Cycling Passo Gavia Ponte di Legno

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Passo Gavia - Ponte di Legno


Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 7.9 %

Length: 17.3 km

Height start: 1258 m

Height top: 2621 m

Elevation gain: 1363 m

Maximum: 16 %

Passo Gavia rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 245 (all)
Ranking Italy: 50 (all)
Ranking Alps: 87 (all)
Difficulty score: 156.69 what?

Passo Gavia ratings

(4.9) Overall

(4.5) Road

(5) Traffic

(4.5) Amenities

(5) Surroundings

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Description

The Passo Gavia is situated in Lombardy and belongs to the Alps . Starting from Ponte di Legno, the Passo Gavia ascent is 17.3 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1363 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 7.9 %.

Look for other sides to climb the Passo Gavia.

Since 2005, the Passo Gavia will be/was climbed in the following big tour stages:
Giro d'Italia 2014 :  Ponte di Legno - Val Martello on 27/05/2014
Giro d'Italia 2013 :  Ponte Di Legno - Val Martello /Martelltal on 24/05/2013
Giro d'Italia 2008 :  Rovetta - Tirano on 31/05/2008

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Profile & route

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Location info

Find all information on climbs and cycling in Lombardy and find all climbs in Lombardy on a map.

Other climbs close to the Passo Gavia: within 10 km - within 20 km - within 50 km

 
Stories, information and comments from Passo Gavia climbers
Story by Paul Reed from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 08/07/2014
I did this ride last month a couple of days before the Stelvio Santini. It was by far the easiest of the climbs (Gavia, Stelvio, Mortirolo). I would say I actually enjoyed climbing it, rather than simply taking satisfaction from completing the other two. Nice and gentle at the bottom, from Bormio, increasing in gradient to a steady 7 or 8%. Almost flat for the last half mile and a small cafe at the top which served the best hot chocolate I''ve ever had (may have been more due to fatigue and chill in the air!)
My personal climb rating:
Story by Steven Broers from Copenhagen, Denmark, submitted on 23/06/2014
What an amazing climb! Did the Passo Gavia from Ponte di Legno in May 2014, a couple of days before riding the Granfondo Stelvio Santini. At that time, and still today, the Gavia climb is the hardest one I have ever done. It''s harder then Stelvio or Mont Ventoux, for example. But what a feeling to reach the top! I beg to disagree with others that say the scenery is not as good as other climbs. I remember the Gavia as a very beautiful climb with amazing views. The road is not in the best condition the last two kilometres to the top, but if you ask me, I think it just adds to the charm. For me Gavia is, just like Mont Ventoux and Stelvio, one of those climbs you have to have done.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Cloetens Xavier from , Belgium, submitted on 30/08/2012
Very nice climb. That day in August 2012 I did Bormio-Gavia-Ponte Di Legno-Gavia-Bormio (and went up to Stelvio-Bormio). Quiet col, up to 16%. The traffic is slow as the road is narrow and bumpy, so ideal for bikers. The scenery is nice but on many other cols the scenery nicer. It was my second climb of the day but I had been warned it was so difficult, that I expected it to be even more difficult. There is 1 tunnel and the road is large there, so it''s good to have lights. Not easy and great to climb!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Deegs from Yeovil, United Kingdom, submitted on 17/07/2012
I rode this from Bormio last month. It was a very clear sunny day and after Santa Caterina it was just beautiful. Very necessary coffee and Mars bar at summit refugio. Failed to see photos of 1988 mentioned below (triple bah!)- will just have to go back again I suppose- clearly a bit easier from Bormio but very pretty. Also very quiet- surprised a handful of alpine ibex on way up and marmots on way down!
My personal climb rating:
Story by valerio from brescia, Italy, submitted on 29/05/2010
i did Gavia 3 times some yaers ago, the first time was a dirty road, then with tarmac... Theres no Stelvio, Mortirolo etc etc....this is my favorite climbe. Not the hardest one, but as the road goes up the landscape becomes more & more beautiful...what a scenario! Please goes in the rifugio to take a coffee and see the photos from giro of 88...amazing!
My personal climb rating:
Story by oyvind Aas from Oslo/Tremezzo, Norway, submitted on 10/07/2009
Rode Gavia for the 2nd time on the 29th of September. It was a wonderful clear and warm autumn day. Climbed Gavia from Ponte Di Legno after riding from Bormio and up the Mortirolo. I was on my own and made good use of a compact crank and 25 in the back. The tunnel is scary without lights, but it is all a matter of looking ahead. The surface now is smooth and nice. The views were awesome as I topped out just before sunset and descended to Bormio in a light jacket and kneewarmers. I will be back here again. Hopefully with better legs. One of my favorites.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Jeff Orum from , United States, submitted on 15/08/2009
An incredible climb. If you are climbing from Ponte di Legno there is a very nice cafe about half way up the climb. You can see it from the road, but you have to walk a bit down to the left. Very friendly, great espresso, and a view that cant be matched. Further up the climb, if you dont want to go through the tunnel, head off to the left and you can ""ride"" the old dirt road and come to the place the famous Jobst Brandt photo was taken in 1978 (they sell it as a postcard at the refugio at the top of the pass). The description on this site is incorrect - the road (except for the tunnel bypass) is not dirt nor it is one lane. They paved and widened the road around 1996.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Ante Smokrovic from Zagreb, Croatia, submitted on 08/04/2009
As many others in 2005. I did Gavia from Ponte di Legno after already climbing Mortirolo that day. For some reason Gavia remained one of my favorite passes and reward for climbing it are spectacular landscapes. Most notable parts are very steep 15-16 % sections in the woods at the starts, long and dark tunnel, and steep last few km after tunnel. Unlike some ppl here I didnt have any lights in the tunnel which wasnt pleasant experience. I remember spectacular views on the part before tunnel and cold wind when you get out of the tunnel. Anyway this is one of the most spectacular passes you can climb and also important part of cycling history. You must climb it!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Cow Parsley Man from Nottingham, United Kingdom, submitted on 13/08/2008
Like many of the other riders, I did this after the Mortirolo from Mazzo (beware getting to Mazzo along the main road is a unforgettable experience - with a 7.3km tunnel within the first 10km! with huge lorries keeping their hands on the horn as they followed us. the Gavia, this is a real treat - it starts downhill, parallel to a river (just like the Stelvio North side) and gets quite steep (16%) as the the road narrows - but it is beautifully tarmacd now, very smooth and a bit shady. next are the hairpins, which are great as one can rest on the bends, then some really energy sapping sections which reminded me of Holme Moss just on and on, then the tunnel which I would recommend lights, not too steep - in fact it was after the tunnel that it seems to get steeper. then its not to hard to to the top, I could even manage a sprint finish! as some of the others said you can feel the history in every turn of the pedal, a real privalage. A bottle of water at the top is 2 euros, but worth a million. the descent is extremely beautiful, there were cross country skiers on rollers skies going up as we were going down.
My personal climb rating:
Story by JSauer from Kitchener, Canada, submitted on 19/04/2007
I got to climb the Gavia the penultimate day of the Giro 2006, when the pros were destined to climb it and the Mortirolo. The Dolomites were a bit cool that year as I recall; it was the year that the race dropped Erbe from the schedule at the last minute due to snow. I found the Gavia somewhat inconsistent with respect to grade, with very steep sections approaching 10% and other more modest sections around 5%. The tunnel near the summit offers a unique experience, but beware, the darkness is tangible and caution must be exercised when passing through, especially on the descent. The road narrows significantly after a few kms of approach, coincident with the first of the steep sections. The summit is like another planet, what with the significant altitude. Overall the Gavia isnt as hard as Ventoux for example, but still offers a great challenge made all the more intense due to the high summit.
Story by Mark Harrop from , , submitted on 02/10/2007
Did this from Bormio, taking in the Mortirolo enroute. What looks like new roadworks takes you around the outskirts of the town and makes you climb a decent hill...only to drop you back down into the bakc of town and the real start of the Gavia. Our mood wasnt boosted any as the clouds gathered and heavy rain started. The narrow (and steep !) early sections are pretty bad with the ammount of road traffic. I had to pull in a couple of times and the gradient and the rain streaming down the road made getting traction to restart really hard. As you get higher the snow starts to pile high at the roadside. At least it stopped raining but the damage was already done as our wet clothing combined with the dropping air temperature. One of the most surreal riding experiences Ive had is the long tunnel towards the end of the climb. You continue to climb in complete darkness. Even following the small tail light of my friend its really hard to judge where you are and you are all over the road. I love Ducattis but being passed at speed by one of those things in the tunnel is pretty scarey ! The cafe at the top is a god sent. Fuel up before the drop back down to Bormio and the warmth of the valley. One of those climbs where you feel the history..
Story by Brian Berthelsen from Vildbjerg, Denmark, submitted on 30/05/2006
On the 26 of May 2006 I climbed the Passo Gavia from the side of Ponte di Legno along with five of my friends. Before starting on Gavia we have just finish the climb up Mortirolo from the Mazzo side. Thanks to Jim Hoffmeister for tip about ligths and gearchoice, which I have read before leaving Denmark. I rode with compact 34/27 and it was very usefull, and ligths in the tunnel is a must. 4 km. before the top of Gavia, a stong cold wind, took out the last power of my legs. A kind Italian Girotourist offered me banan + an apple, which was just what I needed to reach the top. On the top it was only 2 degrees warm, and after filling up the energy resources at the top cafe, we went freezing down to the Hotel in Santa Caterina Valfurva which was half way down the Bormio side. The incl. 120 km cycling with 3020 Higthmeters, and was a day we will remember allways. Brian Berthelsen, Vildbjerg Motion, Denmark
Story by jim hoffmeister from , , submitted on 14/12/2005
I climbed the Passo di Gavia several years ago from thePonte di Legno approach.I am a past road bike racer and have ridden in the french alps.I rode a 39x27 which wasnt too bad a choice. as always in the dolomites, a lower gear option would be wise. I suggest a 34x26 or34x27(compact) or a 30x27 triple. in the last 1/3 of the climb there is a very dark, steep, and long( more than 1 km) tunnel. I recommend a strong lightweight flashlight and rear reflectors. just to make the experience more exciting, the entire road, which was only one small lane in places, was traveled by motorcycles using the road and at very high speeds-this is especially exciting when one passes you in the above mentioned tunnel-kinda like being passed by an f-16.as you climb ,be reminded that american andy hamstead won the giro di italia on this climb in a snowstorm. he was assisted by his teammate bob roll who froze his brain and hasnt been the same since. jim hoffmeister, newport, wash., usa ride on

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