This climb is one of the finest and most demanding in Valais. Starting in the Rhône Valley and culminating at 2,200 metres, this is an ascent that demands respect!
Distance 24.2 km
Covering a total altitude difference of 1,800 metres, the Col du Sanetsch route is without doubt the most demanding climb in Valais. From the valley, you first cycle through the vineyards of the municipality of Savièse, then the larch and spruce forests of the municipality of Conthey, before passing through alpine pastures and finally reaching the magnificent Tsanfleuron glacier. At each bend, the road reveals another surprise, including rock faces, waterfalls and snow-capped peaks, as more and more stunning landscapes come into view. The route gradually takes you through narrow, shady gorges lined with cool, fragrant forests. After a few brief but welcome level sections, the climb picks up again with even more gusto, offering a view of the now-distant Rhône Valley. Once you've tackled a few hairpin bends and passed by a waterfall, you’ll gradually find yourself in a landscape of alpine meadows. Cycle through a tunnel carved into the rock and your determination will be rewarded with a close-up view of the limestone pavements of the Tsanfleuron glacier.
From the Col du Sanetsch, head to Gsteig via a short cable car journey that makes for a unique and thrilling experience, then return to central Valais via the Col du Pillon with the wind at your back.
Safety informationStrictly respect the Swiss traffic rules. Please note that you are running the tour at your own risk and all liability is refused. Please be considerate to plants and animals. For your own safety, wear an helmet every time you ride a bike.Emergency numbers: 144 Ambulance / 117 Police / 1414 Helicopter Rescue (Rega).
Tips and hints
Getting thereTake the A9 motorway, then exit 25 to Conthey.
ParkingParking available in the shopping area of Conthey.
32T 369775 5121231
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
EquipmentWe recommend: bike in excellent working order, helmet, gloves and bell, clothing suitable for the weather (always carry a waterproof), food and drink.
Basic Equipment for Bike Riding
- Cycling helmet
- Cycling gloves
- Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
Technical Equipment for Bike Riding
- Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
- Puncture repair kit
- Replacement inner tube
- Tire levers
- Chain tool
- Hex keys
- Phone / device holder as required
- Bike lock as required
- Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.
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