The 10 hardest mountains that ever featured in a GT

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Apr 8, 2010
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benpounder said:
I found Col de la Madeleine from the south more difficult than Telegraphe/Galibier
I disagree.
Sure the middle part of Madeleine is hard but it's in reasonable altitude opposed to that final km after the tunnel on Galibier.
 
Mar 8, 2010
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The Hitch said:
1 Zoncolan
2 Angliru
3 Finnestre
4 Mortirolo
5 Stelvio
6 Fauniera
7 Agnello
8 Ventoux
9 Kronplatz
10 Galibier.
What are your besttimes and thresholds ?
The hitch seems to be very experienced when it comes to (Italian) mountains.
 
Apr 8, 2010
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Cobblestoned said:
Yes. But better to change on MTBs for that. :D
It can be done on a road bike with, no prob's (even though, some of the draining is a bit odd). It's tarmac all the way. There's even a sportive that uses the road.
 
Cobblestoned said:
What are your besttimes and thresholds ?
The hitch seems to be very experienced when it comes to (Italian) mountains.
I didnt see the bit in the thread where it said one had to climb all mountains in order to have an opinion.

Either show me that bit or shut up.
 
Sep 10, 2009
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The Hitch said:
I dont know that you can descent Alpe without starting at the top of it / turning back into everyone.

You can if you climb Col de Sarenne first (the road starts near the lake on the way to Col du Lautaret) . But road is narrow, with draining ditches. It's a nice circle, but not for the TdF stage.


Finnestre has several 10+ grades and rarely goes under 8. Consider that in the Tour they talk about how Plateau and Alpe have "horrid" 9%+ grades, and Finnestre goes up to 14% (briefly yes), and goes on for ever and ever.

+ theres some bad turns and its gravel.

I was talking about first-hand experience and my impressions about the cols I actually climbed. Finestre (only one "n", BTW) has 12% at the beginning. The rest is 10% or a little less. I don't remember 14%. Yes, it is long and pretty steep, one of the climbs I call "single-speed climbs", because you use the smallest gear all the time and that's it :D
But, it is very beautiful. The asphalted part is all in the woods, and ramps between curves in the lower part are very short, so you can see your progress all the time and that keeps you motivated. The unpaved part has longer ramps and gravel makes it more demanding, but views are incredible and there was no that oh-my-make-it-end feeling. Other climbs I put on my list were simply more difficult, either steeper, or less constant, mentally more exhausting etc.
 
Mar 8, 2010
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The Hitch said:
I didnt see the bit in the thread where it said one had to climb all mountains in order to have an opinion.

Either show me that bit or shut up.
You are all over the hardest mountains and hardest stages threads on your Giro-promo-tour.
You look like you did........some climbing somewhere some day and that you perhaps know what you are talking about. Was just a question.

btw, young man, the only one who can make decisions about silence or not, is the god of thunder. :)
 
Nothing wrong with the Sarenne road overall apart from the drainage troughs (which could be dealt with for a tour if necessary). They descend similar roads in the Pyrenees.

I'd possibly consider the Izoard - tough from either direction. My dad tells me terrible tales of the Tourmalet too. That said, the sheer length and altitude of a lot of climbs I've yet to try (e.g. Stelvio, Gavia, Agnello) is daunting. I've climbed the Iseran and Galibier in entirety (both in blizzard conditions too) but been lucky enough to have a night's stop half way up each so didn't find them so bad. The descents were interesting though to say the least!
 
simoni said:
Nothing wrong with the Sarenne road overall apart from the drainage troughs (which could be dealt with for a tour if necessary). They descend similar roads in the Pyrenees.
If they ever used it I'd prefer to see them climb up that way and end in Bourg d'Oisans. Would be great for a circuit race.
 
Some time ago I calculated climbs difficulty base on this:

FIETS-index = [H^2 / D*10] + (T - 1000):1000

Where H is height difference in meters, D is distance in meters and T is altitude in meters. However I didn't calculate it for the whole climb but divided it into several sections (each usually 1-km long) in order to take into account gradient variations, steep fragments etc. For each section I calculated formula H^2/D*10 and sumed all these results. If the was a descent section then I changed sign of the expression (minus points for descents). At the end expression (T - 1000):1000 was also added. Here are the results:

1. Finestre 16.7
2. Zoncolan 16.6
3. Grossglockner-Hochtor 16.5
4. Stelvio (from Prato) 16.4
*Galibier+Telegraphe 16.3
5. Fauniera 15.7
*Forcola di Livigno 15.6
6. Angliru 15.1
7. Mortirolo 15
*Sierra Nevada + Monachil 14.6
8. Esischie (part of Fauniera) 14.4
9. Manghen 14.3
10. Mt Ventoux 14.1
Agnello 14.1
Croix-de-Fer (from Le Chambre via Glandon) 13.9
Monte Grappa 13.9
Stelvio (from Bormio) 13.8
Bonette (from S. Etienne) 13.2
...
Madeleine 12.9
Gavia 12.9
...
Giau 12.0
Tourmalet 11.9
...
Bola del Mundo 11.7
...
Plateau de Beille 11.1
...
Alpe d' Huez 9.9

Climbs marked* can be considered two separate climbs because of flat or descent sections.

One can see that in this ranking two type of climbs dominate: leg-breakers with incredible gradients (i.e. Zoncolan, Angliru and Mortirolo) and quite steep giants with enormous height difference (i.e. Finestre, Hochtor, Stelvio, Fauniera). In this rank Finestre edges Zoncolan, Grossglockner and Stelvio but which one is absolutely hardest - each of them has their arguments as well as Angliru, Mortirolo and Fauniera. It's possible I omitted some climbs in calculations i.e. Blockhaus could be also in TOP10 but I am not sure at what altitude was its highest finish.

It is easily seen that monster climbs dominate in Giro. I just hope that Finestre will be used more often as it's absolutely epic. I could be even used in TdF (but I think it's not in their style ;)). Fauniera climb is also missed during last decade. Some Giro visit on Rettenbachferner or highest Glossglockner sections would also be nice.
 
Does anyone know the answer to these

Which climb used has the longest stretch greater than 10%?
Which climb used has the longest stretch greater than 15%?
Which climb used has the longest stretch greater than 20%?
 
Jan 3, 2012
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What's the steepest average per cent for a climb in pro racing history
And what's the steepest per cent a climb has reached at one point.
 
Mar 31, 2010
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this is the mother of qall climbs. so hard that the uci forbids the colombian federatrion to ever use rhis climb again in their race....
 
Ruby United said:
What's the steepest average per cent for a climb in pro racing history
And what's the steepest per cent a climb has reached at one point.
Pretty sure it's both Guardiagrele, with 600 @ 22,5 average maxing out at 30%. that dirt stage in last years tirreno also had near 30% grades i think
 
Jan 3, 2012
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del1962 said:
Does anyone know the answer to these

Which climb used has the longest stretch greater than 10%?
Which climb used has the longest stretch greater than 15%?
Which climb used has the longest stretch greater than 20%?
I'm trying to look for answers to these. At the moment I'm not getting anywhere. Best I have so far is 9k at 18 pcent
 
Krzysztof_O said:
Some time ago I calculated climbs difficulty base on this:

FIETS-index = [H^2 / D*10] + (T - 1000):1000

Where H is height difference in meters, D is distance in meters and T is altitude in meters. However I didn't calculate it for the whole climb but divided it into several sections (each usually 1-km long) in order to take into account gradient variations, steep fragments etc. For each section I calculated formula H^2/D*10 and sumed all these results. If the was a descent section then I changed sign of the expression (minus points for descents). At the end expression (T - 1000):1000 was also added. Here are the results:

1. Finestre 16.7
2. Zoncolan 16.6
3. Grossglockner-Hochtor 16.5
4. Stelvio (from Prato) 16.4
*Galibier+Telegraphe 16.3
5. Fauniera 15.7
*Forcola di Livigno 15.6
6. Angliru 15.1
7. Mortirolo 15
*Sierra Nevada + Monachil 14.6
8. Esischie (part of Fauniera) 14.4
9. Manghen 14.3
10. Mt Ventoux 14.1
Agnello 14.1
Croix-de-Fer (from Le Chambre via Glandon) 13.9
Monte Grappa 13.9
Stelvio (from Bormio) 13.8
Bonette (from S. Etienne) 13.2
...
Madeleine 12.9
Gavia 12.9
...
Giau 12.0
Tourmalet 11.9
...
Bola del Mundo 11.7
...
Plateau de Beille 11.1
...
Alpe d' Huez 9.9

Climbs marked* can be considered two separate climbs because of flat or descent sections.

One can see that in this ranking two type of climbs dominate: leg-breakers with incredible gradients (i.e. Zoncolan, Angliru and Mortirolo) and quite steep giants with enormous height difference (i.e. Finestre, Hochtor, Stelvio, Fauniera). In this rank Finestre edges Zoncolan, Grossglockner and Stelvio but which one is absolutely hardest - each of them has their arguments as well as Angliru, Mortirolo and Fauniera. It's possible I omitted some climbs in calculations i.e. Blockhaus could be also in TOP10 but I am not sure at what altitude was its highest finish.

It is easily seen that monster climbs dominate in Giro. I just hope that Finestre will be used more often as it's absolutely epic. I could be even used in TdF (but I think it's not in their style ;)). Fauniera climb is also missed during last decade. Some Giro visit on Rettenbachferner or highest Glossglockner sections would also be nice.
I that the hardest you could get in a GT, Cold de Rosael would get be something like 22 points, climbing over 2000m over 20km and reaching 3000m above sea level
 
Ruby United said:
No its not. This is longer and the first 40k of Mauna kea are at less than 7/per cent.

Edit: meant 7 per cent
Did you look at that profile, that hole thing averages less than 4% average.

Mauna Kea starts finishes higher, has a bigger height gain, a bigger average% and bigger maximum%
 
Nov 29, 2010
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Ruby United said:
No its not. This is longer and the first 40k of Mauna kea are at less than 7/per cent.

Edit: meant 7 per cent
And the last 20k are like the Zoncolan :p

The fact that the Mauna Kea climbs over 1000m more than this colombian climb in lesser distance is pretty extreme.
 
Jun 27, 2013
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To whoever asked earlier in the topic if they've ever descended the Alpe d'Huez in the Tour

Yes. In the 1979 Tour there were three consecutive Alpe stages. The first finished there and the third started there.
The second one started at the top, descended to the valley, went for a loop, and ended back at the top. Zoetemelk won. They came up with that route on the fly after the original stage had to be cancelled due to road works on the Izoard
 

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