Ken Roberts - - Bicycling

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road bike rides around Tramin / Termeno in NE Italy


Tramin is located with some key connections for road bicycling: (a) the Sudtirol Wine road (Weinstrasse / Strada del Vino) along the hillside on west side of Adige river valley, with big views across the valley; (b) the Adige bike path (pista ciclabile Adige / Etsch radweg). In the midst of vineyards and apple orchards, surrounded by dramatic white cliffs.

It's on one route and very close to a second given in the book Cycling Italy, by Ethan Gelber (Lonely Planet, 2003), the best English-language cycle-touring guidebook for Italy.

We've heard there's also nice mountain biking nearby, but we're so busy with the road-bicycling (and hiking and climbing), that we haven't had time to check it out.

Also well-located for putting bike on car and driving to other interesting riding: (a) near Auer - Neumarkt exit on the A22 super-highway; (b) near SS48 for going northeast into the "heart" of the Dolomite mountains.

We also like that Tramin is in the center of a region of great hiking and via ferrata climbs which we can drive to in all directions. And we enjoy that there's a mix of both German and Italian language in the region around Tramin.

It has at least one bicycling-oriented hotel: Hotel Arndt

what's here

see also:


north to Kaltern + Bozen

  • Kaltern - Bozen rail trail + road loop:  road from Tramin N to Kaltern, shorter bike path from Kaltern N to Bozen, Adige bike path S to Neumarkt + Tramin. [ rough map ]

loop 45-50km, about 200-250 vertical meters of climbing from Tramin to Kaltern, and finishing with 50 vertical meters of climbing from the Adige bike path west up to Tramin.

extensions beyond Bozen:

  • pretty climb up to Steinegg / Collepietra and back - [ see route with GPS ].  Or optionally all the way up to Karerpass and back -  [ rough map | see route with GPS ].

  • ?? not checked:  further North toward Meran : ?? on bike path ?? possibly return south over Gampenjoch / Passo d Palade to Mendelpass, then down to Kaltern and south back to Tramin ?


  • north to Kaltern by alternate road higher up the hill gets very steep. It's the hard way up to Altenburg / Castelvecchio -- more info below under climb challenges.

?? Perhaps could do loop going north on Weinstrasse / Strada del Vino to Kaltern to near Mendel-standseilbahn base station, return to Tramin by higher road -- very steep descent.

Val di Non

Sharon + I had a great time doing this, and I rode the upper Val di Non part again a couple of years later and still thought it was very enjoyable + pretty.

(There might be other interesting + pretty ways down thru the Val di Non which do not go thru Cles.)

About +325m climb and 11km distance from Tramin to the Mendel-standseilbahn cablecar bottom station (elevation around 525m) in Kaltern / Caldaro. Latitude-longitude of bottom station of Mendel-standseilbahn is roughly around = 46.40807,11.23477 = N46.40807 E11.23477.

About +600m of climb and 74km distance from top station of cablecar at Mendel pass / Passo Mendola thru Cles and Mezzocorona back to Tramin.

Total climbing roughly +925 vertical meters (+3000 feet). Total riding distance around 85km (53 miles).

non-cheaters way into Val di Non is to climb up to the Mendelpass (elevation around 1363m) from Kaltern, which is not real steep, but long enough

it adds +850 vertical meters and 13 km to the riding, for a total loop of +1775 vertical meters (6000 feet) and 98 km (61 miles).

south to Lavis + Trento

  • Trento (famous historic city) by bike path one-way: short ways east down road about 4 km (2.5 miles) toward Neumarkt to get on Adige bike path, south to Trento, take train back to Neumarkt / Tramin. [ rough map ]

Never checked taking the train back with a bike.  Never checked riding the Adige bike path all the way to Trento -- but lots of people do it.

Roughly 45km (28 miles) to Trento, with very little climbing.

Roughly 35km on bike path to Lavis, then about 38km on road route back to Tramin, for a total of 73km (45 miles), with around +300 vertical meters (1000 feet) of climbing.

Roughly 45 km on bike path to Trento, then about 46 km on road route back to Tramin, for a total of 91km (56.5 miles), with around +330 vertical meters (1100 feet) of climbing.

Roughly 21 km on bike path to Massetto near Mezzocorona, then 22 km on road route to Trento, then roughly 10km on bike path back north to Lavis, then 38km on road route back to Tramin. Total around 91km (56.5 miles), with around +840 vertical meters (2750 feet) of climbing, with sections rather steep, perhaps around 12-14% grade.


?? not checked: There might be some paved roads in the valley south from Tramin which would connect with the road route Mezzocorona - Lavis - Trento the hilly way east from Mezzocorona near Massetto, and perhaps a quieter road south from Massetto on the east of the river and the SS12 -- which would be some some ways to do more riding on roads and less on the Adige bike path.

We rode some other streets in 2009 from Trento to Gardolo, but they had more traffic than the ones used in the route Trento - Lavis - Mezzocorona - Tramin no bike path -- but it would be a way to avoid using the Adige bike path.


  • ?? not checked: climb Monte Bondone up west from Trento. [ rough map ]

Val di Cembra


climb challenges

  • Altenburg / Castelvecchio from Tramin / Termeno : Overall average is not so steep, but it includes at least one very steep section. Sharon and I were riding it on our tandem, and  we got off and walked. I'm not sure it's as pretty as some of the others (e.g. Truden + Faedo). Total climbing about 350 vertical meters, including 200 meters at steepness around 13-14% grade, which includes 90 meters around 17-18% grade (on coarse surface).
    (less steep to reach Altenburg from the north side from Kaltern)

  • Truden / Trodena east up from Neumarkt:  could reverse the finish of route with GPS Cembra - Altrei - Tramin alternate. [ rough map ]

  • Fennberg / Favona from near Kurtatsch / Cortaccia, I checked by car in 2010 -- looked interesting + pretty -- and had some very steep sections. [ map | ]

Leaves main Weinstrasse / Strada del Vino road around (N46.31113 E11.22304) -- but the climbing starts already a bit south on the main road around (N46.30167 E11.21747). High point of road around (N46.28338 E11.17275), but the sustained steep ends earlier. After that it continues down to Unterfennberg, but that didn't seem to add much that I could see (except some extra climbing to get back).

Total climbing from junction with main Weinstrasse road is about 842 vertical meters, or if include the low section on the Weinstrasse itself, about 915 meters (3000 ft). This includes a long steep section of about 693 vertical meters at around 8-10% grade (with some short steeper subsections).

  • Faedo from San Michele all'Adige: Very pretty and interesting, thru vineyards + orchards, then narrow streets thru a village. Continues up to Pineta, then gets gentle and turns south. Usually not much traffic. Fairly consistent steepness around 7-9% grade, maybe a short section steeper just after the flat section just above Faedo village. Total climbing around 390 vertical meters (1270 vertical feet). See also the hills north of Lavis route.

Bottom San Michele all'Adige : (N46.19342 E11.13292) -> Faedo village : (N46.19257 E11.16078) -> thru Pineta to top : (N46.19874 E11.17234)

  • Monte Bondone, west up from near Trento -- I  drove down one possible road in 2010. Some parts pretty + interesting. No doubt some local cyclists do it. Not sure how to get into  the bottom of it, since it starts near some very high-traffic roads including the Trento Centro autostrada exit :  ?? could extend from Tramin - Trento routes above. [ rough map ]

  • Mendel pass from Kaltern / Passo della Mendola from Caldaro. (well-engineered modern road, not as steep as some older maps might say)

nearby north above Mendel pass: (not yet checked by me) Monte Penegal [ map | ]

  • Kohlern from Steinmannwald near Leifers // Col di Villa - Via al Colle from near Pineta + Laives : I drove it in 2010. It was quiet on a narrow road, but didn't seem to have many views as pretty as Faedo  or Fennberg or Truden -- unless you're intrigued by how the road is cut into stone walls for some sections. Or maybe the point is that it's longer (total 1100 vertical meters) the some other climbs. Fairly steady grade around 9-11%.  (The north side near Bozen seemed less interesting + pretty). [ map | ]

bottom : (N46.44286 E11.34364) -> key junction : (N46.47194 E11.36042) -> top : (N46.46453 E11.36595)

also near Bozen / Bolzano:

* (not yet checked by me) Renon / Ritten :
Santa Maddalena - Signato from ? Dodiciville a little E of Bolzano / St Magdalena (? Untermaurer?) - Signat from a little E of Bozen [ map | quaeldich.ed ]
farther north is Renon - Collalbo from Barbiano + ? Ponte Gardena / Ritten - Klobenstein from Barbian + Waidbruck [ map | quaeldich.ed ]

* (not yet checked by me) Vanga - Auna di Sopra / Ritten

* Alte Jenesier Weg + Rafensteiner Weg under super steep

(see more climb challenges below under "drive car")

super steep

  • Alte Jenesier Weg : Lower section includes about 157 vertical meters at 22.5% grade. Much of that is steeper, but there are some little breaks which bring the average down -- and are most welcome then pedaling. Bottom around (N46.51073 E11.34663), this first section meets the main road, the "neue Jenesier weg" at (N46.51867 E11.33675).

A ways higher up another section of the Alte Jenesier Weg leaves the main road around (N46.52705 E11.34091), turns right and includes a cobblestone section (N46.53497 E11.32999) thru the village of Jenesien (which I did not ride), then rejoins main road (N46.53824 E11.32941) and for more climbing.

Higher than that it there's an opportunity to leave the main road again, turns left around (N46.54191 E11.32218) and continues climbing up a narrow road (which I rode) to the top at Salten / Salto : (N46.55175 E11.30333). The upper sections are less steep than the first part, but it's a long climb, about 1125 vertical meters (3675 ft) in total [ info on ]

  • Rafensteiner Weg : even more sustained steep than Alte Jenesier Weg. Some websites call it the Rafensteiner Bergstrasse, but the signs there on the street say "Rafensteiner Weg".

Includes a long sustained section around 23-27% with no rest, then finished at a ruined castle called Schloss Rafensteiner. It's roughly as steep as Scanuppia / Malga Palazzo, but not as long and with slightly better surface (though not great) as of 2010. Steepest long asphalt road that I know.

It has about 325 vertical meters (1060 feet) around 23% grade up to the castle, including 225 vertical meters (740 feet) around 25%. (based on track points captured both up + down, with my Garmin 60CSx w barometric altimeter sampling at 5-second intervals, with auto-calibration turned off).- [ info on ]

Starts around (N46.51437 E11.35307) next to Seilbahn Jenesien, castle around (N46.52583 E11.35671), then meets the main road around (N46.52148 E11.34532) . . . which could be followed to more climbing (less steep) to Jenesien and a final top where it hits dirt road at Salten (N46.55175 E11.30333) -- but I just stopped at the main road. Toughest road climb I ever succeeded on (only because my bike has vey low gears).

  • Scanuppia / Malga Palazzo : see below under drive car to rides. Steepness similar to Rafensteiner Weg, but goes on longer, and the surface is rippled concrete, which I found more difficulty to keep balance when going slowly than the asphalt on Rafensteiner.


drive car to other interesting rides

Having a car in Tramin takes advantage of its location near an exit on the A22, and near the SS48 road into the heart of the Dolomite mountains.

Note that significant parts of the driving distances below are often on difficult mountain roads and thru villages, so it's optimistic to plan on more than 75 km per hour average, even including significant distance on the A22.

  • Sella Ronda (the most famous + popular mountain road bicycling loop in the world): two reasonable start points: (a) near Canazei, about 74 km (46 miles) driving from Tramin mostly on SS48; (b) near Wolkenstein / Selva di Gardena about 86 km (53 miles) driving from Tramin if take A22 to Chiusa exit. [ rough map ]

Sharon and I have ridden the Sella Ronda twice now driving there from Tramin, first counter-clockwise from near Canazei, second time clockwise from near Wolkenstein / Selva di Val Gardena. Loved both, second time even better. A longer variation Ken did with Tony and enjoyed twice is to replace Passo Campolongo with Passo Valparola. An even longer variation is to also replace P  Pordoi with P Giau + P Fedaia.

  • around Dolomiti di Brenta (spectacular rock peaks), starting from near Spormaggiore (W from Mezzolombardo), about 38 km (23 miles) driving from Tramin. [ rough map ]

Or for a longer tour, ride to Kaltern and take Mendel-standseilbahn cablecar up to Mendelpass (see Val di Non above), then ride roughly southwest thru Romallo and Male to Madonna di Campiglio, then continue around south end of Dolomiti di Brenta, north thru Molveno + Spormaggiore, then exit bottom of Val di Non by "secret passage" [ see details + link to GPS | map on Bikely ] to Mezzocorona, then north thru Rovero della Luna back to Tramin.

Riding around the Brenta never checked by us, but for a detailed description see the very helpful guidebook Cycling Italy (Lonely Planet 2003).

  • around Monte Baldo by Lake Garda (variety of big lake and mountain views), starting from near Mori, about 74 km (46 miles) driving from Tramin if take A22 to Rovereto Sud exit (mostly on fast roads)  [ rough map ]

  • Passo Stelvio / Stilfserjoch (spectacular + famous) climb from Prad am Stilfserjoch / Prato allo Stelvio, about 98 km (61 miles) driving from Tramin, it take A22 to Bozen Sud exit. (or from the same start can do clockwise loop Prad am S > Stilfserjoch / Passo Stelvio > over down to west (optional further southwest down the switchback section and back up again) > then Passo Umbrail into Switzerland > N to Santa Maria / Val Mustair > NE into Italy to Glurns > S back to Prad am Stilfserjoch. [ ?? rough map ]

  • Passo di Rolle + P Valles (views of dramatic peaks less well-known): can ride over P Rolle to San Martino di Castrozza and back, or a loop from Predazzo with P Rolle > P Valles > P San Pellegrino > Moena > Predazzo. Or a longer loop with a steeper climb and a longer climb over P Rolle then thru San Martino di Castrozza and Agordo and Cencenighe and Falcade and over P Valles. Start near Predazzo, about 53 km (33 miles) driving roughly east from Tramin mostly on SS48. [ rough map ]

  • Scanuppia / Malga Palazzo climb from Besenello (south of Trento) -- the hardest climb on a sealed-surface road in the world -- see details. Besenello is about 83 km (51 miles) driving south from Tramin. [ rough map ]

  • Gavia - Mortirolo loop (famous hard climbing loop used in Giro d'Italia) -- hardest and best done clockwise from Ponte di Legno north over Passo Gavia to Bormio, then southeast down to Mazzo di Valtellina, climb over Passo Mortirolo and descend southeast to Monno, then climb east to finish loop. Ponte di Legno is about 104km (65 miles) driving from Tramin. [ rough map ]

see also:

climbs not over anything - northeast Italy


what's here:

  • Palu near Lavis

  • Faedo near Mezzocorona

  • Truden from Neumarkt (Trodena from Egna)

  • balcone di Monte Baldo

  • Passo del Telegrafo on east side of lake Garda

  • Scanuppia / Malga Palazzo south of Trento

Palu near Lavis

Delightful village at top, riding up thru apple orchards and vineyards. But especially it's a quieter pretty way into the pretty lower end of north side of Val di Cembra without climbing in the motor traffic of the main 612 road.

Could try riding Nave San Rocco (by the rail trail) > Nave San Felice > S up to Pressano > NE then turn S to pass by Serci and up to Palu [ map ].  Then descend the same way, or to Verla in Val di Cembra. 

Faedo near Mezzocorona

Pretty climb thru vineyards and a village then higher up into quiet forest. It's another quieter pretty way into the pretty lower end of north side of Val di Cembra without climbing in the motor traffic of the main 612 road.  Or descending back the same way early in the morning was like I'd woken up in heaven, with the perfectly pretty vineyards and the giant view across the Adige valley with cliffs above.

steepness + size: see more details

Could try riding roughly east: San Michele > Faedo > Pineta > forest toward Masen [ map ]

Truden from Neumarkt (Trodena from Egna)

Mainly a quieter alternative to climb from the Adige valley into Val di Fiemme around Cavalese without doing most of the hard climbing in the motor traffic of the major SS48 road (which connects to an exit on the A22) -- with some interesting villages and vineyards along the way. Lots on narrow asphalt road, some brick cobbles thru villages.

Could try riding Neumarkt (Egna) near the rail trail > Pinzan > Glen > Truden (Trodena) and the high point is just east out of Truden. [ map ].  Then can continue and go down to Kaltenbrunn (Fontanefredde), or descend back the same way.

balcone di Monte Baldo


Remarkable narrow asphalt road high on the east side of the Monte Baldo ridge [ map ] with a wild feel and big views out across the Adige valley - (like from a balcony, so the name "balcone" is my fault). Two or three different ways to get up there, but one was closed due to rock-fall while I was there, so I'll talk about:

south: could ride north from Caprino Veronese > Spiazzi > Ferrara di M Baldo > Cavallo di Novezza and continue north on the "balcone" road toward Brentonico, or descend back the same way.

north: could ride south from Mori thru Brentonico (signs for something like "Altipiano di Brentonico") to Bocca di Navene and then south on the "balcone" road toward Spiazzi, or descend back the same way.

I'm eager to include climbing the south and descending the north as the later section of a grand loop counter-clockwise around Monte Baldo and including as an earlier section riding along the east shore of lake Garda.

Telegrafo on east side of lake Garda


Long steep climb challenge from Assenza or Magugnano up to Prada + Lumini [ see on map ].  Comparable in steepness and size to the notorious Monte Zoncolan west side, but nearby lots of other interesting riding. Not a "pass" in the usual sense of the word -- just a shoulder on the side of the Monte Baldo ridge.

Sustained around 15% grade for about 800-850 vertical meters (2700 feet). Not much interesting variation in steepness or curves, just long switchbacks.  Narrow. Also not much view of wonderful lake Garda, because of trees -- so you only get brief glimpses at the switchbacks. But after reaching the top, pleasant pretty gentle riding thru Prada to Lumini, and at least one possible pleasant descent from Lumini (e.g. SE down to Caprino Veronese).

We saw someone suggesting using this climb as part of a loop counter-clockwise around Monte Baldo -- but I feel that such a purely physical challenge is out of place in a ride otherwise focused on wonderful views and variety. Also I think the best way to do the loop is ride it counter-clockwise and to start early in morning around Mori (or Torbole) then ride down the east side of lake Garda (for best light for views across the lake), then ride the "balcon" around the east side of Monte Baldo in the afternoon (for best light for views east out across the Adige river valley). But then when you get to the long climb from Caprino thru Ferrara up to Cavallo di Novezza + Bocca di Navene, my legs are already thrashed from climbing up Passo del Telegrafo.

steep steep: Alte Jenesier Weg + Rafensteiner Weg

Steep section not as long as Telegrafo or Zoncolan, but much steeper. Rafensteiner Weg steep like the steepest section of Scanuppia / Malga Palazzo. Then can continue higher to other sections of Alte Jenesier, up and up a long ways to Salten.

see details above

the sick thing: Scanuppia + Malga Palazzo from Besenello

Steepest hardest long climb I've ever attempted [ photos ]. The steepest hardest long climb on a sealed-surface road in Europe (or the world) -- at least I've not yet heard any serious proposal for any sealed-surface road that comes close. I did not succeeding in climbing it -- gave up before I made it even halfway thru the 24% (or steeper?) section. So I actually don't know what's beyond that. I did measure the sustained 24% section I rode with my GPS with barometric altimeter (with auto-calibration turned off).

Beyond what I rode myself and measured, what I know about its steepness comes mainly from - (except that the section I measured there with my GPS showed results actually a bit steeper than the same section on that elevation profile). That elevation profile seems to indicate roughly:

  • around 12% for about +120 vertical meters as a "warmup"on the wider asphalt road

  • around 24% for about +375 meters in lower section of narrow concrete road.

  • around 14% for about +135 meters.

  • around 17-19% for about +660 meters

  • ? perhaps further climbing on dirt-gravel after the concrete surface ends ?

(note that the upper +660 meters just by itself would be one of the hardest climbs in Europe)

Also a few months ago I found this road on Google Earth, and calculated steepness from that, and it roughly agreed with the elevation profile on

(There's a sign by the road which says "45%", but I regard that is the usual exaggeration of steepness by road-authorities everywhere I visit.)

Limited use?  I don't know anything about laws and road usage customs in Italy, but I saw a sign by start of the narrower concrete road which might have suggested that using the road is not permitted for non-local residents . . .

I saw another sign on the wider asphalt approach road below the start of narrow concrete, which might have indicated that it was private -- I saw some kind processing plant by the start of the narrow concrete section.

On the other hand when I was there on my bicycle, some guy at the processing plant came out to help point me the right way when he saw I had missed finding the start of the narrow concrete road. And two cars passed me while I was riding on the narrow concrete road and didn't try to say anything to me.

So if you're not sure about how that applies to you, I suggest you check with some authority before you take the time and effort to travel to Besenello.

Finding the correct road is a little tricky. Hope this helps:

bottom of extreme steep:  latitude-longitude = 45.94618,11.11815 = N45.94618 E11.11815 

Another way: start in the town of Besenello [ see on map ] which is a ways south from the major city of Trento in northeast Italy. Find the street Via Scanuppia (starts narrow brick, later changes to asphalt) and start riding up roughly northeast for about 400 meters until it meets another road. Bear Right to join the other road and climb roughly east. When get near a processing plant, turn Left onto a narrow asphalt road north over a short bridge - (do not keep climbing up that nice wide asphalt road). Just after the bridge the asphalt ends and the narrow road climbs moderately with the first two shrines along the right side. Soon sharp curve right (east) and there's a gate and then you're riding on 24% steep narrow concrete (soon a third shrine on right).

I interpreted the round sign next to the gate to mean "No mopeds or electric bikes" - (but I don't know much about laws and road customs in Italy).

Actually a better (but less interesting) "warmup" for the 24% steep section is instead of going thru the town on Via Scanuppia, instead start from the bottom (west end) of that asphalt road which the Via Scanuppia street meets, a road which runs around the north side of the town of Besenello -- but I'm not sure how to describe getting to it, though I captured at the bottom of that road:  latitude-longitude = 45.94963,11.10735 = N45.94963 E11.10735

It's even harder . . . What makes it even more difficult is that much of the concrete surface is not "even". Not that it's "rough" (though in a few spots it is that) -- but that it's "wavy", like with very wide "ripples" in its surface. I suspect the this unevenness is intended to provide better traction when there is snow or ice. So using super-low gearing doesn't solve everything, because you have to maintain enough momentum to carry thru the low zone between "waves" (which might also have some erosion on it). Scanuppia is not just about muscular endurance, also balance and reacting to changes.

could get hurt . . . Stories I've read about people trying to ride up Scanuppia tend to include the number of times they fell off their bike. The main thing that made me give up was that as my legs got more tired I was more afraid I was going to fall. Therefore . . . Practice getting out your feet out of the pedals quickly. Have a plan for who you're going to fall onto a hard concrete surface without getting hurt. (And if you plan to continue, how you're going to get started pedaling again on such a steep slope).

Also how to get back down again. Good to practice in advance how to handle very steep slopes without going over the handlebars -- including the possible need to make a sudden stop on descent because of sudden appearance of an animal or uncoming car. And if it rains or snows, getting down could get dangerous.

see photos

climbs not over anything: Germany + Austria


what's here:

  • Zillertaler Hoehenstrasse, Austria

  • Obersalzberg (and Rossfeldringstrasse) from Berchtesdagen, Germany

Zillertaler Höhenstrasse

(or Hoehenstrasse or Höhenstraße)

One of the great mountain view roads of Europe. I heard it was good from searching on which even gave me some good hints about which sections would be best for me to ride. I rode it on a Sunday afternoon, and even with views of the higher snowy peaks blocked by haze, I still felt it was great -- so I put a (filtered) set of my GPS track up on -- see description + link + steepness + size info

Some further notes:

The main climb up from Aschau had some nice view lower down -- and then there are big views higher up after that initial main climb -- but in between was some long slogging up thru forest without much view.

I might consider doing it reverse, because it seemed that the road between Hippach + Melchboden was more scenic than the main climb up from Aschau -- so I might want to spend more time savoring those views. Also in reverse I wouldn't have the sun in my eyes so much -- though I also wouldn't get so many views of the snowy north faces of the high peaks to the south.

Riding north down thru the valley from Hippach to Aschau was nice -- but I had a strong wind in my face and it was getting ready to rain, so I was in a hurry. Next time I might want to take a side trip to visit the town of Zell am Zee.

Obersalzberg from Berchtesgaden

I had read claims on English-language forums that this climb was very very hard, like 24% grade sustained for over 2 km -- which would be much harder than anything I had ever climbed -- or even tried to climb. I'd also heard that the Rossfeldringstrasse which connected with it was a spectacular mountain road. So I was eager to try the climb.

I started at the bottom next to the lift that goes up to Obersalzberg, first with a warm-up south to Koenigsee and back. Then into the steep climb. I started it pedaling sitting. Kept on pedaling sitting. I was looking for the super-steep section, when I would be forced at least to stand for pedaling, probably "tack" or weave from side to side. Kept on pedaling sitting. A car with NL plates coming down the hill stopped just to watch me ride up the hill -- I guess it was steeper than any hill he'd ever seen, or steeper than any hill he ever imagined. Kept on pedaling sitting. Reached the Obersalzberg parking area for the bus to Kehlstein.

The climb was over and the road got rather gentle for a ways. I reached a junction, turned right onto the Rossfeldring road which went uphill. Kept on pedaling sitting.

Later when going down the hill I noticed two signs saying 24%. So English-language forums and the German road maps weren't just making it up or guessing.

Afterward I loaded points from my GPS (with barometric altimeter with auto-calibration turned off) onto my computer and analyzed them. It showed that the steep section was about +395 meters vertical over about 3.5 km distance (which agrees roughly with some data I took from Google Earth) -- for an average steepness around 11% grade. The two GPS data series (uphill and downhill) perhaps showed two short steeper sections, of +25 vertical meters around 19-20% grade and +27 meters around 18-19%. No significant section at steepness above 20%.

My conclusion is that the authorities who posted the steepness signs simply exaggerated - (like steepness signs I've found everywhere else I've pedaled my bike up hills and measured). And English-language forum posters and German map makers just took it literally.

After riding it and measuring it, I'm convinced: It's not really 24%. If you want to experience sustained 24%, try Scanuppia / Malga Palazzo from Besenello, Italy. I did, and it was overwhelmingly harder than Obersalzberg from Berchtesgaden.

more . . .

see also


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