|Passo della Forcella/Crist di Forchia|
|Height||Climbing height - length|
|1825m||1318m - 8.9 km (bivio Mione)
|5 (5)||3 (5)|
|How to get there||
This is the steepest pass road in the world which is fully paved (since 2014). It is nice and easy on a normal road to Mione where it is only sometimes over 10%. Just above the village where the woods start, the road becomes narrow, but nicely asphalted. Around one kilometre after Mione the road becomes really steep. You see an early sign saying 28%, but it is not much over 20% here. But, then the road becomes ever more consistently steep. When reaching a point before Stavoli di Chebia (1250m), that used to be the end of the asphalted climb up here, you have done well, but it is really here the road starts to get very, very difficult.
One climbs up some twisty, tormented curves above 20% and then have another 28% sign and this time it is actually 28%. Still if driving carefully there are a few metres here and there that allows for some recovery. Still the ramps are all now far and above 20%. When you get out of the woods the concrete surface starts, at first not so steep, but maybe with some cow dung on the surface. Then comes the long final section at close to 30% on average, with ca. 34% maximum steepness, which should be impossible to anyone on 39/28.
The actual steepness is 14.94% on average from the turn-off for Mione (507m) to Passo della Forcella (1825m) for a length of 8.92 km. From Mione (711m) it is 6.6 km with an average gradient of 17.24%, which is much steeper than Alpe Vaccaro, Monte Zoncolan, etc. The only paved roads steeper than that cannot be tackled at all with a road bike (with normal gears at least).
Monte Zoncolan one have all reasons to regard as a really hard climb, but compared to this road it is pretty easy. The road has been suggested for the Giro d’Italia, but I would say there is zero chance of it being ever part of the event given that the professionals simply would not get up here (at least not all of them), supposing they have normal gear, but likely they would then have some lighter gears when going here, so maybe they could do it, but even so I cannot see it happening.
One could descend the other side to a little pass called La Forcje (1726m) and the road is mostly steep concrete, but it is just about possible to ride it down on a road bike and likely you will not be able to ride back. After that pass there is again a concrete ramp close to 30% and after that a long gravel road that is perfect for mountain biking, but mostly slightly too harsh for a road bike, so no point trying to traverse this pass with a road bike.
Thus going back down would demand a lot from your hands and wheels as they will overheat with normal braking – be careful!! There is no way to let go of the brakes occasionally as one normally do to avoid the heat building up. The only way is to stop. I would not dare using disc brakes on a slope like this either. Use high pressure rim tape and maybe double with velox tape and good brake pads and stop once or twice on the way down.