Left (south) to Martigny; Right (northeast) to Rhône Valley and Lake Geneva;
Center - La Cime de l’Est (3178 m / 10,426').
Steepest kilometer starts at km 9.4 (14%).
This is the hardest bike climb in Switzerland and a top 10 world climb, coming in at #7. PJAMM’s Brad Butterfield climbed and documented Rionda Sunday, June 3, 2018. Brad’s blog summary is Posted Jun 3, 2018 (the full blog can be found at “Event Blog” on the 2018 PJAMM Europe Adventure Page here). Brad used a Specialized Crux cross bike with 40c maxxis knobby tires.
This Top World Bike Climb is located in the Berneses Alps, a subrange of the Alps located in western Switzerland. We start this climb in the Rhone Valley and have spectacular views of it as we climb. Throughout much of this climb we are in view of La Cime de l’Est, the highest peak (3,178 m / 10,380’) in the Lake Geneva area:
“The Dents du Midi (French: "teeth of noon") are a multi-summited mountain situated in the Chablais Alps in the Swiss canton of Valais. They are composed of seven distinct summits and reach a height of 3257 metres (10,686 feet). Highest mountain between Lake Geneva and the Mont Blanc Massif, they dominate the Val-d'Illiez and the Rhône Valley, from Martigny down to the lake” (Wikipedia - Dents du Midi).
La Cime de l’Est (3178 m / 10,426’ in the background of three photos above.
There are 29 numbered hairpins on the paved lower portion of this climb.
At 6.4 kilometers we pass through the quaint and quiet village of Morcles.
The road turns to gravel at about 9 kilometers (about 6.5 km of gravel).
“Closed Road - Bridges Removed” - yep . . .
We can handle no bridges, but cannot ride bike across 45% snow drifts!
Time to abandon the bike and hike the last kilometer.
It was all worth it!
Will from Cycling Challenge has his usual excellent, informative and entertaining summary here: Cycling Challenge Rionda Page.