Cycling Grossglockner - Edelweissspitze Fusch

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Grossglockner - Edelweissspitze - Fusch

Basic data & ranking

Average grade: 8.3 %

Length: 21.4 km

Height start: 805 m

Height top: 2571 m

Ascent: 1766 m

Grossglockner - Edelweissspitze rankings

Difficulty ranking world: 80 (all)
Ranking Austria: 7 (all)
Ranking Alps: 18 (all)
Difficulty score: 199.44 what?

Grossglockner - Edelweissspitze ratings

(5) Overall

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The Grossglockner-Hochalpenstrasse from Fusch is the northern approach includes the 1,8 km side road to the Edelweiss- spitze. The final 14,2 km have an average gradient of 10,1%, relentless but without any truly steep ramps.

The Grossglockner - Edelweissspitze is situated in Salzburg and belongs to the Alps . Starting from Fusch, the Grossglockner - Edelweissspitze ascent is 21.4 km long. Over this distance, you climb 1766 heightmeters. The average percentage thus is 8.3 %.

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Stories, information and comments from Grossglockner - Edelweissspitze climbers
Story by Darren Cartwright from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 29/08/2012
We cycled the Grossglockner on 27th August, setting off from Maria Alm, just 15miles from the base of the Glockner. Although most was uphill the climb really began just past fusch as although it kicked up it wasn''t too scary. However, once through the toll their was no relenting in the climb all the way to the top. the hairpin bends provided a few metres to take on board some fluid. I was in my bottom gear for pretty much the whole climb but managed to reach the turning to edelweisspitze as assumed the worst was behind me. It wasn''t, the last 2km were all on cobblestones & what felt like the steepest part with no let up in the steepness but I reached the top without unclipping & the fresh snow at the top made it worth while. By far the toughest climb i''ve ever done!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Paddy Croft from , United Kingdom, submitted on 22/08/2012
I climbed the tougher north side of this absolute beast on 20/08/12 during a touring holiday from the UK to Austria.

The climb really gets going at around 830m and is immediately very steep. From here there is literally no respite from the 10 to 12 percent gradient apart from the area around the toll station and the outside of the hairpins.

As for tips, I can´t imagine there is much in the way of strategy to be employed in this climb. The gradient is so consistent you just have to find a rhythmn and stick with it to the top. Also, if you are carrying on over the top into the next valley do not be fooled into thinking your climbing is all over. After descending for a short period you go through a tunnel to be met by another 200m (in altitude gained) slog upwards - the sight of it nearly made me cry. Further on there´s another chance to get back into granny gear but only for a few minutes. Then you´re finally free to speed into Heiligenblutt.

As for my cycle, the 40 odd kg of weight meant it was easily the most difficult ride of my life. I managed it in around 3 hours, and only had one rest at 1600m. The weather was glorious - clear blue skies, if scorchingly hot at the lower altitudes. An amazing experience.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Martin Sandgren from Limhamn, Sweden, submitted on 02/07/2012
Fusch-Edelweisspitze 26/6/2012

I started at the petrolstation just before Fusch at about 2:30 pm. The weather was good and I was really confident to do a good climb on my bike to Edelweisspitze. Not long after Fusch it became very steep. I was expecting 4-5 km with a fairly moderate incline so the opening was a bit of a shock. After the toll station I entered the real climb! The hill immediately after the toll station was really hard. Now the climb beganto be serious. My cadens was really low all the time. My gearing was 34/23 but I think 34/25 would have saved my legs in the most steepest sections. The worst parts are the long, relatively straight stretches. They offered no opportunity to rest. It is slightly easier in serpentines, but they too offer much resistance. When I reached the parking lot at Fusher Törl I should have taken it a bit easier. The first hill up against EDELWEISSPITZE was both steep and long. I had to grab the guardrail and disconnect the shoes for a brief rest. However, this was the only time I rested. The last bit, I went on pure will. Riding a bicycle up a long hill is as much about psychology as about physical ability. I passed the 22.3 kilometers in 2 hours and 2 minutes.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Chris Cullen from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 06/09/2010
I only learnt after doing the Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse that to get good weather is very very rare. I did this in April 2009 as part of a tour of Europe. The mistake I made was trusting my map - which showed no contour lines for the road - and thinking it would be an easy ride through the Alps! Heavily-laden with a 41kg touring bike, I approached the start of the main climb (the 23km sign that Luke mentions below) with a sense of something big coming up. I approached from the North (Fusch), heading towards Heiligenblut, which in as the crow flies is less than 10 miles from Fusch. Hence the shock when the road veered up. The climb was relentless. From memory it took almost 4 hours of cycling to complete the climb up to Edelweissspitze, and that doesnt include rest time - of which there was a fair amount. The views from the valley were spectacular, the alpine peaks towering out from above breaks in the cloud. The weather, if possible, got better as the climb progressed. No rain, and no snow, save for the metres of the stuff that lined the road approaching the summit(s). Average speed for the climb: 4mph.
My personal climb rating:
Story by Robert Rijnders from Brunssum, The Netherlands, submitted on 07/07/2009
As is often the case in these parts of Austria, the weather was not good on 29/6/2009. Icecold rain, dense clouds close to the top and thus no really spectacular view from either peak (Fuscher Törl or Edelweiss - from the Franz Josephs Höhe you could actually look down)... Still, while climbing you would have a view every now and then, certainly upwards and it is impressive. The percentage doesnt look that much (?), but large stretches actually hurt. It took me 1:20 from Ferleiten to the Fuscher Törl, which turned out to be not all that bad. I did not dare to do any descents because of the wet conditions and the poor visibility (close to zero at the Hochtor), so I only climbed the road and put the bike in the car for the descents (yes, the car was driven by someone else :-) and I had different sets of clothing at hand for the various conditions). It is not the Stelvio, but it still is a climb you should put on your (wish)list and Im certain that if you are lucky enough to get good weather, the views will be spectacular. I enjoyed this one very much, despite the weather!
My personal climb rating:
Story by BURGER from MARLENHEIM, France, submitted on 26/02/2009
Well, first i have to say that the current 23.rd place doesnt correspond to the difficulties of the Grossglockner. Because , the average 8.4% doesnt explain that after each turn you will find , first percentages between 10% and 16% !!and second you might meet the wind .I climbed it the august.14 2008 , the weather was fine but i must say that 30/25 or 39/28 is really necessary. The landscapes are wonderful and some fine-racers told me Grossglockner is more difficult than the Galibier. It was really hard but i will never forget the moment at the Fuscher Torl. Pierre Burger (F)
My personal climb rating:
Story by Luke Pennington from London, United Kingdom, submitted on 28/08/2008
Did this climb as the last stage in a London to Austria touring trip. Started at the campsite in Fusch in the rain, carrying all our wet camping gear adding what seemed like several more kg! The climb starts off innocently enough, going past a signpost saying tight bends for the next 23km! The gradients inbetween the switchbacks are quite relentless at times. Did the whole climb in the clouds so not even a nice view to look at. Arrived at the Fuscher Torl hours later when it then started to snow, a lot!! Ended up having to walk down the descent to the base of the climb to Hochtor and managed to dive into the restaurant there, couldnt believe the conditions considering it was August!! The snowplough was out clearing the roads for all the stranded vehicles at the top, managed to ride most of the way to Hochtor, but 1st 300m of descent was still too dangerous to cycle down on slick road tyres mainly because rim brakes do not work in freezing temperatures! Dived into another restaurant for some lunch then managed to cycle all the way down from there. All in all quite an adventure, will have to go back one day and see what views we missed!
My personal climb rating:
Story by Stu Brierley from Suffolk, England, submitted on 28/07/2007
In early July of 2007 I was working in Austria testing cars and had the good fortune to take my road bike with me. I had been to GrossGlockner on several occasions and always wanted to ride it. With no warmup and the wrong gearing I decided to have a go at it from the Toll station (approx 1000m) leaving me an ascent of approx 1500m in 14km. The tour of Austria had just been through earlier in the day and I was very motivated to do it. I found the ride hard due to the cold weather and poor gear selection. There was significant snow from 1700m and it was zero degrees at around 2500m. I rode all the way to the Eidelweissspitze restaurant right at the top to receive a round of applause from some kind tourists!. It was an amazing ride due to the flowing nature of the road and the very well maintained surface. I would recommend the ride to anyone. The descent in sleet and snow was pretty scary but I managed to overtake 2 coaches and 15 cars in total!
Story by Ellen De Weerdt from Heist-op-den-Berg, Belgium, submitted on 29/07/2006
I climbed the high alpine road of the Grossglockner the 24 july 2006. I started from the petrol station just before Fusch. The beginning is quite easy... though relatively flat at the start, it gets steaper after about 3 kilometers (10%, it flattens just before Ferleiten). I took a short break at Ferleiten (after about 7.5 kms), just to drink and eat a little bit. From then on, it started getting serious. The last 14km are above 10%. It would be between 11-12% average if it werent for the bends (about 15 bends, I stopped counting as soon as I saw the finish...). The bends are quite flat on the outside and offer a pause to drink or eat the rest of your banana... Still, after about 16kms, the steap part is relentless, long and more importantly, there are practically no bends in this section to offer much rest. Also, this part takes you over the 2000m. Still, the end is near, because a couple of 100m above you, the Fuscher Törl appears (which is considered to be the finish for most cyclists). The "Ziel-sign" marks the end of the climb (2428m approximately). By then, I climbed over 1600m, 21km in about 2hours... And I have never been happier on a bike (by the way, I ride a Bianchi road racing bike)

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