Glen Quaich (SW #165) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

2.3
FIETS
1.7 mi
DISTANCE
815 ft
GAINED
9.4 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

INTRO

The challenge in this fairly brief climb is its pitch - 15% for a quarter mile and 12% for a full mile.  This is enough to rank the 1.7 miles Glen Quaich in the Scottish Top 10: (1)  Bealach na Ba Bealach na Ba (traditional), (2) Bealach na Ba Applecross, (3) Mull of Kintyre, (4) Kenmore Hill, (5) Cairn O'Mount, (6) Bealach Maim, (7) Bealach Ratagan, (8) Craigowl Hill, (9)Glen Quaich and (10) Bealach Feith Nan Laugh.

Visit our Top UK and also our Top Scottish hill climbs pages for photos, summaries and statistics for their respective top hill climbs. 

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CLIMB SUMMARY

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.

photo collage shows roadway snaking across Scottish Highland hillsides, PJAMM bike parked next to cattle guard in roadway, road sign for Weak Bridge

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.

photo collage at climb start: sign for Weak Bridge, bike parked on old stone bridge crossing small creek

The climb begins on a vintage stone bridge.

photo collage shows Scottish Highlands, green hillsides, big horn sheep grazing

“. . . 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).

aerial drone view of hairpin turn

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%.

photo collage shows gorgeous Scottish Highland scenery

bike parked at unmarked climb finish at top of hill

Finish at the top of the hill with unobstructed views at an unmarked summit.

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