Rionda Bike Climb - PJAMM Cycling



Hardest climb in Switzerland and #10 in the World - EPIC!

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Climb Summary

Cycling Rionda - Rionda - Rhone Valley and La Cime de l'Est 

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 second hardest bike climb in Switzerland and #11 world climb.  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).

Cycling Rionda - La Cime de l'Est and hairpin curves and roadway 

 Climbing Rionda by bike -  -  La Cime de l'Est and flowers 

Cycling Rionda - La Cime de l'Est and water fountains top of climb 

La Cime de l’Est (3178 m / 10,426’ in the background of three photos above.

Cycling Rionda - bicycle leaning against wall, hairpin 24 sign and road   

   Bike climb of Rionda - hairpin #1 sign, road and bicycle

There are 29 numbered hairpins on the paved lower portion of this climb. 

Climbing Rionda by bike - rooster weather vane on rooftop


  At 6.4 kilometers we pass through the quaint and quiet village of Morcles.

Climbing Rionda by bicycle - beginning of gravel section 

The road turns to gravel at about 9 kilometers (about 6.5 km of gravel).


  Rionda Bike Climb - La Cime de l'Est, gravel road, flowers and grass

“Closed Road - Bridges Removed” - yep . . .

Bicycle climb of Rionda - gate on gravel road   

 Bicycle ride of Rionda - bridge out 

Rionda Bike Climb - snow blocking roadway - gravel road 

We can handle no bridges, but cannot ride bike across 45% snow drifts!

Time to abandon the bike and hike the last kilometer.

Rionda Bike Climb - La Cime de l'Est - bike on gravel road

Cycling Rionda - narrow road and snow

Climbing Rionda with bicycle - PJAMM jersey with La Cime de l'Est in background 

It was all worth it!

Will from Cycling Challenge has his usual excellent, informative and entertaining summary here:  Cycling Challenge Rionda Page.