Stories, information and comments from Vrsic Pass climbers
Story by Doug Andersen from Lakewood, United States, submitted on 11/10/2013
My wife and I cycled the 50 km from Godz Maruljek (about 5 km east of Kranjska Gora) over Vrsic Pass to Kobarid in cool, dry conditions in late September 2013. We were carrying extra clothing and some gear (camera, extra water, rear panniers) on hybrid bikes, so the bikes were a bit heavier than some, but we did not have full touring kits. We are fit, but older (I am 67) and although the pass was a definitely a challenge, my wife made it up entirely without walking. I walked, pushing my bike, in a few of the steepest parts, just long enough to catch my breath. The traffic was not a problem. I believe any fit cyclist can make it up, at least from the Kranjska Gora side. The descent was very nice.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Francis Levy from NYC, United States, submitted on 03/09/2012
(From my blog, the Screaming Pope) At 1611 meters, the Vrsic Pass is the highest pass in the mountainous country of Slovenia. The road through it was built by l0,000 Russian POW’s in World War I. It’s composed of twenty five switchbacks up and twenty five down, which makes it an ideal course for bike riders who wish to simulate the conditions of a Tour de France style course covering 9.25 kilometers at an average 8.25% grade for an altitude gain of 761meters. There are no level spots or points where the climbing lets up. To traverse such a course on a bike is a philosophical commitment. It might be called Sisyphean, if it weren’t for the fact that it’s actually doable. You have to put the bike in the lowest or granny gear and simply be able to continue peddling for several hours. Though such climbing might seem to involve an act of will, it doesn’t involve the kind of willfulness that say goes into the l00 meter dash. Those who finish the ride must live through long periods when they feel they can’t go on. The last lines of Beckett’s famous novel The Unnameable come to mind, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on. In this sense the ride is ultimately not so much an exertion of will as expression of the willingness to endure.