Cycling Glen Quaich, Scotland
Ride 1.7 miles gaining 815’ at 9.4% average grade.
Glen Quaich rises up from a tiny village on the opposite side of the mountain from Kenmore Hill (Scotland #4). Our start coordinates are on an old bridge at the city limit. There was nothing going on in the village on the day I rode and no life to speak of. I got the sense that they are vacation homes, but it could just as well be a very quiet community. Two switchbacks bring you up from the village and onto the rocky mountain. Of course, this is a typical narrow Scottish road, but the traffic is guaranteed to be mild. Although short, Glen Quaich is a real gem of a climb situated in a very unique little corner of the Scottish countryside - and makes for a great add-on if Kenmore Hill isn’t enough for you.
There is a northern and southern route to the top of Glen Quaich. The northern route is known as Kenmore Hill and is the fourth hardest bike climb in Scotland, while the southern approach is ranked ninth on the Scottish Top 10 Hardest Climbs list.
The climb begins on a vintage stone bridge.
“. . . the south side is just magic. The spell is cast as you approach, riding through the glen, up ahead you see a dark line rising over the hillside. At first glance it resembles a stone wall, but it’s too wide, it couldn’t be the climb, surely not, that would be instance. As you get closer, it slowly starts to dawn on you that it is in fact the road, and your heart begins to thump . . .” Simon Warren writes in Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, A Road Cyclists Guide to Britain’s Hills (p. 115).
The hairpin is the steepest section of the climb.
Beginning at six-tenths of a mile, ride two-tenths of a mile through the hairpin at 15.6%.
Finish at the top of the hill with unobstructed views at an unmarked summit.
That’s a wrap!