highest navigable route in Europe

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
andrew_s
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby andrew_s » 10 Oct 2018, 12:28pm

The Pico Veleta is good tarmac to the car barrier at about 2400m, then poor tarmac to the top ski lift at about 3300m, then a rough gravel track to near the top. At about 3200m there's a turn off to a col (also about 3200m) that quickly becomes good gravel. There's another barrier at the col, after which there's a rough gravel road down the other side to Capilera. I did it on 28 mm tyres (up on Conti TT 2000, down on Gatorskin), but it's slow going downwards compared with more suitable tyres.

Brucey wrote: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.

If you just follow the road, there's about a 50m height gain over half a mile or so coming out of St Etienne de Tinee. I think there's a bypass through the town back roads and down the river, but it's not obvious unless you've looked it up beforehand.

pwa
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby pwa » 10 Oct 2018, 12:30pm

brynpoeth wrote:
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?

Contentious area. Wiki has the Gospel Pass at 549m. How high is Bwlch y Groes? I have seen both referred to as "the highest pass in Wales".

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RickH
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby RickH » 10 Oct 2018, 1:00pm

brynpoeth wrote:
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?

If Bwlch Efengyl is what the OS map marks as Gospel Pass (Wikipedia suggests they are one & the same) that has a spot height of 549m on the 1:25k map. Bwlch-y-groes is only marked as 414m.

Cycling up Great Dun Fell (& down again) seems to be permitted (or at least tolerated). There is an Audax with a control point at the top.

roubaixtuesday
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby roubaixtuesday » 10 Oct 2018, 1:16pm

Great Dun Fell seems to be positively encouraged on the NATS website.

Accidentally building cycle paths
At Great Dun Fell, the access road built by NATS to enable access to the radar and radio site rises 2,800 feet above sea level and has inadvertently become a popular Pennines cycle (and running!) route.


There was no problem at all with access earlier this year when I did it.

Minor correction - Bwlch y Groes OS spot height is 545m, so only a tad lower than the Gospel Pass. Whilst slightly lower, it is much, much tougher on a bike.

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RickH
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby RickH » 10 Oct 2018, 2:10pm

roubaixtuesday wrote:Great Dun Fell seems to be positively encouraged on the NATS website.

Accidentally building cycle paths
At Great Dun Fell, the access road built by NATS to enable access to the radar and radio site rises 2,800 feet above sea level and has inadvertently become a popular Pennines cycle (and running!) route.


There was no problem at all with access earlier this year when I did it.

Minor correction - Bwlch y Groes OS spot height is 545m, so only a tad lower than the Gospel Pass. Whilst slightly lower, it is much, much tougher on a bike.

Sorry, yes it should be 545m - I'd gone to the wrong Bwlch y Groes on the map (I'd accidentally been looking at the one in Denbighshire, NW of LLangollen, which is 414m) - in mitigation my OS mapping lists 6 (if you allow for presence or absence of spaces &/or hyphens)

Bwlch y Groes.JPG

pwa
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby pwa » 10 Oct 2018, 3:04pm

roubaixtuesday wrote:
Minor correction - Bwlch y Groes OS spot height is 545m, so only a tad lower than the Gospel Pass. Whilst slightly lower, it is much, much tougher on a bike.


The Gospel Pass is very do-able by the averagely fit cyclist, with only a few short steep bits interspersed by long draggy sections. I prefer to do it from the Hay side.

brynpoeth
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby brynpoeth » 10 Oct 2018, 3:24pm

Bwlch yr Efengyl* =Gospel Pass
Cymru am byth!

* checked the spelling, found it on a website "dangerous roads" :?
Cycling - of course, but it is far better on a Gillott..alternative facts welcome

HarryD
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby HarryD » 10 Oct 2018, 4:20pm

Apart from the last km the road up Great Dun Fell is a public bridle path so there should be no issues regarding cycle access. Can't imagine anyone begrudging cyclists the final stretch

A few years ago I did the Capiliera to Granada route over pass next to Pico de Valeta. Rode it on a hybrid with the tyres that came fitted. The mountain road was fine but in poorer condition very high up with more bare rock showing. After that the road down seemed pretty good. The electric blizzard was scary though

hoogerbooger
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Re: highest navigable route in Europe

Postby hoogerbooger » 11 Oct 2018, 10:02pm

second shout for the Pico Veleta as the highest European road/jeep track pass ...BUT do it from the south. Makes Nice short break.

1st time I went to do it it snowed (drat !) 2nd attempt it didn't. I flew to Malaga and got a bus along the coast and cycled from there to capeilera. Festivals and tapas were everywhere. Then had a slow day and went to the top village. Next day got up early and cycled the pass ( road then jeep track) and down to Granada. (on 26" tourer with 1.75 semislicks and two light panniers) Was rough in places but all cycleable ( 10 years ago) When I got to ski station just over the pass the road was perfect and it's more or less freewheeling all the way to Granada. one of my top 10 days cycling. Then head back to the coast off the main road. Fantastic canyons/ valleys on the way.