homePasso del San Gottardo/St. Gotthardpass/Son Gottard/Col du St-Gothard
Passo del San Gottardo/St. Gotthardpass/Son Gottard/Col du St-Gothard Height Climbing height
Signs 2091m, 2106m, 2108m
957m - 14.5 km (Airolo (Nufenen road))
1811m - 49.8 km (Biasca)
612m - 8.9 km (Hospental)
Difficulty Beauty
South 3-4 (5); North 2 (5) 4 (5)
How to get there The old cobblestoned (to ca. 85%) road from Airolo (1150m) is the main attraction of this classic pass and you should definitely climb this pass from the south. There is an old horse-driven postal wagon going up and down (mostly as a tourist attraction, I believe). The pavement, even though rough, is quite agreeable with a road bike, especially if going up and the gradient is always easy at ca. 6%. I met the wagon on the steepest place (around 9%) on my first climb and wondered what it was about. There is one stretch higher up that is above 11% looking at a profile of the climb. For a really long climb one starts already down in Biasca (296m). The climb from Hospental (1495m) in the north is quite easy, apart from one section up to 9%.
Other comments This pass is one of the old classic Alps passes located between the Simplon pass and Lukmanier pass. Even though you might be allowed to use the new road up on the south side, you will be greatly disappointed that you never took the really wonderful old road, which is perfectly cyclable. Going down that way is probably a harsher experience though and may a bit adventurous if it is wet on the ground. Both sides are evenly steep, but the south side is longer. The higher south side has the best views. One could also use the old road for a while on the north side, especially if climbing that side. See also descriptions for the nearby easily reached Bassa della Sella (2138m) and Passo Scimfuss (2242m), the later from which you have wonderful views down south and up toward Nufenenpass/Passo della Novena/Pass da Nueinas (2480m).
[CH-TI-2091, BIG 585]