Perhaps it was the perfect weather or the fresh snow on the high mountains, but this is one of the most beautiful, big climbs I’ve ever done.
This is a very steep climb. Starting near Meiringen, there are two possible starts: The Route 8 National route (fine for road bike) or the Route 1 national mountain bike route (some gravel / quieter). Both are steep, narrow roads through the woods and soon join up with each other (see map below).
After surviving the first several kilometres, the views become staggering. High mountains and glaciers straight ahead.
Most of the route climbs along side a mountain river – sometimes a babbling brook, sometimes a raging torrent, and sometimes an impressive waterfall (see below).
After a couple of easier kilometres about half way up, the road turns up again, with probably the steepest ramp of the climb in the high teens for a few hundred metres. But the ever improving views help ease the pain in the legs.
There were lots of cyclists around, some driving up and descending, some starting half way up, and the bravest starting from the bottom.
At the top is a nice little restaurant and views of more mountains including the famous Eiger north face (over my left shoulder in pic below). To see details of cycling up this other – also spectacular – side to Grosse Scheidegg, from Grindelwald, see here.
It’s possible to do a great loop, continuing down to Grindelwald, then Interlake, then back to Meiringen – best done on a Hybrid or Mountain bike to enjoy traffic-avoiding trails lower down as well as a great route alongside the Brienzer see.
But I wanted to head back down the way I came and have a look at the Reichenbach falls (marked on map).
This is where Sherlock Holmes was believed to have fallen to his death along with the evil Moriarty. It is a short hike from the road, with a walk to various look-out points. In Meiringen below, there is a Sherlock Holmes museum, statue, etc.