Friday, July 12, 2013

Grossglockner from Heiligenblut

Today I drove up to Austria and rode the southern side of Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse from Heiligenblut.  Stunning scenery and perfect weather.  The 15km  from Heiligenblut to Hohe Tauern is unrelentingly steep, gaining 1236 meters, with an average gradient of 9.1%.  My Garmin seemed to dither from 10%-13% except for the little dip down to the turnoff for Frans Josef glacier.  Luckily it stayed cool, with even a cold, gusting wind higher up.

After the high point at Hohe Tauern (which would be even higher if they hadn't bored a tunnel under the pass)  I cruised down and then back up to Fuscher Törl (2425m), my endpoint last year when I rode up Grossglockner from the north.  Luckily Edelweiss Spitze was socked in with a cloud hovering over it, so I didn't feel obliged to punish my legs any further.

Beautiful descent and drive home over Plockenpass to Paluzza.  Stopped at Oberdrauburg and got Marilyn some fresh strudel as a bribe to let me ride again soon.

Jungfernsprung waterfall on right

Close up of the lovely waterfall

Side view showing how the water arcs away from the cliff

The valley below Heiligenblut

The side road to left leads to Franz Josef glacier,
 another ride for next time

From Hohe Tauren toward Fuscher Törl

View of big peaks to west from Hohe Tauern

Close up of snowmelt waterfall

Pretty church at Heiligenblut

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