Cycling Bashout Pass: #25 World Top Bike Climb
Ride 7.8 miles gaining 4,543’ at 11.1% average grade.
Climb summary by PJAMM’s John Johnson.
Bashout Pass is one of the five roads with the highest concentration of hairpins in the world. It is also an incredibly challenging bike climb, rated #36 in the world, but only ninth most difficult in the Asir Mountains - that tells you all you need to know about these glorious mountains.
As with all Asir Mountain climbs we documented in November 2021 (12 World Top 100), there is little around at the start and during the climb but pavement, an occasional residence and a lot of steep!
What makes this climb unique and - with a little publicity, downright famous - is it’s incredible concentration of hairpins. There is not a straight spot on this climb, other than the brief sections between one bend to the next. 62 hairpins in 7.8 miles equates to a 7.5 hairpin to mile ratio. Compare that to two of the most famous European hairpin bike climbs: Alpe d’Huez (21 in 7.1 miles = 2.96) and Stelvio (48 in 9 miles = 5.3) and you appreciate just how amazing this road is.
It is tough to make out the hairpins above as you climb, but it is possible in spots.
Final hairpin of 62.
After the hairpins, the next memory of this climb I have is how consistently steep it was. The full climb average is 10.1% and the steepest quarter-mile is 10.9%. This tells us that the climb is as consistent as any you will ever find on earth.
Bashout Pass should be on anyone’s bucket list for epic bike climbs. The hairpins, challenge and rugged beauty of the Asir Mountains puts it near the top of our list for most epic bike climbs we’ve ever heard of or experienced.
ASIR MOUNTAIN LIVESTOCK
The livestock of choice in the Asir Mountains are goats. We saw many goat herds, but few other animals, other than the occasional dog guarding the goats, baboons, and set of cows, but no sheep.
I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I was to experience the warmth of the Asir Mountain residents. Over half of our encounters with vehicles (I saw 0 cyclists in 11 days anywhere - while on the bike, on foot, or in the car) involved an encouraging toot-toot, shouts of encouragement, offers of water or the motorist stopping and chatting with me.
Another amazing Asir Mountain climb completed.