Grosser Oscheniksee  Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling






Grosser Oscheniksee

Austria

About as private as it gets!

Page Contributor(s): Erwan Treguier, Brittany, France.

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Climb Summary


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[Note: this is a private road.]

Cycling Grosser Oscheniksee: Austria #2 and World #21 hardest bike climb.

Ride 12.3 kilometers gaining 1,433 meters at 11.7% average grade.

Photo:  Erwan Treguier

Don’t blink or you’ll miss this one!  At km 2.9/mile 1.8 there is a right turn onto a one-lane access road to Oscheniksee Reservoir that is 9.33 km/5.8 miles (at 12.6% average grade!) up the hill and through multiple sets of wonderful hairpins.  Be sure to check out the hairpin slideshow at the bottom of the page (Ok, we did get a little out of control on the volume of photos for that one, 83 photos, sheesh...).

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This is a private road, so proceed at your own risk (photo 2017).

Note as of January 2020, Erwan Treguier writes:  “I showed my pictures to my uncle (who's an avid cyclist as well) during the holidays and we had a closer look at the signs at the beginning of the service road... I'm not certain as the resolution didn't allow us to read everything that was written in German, but it would seem that the access is actually allowed to bikes, but only within certain hours, depending on the season.”  Thus, we think it is probably safe and acceptable to ride our bikes on this road.

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Photo 2019: This is on a side road, which seems important.

Erwan Treguier went for it on the main road in August 2019 without problem, but . . .

you are thusly forewarned . . . 😈

Photo:  Erwan Treguier

If there is a circle with bike for the side road, but not for main road, couldn’t one take that to mean the main road is alright for bikes but not for cars . . . ?  

This sign at the start of the private road even suggests its o.k. for bike??

Any assistance in interpreting this whole thing would be most appreciated.    

Photo:  Erwan Treguier

We were not aware that the mighty Grosser Oscheniksee was predominantly on a private road.  In fact, we completely missed the turnoff on our first run up the road.  Once we reached the power station about a half mile up the road we realized we had missed something and backtracked to the gate shown in the photos above.  At that point we had to make a decision -- do we hop the gate and continue up a private road in a very remote area of a foreign country, or call it a day and head back to the car -- as with Scanuppia the year before (#2 World Climb) we just could not accept turning back after traveling thousands of miles to Europe, in part to tackle this little known, hidden (well, and off-limits) jewel.  So, over the fence we go . . . (and we are glad we did!).  We encountered no vehicles during our time on the private road, but did run into a cyclist from Holland who had traveled to this remote area to climb to the reservoir.

The climb itself is magnificent, there’s no doubt about it.  Starting at hairpin 9 (kehre in German), each is marked in some fashion all the way up to the last one (#42).  Note that we did not see markings for the first 8 hairpins.

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First kehre that we saw was #9, and the last #42.

It was a bit overcast during our climb, so we were not treated to what are likely exceptional views of the distant mountains during the climb.  There was enough of a window between sprinkles to get a taste of what the views are probably like on a clear day, however:

The steepest ½ mile and 1 km of this climb is right at 16.8% average grade, and there is a 2.5 mile/5 km stretch at nearly 14% -- it is simply a beast of a climb.  The road is paved to the top and we believe it exists as a service road to the dam and reservoir that it ends at and for fire watch.

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Several fire watch towers along the climb.       

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Photo:  Erwan Treguier

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Oscheniksee Reservoir.

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Photo:  Erwan Treguier

The road is paved nearly all the way up the climb and is only a problem on our hands and wrists on the very steep and windy descent.  As noted above, do not expect much to any traffic and you must assume this is a fully unsupported climb -- you are on your own on this one.  Erwan writes “I didn't meet any human being... at all! (climbing + going down) so it's important to be very cautious... (or ideally, not to be alone!).”

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The road is in decent shape . . . for the most part . . .

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Even in paradise, not all is perfect . . .

Photo:  Erwan Treguier