Gotthard Pass - Day 5 - Fluelen to Andermatt
- Distance 39km
- Max Elevation 1460m
Gotthard Pass - Fluelen to Andermatt Ride Profile
Today saw the start of the long climb up the Gotthard Pass. The ride fell into two parts.
The first section was wonderful. The sun was shining, we got an early
start and the air was cool as we started riding up the valley out of
Altdorf. The Gotthard Pass road was quiet, with most of the traffic on the motorway
above our heads. At one point the traffic was queuing at a toll point so
for a magic moment, even though we were going uphill we were traveling
faster than the lorries above us.
After 15km and a coffee break the serious hills began. The first section
was a 400m climb in 11km and had two steeper climbs with a long section
of gentle gradients. As we ate lunch there were black clouds gathering
and within a few minutes of setting off we were donning our ponchos for
the first deluge. This was the end of the good part of the ride.
The next 5km climbed 200m and we reached Goschenen. Here a sign advised
us to get the train to Andermatt as the road was dangerous but we were
keen to ride the whole way up to the pass. Just after the town the
motorway ends and all the traffic comes onto this narrow road which
climbs through hairpins for another 400m to Andermatt.
The road was narrow with crash barriers at both sides and no hard
shoulder. It was pouring with rain and the clouds were low so the
visibility was bad.Even worse, the road went along several half tunnel
sections, a wall on one side with a roof and fast traffic in both
directions. All this and a 10% climb.
At this point we regretted not getting on the train but to descend back
to Goschenen was just as bad, so we pushed on. We still had a flask of
hot water so, sheltering under one of the half tunnels, we brewed tea
and stood there, soaking and miserable, as the traffic sped past.
There was a mountain bike route on a rough track which saved us from the
final section of tunnel and by now the mist was so thick that we
struggled to find Andermatt and nearly went past it on the by-pass.
It was still pouring with rain and we were soaked so booked into a
warm, clean hotel, had a good night's sleep, and managed to dry all our
gear by the next morning before our final assault on the Gotthard Pass.