Page Contributor(s): Ron Hawks, USA; Bruce Hamilton/Stacy Topping, USA
Wow! How many times can we say Bucket List on this website?? We don’t want to overuse the phrase, but this is simply a magnificent climb - stunning.
We begin this Top 100 World Climb in the very quaint village of Grindelwald (population 3,818 in 2016 - at the foot of The Eiger) in roughly the center of Switzerland. The climb is tough from the outset and overall is 8.9 miles, 4,465’ at 9.55% average grade (¼ mile 17.4%, ½ mile 14.5%, 1 mile at 13% and 2.5 mile stretch at 12.25%).
When we visited in July, 2017, the town was in the midst of a very festive event that revolved around some form of sumo-style wrestling.
The roadway is narrow throughout but in excellent condition and with very little traffic which is slow moving when it is encountered. The end of the roadway is also serviced by a gondola that ends at Berghaus Mannlichen which is a nice and highly regarded hotel/restaurant.
A pleasant surprise at the “top” (what we thought was the top, anyway) is that you can continue up a dirt path to an observation platform which is actually on Mannlichen Peak. From there, you can observe on a clear day (our day sadly was not clear) the likes of the mighty Eiger as well as many other powerful mountain peaks in the area. Beware however that the last .4 miles is extremely steep and we were fortunate to have 28mm tires and a 36t and a 42t rear cassette (I am embarrassed to say - that was the Old Man’s!!) - we made it up about ¾’s of the way to the platform.
Stopped about ¾ of the way to the top.
View from the top includes Eiger to the southeast; there are legends at the platform to assist orientation
We stayed at a nice and inexpensive hostel in Grindelwald, but since tourism is king in this area, there are many nice hotels to choose from.
Steepest Gradients by Distance
36% for 100 yards is inaccurate - likely the highest 100 yards is 25%
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