Cycling Sustenpass from Wassen
Ride 18.1 kilometers gaining 1,225 meters at 6.8% average grade.
This is a very scenic Suisse bike climb over a steady grade that rarely varies from 5-8%. This climb is also included in the Suisse cycling marathon Alpenbrevet which is a monstrous 5 mountain passes (Susten, Grimsel, Nufenen, Lukmanier and Oberalppass), 264 kilometers and 7,170 meters of climbing.
Our route goes 330 meters past the actual Sustenpass and ends at the Guesthouse Sustenpass (bonues of 282 meters altitude gain at 13%).
Sustenpass is in the bike climbing area of Gletsch - within a 40 kilometer radius of Gletsch are Sustenpass, Furkapass, Grimselpass, Gotthard Pass and 3 Top World Climbs (Breithorn #9; Mannlichen #55 and Marjalensee #81). It has been included in the Tour de Suisse several times but its most recent appearance in 2019 (as of 2020) in the Queen Stage was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions.
Warning: Bring taillight and headlight for tunnels on this route.
For Sustenpass there are also 2 very small tunnels at the start just outside Wassen and then a long gallerie. The gallery does offer a sidewalk for pedestrians and you can cycle there if you like even though it is quite narrow. I tried that on the way back and as it is so narrow you need to descend slowly and I was overtaken by cyclists who just followed the road. Hence my suggestion is to just follow the road. I did the same for the 2nd half of the galery myself.
Thank you Helmuth!!
Susten 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.
1600 kilometers, 22 lakes, 5 alpine passes 12 UNESCO World Heritage sites.
In addition to Sustenpass, the Grand Tour includes Gotthard Pass, Grimselpass and Furkapass in this area.
I asked Helmuth if how he felt cycling through the tunnel at the finish:
“I felt perfectly safe to cycle through the tunnel. But, at the time there were construction activities ongoing and there was a traffic light to allow traffic from either direction. If you bring a tail light and front light (the tunnel is lit but then you are more visible to cars approaching you) then you should be fine.”