Cycling Almdan Pass, Saudi Arabia
Climb summary by PJAMM’s John Johnson.
I never get tired of saying it - “Another of the unparalleled climbs in the magnificent Saudi Arabian Asir Mountains.” 😊👍👍
Almdan Pass is ranked #38 on our World Top 100 Bike Climbs list. This climb is in the center of the Asir Mountain area that has an unprecedented 12 top 100 world climbs within a 100 mile radius.
No variance here from other Asir Mountain climbs - the start is in a remote and hot area - we are in Saudi Arabia after all. The temperature at the beginning of our climb was in the mid 90s (early November) which quickly dropped to the high 80s a couple of thousand feet up the mountain, and to the low 80s by the top.
This climb averages double figures for 8.5 miles - THAT gets you into the World Top 50. While my Garmin did read at or above 20% on a few occasions, the steepest full quarter-mile is 17.5%, the steepest half-mile 15.7%, and steepest full mile ia a tough 14.6%.
There is a surprising amount of greenery in the Asir Mountains, and the mountains are powerfully scenic to behold. We are able to see the roadway below us the entire climb because there are no trees to block the view, and the mountains are so darned steep!
X marks the spot - occasionally there are colorful and marked sediment layers visible on the mountain side.
According to the World Wildlife Foundation, the Asir Mountains are composed largely of sedimentary rocks, including limestones, sandstones, and shales, dating from the Jurassic, Cretaceous, and lower Tertiary periods. These visible rock compositions lie atop a complex of Pre-Cambrian granitic igneous rocks. This interesting geographical makeup is the cause for the distinctive rock formations visible in this highest land area of the Arabian Peninsula, and the reason we are able to see unique geographical occurrences such as the “X” in the photos above.