Furka Pass (Realp) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

7.6
FIETS
7.1 mi
DISTANCE
2,762 ft
GAINED
7.4 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Helmuth Dekkers, Netherlands

INTRO

Furka Pass from Realp is one of the great climbs of the world cycling climbing Andermatt area

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Furkapass, Realp, Switzerland - sticker covered sign for Furkapass, tour buss, cyclists

Cycling Furkapass from Realp

Ride 11.4 kilometers gaining 840 meters at 7.4% average grade.

Furkapass is a challenging and beautiful climb in the World Cycling Climbing area of Andermatt.

The climb begins at the southern edge of the quaint Village of Realp (population 153 in 2018).  Realp has a rich history that dates back centuries. Its well-preserved wooden chalets and buildings give visitors a glimpse into traditional Swiss mountain architecture. The village has retained much of its old-world charm.

Realp is a starting point for the Furka Pass Railway, a historic steam railway that offers scenic rides through the Alps. The railway played a significant role in the transportation of goods and people across the mountains in the past.

FIRST HALF OF THE CLIMB

Cycling Furkapass, Realp, Switzerland - views along first half of climb, cows laying down in grass on roadside, yellow wildflowers, Swiss alps in background, sign for Gletsch

The 9 hairpins on this climb are all in the first 5.3 kilometers which average 8.1% average grade and pass some interesting points of interest.

We pass one of the tees for a small golf course at km 1.

This is a popular and oft busy road that can fit 2 tour buses . . . barely!  There can be delays for buses to pass, animals to pass or road maintenance.  While I was stopped on my bike a few times, the surroundings mitigate, if not eliminate, any frustration over  the delays.

The Swiss take great pride in their country - all roads are impeccably maintained.

Once we leave Realp, we are traveling through alpine pastures on a smooth road with little traffic and great views.  

James Bond/Goldfinger Viewpoint  at kilometer 2.3.

What’s with the James Bond Street sign?  Furkapass is home to a five-minute segment from the 1965 James Bond movie Goldfinger.  In the scene, we see Bond’s Aston Martin DB5  passed by Tilly Masterson’s yellow Mustang.  Tilly later takes a shot at Bond from a hairpin above where he is stopped watching Odd Job and Goldfinger buy apples from youngsters on a hairpin below Bond.  Bond then chases and uses his extending tire shredding feature to disable her vehicle.  You can watch the scene on YouTube, here.

Tilly Masterson takes aim on Bond on Furka Pass

Photo:  James Bond Club Schweiz

Unattended, on-your-honor tiny store with local goods at km 5.2

 

SECOND HALF OF THE CLIMB

You’ll likely be in or in close site of snow as you ascend the final 6.1 kilometers at 6.8%.  Weather conditions can change, so be prepared with proper gear.

Trail to Sidelen-Hutte at kilometer 9.5

3.2 kilometer hike to the Hutte.

This is a acclaimed and popular hiking hub - Website with a 4.7 Google rating on 141 reviews.

FINISH

Furkapass has been featured in several stages of the Tour de Suisse.

Cycling Furkapass, Realp, Switzerland - bike parked at sticker-covered sign reading "Furkapass," large white building on roadside at climb summit

Finish at 2436 meters.

GRAND TOUR OF SWITZERLAND

Furkapass is included in the Grand Tour of Switzerland which is a famous motor vehicle route that takes in many of the amazing and scenic views of Switzerland.

Grand Tour of Swizerland

1600 kilometers, 22 lakes, 5 alpine passes  12 UNESCO World Heritage sites.

In addition to Furkapass, the Grand Tour includes Gotthard Pass, Sustenpass and Grimselpass in this area.

Climb summary from our friend and PJAMM contributor Helmuth Dekkers (NL):

To get back to my hotel after I cycled Nufenenpass and Gotthardpass I first had to cycle from Hospental to Realp. The first 3.5km are flat which makes up for a nice change after all the climbing and descending. Then 2km false flat to get to Realp where the road starts to go up again to the Furkapass (2431m) from the Realp or northeastern approach. After the first set of hairpins and 5.5km of cycling you'll reach Berghotel Galenstock and shortly after that the hamlet Tiefenbach. 3.5km outside Tiefenback you'll pass the Sidelenbach waterfall.

Sidelenbach waterfall

It's then just 2.5km left to the Furkapass and you'll see the valley far below you and impressive mountains in front of you where the pass is.

From the pass you will see the hairpins that will take you down to Gletcsh and you'll see at the same time the hairpins that take you up from Gletsch to the Grimselpass. The view is stunning! It might be even better when you descenD a bit until the Hotel Belvédère which is not in use anymore and hence from a distance looks OK but up close IS deteriorated. Here you can also go inside the  Rhône glacier. This glacier used to be very impressive but there is not so much left anymore due to the temperature that is going up year after year. After the set of tight hairpin turns around the Hotel Belvédère there is a nice straight part to descent before the last couple of hairpin turns take you down to Gletsch.

Thank you Helmuth!!

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