You know a road will be good when it has its own official web site. And if you’re a fan of this blog you know that many of my favourite rides are up to high alpine dams/lakes … this ride has two.
The Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse is at the top of a long valley that extends almost 50 kilometres bottom-to-top. Something that has impressed me on this Austrian trip is how often lower parts of valleys have high-quality bike paths segregated from the main/only through road. So while here the real climbing starts 16 kilometres before the summit, cyclo-tourists can safely and enjoyably pedal lower down.
I started in Sankt Gallennkirch and indeed rode one of these great bike paths for a long stretch. Fabulous.
There is a nasty tunnel roughly 15 kms from summit …. but the bike path bypasses it.
Like many big Austrian climbs, there is a toll-booth for cars soon after the road starts climbing. No more towns. But here begins the first of 29 hairpins.
At 1743 metres is the first dam/lake, the Vermunt Stausee.
Above the lake was a sign to a high altitude refuge and some trails that got me thinking of summer mountain biking. Next time. And soon after, the 29th hairpin:
The summit of the climb is a mountain pass: Bielerhöhe. I’ve seen it listed in reliable places as 2037 metres, but the sign said 2032 metres. Also, exactly at the summit is another dam/lake, the Silvretta Stausee. Very nice.
The far side of the climb is also almost 50 kilometres uphill but only has 3 kilometres steeper than 5%. One giant false flat. It’s supposed to be nice, but my Austria trip was over as my legs demanded I simply descend back to the start. But this is a perfect through-pass for anyone touring. Lovely.
A 3D video of ride:
Beautiful scenery. Riding your bike and enjoy such natual scenery, how great.
Hi Will, Your advice please – I want to ride from south side of Silvretta Hochalpenstrasse to Bielhohe and on to St Anton. Would you recommend starting the ride in Wirl? Map my Ride makes this 89 km with 2000 m climbing