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Your next climb

Grossglockner

Grosslockner
Ultimate challenge
  • Austria
  • 2.571m
  • 21.4km

About the Climb

Shared by: Like Mike
World2Cycle

The Grosslockner (2.556m) is the ultimate challenge for many two-wheel fans. The Grossglockner High Alpine Road is Austria’s highest-situated pass road just around the corner of Zell Am See-Kaprun. The dead-end way to the highest peak of the road will get you to Edelweißspitze at an elevation of 2.571m. The Grossglockner is actually slightly higher than Mont Ventoux and just as formidable.

For Charly Gaul, ‘The Angel of the Mountians’ and winner of the Tour de France in 1958, the Grosslockner marks the beginning of his career. He won the stage up the climb of Grosslockner during the Tour of Austria setting a stage record at the age of 17. It was his first race outside Luxembourg, his first big mountain to climb and also his first big victory. At that moment he was still an amateur with the capability to make 65 pedal strokes per minute, while Federico Bahamontes and Louison Bobet only turned 50 to 55.

From the North side you will start almost directly with 10%, but you will be in your bottom gear pretty much the whole climb

To finish this climb you will need your 34×28. You will be delighted to have this low gear at the beginning, from the North side you will start almost directly with 10%, but you will be in your bottom gear pretty much the whole climb. You should take the weather conditions into consideration as well, as these can change drastic. Unpredictable as it’s, you should know, that snow in the summer is anything but rare. Be save and don’t start your climb lightly and make sure you take some proper clothing with you.

You have a number of different routes leading up the Grossglockner. The most common direction to ride the Grossglockner is from north to south starting from Fusch. This includes the 1.8km cobblestone side road to the Edelweißspitze. With a 10% average the cobblestone side road is not an easy one to climb, but the short series of hairpins are even harder to descend. For sure worthwhile making the side trip after you reached Fuscher Tör. The full ascent is 21.4 km you gain 1.766 altimeters at an average of 8.3%. It is an option to make a short descent to Fuscher Lake, so that you make some extra climbing kilometers to Hochtor. But before you do this, make sure to first tackle the dead-end way to the highest peak Edelweißspitze.

It might be a good idea to first warm up on a slightly flatter road, as you will be facing a 10% average in the beginning of the climb

Don’t forget to get your ticket at the Ferleiten toll station, when you like to have your climb timed to the Fuscher Törl. It’s only a €2 ticket, and is being invested to upkeep the road. Pulling the ticket from the machine sets a mark of the toughness ahead. From thereon, you don’t get much rest. Sure you can use the outside of the hairpins for your advantage, they are slightly flatter than on the Passo dello Stelvio, but the average gradient is substantially higher. Good to know, the gradient is so consistent you just have to find a rhythm and stick with it to the top. From the south, the gateway town is Heiligenblut. Although it’s considered the easier ascend, its irregularity makes it difficult.

The Grossglockner road is only open from May until October and then only during the day. Snow is an ever present danger, even in summer. The multi-sized alpine road is perfect for outstanding cycling events. Amateurs and pros compete for the best ranking during legendary bike races on the Grossglockner, such as the Glocknerkönig, the Tour of Austria, Grossglockner Bike-Challenge or PEAKBREAK.

Video of the climb

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