One of the most beautiful climbs we have ever had the honor to ride.
We began the climb at dawn.
It is simply so beautiful at times it does not even seem real - we LOVE Vzpon! This is a road bike climb in the Julian Alps (named after Julius Caesar) - the mountains in this area are Limestone and provide the backdrop for some of the most scenic climbs by bike in the world.
It’s beauty is almost equaled by its difficulty - it is nearly 10 miles in length, gaining 4,430’ over that distance at 8.5% average grade with the steepest ¼ mile 12.5%, ½ mile 11.4% and a double digit mile at 10%.
We begin the climb in Log pod Mangartom, population 139 as of 2002, but it did seem more populated when we visited in 2017. We stayed at Hotel Mangart which is 10 km / 6 miles from the start of the climb. The ride from the hotel (which we highly recommend - see Google Streetview widget below) is delightful, particularly in the early morning when we began - pre-dawn in an effort to get our free breakfast when we returned, and, boy were we glad we did!!!!
The road is bordered by forest at the lower level
There are 4 tunnels (if we are remembering correctly) along the top ⅓ of the climb. One is about 300m long and so dark we were disoriented in it and weaving a bit in the middle. We recommend you bring a headlight and taillight, although there is not much traffic along the way. These are also the best Photo-Opportunity tunnels we have ever encountered - in fact, we are still kicking ourselves for missing a shot with the rider about 50 yards ahead coming out of the extremely dark tunnel with an extraordinarily beautiful scene beyond perfectly framed by the mouth of the tunnel - we will pay you for that shot!!!!
The road gets extremely narrow at the top, although it is in good condition and there is minimal traffic and that traffic drives very slow, by our observation.
We did not realize it at the time, but the finish of the climb is literally a stone's throw from the Italian border.
“CILJ” is “Goal” in Slovenian and we made ours!