Baniamr Aquabah Pass Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

25.9
FIETS
5.9 mi
DISTANCE
5,014 ft
GAINED
16.3 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Ties Arts, Bussum, Netherlands

INTRO

Baniamr Pass is the 4th hardest bike climb in the world and has the steepest 5km (20.6%) and 10km (18%) segments out of any paved road on earth.

See more details and tools regarding this climb's grade via our interactive Profile Tool.
The road is narrow in spots, but in excellent condition with minimal traffic.
Do not attempt this climb without at least 34 chainring and 40-42t 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.
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ROUTE MAP
PROFILE TOOL

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - PJAMM Cyclist rides up hillside beyond large hairpin turn, large rocks in landscape

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia

Ride 5.9 miles gaining 5,014’ at 16.3% average grade.

Another of the unbelievable Asir Mountain bike climbs.  Ranked at #5 in the world, this one is high on our list of favorites in those wonderful mountains (PJAMM World Top 10).  

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage, yellow road sign reads "Slow Very Dangerous Bends," two PJAMM Cyclist stand next to each other looking down over mountainside, view looking down shows road snaking up mountainside, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

The road was in excellent shape which is surprising for a fairly remote route in the middle-western section of the Asir Mountains.  We encountered very little traffic and those drivers that came upon us invariably honked, yelled encouragement, or stopped to offer water.  We were even invited to meals in the village near the bottom of the climb by two separate and equally gracious motorists.

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage, two PJAMM Cyclists stand with bikes at the climb's start, yellow road signs warn of dangerous road conditions, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Climb start - only 5.9 miles to go . . .

. . . at 16.3% average grade.

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - views looking back on the climb from the north

View of Baniamr climb from Al Aqaqah, some 30 kilometers north.

STEEP

Any time you rank anything, there will always be a first and a last.  Well, this one is a big time first for steep grade.  Baniamr is home to the steepest five miles (18%), five (20.6%) and 10 kilometers (18%) on earth.  Thus, the Asir Mountains are home to some of the steepest cycling segments in the world.  Rdom to the south has second steepest mile bragging rights, at 26% average grade (Top 10 Steepest Mile) - just behind Scanuppia at 26.7%

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - PJAMM Cyclist rides up extremely steep portion of road passed hairpin turn

I felt like Jan Ullrich on Alpe d’Huez in 2001 on this one. 😔

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage, 
 two PJAMM Cyclists ride on extremely steep portion of roadway, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Photos rarely capture the true pitch of the climb, but this one is just impossibly steep.

EPIC

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - views looking down on roadway from above show just how steep and long it is

Although some of the climbs had more greenery than others, all Asir Mountain bike climbs have some things in common - they are steep, often have many hairpins, and boast unobstructed views back and down (4-5,000’) to the climb start.

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - views looking down on roadway from above show multiple sharp and snaking hairpins in the roadway

Beginning at mile 2.2 there are 3.7 miles that include 37 hairpins, averaging 20.4% grade.

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows PJAMM Cyclists as only two people on roadway, sharp, craggy rocks on mountainside, well paved mountain road, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

We encountered no cyclists on this climb, nor in all of our 11 straight days of climbing in these mountains.

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows views looking down the mountain from above, sharpe hairpin turn, two PJAMM Cyclists riding, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

Amazingly, there was excellent cell coverage on this and most climbs in the Asir Mountains.

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows PJAMM Cyclist riding toward the finish of the Baniamr Aquabah ride

Type 1 (during the ride) and Type 2 (at the finish) fun on this one.

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage shows views from the finish of the climb, looking back toward climb's start

Fantastic views back to the start as we climb.

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - goats and goat herder on climb

We encountered many got herders in the mountains, but no sheep, and only one set of cows.

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - PJAMM Cyclists ride toward the top of the pass

We climb towards that unique mountain formation as we climb, SLOWLY, to the top.

HAIRPINS

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage, PJAMM Cyclists ride on extremely sharp hairpin turns toward climb's finish, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

37 at 20.4% in 3.7 miles.

FINISH

Cycling Baniamr Aquabah Pass, Saudi Arabia - photo collage, climb's finish, PJAMM Cycling gradient tool, yellow road signs read, "Caution: Falling Rocks Area," and "Slow Down With Low Gear"

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