Tapering has begun for the Look Marmotte Hochkönig – this Saturday, the gold rush will start and end in Mühlbach am Hochkönig.
Well, officially it will end at the Arthurhaus, at the end of a steep climb out of the village, also known as the Mandlwandstrasse.
As is the case with the ‘original’ Marmotte in the French Alps, a good deal of the elevation gain for the ride is at the beginning and at the end of the ride.
Right from the start, it’s up the Dientner Sattel, which means there is no ‘easy warming up’ into this ride. The Dientner Sattel is just over 6 kilometers of climbing out of Muhlbach, with some 500 meters of elevation difference.
However, the grades hardly get below 10% and frequently touch 15%…
This opening climb is followed by a short descend and then it’s up the steep final of the Filzensattel. While that is only some 2 kilometers, the grades are equally though, averaging 10%.
Luckily, after these first rather demanding 12 kilometers, there is a long descend into Saalfelden, a minor ‘bump’ out of Saalfelden and more descending to the first feeding post at Sankt Martin bei Lofer.
Then it’s on to Sankt Johann in Tirol and up the Griessenpass, which is the easiest climb of the day. Other than two stretches of a kilometer at 5 to 6%, it’s showing average grades below 2%.
The elevation difference of 215 meters over a distance of 19 kilometers, should not pose a real challenge – unless there’s going to be a flesh-tearing head wind…
After descending the Griessenpass and a few minor/unnamed obstacles, we arrive at the second feeding post at Wiesenlehen.
Some 15 to 20 kilometers later, the grand final of the Marmotte Hochkönig begins with a detour over Embach – I have not found a profile of that at my usual sources, but Strava has some segments and it looks like I can expect grades up to 10% again.
Then it’s up the Dientner Sattel again, but this time from the south(-west) from Lend and Dienten. This climb is 15.6 kilometers at a moderate 4.6%, but also here, there are stretches that ‘offer’ up to 10%.
The final climb up to the Arthurhaus is only 7.7 kilometers long, but with 650 meters of elevation difference (8.4%) it’s not easy. It has two easier stretches totaling 1+ kilometers in length, meaning the rest of it averages 9% – the last kilometer is 12.4%.
So, while looking at the elevation (profiles) of the climbs in this Marmotte Hochkönig will probably not impress the hard core climbers I’m bound to never see again after the start this Saturday, I think it offers all I can handle.
My form is not going to get any better – and hopefully not any worse either, due to some unforeseen mishap – so I’m as ready as I will ever be. If I succeed in my goal of obtaining a gold ‘medal’, I will be very happy.
As I will be very happy to see this panorama, at the end of the last climb 🙂