Stories, information and comments from Rettenbachferner climbers
Story by Olivier from , The Netherlands, submitted on 15/11/2011
This is the Ötztaler Gletscherstrasse, the road from Sölden to the glacier area. The road leads to the Rettenbach glacier (''ferner''), with a right turn in the direction of the Pitztaler Jöchl (a mountain pass, after 1.5 km asphalt further accessible by hikers and mountain-bikers) and a left turn to the Tiefenbach glacier. So there are 4 names for roughly the same climb. The glacier street is in the top 20 of most difficult climbs in Europe. It starts in Sölden directly with 10 % and only drops under 10 at the toll booths (the 8 % in the profile, actually a few hundred meters flat). The road is averaging 11 to 12 % for so long, not many bikers will have sufficient gears. This is brutal. For statistics lovers: the road to the left, to the Tiefenbach glacier, goes through a 2 km tunnel (very cold!) and ends at 2829 meters, the highest asphalted road in the Alps. Because the road technically is a pass (there is a path down at the other side), this is also the highest mountain-pass, accessible by road-bike in Europe. Tips: bring winter-clothing, also in high summer. We were there in july; temperatures dropped to a nice 6 degrees Celcius with a nice 0 degrees at the entrance of the tunnel).One final remark: it''s a stunning climb!