Cycling Nebelhorn - Germany’s biggest bike climb.
Ride a mere 7.4 km to elevation 1,885 m gaining 1,075 m at 14.7% average grade.
Ouch! Enough said. One of the three steepest we’ve ever done (Scannuppia and Mombacho round out the top three). Several brief segments exceed 30% and there is a full quarter mile at 26%, half mile at 25% and 1 mile that averages 23.5% grade.
The Nebelhorn is a mountain peak in the Allgäu Alps which is part of the Alps Mountain Range of Europe. The climb begins at the eastern edge of Oberstdorf (pop. 9,695, 2017 census; elevation 815 m (2,674’). Oberstdorf is a skiing and hiking venue near Germany’s southern border with Austria.
What do you expect, the thing starts at the bottom of a championship ski jumping facility!
PJAMM at Schattenbergschanze
View up at the long Schattenberg 120 m hill
For some reason (ha, ha - maybe good sense??) Nebelhorn is not on many cycling radars - only 25 cyclists as of October, 2017 had engaged this beast (and, we are proud to say that PJAMM’s own Brad Butterfield holds the KOM).
Brad on his way to glory!
There is a nice cafe (See alpenGasthof) at mile 2 / km 3.2, just before you hit the wall that keeps on giving!
For after the climb!
This is range land and we encounter some pretty hardy horses and cows along the way.
Meadow and manageable grade at km 4.4
The views along the last 2 miles of the climb are excellent. The road is paved, but does have loose gravel in places that can cause serious problems standing and pedaling with the force needed to ascend the last 2 miles. While we climbed this mountain on road bikes (Brad used a compact chainring with a 36t cassette and John used a compact with 42t), a mountain bike would be preferred. And, as a testament to the force necessary to get up the mountain, after no mishaps in 40+ climbs in Europe during our 2017 trip, John broke a rear spoke on the Nebelhorn.
Looking down at steepest ½ km (26%)
27% grade (middle of steeps ½ km @ 26%)
O.k. - there is an alternative to killing yourself - take the tram . . . who knew!
Nebelhornbahn Station and Edmund-Probst-Haus
Hikers zig zag down the mountain it is so steep
Nebelhorn is one of the steepest bike climbs in the world.
The granddaddy of steep - Scanuppia, Italy
7.3 km at 17.7%
6.1 km at 14.2% (1 km @ 29.3%; ½ km at 31.9%).
Passo della Forcella, Italy
9.4 km at 14.4%
Alpe Fuori, Italy
11.8 km at 13.7%
Safety note: it is nearly impossible to stay on your bike and hold down your speed on the 30+% grades during the descent.
The steepest ¼ mile 26% / ½ mile 25% and steepest mile is 16.6% / steepest ½ km is 25.5%, 1 km 24.7% and steepest 2 km stretch is 23.6%.
One can take the cable car to the Edmund Probst Hutte (cafe and viewpoint - stop #2 of 3) from Oberstdorf and to Nebelhorn Peak (last stop). As of 2017 the cost of a pedestrian ticket for all 3 sections of the cable car was a whopping 34,50 Euro.
Steepest kilometer begins at km 5 (24.7%!!!)