Rdom Pass Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling

20.3
FIETS
7.6 mi
DISTANCE
5,791 ft
GAINED
12.6 %
AVG. GRADE

FULL CLIMB STATS

Page Contributor(s): Matt Wilden, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; Ties Arts, Bussum, Netherlands

INTRO

This 7.6 mile bike climb is located in Aseer Province, Saudi Arabia. The average gradient is 12.6% and there is a total elevation gain of 5,791 ft, finishing at 8,187 ft.

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CLIMB SUMMARY

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains, Saudi Arabia - cyclist climbs and extremely steep segment of roadway along a switchback on the Rdom Pass climb, Asir Mountains, Forst Al Ymani

Cycling Rdom Pass (Forest Al Ymani)

Ride 7.6 miles gaining 5,769’ at 12.5% average grade (17.6% climb only)

One word describes this monster:  STEEP!!!!  If you removed the 815 feet of descent for 1.1 miles from mile 4 to 5.1, the AVERAGE grade for this climb is 17.6%.  That means for 6.5 miles you are climbing at an average of 17.6%.  Consider that in comparison to an average climb around home - when I hit a stretch for even a brief period of time that is 17-18%, I consider that an exceptionally steep and difficult stretch of road.  Cycling at 17-18% average for 6+ miles (often above 20%) is one of the greatest challenges I have ever encountered on a bike climb.

As with all but one of the 12 Asir Mountain Top 100 climbs, this climb was undocumented and -- as far as we can tell -- untouched by bicycle tires before November 14, 2021 (John’s Strava Post for Rdom).

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - photo collage, Garmin device reads 25% grade, PJAMM cyclist climbs along extremely steep portions of roadway in the Asir Mountains

Rdom Pass is home to the steepest 2 kilometer cycling segment (24.3%) and the second steepest mile (26%) and kilometer (26.7%) in the world.  

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - photo collage, sights along the last few miles toward the top of the climb, beautiful vistas overlooking Asir Mountain range, sun high in the sky, roadside brightly colored painted jeep and tractor displays with plants growing out of them, two people waive at cyclists from their tractor

Some sites in the last few miles leading to the top of the climb.

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - PJAMM Cyclists stand with their guide, Adnon, at start of climb.

Climb start, and Adnon, the best guide in the world!

STEEP - PERIOD!!

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains- PJAMM cyclist zig-zags up extremely steep, switchbacked portions of the two-lane Asir mountain roadway, photo collage, PJAMM cycling logo in corner

This road is definitely a “Paper Boy” -- my term for ziz-zagging up an unbelievably steep mountain road.  

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - photo collage shows switchbacks on a beautifully paved mountain roadway, brown, high desert and mountain landscape, Garmin device reads 25% grade, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner

There is only one place in the world that can be home to the steepest mile on earth, and this is it.  Check out PJAMM’s 1 mile segment profile for the climb - that is just crazy stuff!!

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - PJAMM's ride profile tool shows gradient profile of steepest mile of roadway in the world

It was no secret when a vehicle was approaching from the downhill side - invariably the engine would be screaming as the drivers pushed the vehicles against 25% grades on their way up the mountain.

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - PJAMM's ride profile tool shows gradient profile of steepest mile of roadway in the world

When using the PJAMM App, it’s no secret when danger approaches . . .

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - photo collage, PJAMM Cyclists ride along the steepest mile in the world, PJAMM logo in corner

We have run the mile profile on multiple plotting tools and confirm this one mile is 26%.  We have scoured the world for several years plotting and documenting the hardest and steepest bike climbs, and this is the second steepest mile that exists as far as we have found - quite remarkable.

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, PJAMM Cyclists ride along the steepest one mile of roadway in the world

That is me struggling up the mountain - for most of that climb I was either hunched down and grinding as hard as I could, or zig-zagging seated, or, on the steepest parts, actually standing and zig-zagging.  I averaged 2-3 mph for the steepest sections but am proud to say I never had to put a foot down.

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - Photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson rides along the steepest one-mile segment of roadway in the world, 26% grade

The few motorists we encountered along the climb were all extremely encouraging, tooting horns, offering water, and cheering us on.  It was such a wonderful experience riding in the Asir Mountains; those we encountered along the way were supportive and engaging.

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - Photo collage, PJAMM Cycling logo in corner, PJAMM Cyclist John Johnson rides along the steepest one-mile segment of roadway in the world, 26% grade

That’s a guy in happy and good pain . . . 😊

I just kept thinking to myself on this climb - how fortunate am I to have the greatest cycling climbing challenge in the world that no one else has ever experienced?  Not once in 11 days driving or riding did I see a road cyclist.

EPIC AND SCENIC

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains  - aerial drone views show the steepest one mile of roadway on earth

These mountains are not just the hardest in the world, they are stunningly beautiful in a stark and powerful way.

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains  - views of the stunningly beautiful stark landscape of the roadway carved into the side of the Asir Mountains on Rdom Pass

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains  - photo collage, Garmin device shows 3,245 feet of elevation gain in four miles, goats crossing roadway, PJAMM Cyclist riding along roadway, views looking down the mountain at road switchbacking up

3,245’ gained in four miles - now THAT’S STEEP!

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - photo collage, PJAMM cyclist John Johnson rides on the steepest one mile segment of roadway in the world, stark, rocky mountain terrain, views looking down of steep mountain ranges below

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains  - views looking down at the steep mountain range below, no trees obstruct the view, just stark, rocky terrain

Because the mountain and road up it is so steep and there are no trees to obstruct views, the scenes back in the direction we just traveled are unobstructed and dramatic.

Cycling Rdom Pass, Asir Mountains - PJAMM Cyclists stand with guide at the top of the Rdom Pass climb, Forest Al Ymani, Saudi Arabia

That’s a wrap!  

Thanks so much to our fantastic guide Adnan, and to my riding partner on this trip, Matt Willden of Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.

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