Those who love cycling know that cycling also comes with having to learn to love climbs. The better you are at uphill strides, the better cyclist you’ll become overall. I learned my cycling from my dad and he’s always said “there’s no hill in the state of New York that has beat me yet!” If you’re looking for a tough climb to conquer, look no further. Here are five of the hardest climbs in the world.
Dante’s View is located in Death Valley. If the climb doesn’t get you, the heat will, so make sure you plan your trip during the appropriate month and hydrate well. The climb begins at 85.5m below sea level in the Badwater Basin, also known as the lowest point in North America. You’ll start off with a fairly easy 25km flat but the next 30km climbs at a steady 4% grade. But you’re not done yet. The last kilometer is a 13% grade. Master this and you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful view overlooking the valley.
Located in India, the Khardung Pass is a challenging 39km climb at 5% grade. If you thought that was difficult, it gets worse. The trail isn’t paved. The last 15km of the climb is littered with rocks and occasional snow mounds. It’s considered one of the most dangerous courses in the world due to its high altitude and frequent army vehicle traffic.
Passo dello Stelvio
The course of Passo dello Stelvio in Italy isn’t a long course, but don’t let that fool you. It may be the hardest climb you ever trek, physically and psychologically. The road is on a hillside with 48 hairpin turns.
United Kingdom’s Hardknott Pass is a climb for courageous souls. Again, not a long course, the Hardknott Pass is only 2.6km long. However, the overall grade is 33% and if that’s not enough to scare you, it’s known for its crazy winds, daily rains, and a stray sheep every so often.
One of the most feared climbs in France is Mont Ventoux. Often referred to as “the Giant of Provence,’ it ascends along 21.8 km and has a maximum grade of 11%. The trickiest part comes when you clear the trees are become exposed to the high winds and heat exhaustion. In the 1967 Tour, it claimed the life of the 29 year old English Cyclist, Tom Simpson.