Rionda Height Climbing height - length
2157m 1741m - 16.3 km (Lavey-les-Bains)
Difficulty Beauty
5 (5) 4-5 (5)
How to get there

This is a climb that makes any road cyclist afraid. I would say it is the ultimate test road for road cyclists wanting to find out just where their limit is. The road is charmingly marked with numbers at each hairpin up from Lavey-les-Bains (416m). It is steep from start and most would think they have done well when reaching the tiny village of Morcles (1160m) where the road flattens out for a while. Do not make the only mistake possible as I did and try the road up through Morcles which ends after a +20% ramp, but if you somehow think the road is too easy, well … it was written “forza” or something on the ground as I guess this road has fooled other cyclists too. The locals were happy to see me ;-).

Continue past the little restaurant/hotel (which offers great food). There is a turn to the left above Morcles, but keep following the main road. The asphalt runs out at ca. 1490m. At Les Martinaux (just over 1700m) you will come to a bar across the road and from here the gravel road will become a little less good, but still good enough for a road bike. The main problem is that now it becomes steeper than ever before. If you continue here with a normal road bike 39-27/28, you really believe in yourself and you will need it as the remaining part is hard! The last long stretch contouring the mountain is almost flat to Rionda from where you have outstanding views and can see Mont Blanc and Lac Leman at the same time.

Other comments The last kilometre before the flat finish is above 14% on average and the last 5 kilometres above 13%. It is 16.3 km at 10.7% on average from start (where it is flat for a while). This makes it one of the hardest climbs in the world possible to climb with a road bike and it is harder than most with more points at salite.ch as this ends with a hard gravel section where you will have to sit down. I think you can get water in Morcles if not along the road. Expect hardship (unless you have a mountain bike like most here)!