Grosser Oscheniksee  Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling






Grosser Oscheniksee

Austria

About as private as it gets!

Page Contributor(s): Erwan Treguier, Brittany, France; Patrick Blonk, Netherlands.

Explore this Climb

PJAMM Cycling LogoDark Sky logo
LOCAL WEATHER

Start
Finish

PJAMM’S CLIMB REPORT

If you love climbing by bike and would like more detailed information on the world’s top bike climbs, join our PJAMM Cycling group and receive our Special Edition Climb Report.
  • Receive a monthly report.
  • Get detailed and entertaining information on the greatest bike climbs and climbing areas throughout the world.
  • Discover beautiful landscapes with drone video and professional photos of remote and exotic places.
  • Gain insider knowledge on where to stay and how to conquer some of the most difficult climbs.

Climb Summary


Red, Circle - Free vector graphics on PixabayClimb SummaryRed, Circle - Free vector graphics on Pixabay

[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...).

IMG_3403.JPG 

IMG_3661.JPG

This is a private road,

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 . . . ?  

Patrick Blonk answers the mystery of Grosser Oschenikss April 26, 2020:

To all cycling fans,

I read the article about the Grosser Oscheniksee on PJAMM and you weren't quite certain whether one is allowed to cycle it. In 2019 I did this climb and saw the road signs as well. I had never seen the signs anywhere on the internet, I assumed they had been placed there quite recently.

As for the question(s), on the sign you can read that:

Cyclists are permitted to use the road from 1 May until 30 September, from 09.00 - 20.00 hrs.

Cyclists are permitted to use the road from 1 October until 30 October from 09.00 - 16.00 hrs.

The uppermost sign is a list of general rules that you have to obey. You will also find the sign(s) at the beginning of the Hochwurtenspeicher (or: Mölltaler Gletscherstraße as it is also known), although it was closed last year due to construction work. This climb is on the same road as the Grosser Oscheniksee, just a few miles further.

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.

Kehre 9.jpg   

  IMG_3628.JPG

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.

IMG_3449.JPG

Several fire watch towers along the climb.       

  IMG_3640.JPG

Photo:  Erwan Treguier

IMG_3640.JPG

Oscheniksee Reservoir.

IMG_3640.JPG

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!).”

IMG_3583.JPG   

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

IMG_3583.JPG

Even in paradise, not all is perfect . . .

Photo:  Erwan Treguier