Steinigboda (2,018)

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col de la cayolle cycling

CHALLENGE 

Steinigboda, perched at an altitude of 2,018 meters and emerging as a niche favorite among the Deux Mille col-hunters, encapsulates the essence of a “hipster climb.” Situated on the north side of the Rheinwald Valley, just off Nufenen, its entrance is almost clandestine, hidden from the casual observer and reserved for those with a keen sense of adventure and a desire to venture off the beaten path.

The climb is a formidable challenge, stretching over 5 kilometers with an average gradient of 10%. Far from the well-maintained tarmac of more popular climbs, the route to Steinigboda is an agricultural road characterized by its rough terrain. Cyclists face a gauntlet of holes, patches of grass, and sections of mud, making the road feel only “borderline paved.” These conditions add a layer of complexity to the climb, challenging riders not just with its gradient but also with the need for careful navigation and bike handling. On rainy days, the descent from Steinigboda can be as demanding as the climb itself. The already tricky road conditions become even more precarious, requiring a cautious approach and significantly slowing progress.

For cyclists looking for high-altitude experiences without the extreme challenge of Steinigboda, the nearby San Bernardino Pass and Splügenpass offer more accessible alternatives. These passes provide the alpine climbing experience with better road conditions and less technical demands, making them suitable for a broader range of cyclists.

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