Pozza San Glisente (Dos dell'Asino) Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

5.5 mi
4,737 ft
16.7 %


Page Contributor(s): Jiri Fikejz, Choceň, Pardubický kraj, Česká republika


Pozza San Glisente translates to "sandy slippery", but it should be called ripido e impossibile (steep and impossible)!  This is the hardest bike climb in Italy and the fifth hardest bike climb in the entire world.  Only 6 cyclists have climbed this monster according to the Strava segment for it. This is an epic climb that should be on every serious bike climbing cyclist's must-do list.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
Roadway:  This is an extremely narrow roadway.  The majority of the route is paved with no center line or shoulder and in fair condition with debris.  The last couple of kilometers is paved narrow strips where the tires of a car would run with dirt or weeds in between and the final segment is large rock and dirt in a rough cobblestone arrangement.  This climb can be done on a road bike but is best suited for a gravel bike. 

Traffic:  Minimal, but be careful on tight turns for descending vehicles because the roadway is extremely narrow. 

Parking:  There is a spot for 2-3 vehicles at a trial head 180 meters up the road from the start - MapStreet View
Provisions:  There are no locations for food or water on this route.  There are many places to get food and beverages in Esine just to the northeast of where our climb begins.

Gear:  This is an almost impossible bike climb.  If you try this on a road bike, be sure to use a bike with gearing to fit your ability, or a mountain bike with small chainring and large cassette.
Before heading out on any cycling adventure check out our Things to Bring on a Cycling Trip and use our interactive check list to ensure you don't forget anything.
We suggest you include this climb (if you are up to the challenge 👍) in a trip to the magnificent cycle climbing area of Bormio - see PJAMM Cycling Bormio, Italy climb page; the start of Pozza San Glisente is only about 100 kilometers from Bormio - Route Map



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Cycling Pozza San Glisente, Italy - cyclist riding on one-lane, narrow and steep rural roadway surrounded by trees

Cycling Pozza San Glisente - Italy #1 and World #9

Ride 9.1 kilometers gaining 1,411 meters at 15.7% average grade.

Cycling Pozza San Glisente, Italy - cyclist riding on one-lane, narrow and broken steep rural roadway surrounded by trees

This is the Top Ranked Italian Bike Climb and the seventh hardest in the world. Many online argue that this is the hardest bike climb in the world (see the writeups on Pozza San Glisente on ClimbByBike.com, CyclingToday.com, and Road.cc to hear why they think so).  We agree that this climb is definitely among the toughest around.

Cycling Pozza San Glisente, Italy - cyclist riding on one-lane, narrow and steep rural roadway surrounded by trees

How do you get to be the top dog in one of the greatest cycling countries in the world?  STEEEEEPPPP and more STEEEEEPPPP!!  Only the extraordinary Scanuppia with its average 17.8% gradient rivals Pozza San Glisente’s extreme gradient, and Pozza actually edges out Scanuppia for steepest 500 meters at 26.7% versus 24.1%.

Cycling Pozza San Glisente, Italy - view of roadway surrounded by grass, grass down center of roadway

First segment of the climb is on a narrow paved roadway.  The next portion is on a one-lane road with two narrow paved sections separated by a grass (and at times rock) center divider, which can be seen in the photo above.  

Cycling Pozza San Glisente, Italy - cyclist riding on cobblestone roadway

The final segment is very rough cobble or cobble-dirt.  Makes for an extremely bumpy descent.  

Cycling Pozza San Glisente, Italy - cyclist rides on one-lane cobblestone roadway covered in debris from evergreen trees

Cycling Pozza San Glisente, Italy - bike parked next to road sign for San Glisente

Pozza San Glisente begins in Esine, part of the province of Bresica, in Italy’s Lombardy region.  This climb is only 100 kilometers from the cycling center of Bormio, so consider taking this one on if you are in Bormio for the Big 3: Stelvio-Gavia-Mortirolo.  See our Bormio Climb Area page for more details.

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