highest navigable route in Europe

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robing
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highest navigable route in Europe

Postby robing » 23 Sep 2018, 2:28pm

I wondered what the highest navigable route in Europe was? I'm talking road cycling. I've been over Andorra (2400m) and Mont Ventoux (1912m) but there must be much higher passes in the Alps and other areas.


robing
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby robing » 23 Sep 2018, 5:08pm

That's interesting. Who'd have thought Spain would be the highest?

whoof
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby whoof » 24 Sep 2018, 11:11am

It depends if you mean passes that you go over or out and back roads. It also depends on if navigable means paved.

I rode from Granada to Pico Veleta in June. The road to the ski station was fine, I took the quiet and steeper road past the dam. Beyond the barrier we stopped as the weather closed in and it started to snow. The road surface also deteriorates and I you want to go down the other side it's unsurfaced.
https://www.dangerousroads.org/europe/s ... spain.html

The road surface of the Cime de Bonette/Col de Bonette is well surfaced both over the pass and to the top. It's a long steady climb to the pass and then they have built a 1 km each way loop with a 10% gradient at the top.

pwa
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby pwa » 24 Sep 2018, 4:08pm

The Cime de la Bonette road (2802?) is the highest I have been over, but the Stelvio(2757), though a touch lower, is more spectacular. Both are tarmac.

whoof
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby whoof » 24 Sep 2018, 4:39pm

A couple of things that may be useful if you want to do some other high passes.
The Galibier may say 'open' at the bottom but this might be only the road for motorised traffic (sign saying no bikes) that goes through a tunnel near the top. There's another road about 600 m long that goes over at a higher point that bikes can use but sometime it's not ploughed and therefore covered in deep snow. The tunnel is only a little over 100 m long and there isn't a lot of traffic. Last time I went over we followed a car through (it's traffic light controlled). We met a cyclist on the other side who had walked through near waist deep snow over the top, not an option with a tourer fully loaded for camping. If you come from the North you descent to the top of another climb, the Col du Lautaret. The weather on each side of the mountain can be very different.

The Grossglockner is a toll road for motorised vehicles 26 euros for motorbikes and 36 euros for cars but free for bike. Very beautiful.

https://www.grossglockner.at/gg/en/index



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... _in_Europe

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foxyrider
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby foxyrider » 24 Sep 2018, 8:10pm

whoof wrote:A couple of things that may be useful if you want to do some other high passes.
The Galibier may say 'open' at the bottom but this might be only the road for motorised traffic (sign saying no bikes) that goes through a tunnel near the top. There's another road about 600 m long that goes over at a higher point that bikes can use but sometime it's not ploughed and therefore covered in deep snow. The tunnel is only a little over 100 m long and there isn't a lot of traffic. Last time I went over we followed a car through (it's traffic light controlled). We met a cyclist on the other side who had walked through near waist deep snow over the top, not an option with a tourer fully loaded for camping. If you come from the North you descent to the top of another climb, the Col du Lautaret. The weather on each side of the mountain can be very different.

The Grossglockner is a toll road for motorised vehicles 26 euros for motorbikes and 36 euros for cars but free for bike. Very beautiful.

https://www.grossglockner.at/gg/en/index



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... _in_Europe


Couple of years ago I bagged several of the high 'passes' in one trip, The Solden glacier road tops out at 2829m, the Timmelsjoch at 2509 and the Grossglockner at 2505 (I didn't go up the spur,) in terms of actual metres gained the Grossglockner is 1885m from the north, Timmelsjoch 1820m from the south and the Glacier road a mere 1380m (although it drops to the ski station after the summit it's a dead end so you have to come back the same way).

Other trips have let me bag a few other quite high passes or roads with lots of altitude!

In terms of metres gained try the N-S Grimsel (2165m) at 1500m and both the W-E Kuhtai (2020m) and E-W Jaufen (2094) gain over 1400m. By comparison the W approach of the 2436m Furka only gains 674m as you come into it from the Grimsel.

If you want a leg snapper the 1310m gain on the mere 1995m Gross Scheidegg west approach (from Grindelwald) has some long steep ramps.

All of these are surfaced
Convention? what's that then?

Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

whoof
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby whoof » 24 Sep 2018, 8:22pm

foxyrider wrote:
whoof wrote:A couple of things that may be useful if you want to do some other high passes.
The Galibier may say 'open' at the bottom but this might be only the road for motorised traffic (sign saying no bikes) that goes through a tunnel near the top. There's another road about 600 m long that goes over at a higher point that bikes can use but sometime it's not ploughed and therefore covered in deep snow. The tunnel is only a little over 100 m long and there isn't a lot of traffic. Last time I went over we followed a car through (it's traffic light controlled). We met a cyclist on the other side who had walked through near waist deep snow over the top, not an option with a tourer fully loaded for camping. If you come from the North you descent to the top of another climb, the Col du Lautaret. The weather on each side of the mountain can be very different.

The Grossglockner is a toll road for motorised vehicles 26 euros for motorbikes and 36 euros for cars but free for bike. Very beautiful.

https://www.grossglockner.at/gg/en/index



https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of ... _in_Europe


Couple of years ago I bagged several of the high 'passes' in one trip, The Solden glacier road tops out at 2829m, the Timmelsjoch at 2509 and the Grossglockner at 2505 (I didn't go up the spur,) in terms of actual metres gained the Grossglockner is 1885m from the north, Timmelsjoch 1820m from the south and the Glacier road a mere 1380m (although it drops to the ski station after the summit it's a dead end so you have to come back the same way).

Other trips have let me bag a few other quite high passes or roads with lots of altitude!

In terms of metres gained try the N-S Grimsel (2165m) at 1500m and both the W-E Kuhtai (2020m) and E-W Jaufen (2094) gain over 1400m. By comparison the W approach of the 2436m Furka only gains 674m as you come into it from the Grimsel.

If you want a leg snapper the 1310m gain on the mere 1995m Gross Scheidegg west approach (from Grindelwald) has some long steep ramps.

All of these are surfaced

I'll take a look at those as I'm currently thinking about next year's summer tour. I liked Austria a lot. The scenery was stunning, the campsites and hotels were also excellent.

Brucey
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby Brucey » 25 Sep 2018, 2:13am

there are quite a few climbs that are over 2000m in vertical height gained if you look around. For example the Gnd St Bernard pass is a good step (if you ride from Martigny) from the North side (and it is more spectacular from the south side). The gradient is not severe. The lake at the top is in the shadow of the mountains for much of the day and is so cold that it is only completely free of ice for a few weeks each year.

If you ride from the Cime de la Bonette southwards, it is (apart from a 100m stretch in one town en route) downhill all the way to Nice, over 100km away. In fairness it is only just downhill for the last 50km or so but it is still downhill rather than uphill.

There are some nice day rides that take in such as the Stelvio, but the starting points are mostly already at altitude, so in terms of net height gained, you may 'only' gain ~1800m (if riding from Glurns) or less than that if riding from Bormio. You can ride some of the loops via the Umbrail pass; for years there was a gravel road stretch in this route, but I am told that since 2015 it is tarmac all the way.

cheers
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nirakaro
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby nirakaro » 25 Sep 2018, 9:09am

The Col Agnel on the France-Italy border is the highest international pass in Europe at 2744m. If you start at Savigliano, it's a long steady climb of about 1400m, and then another 1000m at around 10%.

Brucey
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby Brucey » 25 Sep 2018, 9:52am

it is also worth noting that there is 'navigable' and 'paved'. I'm not sure what passes for the former (dirt road?) but even the latter is not what you might expect in every case. In times past very many alpine roads were basically cobbled. The old road over the St Gotthard pass is still 'paved' in this way (having been bypassed by a tunnel for road traffic a long time ago, it was never covered in tarmac)

Image

Despite the surface it is worth riding this pass because there is very little traffic and it shows what the routes through the Alps would have been like many years ago. [BTW Several other passes are bypassed in their upper reaches by a tunnel, leaving the top of the original pass road quiet and good for cycling, but most of these roads are tarmac.]

Stretches of other passes occasionally show a similar cobbled surface in places, eg there are parts of the North side of the Grimsel pass which seem to be like this, but then again maybe they were stretches of road that were being repaired (on several occasions though). As cobbled surfaces go roads like this are pretty good (not like they were in parts of Norway...), but coming down a pass in the wet, going round a corner and finding that the surface transforms from tarmac into wet slippy cobbles like this is somewhat disconcerting to say the least.

cheers
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Antbrewer
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby Antbrewer » 9 Oct 2018, 8:12pm

I have just returned from a tour of the Salzkammergut region of Austria. Just last week. Completely knackered for two reasons. I obviously thought my fitness levels were better than they actually are. Secondly the route was graded at intermediate and I thought maybe that was just one above easy??????
No way . I did struggle and at 70 this year I guess more training was advised. Did enjoy it though.

However this thread on the high passes takes me to the point of my post here.. 59 years ago in 1959 My father ( a life long cyclist and member of the CTC) took my late twin brother and I ( both 11 yrs old) and my sister of 15 touring all over Austria. The climax for us all especially I guess my dear dad was all of us going over the Glockner. This at 2.500 mts was quite something. 59 years ago the cars and motorbikes were much fewer than today also the numerous coaches that slow things up on the hairpins. I do recall the grind up to the top and staying in a mountain refuge over night at some place off the main road. One lasting memory has to be for a little lad was to see the picturesque beauty of Helingblut appearing round the bends as we tore down on our Viking cycles.
There are obviously higher passes in the Alps but this holiday at 11 yrs old certainly gave me my love of mountains. I had thought earlier before my recent trip that maybe I could do the Glockner next year making 60 years since that first trip. But I now know my limits.
My boast is at 11 years old I did it.

Anthony

althebike
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby althebike » 10 Oct 2018, 10:17am

This thread is all very well, but there I was happily working on a route through the alps, and now it is all change as I detour towards every col I can find.

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foxyrider
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby foxyrider » 10 Oct 2018, 11:27am

Antbrewer wrote:I have just returned from a tour of the Salzkammergut region of Austria. Just last week. Completely knackered for two reasons. I obviously thought my fitness levels were better than they actually are. Secondly the route was graded at intermediate and I thought maybe that was just one above easy??????
No way . I did struggle and at 70 this year I guess more training was advised. Did enjoy it though.

However this thread on the high passes takes me to the point of my post here.. 59 years ago in 1959 My father ( a life long cyclist and member of the CTC) took my late twin brother and I ( both 11 yrs old) and my sister of 15 touring all over Austria. The climax for us all especially I guess my dear dad was all of us going over the Glockner. This at 2.500 mts was quite something. 59 years ago the cars and motorbikes were much fewer than today also the numerous coaches that slow things up on the hairpins. I do recall the grind up to the top and staying in a mountain refuge over night at some place off the main road. One lasting memory has to be for a little lad was to see the picturesque beauty of Helingblut appearing round the bends as we tore down on our Viking cycles.
There are obviously higher passes in the Alps but this holiday at 11 yrs old certainly gave me my love of mountains. I had thought earlier before my recent trip that maybe I could do the Glockner next year making 60 years since that first trip. But I now know my limits.
My boast is at 11 years old I did it.

Anthony


I reckon if you went steady and climbed up from Heilingblut you'd do it okay, its not such adrawn out affair or as steep on that side!

I agree that some of those Salzkammergut climbs are harder than you might think - but it still gets me singing when I crest a hilltop!
Convention? what's that then?

Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

brynpoeth
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Oct 2018, 11:36am

PDQ Mobile wrote:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_highest_paved_roads_in_Europe_by_country

Belgium goes higher than England, +1!

The list is wrong, Bwlch-y-groes is higher than Bwlch Efengyl, can someone correct it?

Does Great Dun Fell count, or is it private?
Cycling? Of course, but it is far better on a Gillott.. Alternative facts welcome