|2732m||1376m - 11.2 km (Ischgl)
1022m - 9.7 km (Compatsch)
|5 (5)||4-5 (5)|
|How to get there||
There is a “shortcut” into Switzerland from Austria starting in Ischgl (1356m) on the way up to Bielerhöhe (2037m). A tarmacced road leads first to Idalpe (2318m) 7.1 km long and then a gravel road goes to the pass and down to Compatsch (1715m) in Switzerland. The first kilometer is almost exactly 20% all the time. Then comes a welcome water tap by a ski lift station and one kilometer where it is almost flat. But then you have almost 5 kilometers of an average around 20% to Idalpe (the road is mostly between 18-24%, but usually at around 21-22%). (The profile I have seen suggests a little otherwise, but I doubt it is very accurate. I am almost certain there was not a single meter below 15% at least on the last 5 kilometers.)
The last part (41. km) is gravel road and is totally cyclable with a road bike apart from 2-3 very short ramps with gradients at around 20-30% (only 50m combined where one has to walk). This is thus one of the toughest roads anywhere! If you decide to actually get down to Switzerland, you will have to walk several hundred metres down at least two ramps on average over 42%! It is obviously not easy/recommended to walk down there in normal road bike shoes – it is dangerous even to walk in good shoes down there, but possible. I stood wondering for 15 minutes whether to take a very long detour on a path before trying to walk down. The rest of the road down to Compatsch is often very steep, but cyclable with care and strong hands. (Going up this way is not very clever.)
There were only mountain bikers and downhill cyclists around when I climbed here. Downhill cycles makes sense (for once on asphalt roads) in this area. Mountain bikers stopped along the road because of the steepness and I had to zig-zag some to be able to keep a decent speed (6-8 km/h perhaps) on the lowest gear (39-27). The last stretch to Viderjoch after the last little uncyclable ramp is around 14-16% and was something of the most exhausting I have ever tackled. I give the highest difficulty to climbs such as Monte Zoncolan and the Mortirolo/Foppa pass also, but they come across as very easy in comparison.
There is a good grocery shop at the start of the climb in Ischgl (ask about the road which can be slightly hard to find). There is also a good grocery shop just where you arrive in Compatsch on the main road. There is only 1-2 km of asphalt road on the Swiss side of the climb. From Alp Trida, the gravel road is almost 20% and is JUST about rideable with a road bike (take care). See also Tridersattel/Alp Trida Sattel (2497m).