Kaunertalergletscher (2,750)


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We are jumping the gun here: Kaunertalgletscher is the best climb in Austria; a captivating climb within a protected natural park, where vehicle access is restricted and subject to fees. This regulation preserves the tranquility and pristine conditions of the route, making it a haven for riders seeking an unspoiled experience.

Starting from, or reaching, the picturesque Stausee (reservoir), the climb to Kaunertalgletscher presents a deceptive profile. At first glance, the average gradients might seem fair, suggesting a manageable challenge. However, the reality of the ascent is far more testing. The inclusion of three descents in the latter part of the climb introduces an unexpected level of difficulty, turning what appears to be a straightforward ascent into a significantly more demanding endeavor. These descents mean that riders will have to regain elevation multiple times, adding to the overall challenge and intensity of the climb.

One of the unique aspects of the Kaunertalgletscher climb is the presence of cows along and beside the road. While they are a common sight in the Austrian Alps, their proximity can be a bit startling, especially for those unaccustomed to their presence. These bovine spectators add a touch of rustic charm to the ascent, although their unpredictability can also add an element of caution to the ride.

The climax of the ascent is the breathtaking glacier at the top, a majestic and awe-inspiring sight that rewards climbers for their efforts. The presence of the glacier, with its ethereal beauty and stark reminder of the natural world’s power, is a highlight of the climb. It serves as a spectacular backdrop for the achievement of reaching the summit and offers a unique opportunity to experience one of Austria’s natural wonders up close.


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