Stories, information and comments from Gillies climbers
Story by Nigel from Cairns, Australia, submitted on 14/06/2013
The information on this climb is a bit misleading because, as you can see from the profile, the first 10k are flat (before you get to the climb), and the last 10k are undulating (after you get over the top). The climb itself is about 18k at about 4.8%. It is not steep by any means, but there is really no let up at all, just a long grind. It is a beautiful ride, with good road surface and spectacular views across the Mulgrave Valley below.
The route shown here starts in Gordonvale, amongst the coastal sugar cane farms. There is a great old pub on the right at about kilometre 10, near the bottom of the climb. As the climb starts, you enter open and quite dry bushland. You can tell that you are getting close to the top when the vegetation changes to rainforest. Then, once over the top the countryside opens out again into the beautiful rolling hills of the southern Atherton Tablelands.
Take plenty of water, as it can be hot - this is the tropics after all. There is a small creek / waterfall about half way up that can be used for bidon refills in an emergency, or just to splash some cool water over your head.