Longest road climb in mainland europe?

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Vorpal
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby Vorpal » 15 Feb 2017, 10:39pm

andrew_s wrote:
Vorpal wrote:https://www.ft.com/content/79259938-defb-11e5-b072-006d8d362ba3 is apparently the world's longest climb. I don't know what height it begins at.

What climb is that? (it's a subscriber only link)

Sorry. I didn't realise it was subscription only. I don't have ausbscription, so I don't know why others can't see it :P

Anyway, the climb is Alto de Letras in Colombia.
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby foxyrider » 16 Feb 2017, 9:42am

Vorpal wrote:
andrew_s wrote:
Vorpal wrote:https://www.ft.com/content/79259938-defb-11e5-b072-006d8d362ba3 is apparently the world's longest climb. I don't know what height it begins at.

What climb is that? (it's a subscriber only link)

Sorry. I didn't realise it was subscription only. I don't have ausbscription, so I don't know why others can't see it :P

Anyway, the climb is Alto de Letras in Colombia.

The subject of this thread is however EUROPE!
Convention? what's that then?

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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby Vorpal » 16 Feb 2017, 11:35am

foxyrider wrote:
Vorpal wrote:
andrew_s wrote:What climb is that? (it's a subscriber only link)

Sorry. I didn't realise it was subscription only. I don't have ausbscription, so I don't know why others can't see it :P

Anyway, the climb is Alto de Letras in Colombia.

The subject of this thread is however EUROPE!

And I said it was apparently the *world's* longest, then went on to discuss climbs in Europe. No need to shout. :wink:
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby BrianFox » 16 Feb 2017, 12:27pm

Restricting to Europe is very dull. The highest mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons on Mars, a 24,000m climb. It's not too steep though, averaging just 2-5 degrees.

Gravity on Mars is only about a third of that on Earth, and air resistance is hugely lower, with the atmospheric density being about 50 times less. The ascent would unfortunately require oxygen tanks, the Martian atmosphere being not merely too thin but also almost entirely composed of CO2. These would probably be swapped at regular intervals to avoid weighing down the bike too much. I would recommend pannier mounted for comfort. It's possible, likely even, that oxygen alone would be insufficient and a full pressure suit would be needed.

At an average of perhaps 3% gradient, the climb would be approximately 750km in length, but would be very easy, equivalent to just 1% gradient on Earth. Excellent clothing would be imperative, as temperature would vary considerably, though not by as much as for the same climb on Earth, the atmospheric lapse rate being related to the strength of gravity. A decrease from -30C at the start to around -80C at the end might be anticipated. It goes without saying in these circumstances that camping would not be the preferred option for accommodation en route.

The descent would be awesome on the smoothly tarmaced road specially constructed for the attempt, although designing gearing for both ascent and descent could be difficult, so it might be necessary to freewheel down. Air resistance 50 times lower than at home would enable massive top speeds, even with the gentle gradient and feeble gravity. A rough calculation suggests 150km/hr should be readily achievable, allowing the descent to be completed easily in a day (the Martian day is of similar length to Earth's), with a leisurely lunch and perhaps an afternoon café stop too.

Who's up for it?

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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby Mick F » 16 Feb 2017, 2:57pm

If you come south on the A9 off the top of Drumochter Pass, it's 20miles downhill. :D

Is that long enough?
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby brynpoeth » 16 Feb 2017, 4:47pm

BrianFox wrote:Restricting to Europe is very dull. The highest mountain in the solar system is Olympus Mons on Mars, a 24,000m climb. It's not too steep though, averaging just 2-5 degrees.
.. .
Who's up for it?


I will join you if I may have a one-way ticket for half the return fare .. but I must ask, how can you describe Mars in such detail?

Have you already been there secretly? :wink:
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby ChrisF » 16 Feb 2017, 11:17pm

Thanks for all the suggestions, and sorry for not replying bit sooner. Back from holiday now.

Seems I didn't make my quest clear enough. When I said 'longest climb' I think I really meant 'highest continuous climb'. The various Mt Tiede climbs in Tenerife apparently have that record for 'Europe' since they rise from almost 0 to 2200m, over 30 km, without any noticeable descents. But as I said I don't really qualify Tenerife as being in Europe.
A very long climb at very low gradient (e.g. MickF's 20 mile A9 climb) doesn't win because it only goes from 200 to 450m (hardly a climb at all really :wink: )
Some of you mention climbs in Spain, Italy and France which seem to go up more than 2200m. The Pico de Valeta climb in the Sierra Nevada looks a contender: according to RideWithGPS, from Granada it up goes from 700 to 2500, so a continuous climb of 1800m. I don't think I'd allow unsurfaced roads so the climb up the other side from Orgiva doesn't qualify!
I'll try mapping some of the other French & Italian ones mentioned - or be happy to see the results of others' work in this respect. When I find the 'winner' I'll make it my next challenge. Europe only please!
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Mick F
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby Mick F » 17 Feb 2017, 7:02am

ChrisF wrote:A very long climb at very low gradient (e.g. MickF's 20 mile A9 climb) doesn't win because it only goes from 200 to 450m (hardly a climb at all really :wink: )
Dunno where you get your info from, though I'm splitting hairs maybe. :wink:

Here's the profile from Drumochter to Pitlochry as ridden by me in 2010.
Seems to me that the elevation difference top to bottom is over 1,100ft

The top is 1,500ft = 460m
Bottom is 350ft = 107m
Screen Shot 2017-02-17 at 06.56.39.png
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby Tigerbiten » 17 Feb 2017, 10:18am

ChrisF wrote:I'll try mapping some of the other French & Italian ones mentioned - or be happy to see the results of others' work in this respect. When I find the 'winner' I'll make it my next challenge. Europe only please!

No point in you doing it as it's already been done at climbbybike.com
They have 13464 climbs worldwide, searchable by country or mountain range.

Look at either http://www.climbbybike.com/top_climbs.asp
Or http://www.climbbybike.com/most_difficult_climbs.asp
Ranking index is (H*100/D)*2 + H²/D + D/1000 + (T-1000)/100 where : H = difference in height; D = distance in meters; T = top of mountain in meters, the last part of the formula does only apply to mountains above 1000 meters.

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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby ChrisF » 17 Feb 2017, 10:34am

Mick F wrote:Dunno where you get your info from, though I'm splitting hairs maybe. :wink:
Here's the profile from Drumochter to Pitlochry as ridden by me in 2010.
Seems to me that the elevation difference top to bottom is over 1,100ft
The top is 1,500ft = 460m
Bottom is 350ft = 107m

I'm using RideWithGPS. Here's the profile for your ride: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19049916 which suggests 123 to 461 m (328m climb, or 1076 feet in old money).
Here's the profile of the Sierra Nevada climb, to the top of the paved section: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19049867
Here's (some of) the Cime de Bonette climb that was mentioned https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19050030 as far as 1923m. For some reason RideWithGPS won't let me plot to the top, but I can see it could easily be the winner, in terms of both length and height gain.

So, I wonder why Teide seems to have the accolade? https://roadcyclinguk.com/sportive/twelve-more-must-ride-climbs-for-your-bucket-list.html/11#HDDu51y6KMBA3Mav.97
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby ChrisF » 17 Feb 2017, 10:41am

Tigerbiten wrote:No point in you doing it as it's already been done at climbbybike.com
They have 13464 climbs worldwide, searchable by country or mountain range.

Look at either http://www.climbbybike.com/top_climbs.asp
Or http://www.climbbybike.com/most_difficult_climbs.asp
Ranking index is (H*100/D)*2 + H²/D + D/1000 + (T-1000)/100 where : H = difference in height; D = distance in meters; T = top of mountain in meters, the last part of the formula does only apply to mountains above 1000 meters.

Thanks. but my quest wasn't for the 'most difficult' climb or the 'most popular' climb, it was for the longest. If I look for the Bonette climb on that site, it only includes the top half. Why?
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby wizard » 17 Feb 2017, 11:12am

I can recommend the Colle del Nivolet, one of the highest paved climbs in Italy (2612m). See my ride, https://ridewithgps.com/trips/6605135
From Cuorgne it was almost 60km climbing, although I have to admit the first part isn't too hard.

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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby Mick F » 17 Feb 2017, 11:42am

ChrisF wrote:I'm using RideWithGPS. Here's the profile for your ride: https://ridewithgps.com/routes/19049916 which suggests 123 to 461 m (328m climb, or 1076 feet in old money).
Funny that, coz if you go to another online mapping and check it, you'll find different figures.

BikeHikeUK (for instance) has it as 1,517ft at the top, and 433ft at the bottom.
That's 462m top and 132m bottom.

Splitting hairs again, but each mapping program will give you a different figure, and it's a well-known fact.
Also, different Garmin models give different figures too!

Don't get me onto the subject of distances. :lol:
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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby andrew_s » 17 Feb 2017, 5:02pm

ChrisF wrote:The Pico de Valeta climb in the Sierra Nevada looks a contender: according to RideWithGPS, from Granada it up goes from 700 to 2500, so a continuous climb of 1800m.
The normal end to the climb is at the barrier that stops vehicular traffic (with the exception of those that have keys, eg for observatory access), but there's no problem taking bikes past. The road is surfaced up to the last ski lift at about 3200 m, though the surface isn't in wonderful condition (I kept down to about 20 mph on the way down, to give myself time to stop for potholes if required).
The upper section is also usually closed by snow during the spring cycling season, so one-off tracks like RWGPS are often incomplete.

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Re: Longest road climb in mainland europe?

Postby ChrisF » 17 Feb 2017, 5:34pm

wizard wrote:I can recommend the Colle del Nivolet, one of the highest paved climbs in Italy (2612m). See my ride, https://ridewithgps.com/trips/6605135
From Cuorgne it was almost 60km climbing, although I have to admit the first part isn't too hard.

That looks a good one, thanks. From 400 to over 2600 that's 2200m +.
Your track doesn't quite seem to go to the top though, is there a reason for that?
Chris F, Cornwall


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