Port D’Envalira (2.408m) – Andorra

20 08 2009

9:30 am, 2-08-2009

Climb:   Port D’Envalira (2408m), the highest paved pass in the Pyrenees

                  Andorra la Viella, 1029m – Port d’Envalira, 2408m

                 [1,379m – 28,5 km – 4,8%]

Distance & Time: 57,46 Km – 3:07

Time going up /down: 2:19 – 0:48

Average speed up /down: 12,44 km/h  – 35,91 Km/h

Max. speed and max. gradient for 1k: 67,6 Km/h – 9%

Conditions: No wind (if any favorable to climb)

Pace: Always below my limit

Description

I have started this climb from the Valira camping site situated in Andora la Viella. The climb started steep but soon turned into a steady and easy climb. The road develops through the bottom part of a valley that though getting higher and higher very rarely gives the climber the opportunity to fear the next climb or to contemplate his climbing achievements due to the limited visibility. Around the 9thKm you get a first test. There you really feel going up with an ascent of 9% (climbing 90m in “just” 1 Km) the sun exposure and the distance to the top (about 20Km) took the cruising smile out of my face. The scenery is not one of a mountain climb, once you keep passing villages and seeing people walking around and also because you keep riding in the lower part of this valley until you are more or less 10 Km from the top. After passing the last village (Soldeu) you finally get the feeling you are climbing a mountain. At that point I was undertaken by a cyclist with a different bike (and level) and a second one (probably age 50s) was preparing to do the same. At that time I said to myself the youngster it’s ok but the senior not. And after a final push I made it to the top between these two. After a small chat with these nice guys I’ve discovered that they started this climb 60km before me and, after this almost 30km climb, still had 50km to finish. Respect. 

The descent was done going back and it was fun! Good asphalt and not very hard on the brakes. The wind though was not helping, I had to cycle all the way in order not to be too stressed about the bus driver that came behind.

Notes

Climbing this mountain from the Andorra la Viella side in the morning seems to have less cars but also a less mountain feel. Next time I want to do it from the other side (Ax les Thermes) but will probably leave around 6 am!

Links

http://www.climbbybike.com/climb.asp?Col=Port-dEnvalira&qryMountainID=3939

http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_d’Envalira

http://search.pbase.com/search?q=port+d%27envalira&c=sp

http://cycloclimbing.com/pyrpass1500paved/index.html

Map & Photos

Port d'Envalira

DSC_5723m

DSC00054m

 

DSC_5737m

 Photos captured by Cristiana Matos

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