Cycling Bombi Pass
This is another highway 3 climb - this begins in Castlegar and has much the same feel to its start as Anarchist Pass, Osoyoos. There is a long 5 km/3 miles stretch from the start of the climb to a viewpoint (km 4.5/mile 2.8) that overlooks the town of Osoyoos and the Columbia River that runs along its eastern border. An interesting view along the first long grade is back to the north at the West Kootenay Regional Airport runway below which provides an interesting contrast from the roadway and, at one spot, the runaway truck ramp (see slideshow).
After bending left just past the viewpoint, we are bordered by forest the remainder of the climb – the scenery is very nice and this would be an exceptional climb, but for the highway traffic. There are a few long uphill very straight stretches that can be disheartening if one is weary or challenged by the grade of this climb.
Roadway surface and traffic: The roadway is in excellent condition and there is good shoulder for nearly the entire climb. The first 2.5 kilometers have two lanes in our direction. This is highway traffic, including plenty of big rigs, that can whiz by at 80-100 kph (although the commercial trucks do labor slowly up the grade). This is not the climb for those uncomfortable with fast moving traffic and highway conditions.
The eastern approach to Bombi Pass is very similar in roadway conditions and scenery as the last 8.5km/5.4 miles of Bombi Pass west.