Cycling Al Bahah Pass
Ride 26.6 kilometers gaining 1391 meters at 5.2% average grade.
This was the first climb of our Saudi Arabia Asir Mountain adventure - and the easiest. Although the grade is manageable, the conditions were challenging. We traveled 25 hours to get to Jeddah and then drove five hours to the start of the climb, and had nearly 100 degree heat at the start. But, that’s what adventure is all about, right? 👍👍
The climb begins at Thee Ain Ancient Village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The start, along with many spots along the way, are a bit daunting because you can see Al Bahah many, many kilometers in the distance, perched atop a very steep mountain.
Things to watch out for along the way:
- Heat: We are here in November during the Saudi winter, but it still gets hot in the lower lands, although the weather cools towards the top of the climb.
- Traffic: There is a fair amount of traffic along this climb. My guide followed me for about two-thirds of the climb and that worked out well.
- Tunnels: There are about 20 tunnels along the route, most are short but two towards the top are about a quarter-mile each and definitely require SAG support (following you closely). Bring flashing rear lights for the climb.
There is only one spot for provisions along the way . . .
. . . green oranges (very tasty) and tangerines.
Many short and two longer tunnels on the climb.
View my Strava page for the climb. I saw no other cyclists on this road during my three hour ride.
Baboons gather at a pull out about two-thirds of the way up the mountain . . .
. . . cars drive up and drop trash for them - so, I guess that’s why they hang out here.
View down the canyon we climbed to get near the top, where this photo was taken.