartmoor and the views from here are well worth the effort. The Pork Hill / Rundlestone combination formed the biggest climb of the 2012 Tour of Britain with 6 of the top 10 strava times belonging to riders from this race. The Rundlestone climb is number 11 in Simon Warren’s Greatest Cycling Climbs. merrivale-grad-1Grid Ref:
SX 54973 75089
Length:
2.7km
Ascent:
170m / 558ft
Gradient:
6.3%
Nearby Climbs:
Pork Hill, Coffin Stone
Nearest Cake:
Fox Tor Café, Princetown
strava

Here is OnTor’s review of the climb:

The Approach
After Pork Hill, you have a flat fast kilometre with some great scenery all around. To your left is Cox Tor and the Staple Tors in the distance. To the right is Vixen Tor. Look ahead down the road and you can see the huge TV mast at North Hessary Tor – this is roughly where you are heading! After the kilometre flat you head steeply downhill past the Dartmoor Inn where the road bends. You should take a fair bit of speed onto the segment but take care as sheep are often in the road here.
To the 40!
Merrivale section 1The first 200m is the steepest at 11.6% but the momentum you take from the downhill approach should take you half way up this segment. However, when this impetus runs out, you may want to be in a lower gear, get you head down and aim for the big round 40 in the road which for me marks the end of the really hard climbing on Rundlestone.merrivale-grad-2strava
Between the Car Parks
Merrivale section 2After you pass the small car park on your right, the gradient eases steadily throughout this segment. A steepish right turn is followed by a longish left bend which puts you back on an easterly bearing. With Little Mis Tor to your left and King’s Tor to your right the scenery is stunning and not so far ahead is the top of the climb at Rundlestone. merrivale-grad-3strava
The final push
Merrivale section 3After you pass the Four Winds Car Park on the right you are inside the final mile of the climb and it’s almost straight to Rundlestone. The gradient is at its shallowest in this final segment and this is where, when fitter, I reach for a higher gear (although I once fell off when jamming my chain trying to get onto my top cog!) The rattle of cars over the cattlegrid is a welcome sound which denotes your last 100m and look out for the red phone box which more or less denotes the end of the climb. At this point, you should feel good having completed one of the toughest tests on Dartmoor and in the South West, and certainly one of the most scenic rides you will find in the UK!merrivale-grad-4strava
The Warm Down
Merrivale section 4You are now on one of the highest road points on the moor and have three downhill choices. Straight on towards Two Bridges opens up some great climbs to the east (Coffin Stone, Widecombe, Doccombe Hill and Haytor). Turning around provides a fast and exhilarating ride back to Tavistock but my favoured option is the right turn to Princetown, past the prison and to Fox Tor Café which does great home made cake and which is a favourite stop for many cyclists.