The greatest bike climbing country on earth.
Switzerland’s Top 10 Bike Climbs.
In our opinion, Switzerland is the top bike climbing country in the entire world. No country has the number nor the concentration of top bike climbs and few can compete with the stunning scenery encountered on nearly all the top ranked climbs in this fantastic country. From an objective standpoint, Switzerland is hands down the greatest concentration of challenging bike climbs within its borders:
- Switzerland (15,940 mi2 / 41,285 km2): 15 climbs in the World Top 125 (1:1 ratio; [1 = 1000 mi2]; 1 Top 125 for every 1000 mi2)
- Austria (32,386 mi2 / 83,879 km2) 12 climbs World Top 125 (1:2.7)
- Italy (116,347 mi2 / 301,337 km2) 28 climbs World Top 125 (1:4.2)
- Spain (116,347 mi2 / 301,337 km2) : 7 climbs World Top 125 (1:16.6)
- France (248,573 mi2 / 643,801 km2) 6 climbs World Top 125 (1:41.3)
- USA (3,794,100 mi2 / 9,826,673 km2) 13 climbs World Top 125 (1:291)
All of the Swiss Top 10 are also World Top 100’s. The greatest concentration of Top 125 World Bike Climbs in Switzerland is in the Valais Canton (5,224.49 km2; 2,017.19 sq mi). Valais (one of 26 canton’s [states]) in Switzerland) is home to 7 Top 125 World Bike Climbs or an astounding 1:0.28. As can be seen from our “Routes in Area” map below, there are 7 Top 100 World Bike Climbs within a 16 kilometer radius in the Swiss Rhone Valley located within the Valais Canton (note - 2 Thyon 2000 climbs begin near each other but take different routes to the top).
PJAMM'S CROIX DE COEUR ROUTES IN AREA PAGE
THE HARDEST BIKE CLIMB IN SWITZERLAND
Cycling Breithorn -- a little pavement and a lot of dirt.
Ride 13.8 km (8.6 mi) to 2,448 m, gaining 1,700 m at 11.5% average grade.
This is the eighth most difficult road bike climb in the world. As one may expect from a top world climb, this one is brutal: a mere 13.7 km but gaining an unbelievable 1,700 meters, with one kilometer segment at 18.3%!
Of Switzerland’s 14 World 100 Bike Climbs, Breithorn is the one to crack the Top 10 and is the most difficult bike climb in that country. The climb is beautiful, and when PJAMM Cycling did it, there was no sign of life whatsoever for the last 10 kilometers -- it is as private and as peaceful as a double digit 13 kilometer climb can be. There are no visual obstructions to impede the distant views after climbing above tree line at about kilometer 11.
#2 BIKE CLIMB IN SWITZERLAND
Left (south) to Martigny; Right (northeast) to Rhône Valley and Lake Geneva;
Center - La Cime de l’Est (3178 m / 10,426').
#3 BIKE CLIMB IN SWITZERLAND
ALPE DI CADINELLO
Cycling Alp di Cadinello - the 3rd hardest Swiss and 29th World road bike climb.
Ride 15 kilometers gaining 1,567 meters at 10% average grade.
#4 BIKE CLIMB IN SWITZERLAND
COL DES GENTIANES
Ride 21 kilometers gaining 1,792 meters at 7.9%
This is also the highest bike climb in Switzerland at 2,897 meters. Although most of the climb is on dirt and gravel, it is manageable by road bike with wide tires and a strong rider.
#5 BIKE CLIMB IN SWITZERLAND
CROIX DE COEUR
Ride 22 kilometers gaining 1,757 meters at 8% average grade.
The last third of the climb is on gravel but manageable in 2018 by road bike.