The Grossglockner High Alpine Road – or Großglockner-Hochalpenstraße – is named after Austria’s highest mountain (3,798 m).
For cyclists, the road doesn’t get up that high, but the cobblestone road up to the “Edelweißspitze” reaches a respectable 2,571 meters.
Since this side-road – starting at 2,394 m from Fusher Törl – is a dead-end, the ‘official’ pass height is at the Hochtor (2,504 m) making it the highest pass in Austria, ranked 7th in Europe.
The Grossglockner features (annually) in the Tour of Austria and was also visited by the Giro d’Italia twice (1971 and 2011).
The Grossglockner’s most popular stretches are:
- The timed “King of the Glockner Route” from Ferleiten (1,145 m) to the Fuscher Törl
– 2,428 m: 1,283 m elevation over 12.9 kilometers (took me no less than 1:19:51)
- A side trip off the Fuscher Törl to the Edelweißspitze
– 2,571 m: an additional 177 m of elevation over 1.8 kilometers
- The south ascend from Heiligenblut (1,300 m) to the Hochtor
– 2,504 m: 1,234 m of elevation over 15.1 kilometers
- The side trip to Kaiser Franz Josef Höhe
– 2,369 m: 508 m of elevation over 8.5 km.
In 2009 I cycled up the Grossglockner from Bruck, including the Edelweißspitze and the Kaiser Franz-Josef-höhe – report on that trip here.
I revisited the Grossglockner in 2017, after I participated in the Marmotte Hochkönig. I planned on tackling both ends in one ride – skipping at least the fork up to the KFJ Höhe – but I was unable to complete that mission, due to fatigue and the hot weather.
So I settled for a round trip from Bruck to the Hochtor, with the Edelweissspitze on the return – report of that trip here.